Ley Hill School

  • The curriculum
  • Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3
  • Year 4
  • Year 5
  • Year 6
  • PHSE
  • Reading at LHS
  • P.E. at Ley Hill School
  • Beyond the Curriculum
  • Residential journeys

The curriculum at Ley Hill

Our aim is for the curriculum on offer to the pupils to be as broad, creative, balanced, inclusive and stimulating as possible. This in tandem with a desire and drive for the children to become independent and imaginative thinkers informs our curriculum development. In addition, we strive for our pupils to deepen their studies through extension activities which are freely available in the classrooms.

Our policy on learning and teaching is seen as a constantly evolving one. Lessons are based on a development of thoughtful dialogue between the pupils and between the adults and the pupils. We find that this approach fosters a collegiate atmosphere in the classrooms benefiting all involved. Learning is also supported by high quality use of IT, careful planning, appropriate resourcing and challenge. We also use carefully targeted Learning Support intervention to support the attainment and progress of pupils who are finding certain subjects or concepts more difficult to grasp.

The curriculum itself is built on the following principles:
Core Areas of study are; English, Mathematics, Science, Computing/IT and PE. Each of these core areas are planned and taught discretely. Each morning all pupils will have a Maths and English lesson. The pupils have at least two computing sessions in the IT suite and three sessions of PE per week.

Other subjects taught include History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art, Music, Drama, PHSE and RE. To cover such a wide range of study we do two things; teach in a cross curricular way basing the work on a historical topic and by blocking the study so that the class would do a six week block of lessons on art followed by a six week block on design for example.

So if we take Egypt as an example of a cross curricular theme the pupils might cover; history in terms of the ancient civilisation in Egypt, its Pharaohs, inventions, pyramids and daily life; modern history would cover Howard Carter and present day tourism; Geography as they study the importance of the Nile both ancient and modern; Science where the pupils investigate irrigation, mummification and astronomy; Design and Technology in terms of making shadufs and Egyptian foods; RE elements can be explored as the pupils study the deities in Ancient Egypt; Art projects will be followed such as the pupils making replica Tutankhamun masks. Literacy and drama are covered as the pupils write informatively and creatively about life in Ancient Egypt. Some of this study will take place in the ICT suite and software packages will be used to complete the work thus skills learnt in ICT skills lessons will be applied in a real context. These cross curricular studies are further augmented by educational visits in this case to The British Museum and by visiting experts.

At the beginning of each term all parents receive a letter enabling families to be involved and informed about the topics and projects to be covered that term. We hold parents' evenings in autumn and spring terms, when time is allocated for you to discuss the children's progress and next steps in detail with the class teachers. The final parents' evening held in the summer term is an open evening where all classes show some of their best work and assembly performances.

Early Years Foundation Stage

"Children have an excellent start to their schooling in Nursery and Reception classes." Ofsted 2012.

The Nursery at Ley Hill has grown in strength since beginning on site in 2006 and is rightly popular and respected in the local community and beyond.

We offer a flexible 15 hours per child with the opportunity for extra chargeable sessions where capacity allows. Morning sessions run from 8.45-11.45 am and afternoon sessions from 12.45-3.15 pm. There is also a Lunch Club with a limited number of places. Priority is given to children attending all day.

The Nursery has a maximum number of 26 children in any one session.
The Reception class has a maximum number of 30 places.

Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Foundation Stage Curriculum, as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework underpins all future learning and is a statutory requirement for children from birth to five. It covers seven areas of learning:

The Prime Areas
  • Communication and Language

  • Physical Development

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The Specific Areas
  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the World

  • Expressive Arts and Design

The Foundation Stage curriculum is applied through a creative and stimulating approach both inside and outdoors. Staff plan a wide range of learning experiences that build on what children already know and can do. These learning experiences encourage 'playing and exploring', 'active learning' and 'creating and thinking critically' - the characteristics of effective learning. Early Years is well resourced to ensure children have a wide range of learning opportunities. We pride ourselves on our outdoor learning and make full use of the school grounds all year round and in all weathers. Children learn to become independent learners and learning through play and self-directed activities, together with carefully planned adult-led learning experiences are at the heart of this excellent provision.

"The outstanding teaching in the Nursery and Reception classes means they settle well into school life and are well prepared for their move into Year 1, especially in gaining social, basic communication skills and number understanding." Ofsted 2012.

PHSE

Underpinning our formally taught curriculum we aim to develop the Personal, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of all children at Ley Hill Primary School. Through assemblies, educational visits, curriculum enrichment events and linking with schools, both locally and in contrasting settings, we aim to ensure children become valuable members of both their immediate and global community. We are a 'Healthy School' and through Science, PE, PSHE and other areas of our curriculum we promote both physical and emotional well-being.

Spiritual
Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity.
As a school we believe that children need to arrive at their own personal spiritual and moral beliefs and values, through understanding and questioning. As in all other subject areas, the teaching of RE must be related to the ages and abilities of the children being taught. No member of staff will promote one religion or set of beliefs in preference to any other and the beliefs of each child and every family will be respected. Parents will be fully informed of their rights to withdraw their child from Religious Education lessons. However, in line with the principles established by the curriculum, teaching will be structured to try to ensure all pupils will be able to attend RE teaching.

Moral
Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Through our restorative approach to any behavioural or relationship issues within our school we encourage children to reflect on right and wrong decisions. We will always discuss with a child while their behaviour may not have followed our three core values. Through our assemblies and in lessons the children in our school will consider both 'real-life' and hypothetical dilemmas that face people in our world.

Social
Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.
We encourage children of all ages to work together within our school.
Cultural
Appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
We encourage children to celebrate diversity within our own school community and beyond.

Reading at LHS

"English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high quality education in English will teach pupils to write and speak fluently so that they communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils to both acquire knowledge and build on what they already know." National Curriculum 2014

Here at LHS children are introduced to the wonderful world of reading from the outset through stories, rhymes, songs, story sacks and poems. Their learning journey continues with the introduction of the phonics programme and sharing books leading to entry into the School's reading scheme. We work in close partnership with parents throughout the process with children reading both in school and at home on a daily basis. Our intention is that by the time our pupils have completed their primary education with us they will be enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers.

Phonics is pivotal to developing reading and writing skills. Our phonics teaching begins in EYFS and continues throughout KS1 and beyond where intervention is needed. We follow Letters and Sounds, supplemented by Jolly Phonics, Phonics Play, Bug Club & Espresso. Year 1 pupils take the Phonics Check in June each year which is used to track their progress.

Progress and attainment levels for reading have been notably high for the past five years. In 2016 our KS 2 progress measure was in the top 10% nationally.

Teaching of reading
We use a range of strategies to develop children's reading skills. Lessons will include focus on spelling and grammar as well as comprehension. Our organisation of reading activities is specific to the age and ability of the pupils and includes:

  • Individual reading through the book band graded reading scheme. Older children continue to hone their skills through free reading. Progress is recorded in the pupils' reading diaries which are signed by both parents and teachers. Younger children will also work on key words at home.

  • Reading is tracked carefully through the school and we have a new reading test which provides powerful data for the teachers to use to analyse progress and pinpoint interventions where they are needed

  • Guided Reading in small groups with an adult using resources from Oxford, Lighthouse, Badger & LCP as well as

  • Class discussion including drama and role play

  • Class novels, story time and Story Sacks (interactive storytelling)

  • Book talk/reviews and recommendations

  • Book/genre focus. Shared reading and teaching around high quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction. In many cases this study will lead to a writing project

  • Use of multimedia eg short films

  • Online games and activities

  • Reading across the curriculum. Each class receives a topic library box once per term

  • Reading to a range of audiences - peer to peer, staff and parents. Assemblies, plays and Speech Club

  • Teacher modelling e.g. class stories/novels


Developing the Reading Environment
KS1 Parents are invited to an annual Phonics open morning in the Autumn term.

Our fabulous School library was completely refurbished and opened in March 2016. The library was opened by local author, Robin Price. Pupils have their own bar code and are able to visit the library freely to borrow books.

We host an annual Scholastic Book Fair and receive free books from the publisher based on sales. Last year we were able to procure £500 of new stock for our library.

All classrooms have dedicated reading areas which include topic books related to the cross curricular study for that term. We use the LEA lending library to augment our own wide selection of cross curricular reading materials.

The school is frequently complimented on our print rich corridor and classroom displays. In an SIA report 22.9.16 - 'The SIA recorded the amount of writing across the curriculum which was displayed in classrooms and around the school.'

Children enjoy related excursions and visitors in School. Recent examples include a Literacy theme day at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Young Shakespeare (Workshops and attending a performance of the Tempest) and a visit to Sky studios for a day workshop creating news reports and filming them.

Performances. Our most recent performances and workshops have been from Quantum Theatre and PERFORM.

Annual celebration of World Book Day. Each year we join the nation to celebrate the joy of reading with a themed day of book related activites.

The Chesham Arts Festival Speech Section is hosted by us and coordinated by our English leader. Many local schools participate in this popular event.

Children may choose to recite poems, do prose readings and participate in drama & public speaking classes.

P.E. and games at Ley Hill School

At Ley Hill School physical activity is paramount. At any time of the school day children can be seen enjoying some form of physical activity whether playtime, curriculum or extra-curricular time. All pupils experience at least three hours of physical activity each week.

We truly believe that there is a sport for all pupils whatever their talent and preference. We offer a wide variety of activities to suit all tastes, ranging from football and netball to cheerleading and fencing. We are blessed with great facilities: a large field with a fitness trail, two spacious playgrounds with climbing frames, a climbing wall, outdoor table tennis table and a well equipped school hall.

Competition is encouraged through intra class events like the Fun Run and Sports Days and inter-school competitions. For example, football, cricket, netball and table tennis leagues. All pupils from Reception to Year 6 compete in at least one inter school competition each year organised by the SSCO scheme.

We enjoy strong community links with local clubs. For example we reciprocate facilities and resources with the local cricket club. Our links with the local Grammar school continue to thrive. Community sports leaders regularly help to run extra-curricular clubs like tag rugby and cheerleading. Recently we thoroughly enjoyed an Olympic Assembly when a potential Olympic gymnast demonstrated her talent and two former pupils offered inspiration to our children in their role as Young Sports Ambassadors. At Ley Hill School we firmly believe that regular physical exercise and healthy eating have a great impact on the well-being of the whole child.

Over the past two years we have been the grateful recipient of the Olympic Legacy Funding or PE and Sports Premium. This money has been spent in the following ways to augment our already excellent PE and sports provision; £8000 plus £5 per pupil KS1+2 - £895. Total £8895. Paid to school via LEA on 65%/35% split through the academic year.

Expenditure so far - Andy sports coaching YR-Y6 - £4125. This is a sports coach working with classes and teachers to enhance sporting participation and represents professional development for the staff.

This Sports partnership - £2840 - Enabling all pupils to attend one or more sports festivals throughout the year including transport to and from events. New Equipment - £429 PD whole staff in REAL PE scheme £1700.

The impact that this funding has on our pupils' Physical Education and sport participation is to ensure that all pupils develop healthy lifestyles by greater participation in school sport and competitions, engaging in healthy eating, using PE and school sport to extend their learning in other subject areas such as maths, participating in an increased diversity of sports in a rich and engaging curriculum, receiving high quality PE teaching and lunch time sports activities.

Beyond the Curriculum

At Ley Hill the pupils are offered a wide ranging and constantly developing array of extra-curricular activities. These are provided by staff at the school or from outside providers. The staff bring their own interests to the pupils and clubs such as netball, cookery, speed stacking, table tennis, juggling eco club, philospohy, cross country, rock drumming, football, cricket and vegetable growing are all run free of charge during lunchtimes and after school by staff members. The children are often keen to set up and run their own clubs ,for example ballroom dancing and cheerleading, and this is encouraged as it reflects our ethos of developing responsibility and confidence. Outside agencies provide tennis coaching, football training, french club, dance and rugby training. The emphasis is on giving our young people opportunities to enjoy their favourite pasttimes and for them to be introduced to new activities which they may not otherwise have tried.

Ley Hill has an excellent reputation for music and sporting achievement and participation. We celebrate children's talents they have developed outside of school and aim to nurture these through encouragement and engagement.

There is a comprehensive provision for instrument tuition including, violin, brass, woodwind, cello, piano and guitar. We have a school orchestra for Year 4 pupils upwards and a choir.

Residential journeys

We run three residential journeys at the present time.

- Shortenills Environmental Study Centre
Shortenills is a Buckinghamshire County Council run centre in Chalfont St Peter, providing a wide selection of environmental programs. We take Year 4 here for five school days when they engage in the Earth Champions course, learning global responsibility through an absorbing week of outdoor and class based study.

- PGL Osmington Bay
In Year 5 the children get the opportunity to go further afield when we go to PGL Osmington Bay in Dorset. Here they engage in a whole week's program of outdoor adventure education where individual confidence is nurtured and team work is essential. The activities include abseiling, rock climbing, archery, zip wiring, giant swing, quad biking, hiking/orienteering, problem solving and much more.

- France (Cherbourg peninsula)
Year 6 travel to France in the Summer term of their final year at Ley Hill. This trip provides the children with experiences to support their understanding of the Second World War as we visit the Normandy beaches and war cemeteries. They also get lots of opportunity to put their French, which they learn from Year 3, into practice as they shop, buy tickets and order in cafes.

Charges
The school will ask for a voluntary contribution from families for trips, residential visits and special school events. These charges, which are varied, are kept to a minimum possible amount. The school reserves the right however to cancel trips if insufficient funds are contributed.

We strive to ensure that trips are directly linked to studies in our curriculum and add value to the pupils' learning experience.

The school asks for a voluntary contribution to the school fund of £30 per family per year. This money is used to provide added value resources or to help with emergent issues.

The parents will be asked to pay for the following;
Peripatetic music lessons (payable to the school but money then goes to the Bucks music service)
After school clubs run by outside agencies - charges go direct to the agency (all staff led clubs are free)