Our Curriculum Provision
The Intent of our Curriculum
Our curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise to promote a love of learning, personal growth and the human qualities that we aim to develop in our pupils. This includes the formal requirements of the national curriculum; outdoor learning experiences 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 to face life beyond the Federation with confidence.
Our curriculum pays attention to the development of key concepts, knowledge and skills across a broad range of subjects in order to help our pupils to develop long-term retention of learning. Skills and concepts 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 (P-passion, E-encouraging, A-ambition, C-commitment, E - enjoyment), 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.
Responsibility and intrinsic motivation “This is Me” (Passion, Ambition)
We will focus on guiding pupils to believe in themselves, develop personal and affective skills, values, behaviours and character traits. We will enable pupils to consider each other’s ideas and opinions, share responsibilities and respect other people’s views. Rich opportunities for all learners to develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural skills will be provided.
Creativity and Imagination “The Creative Me” (Enjoyment)
We will focus on the areas of Art and Design, Music, Drama, Role-Play and Dance. We will develop the creative minds of our pupil and encourage imaginative thinking, whilst at the same time, improving confidence and self-esteem.
Curiosity and Problem Solving “The Inquisitive Me” (Enjoyment)
We will focus on the areas of Mathematics, Science, Design and Technology and Computing to encourage pupils to question, enquire and reason about principles and phenomena.
Resilience and being healthy “The Healthy Me” (Commitment, Encouraging)
We will focus on the areas of Physical Education, Religious Education, PSHE and Outdoor Learning. Our pupils will become healthy in mind, body and spirit.
Communication and Investigation “The Independent Me” (Ambition, Enjoyment,
We will focus on the areas of English, Geography, History and Language. We will provide a rich ‘cultural capital’ so that our pupils can interpret, infer, explore and exploit the world around them. It includes language (vocabulary) which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way.
The Implementation of our Curriculum
Senior Leaders and Subject Leaders set out a Long Term Overview for each phase across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. This documents a clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered and the concepts pupils should understand.
Some of our content is subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross-curricular approach. Where possible, we draw on a high quality text as a stimulus. We encourage all practitioners to think imaginatively about the best way to combine subjects and inspire learning.
Our curriculum, underpinned by the five drivers, sets out:
The curriculum breadth for each year group to ensure teachers have clarity as to what to cover. As well as providing the key knowledge within subjects, it also provides for pupils’ growing cultural capital.
Concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated many times in each phase of learning.
Learning goals define the standards for the threshold concepts. We have planned our curriculum in two year phases. We expect pupils in year one of each phase to develop a basic understanding (the knowledge building phase, providing the foundations of learning) and an advancing understanding (the application phase) in year two.
Medium Term planning is shared with parents in a simplified overview which document the concepts, skills and knowledge learners will be taught under the themes of This is Me, The Creative Me, The Independent Me, The Inquisitive Me and The Healthy Me.
Short Term Planning is produced on a weekly basis. This clearly sets out the key concept(s) and core knowledge to be delivered during a series of lessons. Teacher and Teaching Assistant provision, where relevant, is also clearly documented to evidence the support provided to learners.
The Federation bases its RE provision on the Shropshire Agreed Syllabus for RE and The Understanding Christianity Resource. In addition, the Federation uses the Lichfield Diocesan RE Resources and other appropriate units to enhance teaching and offer the extra dimension of its Church foundation.
We follow the Jigsaw scheme of work for Relationships Education.
We use the Read Write Inc. phonics programme to teach our pupils to read, write and spell. We start by teaching phonics to the pupils in Early Years. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps pupils learn to spell well. We teach the pupils simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. The pupils also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’ or ‘red words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. These are words that the pupils cannot decode through using their phonic knowledge. The pupils practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘red words’ they know.
When using RWI to read the pupils will:
learn that sounds are represented by written letters
learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
learn how to blend soundslearn to read words using Fred Talk
read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions
learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds
learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talkwrite simple sentences
The Impact of our Curriculum
Assessment within the EYFS
At the beginning of the Nursery year, pupils are assessed using recognised materials to make judgements about their starting points. These judgements will be used to measure the progress made by the pupils throughout the phase. Pupils are continually assessed through planned and spontaneous observations, photographs, videos and information drawn from the child’s view of his or her learning and parental discussions. These are recorded using an electronic assessment tool on a tablet. The assessment tool is used to create a ‘Learning Journey’ for each pupil. The information collected by the assessment tool is used by the class teachers to assess pupil’s attainment against the EYFS Development Matters statements.
In the final term of the reception year, the class teacher assesses whether the pupils have reached an emerging, expected or exceeding level of attainment against the 17 Early Learning Goals. We are aiming for pupils to have achieved a Good Level of Development – which means that they have achieved the expected level in the Prime areas plus Literacy and Mathematics. Pupils are also assessed against the characteristics of effective learning.
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. Pupils and class teachers work together through formative assessments, target setting and high quality written and verbal feedback to ensure all learners make progress. By the end of each Learning Goal, we expect the vast majority of pupils to have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it and are fluent in it.
Summative assessments are made to support the professional judgements throughout the year. These judgements, together with areas for development are communicated to families via feedback in pupil’s books, target hand-outs, planners, Parent Evening Consultation meetings, informal discussions and annual progress reports.
We recognise that all pupils require the support of parents 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, as well as suggestions gives guidance as to how pupils can be supported in their learning at home. Regular 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.
Members of the Senior Leadership Team meet termly with the pupil voice group to seek feedback on subjects or areas. 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.