The children asked us about the school motto- ‘Why Little Acorns to Mighty Oaks?’. This was our reply-
‘As we grow we start small like an acorn, but then we grow to be big and strong like an oak tree.
What we learn in school is like this too- we start small, learning about ourselves, our Palfrey school and community, then our wider area such as Walsall and Birmingham, next England and the United Kingdom and finally the World! So the places and things we learn about grow and grow and spread out, just like an oak tree.
Whenever we learn something new in Maths or Literacy, we start small and our skills and knowledge grow stronger and stronger as we go along.’
The vision for the curriculum at Palfrey Junior School is to provide our children with the skills, knowledge, values and understanding that will equip them for their future lives. We want our school to be a place where they can nurture their talents and abilities. But we also want to foster in them a sense of belonging and connectedness, starting with school and home, radiating out to the local area, Britain and then the World. It is our intention to present all children at our school a rich, varied and engaging curriculum.
Our topics are wide ranging, so to help the children focus on the most important aspects of what they are learning we have developed what we call "Sticky Knowledge and Sticky Facts".
These are the most crucial facts from each topic that we want the children to remember. They are highlighted in the children's books, discussed as their work progresses and re-enforced at the end of each topic through quizzes and games.
Links between what they have learned previously and what they will be learning in the future are made to help them put their knowledge and understanding into context. This will help them to remember it -or get it to "stick" in their minds.
As well as Geography, History and Science; Drama, Dance, Art, Music and Sport are vital parts of our curriculum. We believe that we should offer every child the chance to develop their talents and pursue their interests. We were awarded the Artsmark Gold Award in December 2022 by the Arts Council for our commitment to using the arts to broaden and enrich the education for all children here. The school also hold a School Games Silver Award, demonstrating our commitment to participation in sport ensuring there are a range of games on offer and that school is represented in competitions.
The curriculum consists of twelve subjects which all children study, plus PHSE and British Values.
We have three classes per year group. Children are in mixed classes and within each class there is a mixture of group work and whole class teaching. Pupils may be grouped by ability for some lessons, to individualise learning by enriching and extending the curriculum or providing interventions tailored the needs of each individual.
Assessment, recording and reporting at Palfrey is crucial part of teaching and learning, which involves the children at all stages.
On a day-to-day basis, the pupils are involved in assessment by discussing work with adults, comparing their work against success criteria, evaluation with peers, and responding to written feedback on their work.
The careful monitoring of all assessment data provides teachers with valuable information that directs their planning and gives early indication of when extra challenge, help or support is needed for children to achieve their full potential.
Many intervention strategies are delivered by our Teaching Assistants, which help build the confidence and achievements of pupils. Able children are quickly identified and undertake more challenging activities.
Opportunities are given to share assessment information with parents during the three termly parent consultations but also at other more informal occasions upon request. A written report is sent to parents annually.
The school uses the terms; working towards, expected and greater depth to measure what the children are learning each term.
Click on the links below to find out more about your child’s end of year expectations.
Suggested Reading Lists
Please see some suggested books for your child to read in each Year group. These are recommendations of books that are popular and suitable for the age groups intended and they also link to the curriculum taught in that year. There are many other fantastic books that you children may like to read which can be found in the school library, classbook corner and local council libraries. We recommend that your child reads to you or independently every day. Magazines and newspapers are also good reading material.