Curriculum by Subject
At Lapal, maths is challenging, enjoyable and achievable for all. We incorporate concrete manipulatives, pictorial representations, words, numbers and symbols to enable children to explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas. This also enriches learning experiences and deepens understanding. Together these elements cement knowledge so that pupils truly understand mathematical concepts and procedures. All children are regularly encouraged to recall and apply their knowledge, skills and understanding to solve problems and reason. We provide all children with a variety of opportunities which encourages them to make connections. Our goal is to equip the children with the skills of calculation, reasoning and problem solving that they need in life beyond school.
There are six main areas that collectively underpin children’s early mathematical learning, and which provide the foundations for the maths that children will encounter as they progress through the years in primary school.
Cardinality and Counting: understanding that the cardinal value of a number refers to the quantity, or ‘howmanyness’ of things it represents
Comparison: understanding that comparing numbers involves knowing which numbers are worth more or less than each other
Composition: understanding that one number can be made up from (composed from) two or more smaller numbers
Pattern: looking for and finding patterns helps children notice and understand mathematical relationships
Shape and Space: understanding what happens when shapes move, or combine with other shapes, helps develop wider mathematical thinking
Measures: comparing different aspects such as length, weight and volume, as a preliminary to using units to compare later
Children are encouraged to use mathematical language, problem solve and reason in a broad range of practical contexts and throughout their play.
Click here to view the Early Years Maths Curriculum Overview.
Early Maths Links & Websites:
The NCETM Early Years Area - The aim of this section is to help gain a clearer understanding of how children build early number sense and to provide tips on how best to support that learning.
Number Blocks - Number blocks first broadcast in January 2017. It is a preschool BBC television series aimed at introducing children to early number. Snappy animation and lovable characters combine with engaging story lines to gently introduce concepts of number to support early mathematical understanding.
NRICH - The NRICH Early Years resources aim to further develop young children’s natural problem-solving abilities in the context of mathematics.
Learning Trajectories - This is a web-based tool to support our understanding about how children think and learn about mathematics and how to teach mathematics to young children (birth to age 8).
Our Approach to Teaching Maths at Lapal
Aims of the National Curriculum
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
At Lapal, we support the children’s understanding of mathematical concepts, operations and relationships. The children develop efficient recall of the basic number facts such as number bonds, times tables, doubling and halving through maths lessons as well as homework tasks.
In order to develop the children’s procedural fluency, we teach a range of procedures and spend a lot of time discussing and exploring the most efficient procedure to use so that when children come across a question in a different context, they can apply their knowledge and skills in the most efficient way possible. For example when teaching addition in year three, the children would apply their number bond knowledge to add three digit numbers and one digit numbers. Drawing upon their knowledge and understanding of place value, the children recognise that only the ones column is affected so they know that they can answer this question mentally and therefore do not need to carry out a written method. However later on in the unit, when the children are adding a three digit number and a two digit number, they begin to add numbers where there is an exchange from ones to tens. They then move on to exchanging tens to hundreds before adding numbers where there are exchanges in both columns. It is here that the children are taught how to use a written method and develop the understanding of when and why we used written methods. Our maths curriculum equips the children to apply procedures accurately, efficiently, and flexibly. This allows them to transfer procedures to different problems and contexts and to recognise when one strategy or procedure is more appropriate to apply than another.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
We encourage children to work actively in small groups or with their talk partners wherever possible because we have found this to be one of the best ways to develop the children’s reasoning skills. Through discussions with their peers, the children naturally spot errors, explain their thinking and encourage each other to justify their answers. Some children also challenge themselves to prove that their answer is correct by demonstrating their mathematical thinking in another way or by using resources to illustrate the concept.
- Solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
During our maths lessons, we aim to teach and develop maths skills in interesting and exciting ways. The children are regularly involved in many practical activities and investigations using equipment, which also help develop their skills of problem solving and logical thinking.
Our Maths Curriculum
We use the White Rose Scheme of Learning to inform our planning. Our Maths curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. We dedicate more time to teaching each area of mathematics so that we can ensure that the relevant knowledge, skills and understanding are embedded. Children’s chances of success are maximised if they develop deep and lasting understanding of mathematical procedures and concepts we therefore ensure that learning is deep and sustainable.
We also use a range of other materials to support the teaching and learning of mathematics. These include:
Maths No Problem
Gareth Metcalfe’s ‘I See Reasoning’ and ‘I See Problem Solving.’
Rising stars: Maths for the more able
We also have a wealth of practical resources in school to support the teaching and learning of maths.
Please click on the year group below to see the Maths curriculum coverage for the academic year:
Please click on the year group below to see the Maths curriculum coverage for the academic year:
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA)
The mastery approach incorporates objects, pictures, words, numbers and symbols to help children to explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas. All pupils, when introduced to a new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by using the CPA approach. Pupils are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
Concrete: children have the opportunity to use concrete resources to help them to understand and explain what they are doing. Children might begin by handling real objects, such as apples, and then move on to using physical representations of those objects, for example counters.
Pictorial: children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems. Drawings act as a bridge between the concrete objects that the children have been using and the abstract symbols that they must learn to use.
Abstract: With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
When it comes to times tables, speed and accuracy are important. We teach times tables daily, as part of our maths lessons, in years one to five. We believe that the more times table facts that the children remember, the easier it is for them to answer more complex calculations.
The National Curriculum expectation for Primary Schools across the UK is that, by the end of Year 4, pupils can recall all 12 times tables up to 12x2. With this in mind, we ensure that by the end of year 2, children are able to recall multiplication facts for the 2, 3, 5 and 10 times table accurately and promptly. By the end of year 3, we expect children to build on their multiplication knowledge from year two and recall multiplication facts for the four and eight times tables as well as the 2, 3, 5 and 10 times table.
The children have access to Timestables RockStars. This is used to support children’s accuracy and prompt recall of multiplication facts. All of the children in year two, three, four, five and six have access to TT Rockstars and their username and password can be found in their planner. You can access TT Rockstars through the tile on our RM Unify platform. Year one children will receive their username and password in the Summer term. Children are encouraged to access this resource both inside and outside school. The children are awarded with certificates during assembly each week. There is a celebration display board in the school hall which shows the winning classes from the most recent tournament.
The children also enjoy playing Hit The Button to practise recalling multiplication and division facts as well as number bonds and doubling and halving.
Towards the end of the academic year, children in year four will complete the Multiplication Tables Check. The online check will test the children on their multiplication tables up to 12 x 12. There are twenty-five questions in total and the children will have six seconds to answer each question, there will be a three seconds between questions. This activity on Maths Frame mirrors the 'Multiplication Tables Check' that will be given to children. The questions are generated randomly using the same rules as the 'Multiplication Tables Check.’ For more information about the Multiplication Tables Check, please find information leaflet below.
Modern Foreign Languages
We aim to share our love of reading with all of our pupils at Lapal and encourage them to choose books that are interesting, enjoyable, from varied authors and those that challenge. We encourage all pupils to continue their reading at home using tools in their individual pupil planner to support this and ensure consistency between home and school. Pupils in EYFS and KS1 are taught to read through Little Wandle and pupils from year 3 to 6 have a 30 minute reading lesson, 4 times each week. This develops our pupils’ reading skills through VIPERS linked to the national curriculum and through a shared text in group discussion.
All children at Lapal have an individual pupil planner, which contains a daily reading diary so that pupils, parents and staff can track their reading. It is the school’s expectation that the diary should be completed daily by a member of staff, parent or carer to ensure that regular and daily reading opportunities are provided in and out of school.
At Lapal, we prioritise the development of early reading by putting reading at the heart of everything we do. Through the use of robust and systematic teaching of phonics this provides an effective transition into independent reading, which then subsequently encourages our older pupils to read widely and deeply. Phonics is undoubtedly an essential tool here but as a school, we are aware that whilst phonic knowledge enables pupils to decode words, it does not teach them to know their meaning. We achieve this by providing opportunities for our pupils to sing, hear and join in with stories, to gain an understanding of what words actually mean through early, verbal comprehension. These solid and secure foundations are then built upon to enable the children of Lapal to be fluent, confident readers and adopt a love for reading.
We want to help all of our children at Lapal to become successful readers, who love reading. In order to decode (read) words, children are taught through a systematic phonic approach following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme which captivates our children. Daily, discrete phonics sessions are taught in whole class groupings and sessions are fast paced, interactive and challenging. Children are encouraged to apply their phonics skills across all curriculum areas (and have further opportunities to apply enhanced provisions in EYFS and home learning.) We hold an annual parent workshop for EYFS & KS1 in the first half of the autumn term to share our approach to the teaching of synthetic phonics, which is then followed up by parent drop in sessions for EYFS to enable parent and carers to work alongside their child in a phonics session to see how it is taught at Lapal, to enable them to support and continue this at home.
The Little Wandle website provides resources to help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so that you can see how phonics is taught at school and feel confident about supporting your child with reading at home. Use the link below to be redirected the the Little Wandle website.
Click on the image above to access the Little Wandle Parent Information Pack and see how you can continue to support your child with reading and phonics at home.
Children start taking home a reading book in EYFS. This follows the Collins Big Cat phonics books scheme, which we ensure are linked to the phonics phase and sounds that the children are currently learning to allow for application and retention. Year 1 and Year 2 pupils continue with these books until they move on to the Rigby Star independent books and then the KS2 Collins Big Cat books. Pupils can also regularly take home extra books from the ‘home readers box’ which is linked to the book band that they are on. This means they can read additional books if they wish, at the correct level of challenge and change these as frequently as they choose.
Once pupils complete the school’s reading scheme books, they become a ‘free reader’ where they can read any books of their choosing, from the class book corner, books from home or from the array of books in our school library. Whilst the children are able to read books of their choosing, staff will still monitor these to ensure there is challenge and pitch.
Reading for Pleasure
At Lapal Primary School we believe that reading should be a fundamental skill which is developed to support lifelong learning. Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture and reading community, where our confident and competent readers will foster a love of reading through exposure to rich and varied literature, in which they are empowered to exercise their freedom of choice and independence. Inspiring children to read for choice is their fundamental right, which underpins strong foundations for our pupils to be successful through the wider curriculum and beyond.
Since 2019, Lapal has been part of a Teacher Reading group (TRG) linked to the Open Universities Reading for Pleasure initiative. Our vision was to ensure that not only do our pupils become proficient readers, but they also develop a love of literature and take pleasure in reading. Through strategic planning, our multifaceted approach has led to children being immersed in rich literature, which has enabled them to broaden and diversify their repertoire of authors and reading materials. This was further recognised by OFSTED, who confirmed that reading has been placed at the heart of our school.
One key driver for embedding reading for pleasure at Lapal was to ensure that staff subject knowledge of children’s literature was broad and diverse and found that this was imperative in order to expose children to a wide range of quality texts, where staff effectively model the pleasure and enjoyment that can be derived from reading. Pupils at Lapal are also encouraged to express their rights as a reader by having choice and freedom to read for pleasure. We are passionate about promoting children to become intrinsically motivated to read, rather than reading for recognition or reward.
As a result of our work around reading for pleasure, we were awarded the 2021 Farshore Reading for Pleasure Teacher Award for the category of ‘Whole School’. We were so proud of the recognition we received for our inspiring work around reading for pleasure and for the steps we have taken to build a highly effective reading community.
Click here to read Lapal's winning entry
Click here to see the video of our award being announced at the Farshore 2021 Reading for Pleasure Teacher Award Ceremony.
To support us in ensuring that we broaden and diversify the repertoire of authors and reading materials that our pupils read, we have created year group specific Literature Maps, which demonstrate to show staff, pupils and parents the breadth of literature our pupils will be exposed to during each year group throughout school. This also incorporated engaging authors, topical books, books around themes such as challenging stereotypes, our local area and books that engage reluctant readers and challenge greater depth readers. These are ever-evolving maps, which will continue to be updated regularly to add new authors, new genres and new themes to ensure our children's exposure to literature continues to broad and and diverse.
We have a fantastic new library located in KS1, which has been stocked with lots of brand new books that the children asked for, including new authors, new topics and those that cover current issues worldwide. The library has a booking in and booking out system that is led by the school librarians from KS2, enabling all pupils from KS1 to choose a library book each week.
We are currently developing plans to enhance the KS2 library also. New books have already been purchased for KS2 based around authors pupils have asked for, curriculum topics and books that address well-being, mental health and worldwide subjects.
At Lapal, we encourage our pupils to access their local libraries, tapping into the events and opportunities that they provide, as well as accessing the wealth of books on offer. This information is displayed in our school entrance and updates feature on our newsfeed on the school website.
Wider Reading Opportunities
At Lapal, we strive to enrich the children’s love and enjoyment for reading by providing wider opportunities throughout our curriculum and differing times during the school day.
We always join in with annual reading and book events such as Roald Dahl Day & World Book Day to encourage and inspire children to share their favourite books and authors, but to also discover new books and authors from which they have not yet read. This is also promoted through Trust events such as the annual book quiz, where a team of pupils are quizzed on specific books from which they have read, to test and develop their reading skills such a retrieval and inference skills as well as author knowledge.
With the use of our refined knowledge organisers, we promote further reading through our curriculum by providing ‘Recommended Reads’ linked to each topic in History, Geography and Science. This enables us to promote wider reading opportunities linked to a range of topics and subjects, enabling pupils to become familiar with subject specific vocabulary and key knowledge.
- KS1 Reading VIPER Questions
- KS2 Reading VIPER Questions
- EYFS Phonics Workshop 2023
- KS1 Phonics Workshop 2022
- Key Stage 2 Workshop 2022
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC)
What is SMSC?
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development incorporates all of the experiences, planned and unplanned, received by young people in the course of their time in school that promotes their spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development, and thus the wellbeing of both the individual and ultimately the wider community. We ensure that pupils are given opportunities and learning experiences to help them to prepare for life in modern Britain and to understand British values.
Our Character Education curriculum helps to give children the knowledge, skills, and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens in a rapidly changing world. In undertaking character education and life in modern Britain, children learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others, and become increasingly responsible for their own learning. They learn to understand and respect our common humanity, diversity and differences. They find out about political and social institutions which affect their lives, as well as their rights and duties as individuals and members of society. We recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve.
The areas covered by Character Education and Life in Modern Britain are as follows:
Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of the children‟ s abilities.
Preparing to play an active role as citizens.
Developing a healthy, safer lifestyle.
Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people.