Curriculum Leadership teams use The National Curriculum and Birth to Five Matters to identify the core knowledge, skills and understanding for each stage of pupils’ schooling. This collegiate approach enables a wider audience in school to have a voice in our strategic direction and provision. Our thematic approach and subject curriculum maps outline progression through an area of study or concept and allow opportunities to build upon prior knowledge and to embed learning.
Our curricular maps and long-term planning, evidence learning across the curriculum. Our thematic topics are introduced using a ‘concept type’ question, that aims to develop pupils’ interests and provide a hook for future learning. They conclude, on occasion, with a ‘final project’ which gives the learning purpose and also leads to pupil’s celebrating progress and being given time to pause and reflect. For example, ‘What makes me me?’ ‘How can we stop history repeating itself?’ ‘Is sharing always fair?’ ‘Is the truth the same for everyone?’ Through this open-ended approach, we hope that the pupils will develop meaningful connections across a range of curricular areas, as well as, enable them to develop an understanding of wider concepts like power, responsibility, compassion and community across the national and global community.
Staff plan collaboratively to ensure consistency and make adaptations in order to meet the needs of individual classes. At scheduled points in the school year, staff discuss formative and summative assessments to identify those requiring additional support or challenge and they plan and review targeted support. There are many layers to our curriculum; our long-term planning covers the delivery and subjects to be taught across the term. Our medium-term planning and weekly, short-term planning, breaks the curriculum foci into small steps, thus larger objectives are broken into smaller achievable objectives and targets, so that they are accessible to staff and pupils. Please see an Art example here for more detail.
Whilst planning and preparing, we consider the needs of all pupils and maintain high expectations for every child. All lessons are differentiated, through resources, activities, support and/or outcome. In some lessons, pupils are encouraged to choose a learning task that will challenge them by selecting from bronze, silver and or gold challenges (sometimes platinum) at other times staff identify the level of challenge. Teaching staff carefully monitor their choices to ensure pupils’ needs are catered for.
Our broad and balanced curriculum is further enhanced through fully immersive experiential creative curriculum days and weeks, these enrichment opportunities bring learning to life and encourage positive engagement. We share our curriculum planning with our families regularly through curriculum newsletters, family workshops as well as on our website.
Classroom learning is further supported through homework and home-learning projects, linked to current themes of study. We feel that this allows our families to share with, and engage in, their child’s class learning and experiences. Home learning is celebrated through termly certificates and entries in the School Newsletter.
We rigorously review and reflect on our safe space, to ensure that, our curriculum and creative curriculum are accessible to our community, including those children with special educational needs or disabilities. (Please refer to our Accessibility Plan.)