How do Christian Values impact on our Curriculum planning?
Throughout all learning opportunities, teachers are encouraged to consider where the understanding of Christian values may impact on how children will develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. In all areas of the curriculum, children are encouraged to question what they are learning: this leads to developing their respect and tolerance of others’ views; their courage to express and share their own views; and their trust and compassion within a respectful learning community. Throughout the year, teachers plan for opportunities for pupils to serve in their community. Furthermore, teachers plan opportunities for pupils to develop understanding of and a deep respect for a range of cultural and religious traditions. Religious Education is taught for one hour each week in all classes and Christian Values inform the majority of our Collective Worship planning. Religious Education is planned following the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus which engages and challenges pupils through an exploration of core concepts and questions.
How does our curriculum fit in with our aims and ethos?
In planning our curriculum, we have spent time with children, parents, governors and teaching staff to focus on our over-arching ethos and values. Key themes that came out from our work with the whole school community were around Respect, Pride, Independence and Success. This became vital to us in planning and designing our curriculum ensuring that these values were prominent throughout it. Having these values at the heart of our curriculum was fundamental when we planned our curriculum.
At Church Broughton Primary School, we aim to provide a vibrant, balanced and quality education for each child. We plan for work to be stimulating and interesting and to challenge all children. Throughout all aspects of the curriculum, we promote ‘PRIDE’ learning behaviours (PERSEVERANCE, RESPECT, INDEPENDENCE, managing DISTRACTIONS, EXPLAIN your learning).
How does our curriculum meet the needs of our pupils?
At Church Broughton Primary School, we believe that every child should feel valued and experience success whilst at the school. By ensuring that they receive an appropriate balance of academic and personal development, our curriculum is planned to allow children to experience success and sense of value. As a church school, Christian values underpin all activities in school which positively influences whole school strategic approaches to the spiritual, cultural and moral development of pupils to make the world a better place. In all areas of the curriculum, we maximise opportunities to develop their understanding and application of such values.
The importance of physical well-being is a further important factor which needed to be considered for our curriculum to meet the needs of our pupils. Beyond PE lessons, we plan for opportunities for children to be active and out of their chairs when this suits the learning intentions of that lesson.
The beautiful, rural location of our school presents huge benefits for any child attending here. However, in planning our curriculum, it is important that we address the needs that this setting presents. As such, we plan to visit alternative settings within multicultural communities and invite visitors from other communities to deepen our children’s understanding of the wider community that they are a part of.
Within any age group of children, there exists a wide range of ability and it is the responsibility of the class teacher to ensure that children’s work follows school policies and that it matches the needs of individual children. Advice and help is available to teachers with children who are experiencing particular learning difficulties and where necessary, Provision Maps are prepared for children. Such programmes are discussed with parents as their support and involvement is an important element in determining their success. Children with exceptional abilities are also identified and provision made to ensure that their learning programmes meet their particular needs.
The wider curriculum at The Dove Federation
Heath Fields Primary School and Church Broughton Primary School
Intent, Implementation, Impact
‘The main purpose of curriculum is to build up the content of long-term memory (the Schema) so that when students are asked to think, they are able to think in more powerful ways because what is in the long-term memories makes their short-term memories more powerful. That is why curriculum matters.’ (Wiliam 2018)
At The Dove Federation, we want all our young learners to leave primary education with a wealth of knowledge in their long-term memory to ensure they have a strong foundation for future learning; a broad knowledge of the world so they will become active and responsible citizens; and to ensure they are able to think creatively and independently, drawing upon their prior experiences. Prior knowledge is important to all thinking, and therefore it is important that knowledge is built on and secured. Knowledge allows communication and language development; improved listening and attention; speaking and understanding.
We have adopted the Kapow curriculum, tailoring it to reflect our community and school context. We consider children’s starting points and build on their prior knowledge so they can make secure connections between concepts. We enrich and reinforce our curriculum through strong community links so that the children feel connected to and responsible for our local area. For example, in the past we have worked with the team that looks after Thistley Meadow and we have created habitats for local wildlife there (Heath Fields Primary).
We adopted the Kapow curriculum so that there is a clear progression of skills, knowledge and concepts between each year group. Teaching staff can draw on what we know has been taught previously to keep on building clear links in subject areas over time, and between different areas of the curriculum.
We are passionate that through our motivating and meaningful curriculum, we will develop creative thinkers that enjoy their time in primary education and will leave with a life-long love of learning.
Sequence and content
The Kapow curriculum provides a clear progression of subject knowledge and skills so that knowledge, skills and understanding are developed over time and there is a clear progression of learning from one year group to the next. Teaching staff use Kapow long term plans and progression of skills and knowledge documents when planning the wider curriculum subjects.
The Kapow scheme follows the spiral curriculum model where previous skills and knowledge are returned to and built upon. For example, in history children progress by developing their knowledge and understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts by experiencing them in a range of historical contexts and periods.
Where possible we have made links to our local area to develop a secure understanding of the area in which our children are growing up. For example, in Year 6 as part of our learning on ‘what was the impact of WW2 on the people of Britain?’ we study how the explosion at Fauld, how it impacted the local area and why it was significant (Heath Fields). In Key Stage 1, when studying art, some year groups explore the artists that have created sculptures for our local ‘Salt Brook Heritage Trail’(Heath Fields)
Following the Kapow curriculum, we teach a range of subjects across a week and a term. There may be an overidding theme that links some of our subjects such as reading and writing relating to the history unit being taught. However we teach most subjects discreetly, making thematic links where possible and if appropriate.
We utilise assessment resources at the start of the unit to find out where pupils are in their learning and at the end of the unit to assess progress.
When planning a unit of work, teaching staff utilise the Kapow resources such as long term planning to ensure that all of the subject objectives are taught over the course of the year.
Within each unit, new vocabulary will be highlighted and recorded- both on working walls and in the children’s foundation curriculum books. Opportunities will regularly be built into lessons to recall prior learning, from within the unit and from previous units. This could include learning from previous year groups. This could involve low-stakes quizzes or other forms of questioning within lessons. Kapow Knowledge organisers are also used to support the learning and retention of key knowledge and vocabulary.
We enhance learning and the curriculum by planning experience days and enrichment opportunities into our units of work. For example, we ensure that we have at least one school trip a year which supports and extends the learning completed in school. We regularly invite external visitors and groups into school which also extend our pupils’ learning. In addition to this, we also offer ‘in-house’ ‘WOW’ experiences, which our teaching staff lead, to make our learning meaningful and motivating. An example of this is creating a themed café as part of a Food Technology project. We also ensure that one unit a year has an element of ‘enterprise’, where children are tasked to utilise their prior knowledge for a given goal and in order to raise money for a particular project. For example, as part of their learning in Art, children may learn the techniques needed to create a painting in the style of a particular artist, which will then go into an art gallery that the children organise, and then the paintings could be auctioned in order to raise money for a charity or a certain project that the children would like to undertake next.
When planning units of work utilising the Kapow resources, we consider how there may be links to our locality, and we try to incorporate these where possible and appropriate.
Within each lesson, staff apply principles of quality teaching. Staff will explain new content, or facilitate children to find out new information for themselves; they will model the necessary skills required to meet the learning objective and allow time for the children to independently practise their new skills or to create a piece that demonstrates their knowledge. Staff utilise principles of formative assessment within the wider curriculum.
At the end of each unit of work, there will be a final assessment which is designed to assess the children’s knowledge of their learning over the course of the unit. This will then be used by the teaching staff to see how much of the learning has been retained.
We recognise the importance of continuing professional development and we aim to ensure that all teaching staff have access to professional development that will enhance their subject knowledge and delivery of the wider curriculum.
It is important to us that all children access the wider curriculum so that their learning is broad and balanced. Therefore, we expect to see progress for all. Progress will be seen in a variety of ways. Firstly, through the opening and closing assessment demonstrating what children can recall over the unit of study- both in terms of key knowledge and skills. However, this is just one aspect of demonstrating progress. We expect to see independent recall of their knowledge over varying periods of time: this may be through a recap quiz at the beginning of a lesson a week later; or through recall during another unit of study a term or years later. We aim for children at Heath Fields to use their knowledge to make links between subjects and topics, constantly applying what they know to what they are currently learning. Staff at Heath Fields have a good understanding of what has been taught previously due to the design of and resources of the Kapow curriculum.
Children’s attainment in each subject is recorded termly via the school’s tracking system iTrack. This allows school leaders, subject leaders and teachers to understand the progress and development of children in each curriculum subject over time.
Alongside iTrack, the impact of our curriculum is evaluated by the leadership team through lesson observations, book scrutinies, conversations with staff and pupil interviews. Teaching staff monitor the impact of the Kapow curriculum with their use of formative feedback strategies within lessons and alongside our marking policy. This allows teachers to address any misconceptions or gaps in learning quickly and adapt lessons or work accordingly so that our curriculum effectively meets the needs of all learners.
We aim, through our motivating and meaningful curriculum, for all of our children to leave primary education with a wide and varied knowledge of the world that we live in; inspired life-long learners; creative thinkers and to be ready to be active and respectful citizens within our community.