HOLYWELL C OF E PRIMARY SCHOOL
At Holywell C of E Primary School, we provide a curriculum where every subject is sequentially planned and progressive to build upon key knowledge and skills.
We believe that children learn best when subject matter is related to content that engages and excites them. We have planned and designed a curriculum which is fun and exciting and which supports, challenges and extends all of our children’s learning. We believe that the best way to do this is through the teaching of inspiring topics, which reinforce skills and knowledge and which lead to high achievement for all. We have designed a two-year rolling cycle of topics which ensure that children cover a wide range of skills and knowledge that are relevant to their needs and interests.
Wherever possible, we teach our foundation subjects through the topics. Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ within a topic, though, and so, to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum, these subjects are sometimes taught discretely. For example, not everything in Religious Education links effectively within a topic and so this may be taught separately but links are made whenever possible.
OUR CURRICULUM INTENT:
We follow the National Curriculum – it sets out subjects and content which we teach. For all foundation subjects and science, we plan from the Ventrus curriculum map for that subject.
We want our curriculum to be challenging, enjoyable, relevant, inspiring and creative.
To meet our curriculum intent, we deliver much of the curriculum through topics which have two elements:
Each topic has a driving subject – the main focus for teaching pupils the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. The driver changes with each topic to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum across a two-year planning cycle. Our drivers are history and geography which are taught across three terms in our two year curriculum cycle.
Knowledge and Skills
Every class focuses on the skills needed to succeed ranging from resilience and perseverance to teamwork and independence. Our pupils are taught to use the language of successful learning, to take responsibility for their own learning. Individual subjects have been designed to reflect the mix of key focus areas and specific knowledge and progression of skills.
THE CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION:
Each term will have a history or geography emphasis and there will be an overarching theme title for the whole school.
Each class then takes the term’s theme into a class topic for the term. Our topics run on a 2 year rolling cycle: Cycle A and Cycle B. All of our topics are planned to inspire and to enthuse the children in those particular year groups. An advantage of a two year cycle is that children learn some age-related expectations in one year and then secure their learning in the following year – an opportunity to reinforce or to go deeper with the learning.
Each class has a series of curriculum topics they will learn throughout the year. Where possible the title of each topic is expressed as a question, reflecting an enquiry based approach to learning. Topics are cross-curricular (where meaningful), without losing the subject specific skills and knowledge. The children also enjoy school wide theme weeks or days linked to national events and celebrations or international days eg World Book Day.
In order to create AWE and WONDER throughout our topics, each topic follows the following format:
- Stunning Start
Each topic begins with a Stunning Start, (a WOW day) where teachers introduce the topic to the children in an exciting way. This could be through a trip, a visitor, or a scene or experience created at school. Sometimes, the topic is a surprise to the children until this point.
- Inspiring lessons
All of our lessons have a purpose for the children. The children will always be aware of why it is important to learn the various skills and knowledge that they are being taught. Teachers think carefully about their children’s interests and needs when planning their lessons and they deliver lessons which engage children and excite them. The lessons are delivered using a variety of learning styles and the needs of all learners are planned for in depth.
- Fabulous Finish
Each topic works towards an end point with a Fabulous Finish, where the children are given opportunities to present their learning in interesting and varied ways. The Fabulous Finish is the finale to the topic. This usually involves the children working towards a grand sharing of the learning that they have produced in their topic. It could involve a production or an event led by the children. Often, the Fabulous Finish will involve parents and / or the community.
- Home Learning
At home, we encourage all children to practise reading, phonics, spellings and times tables and any other relevant and appropriate learning the teacher deems suitable. They also complete some amazing home learning projects with their families.
Special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)
Our school is inclusive, committed to meeting the needs of children with SEND in the most effective way so that they achieve the best possible outcomes. To do this, we adapt and adjust how we implement the curriculum to meet the needs of pupils with SEND so that we can develop their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know and can do, with increasing fluency and independence. The adaptations we make are appropriate and reasonable, and are made in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 and the SEND code of practice.
THE CURRICULUM IMPACT:
Everything we do is with the child in mind. Strong relationships are built between pupils and staff which create an atmosphere for learning which is conducive to success.
Children are able to talk confidently about their learning in all subjects and the work in their books, displays around the school and evidence in lessons shows a love of learning and engagement across the curriculum.
They can demonstrate a good knowledge of global issues and speak positively about the multicultural world in which they live. Celebration of diversity and encouragement of respect is evident in their work and daily interactions.
We intend that the impact of the curriculum prepares children to be socially, academically and emotionally prepared for the next phase of their education, in Britain and the world.
Pupils’ progress is measured through ongoing teacher assessments and through two key assessment points during the year. Work is planned to address misconceptions and gaps in learning are identified to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils.
Malala Yousafzai said “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Through our curriculum we strive to provide our children with the life skills, knowledge and experiences that they need to grow into kind, caring and responsible citizens of the future and with the independence, confidence and resilience to change their world.