Findern Primary School Curriculum
Nurture, Believe, Discover, Achieve
The Covid-19 pandemic has required us to plan a recovery curriculum which enables all our children to re-engage with their formal education and to recover any skills and confidence lost during the periods of lock-down.
Our recovery curriculum is designed to allow children to rediscover an enthusiasm for learning, rebuild relationships and reintroduce the skills required for successful learning.
Our Maths and English curriculum is aimed to recover lost learning through revision of previous objectives and engagement with current curriculum requirements. A focus on PSHE and regular PE sessions will help pupils rebuild a sense of wellbeing and belonging at school.
As children progress we aim for the curriculum in all year groups to broaden out to encompass a range of foundation subjects with a continued emphasis on practical skills and active learning. We hoped to return to our full curriculum by the start of the Summer 2021. However, as lockdowns have been extended and children have been remote learning for far longer than anyone originally thought it is likely to be the start of the Autumn Term before we will return to the full curriculum.
We are offering as much of our curriculum as possible through our blended learning systems so that children who are out of school are able to continue with their studies. We are using a combination of Microsoft Teams, Tapestry and Dojo to help pupils stay on track whether they are self-isolating or out of school with their whole bubble.
How does our curriculum meet the needs of our pupils?
Our curriculum has been carefully designed, planned and organised to ensure breadth, balance and depth for every learner as they move through school. We discussed our pupils’ backgrounds, life and cultural experiences and asked parents what they felt were important. This information has helped us to design a curriculum that meets their learning needs. Although we have ensured the curriculum includes the formal requirements of the National Curriculum it has been tailored and personalised to ensure that every child is engaged, inspired, challenged to become a resilient learner. This makes our curriculum unique to our school. We utilise the individual strengths and interests of staff and the wider community, ensuring that this expertise enhances our provision. In addition, we have a whole school strategic approach to the spiritual, cultural and moral development of pupils to make the world a better place. We believe a curriculum is about broadening minds, enriching communities and advancing civilisations.
We regard reading as an essential building block for learning across all subject areas. Taught reading skills are embedded and applied across our curriculum. Provision of resources, along with supportive teaching, immerse children in a wealth of literature. Since we believe that reading opens the door for every child to succeed, we are determined that every child, by the end of their time at Findern Primary School, will have a lifelong love of reading, and will be able to read fluently and comprehend all that they read.
At Findern Primary School it is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. We have designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure every child receives an appropriate mix of academic and personal development, which means in practice our curriculum places equal importance on core and foundation subjects.
We place priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental well-being are met. We believe that happy children learn best and understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure.
How do pupils progress and achieve within our curriculum?
At Findern Primary School, our definition of progress is; the widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours. We designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure that children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth to their learning which enables them to use their skills and understanding in all areas of the curriculum. Our careful curriculum design and planning means that we build in many opportunities for repetition and practise for essential skills, knowledge and understanding in every subject. This ensures that children can revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.
Our curriculum is meticulously designed and planned to move the nature of children’s thinking to a higher order, deep level of understanding, rather than just acquiring new facts and knowledge.
Preparing children for life in modern Britain was a key factor in our curriculum design. Our aim is for all children to become effective contributing citizens who show tolerance of others and have a healthy respect for the environment. This is reflected in our commitment and passion for forest school and our work as an eco-school.
Although we are considered a rural school our children live in an area with high importance on engineering. We have designed our curriculum with an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) activities to prepare our children for future employment opportunities. We teach a STEM project in each year group and plan to celebrate work in art and design with an arts festival in the summer term.
Teaching children how to have a healthy life style is important to all stakeholders and this concept features heavily in our PE, science, forest school and food technology curriculum design.
- To offer broad and balanced opportunities for learning
- To achieve progress and high standards of achievement for all children
- To develop children’s confidence and independence
- To build resilience and problem solving skills
- To develop physical skills and recognise the importance of a healthy life style
- To have a sympathetic relationship with the environment and a passion for change
- To be tolerant of others and celebrate differences and diversity
- To prepare children for the next steps in their education journey and beyond
Our approach to the curriculum: We divide our curriculum time into three areas, Discover, Explore, Create. Discover is a taught in the Autumn term and is where the children learn knowledge and skills based around an history topic. Explore – is taught in the Spring term and is geography based. Create – is our Summer Term focus and is an opportunity for children to develop their creative skills through art and DT. Blocking subjects in this way means that they are all given equal time and importance. Within each theme we teach our topics through an enquiry question and using concept words to drive discussions and deepen learning. The process of using an enquiry question from the start of the topic, moves learning from not just knowledge based but to a deeper understanding and curiosity to find out more. This forms the basis for assessment.
We believe that learning about significant people should not just be taught in history or stand alone. We have designed our curriculum so that children learn about significant people such as designers, painters, explorers within the curriculum so that it has purpose, meaning and relevance.
The statutory curriculum consists of:
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework
The National Curriculum (5-16 years)
Religious Education (school is following the Derbyshire agreed syllabus)
Relationship and Sex Education (RSE). This is taught within the PSHE topics using ‘PSHE Matters’. Certain aspects are taught through science (E.G. human reproduction)
As we evaluate and move forward with the implementation of our curriculum we have identified the following core features that are either already embedded in our school or are currently being established and developed:
1. Skills and knowledge are taught discreetly in subject areas so that our children gain a broad understanding of each subject. However, learning links are made wherever possible to help children to make connections and to deepen their understanding.
2. Outdoor Learning and Forest Schools is an important curriculum driver in our school. Our school grounds are varied and diverse. They provide the opportunity for learning outside of the classroom to be a key feature of our curriculum delivery.
3. Taking part in extra-curricular activities and wider experiences in and out of school is an important part of our offer. Teachers plan a series of opportunities, trips and events to ensure that the formal curriculum is enriched with additional learning experiences, for all children, to ensure that no child remains disadvantaged. Our cultural capital is mapped out as a journey for all children to experience as they progress through the school.
4. Quality texts are integral to our curriculum approach. We recognise that reading is an essential tool and all children must leave our school as skilled and confident readers. Quality texts are chosen by teachers for their high levels of excitement and engagement to promote and develop a love of reading. Texts are also chosen to support a curriculum area, in preparation for new subject content or to re-visit a previously taught area of the curriculum.
5. We endeavour to ensure that children see a relevance and purpose to their learning so we plan for learning to build towards a purposeful outcome at the end of some of our longer sequences of learning. This is an opportunity for children to showcase their learning to a wider audience, for example, through an art exhibition to the school community, the publication of a class text or the presentation of information to a different audience.
6. Teaching staff use our curriculum progression maps to ensure that learning is sequenced so that children know more and remember more. Learning sequences build on and make connections with prior knowledge so that children build knowledge over time. Sticky knowledge is identified by staff and children are given opportunities to practise and apply this knowledge in a range of different contexts so that they achieve deep, long term learning.
7. Quality first teaching is essential to all of the above and to our curriculum design. We have high expectations for the quality of teaching and ensure that continued development is the focus of our school improvement by focusing on monitoring through a supportive culture and a sharing of good practice.
8. Continuing Professional Development for all staff is a priority to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver the highest standards across the entire curriculum. Subject leaders must have the necessary expertise to play a pivotal role in both the design and delivery of their subject area. Therefore, ongoing training is an essential part of our school journey and our continuous cycle of improvement.
The Impact of our Curriculum
As a result of our well planned and implemented curriculum, we would expect that our children:
• Achieve academically across the entire curriculum, meeting at least the national expectation by the end of their primary education
• Be confident and curious learners, with a thirst for knowledge and high aspirations for the future
• Contribute to the learning journey so that it is relevant and meaningful to them
• Develop a determined, resilient, hard-working attitude to be well prepared for the challenges of the secondary school curriculum
• Explore the cultural capital of our school and our community, ensuring that every child benefits from enriching experiences and immersive learning opportunities
• Are tolerant, caring individuals with a strong moral conscience who are resilient to the influence of others and make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community, environment and wider world.
The impact of our curriculum is monitored through the triangulation of outcomes: pupil voice, data outcomes, monitoring of books, planning and learning, discussions with pupils, parents and staff are all used to inform our self-evaluation.