Teaching and Learning is at the heart of school life. We make sure that our curriculum is wide-ranging and balanced, with planned progression and differentiation, meeting the requirements of the Curriculum Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage, the National Curriculum, Religious Education and Collective Worship.
Vision (What drives our curriculum?)
Our curriculum is driven by;
- Our Christian values creativity and wonder, respect, aspiration, joy, empathy, resilience.
- Our locality, we link the national curriculum to where we live and learn through exploring the outdoors.
- Our global community, through our links to our international partners and our emphasis on educating children on their responsibility to care for our planet.
- Our belief in the importance of an Arts based education and it role in widening children’s cultural experiences and developing children’s spoken language thinking.
- Promoting a love of reading by introducing children to high quality texts.
Intent (What do we intend our children to learn?)
Our intention is to create and implement a curriculum for our pupils that introduces a range of key concepts, in ways which enable learners to build them into reliable schemata. We are ambitious for our learners and measure the impact of what we do, using agreed principles of assessment. We regard the proper use of assessment as a key teaching and learning tool, and place it firmly at the heart of our practice.
Implementation (How is our curriculum being delivered?)
We plan a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum rooted in the National Curriculum and Early Years Curriculum that enables children to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding over a series of lessons. We make connections across the curriculum, enabling children to recognise links across subjects and to develop their understanding of the world in which we live. Our school-wide themes allow children to make links and build on prior knowledge, while our subject specific planning helps us to focus on the most important and useful knowledge in each subject and ensure children learn the disciplines and skills associated with that subject.
We recognise the importance of all areas of the curriculum, which are planned for over a 2-year planning cycle due to our mixed aged-classes. Each curriculum subject has a long term progression plan. This sets out the aims and purposes of the subject; the breadth of study for each year group; the threshold concepts and how these build up to Year 6; the key vocabulary that must be learnt to support those threshold concepts; the milestones per year group (or Year 2, 4, 6 in some subjects); and the activities teachers will use to assess children’s progress. These long term plans ensure progression which can be monitored by subject leaders. Our Knowledge Organisers, based on the long term planning, ensure each teacher has clarity as to what to cover in each unit of learning and ensure children learn the skills and disciplines associated with that subject.
The ‘big ideas’ or ‘threshold concepts’ are domain specific concepts which open up new ways of thinking about the subjects and help pupils to link new knowledge and commit it to their long term memories. We consider this to be the most powerful knowledge in each subject domain. Threshold concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated many times in each unit. These concepts help teachers to present new information clearly and build on what has been taught before.
Teachers plan the vocabulary that the children will be taught so that it is extended at every stage of their primary journey with opportunities to ask questions and talk about their learning. It is understood that through developing vocabulary children are better able to acquire and deepen their knowledge.
There are frequent opportunities for children to practice, remember and retrieve knowledge through ‘no stakes’ quizzes, regular repetition, plenaries in lessons and practice. At the end of a unit of learning, teachers will either plan an activity for children to demonstrate their depth of knowledge in that unit, and/or scaffold a Double Page Spread activity to capture and celebrate the learning from the unit, allowing children to engage in the practical application of writing, art and DT skills to aid the presentation of learning
Writing is taught using a highly structured and expertly modelled approach, enhancing the school’s teaching of vocabulary through meaningful writing opportunities. This approach is called ‘Write Stuff’. Every ‘Write Stuff’ piece of writing is based on a high quality text and has a clear audience and purpose. Opportunities for spelling, grammar and punctuation learning are woven into the Write Stuff lessons. Further writing opportunities are planned that link to the wider curriculum whilst maintaining a focus on high quality modelling of sentence structure, appropriate voice and vocabulary. Reading is taught using a range of whole class and group strategies. Children are taught the skills required to retrieve, infer and comment on choices in texts. Each child must also have a personal reading book at their own level. Classes read whole texts together to further foster a love of reading for pleasure. Phonics is taught from the Early Years using Letters and Sounds programme, supported with Big Cat decodable reading books and the school’s own set of resources that support good phoneme-grapheme correspondence and letter formation. Phonics is taught daily in the Early Years and Year 1 and 2. The No Nonsense Spelling programme builds on the phonics programme and is taught at least 3 times a week. Speaking and listening opportunities are planned frequently and, where appropriate, will involve links with performances / outside theatre groups.
Mathematics is taught using a mastery approach with a strong focus on the use of CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) to support children’s understanding of mathematical concepts. There is a strong focus on children learning number facts including multiplication tables. The Calculations Policy ensures that children are taught the 4 operations using appropriate models and images, progressing to become proficient mathematicians who are confident in manipulating numbers. There is a strong emphasis on children learning the necessary skills and vocabulary in order to explain and reason about mathematics. Links are made between discrete ‘classroom’ mathematics skills and real life contexts. White Rose planning is followed to ensure there is full coverage of the national curriculum for mathematics whilst Numbots and Times Table Rockstars supports children in practicing their number facts and multiplication recall.
We teach RE through a combination of Somerset’s ‘Awareness, Mystery and Value’ and the Church of England’s ‘Understanding Christianity’. In this way we ensure good coverage of the main religions whilst also ensuring that pupils develop their own thinking and understanding of Christianity. The long term plan has been arranged over the two year rolling programme that will use the UC headings (God, Creation, Fall, People of God, Incarnation, Gospel, Salvation, Kingdom of God) in sequence with the Anglican year (Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost) to deliver the teaching of Christianity and Judaism. The teaching of Judaism and Christianity will be separate but sequential to allow children to understand the relationship between the faiths, the origins of Christianity and Jesus’ Jewish heritage. This narrative sequencing is repeated within the terms, echoing the UC focus on understanding the ‘big story’ of the Bible before teaching individual events. Islam, Hinduism and Humanism will then be delivered in term 6 of each year, giving these faiths dedicated time to be taught without confusion between them.
For KS2, Islam, Hinduism and Humanism is delivered in Term 6 of each year, so giving these faiths dedicated time to be taught without confusion between them.
Key events within the Anglican year are studied and celebrated within the Shoscombe community. The curriculum is further enriched by access to quality artefacts (all religions) visitors from all faiths and external visits.
Each term RE lessons give children the time, space and opportunity to reflect on their own spirituality and what it might mean to them to pray. These lessons link to the term’s value and also our Collective Worship.
SEND children are supported to make the same progress as all other children in their core subjects, by providing them with appropriate support and guidance to support them in meeting or exceeding their targets. We have as high expectations for pupils with SEND as we do for all pupils.
Impact (What difference is our curriculum making?)
Our children are happy, engaged and enthusiastic learners who strive to do their best. They have high personal aspirations. They have a good understanding of Christian values and how these can support them to become successful and happy citizens. Children develop and take with them a range of life-long skills for learning. Children have broadened their cultural experiences and deepened their knowledge, understanding and empathy for others. They are caring and kind individuals. We continue to support children in their recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.
The impact of recent improvements in our curriculum are seen in pupils’ books and while walking around school. Children talk about their learning with enthusiasm and confidence. They show good recall of key knowledge and can make meaningful connections across units of learning. We track carefully to ensure that our children are making good progress and are fulfilling their potential. We expect to see this reflected in future national assessments.
Our subject leaders will check the impact of our curriculum through pupil conferencing and work sampling. We anticipate that as we embed our new long term plans and knowledge organisers that children will reach each milestone, demonstrating sustained mastery of the content. Some children will demonstrate a greater depth of mastery.