The Intent of our Curriculum
Our curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise to promote a love of learning, increase cultural capital, personal growth and the human qualities that we aim to develop in our pupils. This includes the formal requirements of the national curriculum; learning outside the classroom encounters and the range of extra-curricular activities we offer to enrich the educational experiences of all learners. We are deeply aware that pupils only get one chance at their primary education and our ethos statement reflects our commitment to ensuring that all will flourish.
The curriculum across the Whitchurch Church of England Federation has been written and developed with the aim to encourage every pupil to care for, respect and appreciate the ultimate worth of others, developing positive relationships as they take their first steps towards independence and becoming responsible, thoughtful and confident adults of the future, making successful contributions to their local and the global community. As members of the St. Bart’s Multi-Academy Trust family, we advocate the belief that education is preparation for life and we seek to prepare each child for life in all it's fullness.
Our curriculum pays attention to the development of key concepts (National Curriculum aims), knowledge and skills across a broad range of subjects in order to help our pupils to develop long-term retention of learning. Knowledge and skills are progressive and opportunities broaden across the key stages in building knowledge of the world, cultural literacy and vocabulary.
We have developed core drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our Federation and St Bart’s Multi-Academy Trust, allow pupils to make purposeful links and connections throughout their learning and to see how their subject learning is related to the world they live in. We seek to instil in our pupils not just a set of facts or a series of skills, but how to succeed as citizens, our drivers and Christian values are pillars central to this ethos.
The Implementation of our Curriculum
Leaders set out a Long Term Overview for each phase.
Key concepts are the ‘big ideas’ that shape our pupils’ thinking within each driver. Key concepts are repeated across year groups/phases so that our pupils will gradually increase their understanding of them. Whilst it is only possible to explore a concept within a context, we are conscious that we do not wish our pupil’s understanding to be context bound. By providing a breadth of contexts, we expect pupils to begin to transfer the concepts. They will achieve this by comparing the new context knowledge to that previously learned.
In line with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, we make reasonable adjustments, to ensure that our curriculum is accessible for those with disabilities or special educational needs.
The Impact of our Curriculum
Assessment within the EYFS
Early Years pupils are continually assessed to measure the progress made by the pupils throughout the phase, including spontaneous observations, photographs, videos and information drawn from the child’s view of his or her learning and parental discussions. In the final term of the reception year, the class teacher assesses whether the pupils have reached the expected level of development against the Early Learning Goals.
Assessment in Key Stage 1 and 2
All pupils are assessed as part of their everyday classroom learning. This formative assessment is made by class teachers through their observations, marking, pupil discussion and pupils’ application of skills to other subjects. Class teachers use these judgements to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum and identify next steps in teaching and learning.
Summative assessments are made to support the professional judgements throughout the year. These judgements, together with areas for development are communicated during Parent Evening Consultation meetings, informal discussions and annual progress reports.
We recognise that all pupils require the support of parents, carers and class teachers to make good progress in school. We strive to build positive links with families by keeping them informed about the ways their children are being taught and how well each child is progressing. Curriculum plans are shared with families to highlight what is being taught. Home learning activities and challenges are sent home with the pupils in order to develop, consolidate and reinforce knowledge, skills, concepts and understanding.
We have created pupil voice groups to ensure that pupils at the Whitchurch Church of England Federation are involved in the shaping of the curriculum.
Ensuring that pupil voice is part of classroom practice means that pupils are motivated by their learning. This area is often closely linked to choice and steering learning; however, it can be more than allowing pupils to steer a theme in a certain direction. It can also be ensuring that our planning takes into account their interests, popular culture, as well as current affairs and world events which the pupils are engaged with or excited by.
Feedback from the pupils is used to reshape and modify action plans in order to ensure that each subject is both meeting the needs of its learners and maintaining relevance and interest. This means that pupils feel empowered to share their opinions in order to ensure the curriculum is engaging and relevant whilst providing opportunities to raise oracy.