At Brinsworth Whitehill Primary School, we believe that the curriculum is a powerful tool that promotes a love of learning and willingness to explore and the time to have fun. We are proud to use the National Curriculum as a starting point for a wide and varied learning experience for our children. We enrich it by our strong ethos based on respect for ourselves and others, equality and a sense of wonder at the world we live in and through opportunities to develop deep and sustained engagement and give pupils the capability to think deeply and critically for themselves. We are committed to developing the whole child.
Our children will have the opportunity to be creative, to be physically active and to be academically challenged. We ensure the children have a range of learning experiences that challenge, stimulate and promote thinking and learning. We believe learning does not stop at 3:05pm or at the ‘school gate’. Experiences are planned throughout the year to inspire children and move learning from the head to the heart.
Our curriculum also includes the “Hidden” curriculum, which is what the children learn from how they are treated and the expectations placed on them. We value the way in which all children are unique and the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. Our curriculum introduces pupils to different faiths and cultures. Mutual respect and tolerance are at the core of our school values. We do not shy away from broaching serious issues that affect different communities and as a result our pupils learn to understand and value diversity and to show compassion for others. We value the mental well-being of pupils and their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development as well as their intellectual and physical growth. The promotion of ‘British Values’ are at the heart of our school.
We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We aim to enable every child to be successful, and school supports the inclusion of all pupils, working to ensure all children can access the curriculum and school life.
The curriculum is the totality of every experience we offer our children during their time in our school and is dynamic so that it can be tailored to changing needs and circumstances.
This year we are very excited about recent development in teaching and learning and our ‘Immersive Learning’ approach to this. Immersive Learning is hugely engaging and designed to ensure that all of our children succeed and love to learn. We endeavour to find out what interests the children and how they want to learn. Children have the opportunity to contribute to their learning with ideas for their projects. We plan and design learning opportunities that are relevant and engaging and have real world outcomes. Children can see the relevance of their learning to the world around them and understand the way that different aspects of their work link together as they investigate an “essential question” across a term. It involves several skills and stages which are embedded across the curriculum, enabling clear links to be made.
Immersive Learning involves taking a more creative approach towards the planning and delivery of lessons in order to immerse the children in their topic and create a “need to know”. Learning environments take on the appearance of a time, place or event being explored and are changed with every new theme. The knowledge that an authentic audience will see their work gives the motivation to ensure that it is completed to the highest possible standard.
Themes are complemented by visits / visitors and real-life tasks. Core subjects are integrated into the theme where possible.
At Brinsworth Whitehill Primary School, we are continually reviewing and improving the curriculum we offer to our children. The curriculum is evolving according to the needs of our children.
We adopt a thematic immersive approach to learning and plan to cover a wide range of topics and to incorporate all subjects and help pupils to develop key learning skills. Discrete subjects are taught where relevant.
Units of work are planned in the first instance using the National Curriculum 2014. They are planned, usually over a term’s duration. The plans contain the details of the learning to be covered with a progression of learning objectives. Subjects that do not link to the study unit theme are taught discretely. Medium term plans are completed for these subjects. The RE scheme of work follows the Rotherham Agreed Syllabus.
The aims of our school curriculum are:
- To enable all children to understand that they are all successful learners.
- To enable children to understand the skills and attributes needed to be a successful learner.
- To enable children to develop their own personal interests.
- 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 computing;
- To enable children to be creative through art, dance, music, drama, media and design technology;
- To enable children to be healthy individuals who enjoy sport and appreciate the importance of a healthy life style.
- 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 and to feel that they can make a difference;
- To enable children to understand and respect other cultures;
- To fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Locally 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;
- To enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to be able to live and work co-operatively with others;
- To enable children to be active and take responsibility for their own health;
- To enable a child to play a musical instrument;
- To enable children to be passionate about what they believe in and to develop their own thinking;
- To enable children to ask questions and take risks.
- To enable children to develop their intellect including their emotional development.
Organisation and Planning
We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage. This indicates what topics are to be taught in each term. With our medium-term plans, we give clear guidance on the objectives and teaching strategies that we use when teaching each topic. In the Foundation Stage and at Key Stage 1 we adopt an inter-disciplinary topic approach to curriculum planning. We plan the curriculum carefully, so that there is coherence and full coverage of all aspects of the National Curriculum and early learning goals, and there is planned progression in all curriculum areas. At Key Stage 2 the curriculum is integrated as much as possible. A child may concentrate in one term on a history topic, then switch to a greater emphasis on geography in the next term. Over the three terms of the academic year, each child has the opportunity to experience the full range of National Curriculum subjects.
Children with Special Needs
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. If a child has a special need, our school does all it can to meet their 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 consider the child for a statement of special needs, and we involve the appropriate external agencies when making this assessment. We provide additional resources and support for children with special needs.
The Foundation Stage
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and plan topics and areas of learning through children’s interests.
There are seven areas of learning and these are taught primarily through play and first-hand experiences.
There are 3 prime areas:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
There are 4 specific areas:
- Literacy (Reading, Writing)
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The characteristics of effective learning, shown below, run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development.
- Playing and exploring: seek challenge, a can do approach to learning and role-play, open-ended activities.
- Active learning: concentration and involvement, perseverance and proud of what they have achieved.
- Creating and thinking critically: solving problems and making predictions.
The Role of the Curriculum Team
The role of the curriculum team is to:
- Provide a strategic lead and direction for the curriculum area;
- Support and offer advice to colleagues on issues related to the curriculum area;
- Monitor pupil progress in that curriculum area;
- Provide efficient resource management for the curriculum area.
It is the role of each curriculum team to keep up to date with developments in their curriculum area, at both national and local level. They review the way the curriculum area is taught in the school and plan for improvement. This development planning links to whole-school objectives. Each curriculum team 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.
Monitoring and Review
Our governing body is responsible for monitoring the way the school curriculum is implemented. The governors liaise with the subject leaders, and monitor the way the school teaches these subjects through governor visits to school. The Head teacher is responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum. The Head teacher monitors the curriculum through planning, classroom observation, liaising with the Curriculum Co-ordinators and School Leadership Team (SLT). 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 have responsibility for monitoring standards and ensuring that teachers have the skills and resources they need.
The Governing Body will review this policy statement annually and update, modify or amend it as it considers necessary to ensure the policy meets the needs of Brinsworth Whitehill Primary School.