The 2014 National Curriculum is the starting point for our curriculum design. Our wider school curriculum includes what is planned in lesson times, additional activities offered by the school, the routines and expectations of the day and week and special events during the school year.
This enables us to think of the whole school year and the whole child in a well-planned and coherent way to ensure we deliver a balanced and broadly based curriculum.
The curriculum is underpinned by the local and national view that every child has the right to:
EQUALITY IN OPPORTUNITIES
A HEALTHY AND JUST DEMOCRACY
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
We have developed a progressive, skills based curriculum; it is relevant to the local environment and the national and international context in which we live in the 21st Century. Children are involved in what they learn; therefore the curriculum is developmental and ever changing.
Some parts of the curriculum are called core subjects. These subjects are Science, English and Maths. In our schools Maths and Science are mainly taught on their own. Some of the ‘technical’ parts of English (Handwriting, Spelling, Grammar, Individual and Guided Reading, including Phonics) are also taught separately, although we try very hard to find ways to link to a theme.
We plan text level English and foundation subjects into linked themes, e.g. Oceans, The Elements, Water, Cities, Victorians, Zoos, and Growing. The themes are based around a Big Philosophical Question. Our immersive curriculum stimulates childrens’ curiosity and enquiry and is based on collaboration. Children are taught to apply questioning skills to develop a deep subject knowledge, identify and solve challenges, take action and share their experiences in real life contexts that are relevant and engaging; such as exhibitions and authentic audiences. Themes are based on a two year rolling programme.
We also plan lots of visitors to school and visits out of school to deliver some aspects of the curriculum and to enhance other areas, e.g. sport, creative arts. We have a wide range of extra-curricular activities that change on a half termly basis and include roller skating, art, drama, choir, philosophy, debating, to name a few.
We plan Family Learning Days and Curriculum days where we can focus on specific areas of the curriculum such as: Careers, Creative Arts, Performance, Financial Skills, Outdoor Learning and Equality. These are run in collaboration with the Aylsham Cluster Trust and our Trust partners: The Sainsbury Centre and the National Trust.
In our schools we have also made some important decisions about the things we believe children should learn while they are in our schools. These include: forest school sessions, cycle proficiency, storytelling, philosophy and teaching children how to learn. We teach children learning strategies such as: problem solving, communication, motivation, creative thinking and reasoning as well as teaching the skills and knowledge specified in the National Curriculum.
We believe it is very important for parents/carers to understand what and how their children are being taught. We communicate this to you in the following ways:
Half termly curriculum overview
Termly class assemblies
Letters from class teachers
Termly Learning Conversation meetings
Information about school curriculum by subject and year group – school website.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Curriculum (SMSC)
We promote the SMSC development of our children throughout our wider school curriculum. Social development is enhanced through residentials, creative arts, performances, trips and Family Learning Days where children have the opportunity to work across different year groups to solve problems and challenges. Children learn the skills of communication through our termly communication challenges; children have the opportunity to lead learning, teach each other and present to the whole school, governors and a range of audiences.
Children develop an appreciation of how other people live in their own and in different countries, through charity fundraising, curriculum themes and through the assembly timetable. Assemblies visit the schools’ values, cultural and religious celebrations and British Democracy. We celebrate and teach Learning Strategies which are based on Growth Mind-Sets to ensure our children develop the skills to be lifelong learners.
Our weekly philosophy lessons help children to pose and respond to questions of meaning and purpose. Moral and ethical issues are debated in weekly sessions. Children discuss current issues in the world using the First News publications in guided reading sessions.
Please also refer to our British Democracy Values statement, Assembly timetable, RE curriculum map and Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) map. If you require any further information about our curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact the Headteacher.