Through the support and nurture provided in Early Years, pupils begin to develop their knowledge, thinking and skills through play based activities and focused sessions which build their phonic and number knowledge. Pupils learn to share and work independently and learn to play with others. In doing so, they are learning to engage with the world around them. We believe that being able to read to an age appropriate level and fluency is vital for pupils to fully access the curriculum. A key priority in Early Years is the development of reading for all pupils. In KS1, reading continues to be the focus of the curriculum alongside writing and mathematical knowledge, ideas and operations. Our curriculum provides opportunities for all pupils to read and be read to regularly, thus enabling them to develop a wide vocabulary and a rich understanding of the meaning of words encountered.
Our curriculum has the acquisition of knowledge at its heart and we ensure pupils are supported throughout their learning to remember connected and essential knowledge as they progress through KS1 and KS2, incrementally building their long term memory. Lessons are planned so they do not overload pupils’ working memory and a mastery approach to deepen learning is applied.
This focus on pupils knowing more over time is aided by planning sequenced programmed work units with regular revisits and recalls integrated into planning to support the development of pupils’ long term memory. Pupils know how to complete tasks and apply skills and link knowledge to solve problems. Learning is enhanced by special events and visits but the maximum impact on learning progress is secured by carefully planning events within a sequence of work. We believe a broad curriculum with depth should give equal value to each foundation subject (see subject specific pages for more information). Our curriculum is ambitious for learners with SEND and disadvantaged pupils: extra support and/or resources are provided where necessary to close individual learning gaps.
Creativity is a strong thread that permeates our curriculum. Teachers plan opportunities in all subjects for pupils to think in different ways, find different solutions, create original designs, make links and connections between subjects and information, and imaginatively use and apply knowledge. This is often achieved by teachers responding during lessons to thoughts and ideas that are provided by pupils from their learning.
Pupils’ development of cultural capital helps pupils engage with society and it is a vital part of our curriculum; this is further supported by the wide range of experiences and opportunities we provide which are available to all pupils irrespective of their circumstances, special needs or disability. Our inclusive culture and ethos is built on respect and consideration of all others and with a predominantly White/British context we promote the rich diversity of Britain. This is a school that values the voice of all children and really does listen to their views. We encourage our children to actively take part in their local community and help them begin to understand the importance of being a good UK and global citizen. We ensure our pupils take responsibility for their behaviour and their learning. Pupils build positive attitudes to learning and actively play a full part in the life of the school. Performing in music, drama and sport activities are highly valued as part of the broader curriculum to enrich the knowledge and skills taught in subject lessons.
Assessment is an integral part of planning and teaching and learning. Our learning culture is built on assessment for learning and the belief of the vital importance of questioning when providing feedback. A range of assessment is used to check children’s progress through the school. Summative assessments are used in a balanced way with low risk assessments such as quizzes and puzzles, alongside ‘Remember, reflect, recall’ tasks which assess the development of pupils’ long term memory. Excessive assessment regimes and frequent data collection points are avoided to ensure reasonable workload demands.
The health, safety and well-being of all our pupils is of paramount importance. We encourage our children to experience a wide range of activities during the school day and at the end of the school day. Our provision is designed to prevent our children spending too long on computer games and tablets.
We believe pupils should develop life-long learning skills, resilience and the ability to learn from setbacks and mistakes and this is a key element in our support for pupils’ mental health and well-being.
We provide a curriculum that strives for our pupils to be the best they can be and when they move on to secondary school they will be:
- considerate and respectful and take responsibility for their behaviour.
- open to new ideas and respect and value differences.
- resourceful, resilient and know how to keep safe.
- actively demonstrating citizenship at all levels.
- showing strong attitudes to learning
- embracing opportunities to learn from mistakes.
- demonstrating good subject knowledge across all subjects including foundation subjects.
At secondary school, students will have good subject knowledge across the curriculum. They will have made good progress from their starting points with an above average percentage attaining the expected standard and above in reading, writing and maths at the end of KS2 and therefore able to access the KS3 curriculum. Disadvantaged and SEND students will have made good progress from their starting points at the end of KS2 and acquired essential knowledge.
Our curriculum is designed to fully meet the needs of the national curriculum and also to ensure that we provide knowledge rich learning opportunities which deepen and extend understanding through deliberate practice. Our evidenced based approach to curriculum design has enabled us to better understand how to develop subject progression across the school so that important concepts are well taught and revisited regularly through a planned series of recalls giving pupils the opportunity to further embed key knowledge into long term memory. We have found that this is best achieved through the blocking of foundation subjects as shown in the table attached below.
However, we also believe that children need daily/weekly exposure to certain subjects. A little and often approach in Reading, French, PSHE, PE and Music enables children to build their confidence and knowledge.