Education at William Austin Junior School will follow on progressively from your child’s experiences at their Infant School.
Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum. English and Maths are taught daily. Science, Computing, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology, Religious Education (RE), Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship & Economic Education (PSHCEE), French, Games, Spelling, Phonics, Tables and Reading are taught throughout the week by the class teacher. We also employ specialist teachers for Music, Physical Education (PE) and some computing lessons.
The classteacher will assess your child’s work throughout each term and this will be reported to you at our regular Parent Consultation evenings and through the end year report. When your child reaches Year 6, at the end of Key Stage 2, they will take the Key Stage 2 National Tests (SATs). These tests will indicate their progress and achievement, the results, along with a teacher assessment grade will be reported to you. A copy of our latest Key Stage results can be seen in the performance tables pages on our website.
Whole school policies for all subjects are available on the website or from the school office, on request.
Reading is an integral part of our school curriculum: opportunities for reading are embedded throughout. Children are expected to read with an adult at home for a minimum of ten minutes each evening. We have a comprehensive, up-to-date library from which children can select their home reading books. A weekly library lesson is incorporated into our school timetable. Teachers read novels to their classes and topics are supported by a range of non-fiction.
We expose children to a range of high-quality literature within guided reading lessons and across the curriculum. Key reading skills are modelled and practised in these. Additional reading support is provided through 1:1 and small group intervention.
Each classroom has a well-stocked and cosy reading corner to promote reading for pleasure across the school. In addition, there are two larger reading areas to instil a love of reading in a relaxed and calm environment.
Grammar and punctuation are taught progressively and these skills are matched to the relevant text types. We encourage children to use Standard English in their writing, and place emphasis on grammatically accurate usage.
At William Austin, we follow the Talk for Writing approach. This develops children’s speaking and listening skills and vocabulary. A range of narrative and non-fiction text types are taught through high-quality model texts. These exemplars are used to guide children towards higher-quality writing.
The development of a legible and joined handwriting style is encouraged in all lessons. Children should write in pencil or blue ink. When children’s handwriting has reached an acceptable standard, they are awarded a pen licence. Pens are sold in the school shop.
Children follow a spelling programme throughout the school, informed by the National Curriculum requirements. These are taught in discrete, 20 minute lessons. During these sessions, the school aims to improve children’s knowledge of spelling patterns.
Children are encouraged to make plausible attempts at spelling unknown words, using their phonological and morphological knowledge. Children are also taught words from a statutory list; these can be found in the middle of children’s reading records.
Homework is considered to be an important and integral part of education at William Austin Junior School. We set a 5 minute daily maths and English task (which includes spellings) and a weekly open ended Learning Log task. Children are expected to read their reading book on a daily basis and also learn their multiplication tables and spelling patterns they have been working on during the week.
Additional tasks to be done at home
- Daily reading is considered essential to promote fluency and understanding which is fundamental to all learning
- We expect all pupils to be heard to read at home by an adult for at least ten minutes daily and have their reading card signed
- Parents and carers are asked to encourage their children, listen to them read as often as possible and talk about the stories being read
- Pupils who have not been heard read by an adult at home will be given an opportunity to read during playtime to a member of staff
We use the Times Table Rock Stars online programme to learn multiplication tables. Parents are expected to ensure that their child practises multiplication and related division facts regularly. There are regular tests during the week in class, including opportunities to compete against other classes and pupils, making this a competitive activity.
For all year groups there is an online maths task children can complete using the My Maths website.
The children are expected to learn any spellings patterns they have been working on during that week. Children will be given a weekly test in class; Monday for Y6, Wednesday for Y5 and Y4, Tuesday for Y3.
Holiday Projects: Holiday projects are set for half term/end of term holidays. These are arts based projects that may involve 3D models which can be displayed in the hall.
We appreciate parental support in the completion of high-quality homework.
Mathematics teaches us how to make sense of the world around us through developing a child’s ability to calculate, reason, and to solve problems. It is an essential element of communication which is important to analyse and communicate information and ideas.
It enables children to understand and appreciate relationships and patterns in both number and space in their everyday lives. It also teaches flexibility, initiative, accuracy, logical thinking, to solve real life problems and is a source of interest and fun.
Mathematics must be taught to implement the current legal requirements of the National Curriculum and to ensure that each child will leave our school numerate and able to use and apply Mathematics with confidence.
At William Austin Junior School, all teachers and teaching assistants are responsible for developing basic skills in numeracy. Throughout the whole curriculum opportunities exist to extend and promote mathematics. Teachers seek to take advantage of all opportunities.
Teaching styles and lesson structure provide opportunities for pupils to consolidate their learning, use and apply their knowledge, pose and answer questions, investigate mathematical ideas and assess and reflect on their own learning.
Mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems. It enables children to understand relationships and patterns in both number and space in their everyday lives. Through their growing knowledge and understanding, children learn to appreciate the contribution made by many cultures to the development and application of mathematics.
There is a mathematics lesson everyday. In Years three, four and five we teach class maths and in Year six the children are taught in sets according to their abilities. Some children are taught in a smaller group so that individual needs are met. To aid the ability to calculate mentally, there are two additional 15 minute slots during the week specifically set aside for pupils to practice and learn their multiplication tables.
At William Austin Junior School, science is a world of exploration and discovery. The children are taught the key scientific principles of biology, chemistry and physics. All lessons follow the national curriculum and the children have two hours a week dedicated to this core subject.
Throughout the units the children are encouraged to plan and conduct experiments, question and explore phenomena. This allows the children to work scientifically and become confident independent learners. The implementation of practical learning experiences allows children of all abilities including SEND and EAL to understand the underlying principles.
The Willow Garden provides a valuable outside learning environment. Through guided sessions, the children are able to explore natural habitats as well as planting, growing and harvesting a wide range of fruit and vegetables. This safe, welcoming environment is a place not just for science, but also provides a tranquil place for the children to explore in their own time. Children are encouraged to continue their learning at lunch times with the implementation of Playground Science. This self lead initiative develops confidence and the ability to question the world around them.
Science capital plays a vital role in our school. Throughout the year, numerous STEM based visitors share their knowledge and skills with the children. In March, the entire school takes part in National Science Week, allowing the children to participate in exciting experiments and challenges. Cross curricular links within the curriculum also allow opportunities for children to build on their capital, and aid them in future career choices.
In studying Computing at the school, pupils are given the experience of working at a variety of disciplines in the subject including designing, writing and debugging programming, using sequencing and selection in programming and understanding algorithms. Pupils will also be taught how networks work, including the internet, and how to use them safely and securely. They will also undertake various design and creative projects using a wide variety of software. Further opportunities to hone these skills are practiced in other subject areas across the curriculum.
The school is well equipped with computers. In addition to the Computer room, where the children have a weekly lesson, there is also a networked computer in every classroom for pupil use.
Pupils have access to laptops, iPads, digital equipment and gaming devices in order to stimulate interest in learning. All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards, DVD players and visualisers. These provide access to a greater range of resources and teaching methods used to promote learning.
Art is taught in termly blocks in all year groups. Children learn techniques of sketching, drawing, painting, collage and sculpture in a range of contexts. They also develop their understanding of different styles, artists and historical periods.
Progression is secured in the knowledge and skills of how to appreciate and control the various materials that they work with. Children also make a significant contribution to display boards in a variety of subjects.
In our Design and Technology (DT) curriculum, we set a variety of tasks to help develop the children’s creativity and imagination. The children are provided with engaging and exciting topics that encourage them to design items for specific audiences and purposes.
Throughout each unit, the children build upon the four key skills of DT: design and plan, explore new materials, make and evaluate. Additionally, across the four years, the children experience different themes: textiles, mechanical systems, electrical circuits and food technology. We aim to broaden the children’s experience by working with a wide range of tools and equipment and build upon their problem solving skills.
Furthermore, each term, a DT award is given to one child per class to celebrate those who have made an exceptional effort in this subject.
In History, children have excellent opportunities to understand how the world we live in has changed over time. The new curriculum will allow children to explore history using different mediums such as historical artefacts, cultural visits and a selection of experienced historians.
It will invite children to become investigators as they carry out local studies of historical places in Luton including Luton Hat Factory, Vauxhall, Luton Hoo and the surrounding areas of Limbury and Biscot.
The teaching and learning of History will develop children’s chronological understanding, extend their knowledge, improve their researching skills and challenge their thinking of the world we live in.
We encourage the children to step back in time and experience life as our ancestors before us travelling back to the Victorians, Henry VIII, ancient Egypt and going as far as the Stone Age. At our school, we aim to make history an exciting topic, engaging and accessible for all children.
During the course of their four years at William Austin Junior School, the pupils study many aspects of the major religious traditions of the world including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
Children will also look at how morality, spirituality, ethics and social issues affect people. They will study such topics as civil and human rights, social cohesion, justice, charity and investigate the lives of inspirational people both past and present. There will also be some scope to look at smaller religious traditions and non-religious but morally based movements such as humanism.
Learning a foreign language enriches the curriculum and provides an introduction to other cultures. It promotes pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. Here at William Austin, we teach French in an engaging and practical way using physical resources and language-based games. Pupils express their ideas and thoughts through role-play, conversation and writing.
In addition to our timetabled lessons, we hold an annual French Day, nearest to Bastille Day, during the Summer Term where pupils engage in a variety of activities. Examples include food tasting, a French language interactive theatre group, songs and activities across the curriculum with a French theme.
Geography is taught in all year groups as a stand alone subject. Pupils will be taught locational knowledge based on map work, place knowledge focussing on human and physical geography that compare similarities and differences between different places.
They will also be taught geographical skills and fieldwork which gives children the opportunity to observe, measure, record and present human and physical features in the local area using compasses, atlases and technology when studying a particular topic.
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our geography teaching during lessons which develop a range of study skills allowing children increasingly to take control of their own learning. We make use of the local environment in our fieldwork .Year five children have the opportunity to visit Dell Farm where the children enjoy orienteering, map work and environmental activities.
The Healthy Schools Program aims to nurture and improve the well-being and achievement of young people, with the view to creating happy, healthy children who are successful both in learning and in life.
The four core themes of the Healthy Schools Program are:
- Personal, Social and Health Education
- Healthy Eating
- Physical Activity
- Emotional Health and Well-being
At William Austin Junior School, we actively address these themes across the entire curriculum. We also offer a wide array of extra-curricular sports clubs in addition to delegating responsibilities to the Junior Leadership Team (JLT), where children represent their peers in the school, and the Junior Road Safety Officers (JSRO), where the children take an active role in promoting road safety.
We believe that the work we do will allow the children to thrive and flourish both in school and in all their other endeavours.
All classes have two hours of physical activity a week; one PE lesson taught by a specialist PE teacher and one Games lesson. Pupils will develop their knowledge and skill level in a variety of games and aesthetic activities during Key Stage 2 including, netball, hockey, football, rugby, basketball, cricket, tennis, rounders, gymnastics, dance, fitness, outdoor adventure and athletics.
Pupils have the opportunity to develop their skill level further by attending the extensive sports clubs on offer at William Austin Junior School. William Austin staff run over 25 clubs a week in gymnastics, cricket, table tennis, football, netball, cheerleading, dance, tennis, badminton, rounders, sports hall athletics, tag ruby, cross country, boccia, kurling, boxing, basketball, dodgeball.
William Austin Junior School has been recognised as a PLATINUM STANDARD school in the Sainsbury’s School Games Mark. The Sainsbury’s School Games Mark is a Government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their contribution towards Sport and PE in school and their commitment to the development of competition across their school. There are bronze, silver and gold levels of the mark award and we are extremely proud to have received the gold mark award or higher every year since 2013.
At William Austin Junior School every child has one hour of music a week and this is taught by a specialist music teacher. In these music lessons the children are taught a range of progressive musical skills whilst learning about different genres of music. Throughout their time at William Austin the children are taught to play the djembe, recorder, ukulele, keyboard and take part in a class samba band.
To further enhance the children’s musical experience there are many extra-curricular opportunities available for the children to take part in such as: Samba Club, Keyboards, Ukulele and Recorders. Children who enjoy singing are encouraged to join the thriving school choir, which has members from all year groups. The choir frequently perform in the local community such as at Luton airport and at a Luton schools event, ‘Singing Spectacular’. This year the choir are also taking part in an event ran by Young Voices where they will be singing at the O2 arena.
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCEE) development of all pupils is very important at William Austin Junior School. This is achieved by providing positive experiences through planned opportunities through the balanced and broad curriculum and through interactions with teachers and the local community.
At William Austin Junior School, we use PSHCEE lessons to support our children acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives. As part of a whole school approach, PSHCEE develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.
Every pupil at William Austin has a right to a broad and balanced curriculum. It is the responsibility of all staff to help each pupil reach their full potential whatever their needs.
If parents are concerned about the progress their child is making they should make an appointment to speak to the class teacher. The teacher or the parent may request the support of the Inclusion Manager.
A pupil is regarded as having special needs if they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age, or have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age.
The aim of special needs provision at William Austin is to:
- provide a relevant and differentiated curriculum
- plan activities that will match a pupil’s ability and build on previous learning
- develop basic skills in order to help pupils become more independent learners.
All staff at William Austin recognise the important role parents have to play and involve both parents and pupils in the setting and reviewing of individual targets. The Special Educational Needs Policy is accessible on our website or available on request from the School Office.
At William Austin Junior School we value the rights and responsibilities children and young people have as they grow and mature into young citizens. Understanding who they are and where they belong is a basic right and having the skills and vocabulary to express whatever that may mean to them, is fundamental to a healthy start in life.
We take part in the Schools Linking Network project and this develops further understanding of their place in the world and in their various communities, of home, school and any other places they may associate with, strengthens the foundations for healthy citizenship and sets them on a path for adulthood, where they feel they have a place and that they have something to contribute. A healthy sense of belonging can best be fostered through a combination of high quality experiential learning and reflective classroom practice.
The aims of the project are:
- To develop and deepen children and young people’s knowledge and understanding of identity/ies, diversity, equality and community
- To develop skills of enquiry, critical thinking, reflection and communication
- To develop trust, empathy, awareness and respect
- To provide opportunities for children and young people to meet, build new relationships, work together and contribute to the wider community
- To provide opportunities for adults, who work with children and young people, to share good practice, increase understanding of the issues of identity and community in their districts and to broaden perspectives.
This year, we are linking with a class from Wenlock Junior School.
The Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of all pupils is very important at William Austin Junior School. This is achieved by providing positive experiences through planned opportunities through the balanced and broad curriculum and through interactions with teachers and the local community.
We recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve.
We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop British Values alongside their own values, beliefs and spiritual awareness.
All curriculum areas have a contribution to make to the child's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and opportunities for this will be planned in each area of the curriculum.
Emphasis is placed on SMSC via our “Monthly Values” and incorporates the fundamental British values.
Our values are as follows:
- September: Mutual respect
- October: Democracy
- November: Tolerance
- December: Harmony
- January: Forgiveness
- February: Perseverance
- March: Honesty
- April: Kindness
- May: Responsibility
- June: Individual liberty
- July: The rule of law
The curriculum and the extra-curricular activities promote their reflection on their personality and beliefs, their understanding of what is right and what is wrong, their creativity and their awareness and respect about the cultural and any other diversity. Values are developed and explored in a variety of ways. Each month pupils who follow the values in an exemplary way are rewarded.