Curriculum Information for Parents

Curriculum Information for Parents

1. Introduction

1.1 The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they can learn, grow and develop to their full potential.

2. Values

2.1 Our school curriculum is underpinned by the Christian Values that we hold dear at our school. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives: this is summarised in our ‘strap-line’ learning to love – loving to learn.

2.2 Our school is in full agreement with the values statement included in the introduction to The National Curriculum Handbook for Primary Teachers in England.
“Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
 promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
 Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.” National Curriculum in England pg.5
 
3. Aims and objectives

3.1 The aims of our school curriculum are:
 To provide a secure foundation in early years through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interest of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly based upon Early Years Development Matters.
 To ensure equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, which ensures that every child is included and supported.

 to enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability;
 to promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school, and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
 to teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and information technology (IT);
 to enable children to be creative and to develop their own thinking;
 to teach children about their developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time;
 to help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage;
 to enable children to be positive citizens in society;
 to fulfil all the requirements of the Diocesan Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education;
 to teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to understand right from wrong;
 to help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all; and
 to enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to be able to live and work cooperatively with others.
 
4. Curriculum Drivers

4.1 Each year we evaluate how well our curriculum is meeting the needs of our children. We aim to provide a bespoke curriculum which meets the needs of our children at a particular time. We decide on curriculum drivers which act as over-arching themes to our learning over a year. These are shared with staff, governors, parents and pupils and provide the driving force for the learning journeys for our children. This year our drivers are: SPIRITUALITY, EMOTIONAL AWARENESS, KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD and THE ENVIRONMENT.
 
5. Organisation and planning

5.1 We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree yearly overviews for each year group. This indicates what topics are to be taught in each term for Key Stage 1 and 2 or in Early Years the RE focuses for the year alongside each of the seven areas of learning. We review our long-term plan on an annual basis. Our yearly overviews are published on our website and displayed in school. Paper copies are available on request.
Sample of Year 1 overview

5.2 Our topic plans for each half-term in Key Stage 1 and 2 outline the over-arching topic and what learning will be taking place in that topic. Reference is made to our curriculum drivers and visual images are included to inspire imagination and creativity in our topics. Our topic plans are published on our website and displayed in school. Paper copies are available on request. Children produce a handwritten letter at the beginning of each topic to explain the content of the topic to their parents / carers and at the end of the topic to evaluate their own learning.
In the Early Years Foundation stage we follow the interest of the child as the basis for our planning alongside the focus of our RE theme. We also reference the whole school curriculum drivers but at the end of our half term learning is recorded visually on the plan and shared with children and parents.

5.3 Our short-term plans are those that our teachers write on a weekly or daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each session, and to identify what resources and activities we are going to use in the lesson.
 
6. Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities

6.1 The curriculum in our school is designed to provide access and opportunity for all children who attend the school. If we think it necessary to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of individual children, then we do so only after the parents of the child have been consulted.
6.2 If a child has a special need, our school does all it can to meet these individual needs. We comply with the requirements set out in the SEN Code of Practice in providing for children with special needs. If a child displays signs of having special needs, his/her teacher makes an assessment of this need. In most instances the teacher is able to provide resources and educational opportunities which meet the child’s needs within the normal class organisation. If a child’s need is more severe, we if necessary, use the support provided by Learning Support Assistants, and we involve the appropriate external agencies. (see SEND policy)
6.3 The school provides a support plan for each of the children who are on the special needs register and for groups of children. This sets out the nature of the special need, and outlines how the schools will aim to address the need. It also sets out targets for improvement, so that we can review and monitor the progress of each child at regular intervals.

 
7. Key skills

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into learning and development requirements which comprise:
 The seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes.
 The early learning goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the Reception year;
 The assessment requirements (when and how we assess children’s achievements, and when and how we discuss children’s progress with parents and/or carers.
The EYFS Profile summarises and describes children’s attainment at the end of the EYFS. It is based on ongoing observation and assessment in the three prime and four specific areas of learning, and the three learning characteristics, set out below:
The prime areas of learning:
• communication and language
• physical development
• personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas of learning:
• literacy
• mathematics
• understanding the world
• expressive arts and design
The learning characteristics:
• playing and exploring
• active learning
• creating and thinking critically
The characteristics of effective learning describe factors which play a central role in a child’s learning and in becoming an effective learner. The characteristics run throughand underpin all seven areas of learning and development.
In the Early Years Foundation stage we follow the interest of the child as the basis for our planning alongside the RE theme for Early years. Planning is developed weekly for both Nursery and Reception children within the Early Years Foundation Stage. It is adapted to suit specific needs and interests.

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum
 
7.1 The following skills have been deemed ‘key skills’ in the revised National Curriculum:
 communication;
 application of number;
 information technology;
 working with others;
 improving own learning and performance;
 problem-solving.
7.2 In our curriculum planning we plan to help children develop these skills, so that the children’s progress can be identified and monitored. All subject areas contribute to a child’s progress in these skills. Our school believes that all children need to make good progress in these skill areas in order to develop to their true potential.
 
8. The role of the subject leader

8.1 The role of the subject leader is to:
 provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject;
 support and offer advice to colleagues on issues related to the subject;
 monitor pupil progress in that subject area;
 provide efficient resource management for the subject.
8.2 It is the role of each subject leader to keep up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local level. They review the way the subject is taught in the school and plan for improvement. This development planning links to whole-school objectives. Each subject leader reviews the curriculum plans for their subject, ensures that there is full coverage of the National Curriculum and that progression is planned into schemes of work. The subject leader may also keep a portfolio of children’s work, which is used to show the achievements of children at each key stage and to give examples of expectations of attainment.
 
9. Monitoring and review

9.1 Committee 2 of our governing body is responsible for monitoring the way the school curriculum is implemented. This committee reviews each subject area according to the policy review timetable.
9. 2 We have named governors for specific areas of the curriculum. The governors liaise with the subject leaders of these areas, and monitor closely the way the school teaches these subjects.
9.3 The head teacher is responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum. The head teacher and senior staff monitor the lesson plans for all teachers, ensuring that all classes are taught the full requirements of the National Curriculum.
9.4 Subject leaders monitor the way their subject is taught throughout the school. They examine long-term and medium-term planning, and ensure that appropriate teaching strategies are used. Subject leaders also have responsibility for monitoring the way in which resources are stored and managed.