At Brinsworth Whitehill, we understand that getting the curriculum right for each and every individual student is the single most important factor in ensuring progress, encouraging positive engagement and raising aspirations. We are continually reviewing and improving the curriculum we offer.
We believe that the curriculum is a powerful tool. Our curriculum is not driven by performance tables. We are proud that the curriculum in our school is a starting point for a wide and varied learning experience for our students. We enrich the curriculum 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 students the capability to think deeply and critically for themselves. We are committed to developing the whole student.
It is our belief that our school has a strong, broad, balanced curriculum which can be tailored to meet the needs of individuals, so that we can remove barriers to learning and allow all students to access the curriculum appropriate to them. We believe the curriculum should be tailored to the school’s local context by addressing typical gaps in students’ knowledge and skills. Our students will have the opportunity to be creative, to be physically active and to be academically challenged. We ensure the students have a range of learning experiences that challenge, stimulate and promote thinking and learning.
In our school, the core of our curriculum is a strong foundation in English and Maths, with the opportunity for additional support to address deficits in literacy and numeracy, as we believe that these essential skills not only enable students to access the rest of the curriculum, but are vital life skills. Our aim is for our curriculum to be as broad as possible for as long as possible.
We believe that participation in high quality physical activity and physical education is valuable in its own right because of the specific educational outcomes and the personal, social and health benefits. It is also a very effective means of engaging young people in their broader learning, by raising aspirations, providing motivation and promoting behaviours that lead to higher levels of attainment across the full range of school subjects. Because of this, we believe that every child in the school deserves equal access to high quality PE and Sport learning environments and programmes that are inclusive, safe, challenging, progressive and enjoyable, taught by specialist tutors. These opportunities are embedded in the school curriculum, available as out of school hours provision and in the community. The wider promotion of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle is extremely important as well as the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular clubs and teams. All pupils have the opportunity to take part in outdoor education/watersports through Wickersley Partnership Trust’s Ulley Centre.
Our extra-curricular offer is extensive beyond physical activity and includes creative and performing arts and STEM. We take every opportunity to extend the curriculum through visitors from the worlds of art, STEM, computing, history, science, music. Educational visits, including residentials, range from trips to local sites of historical interest, visits to London, Carlton Lodge, Thirsk, Watersports in Spain, a History trip to France/Belgium, Old Trafford, Wembley and Liverpool Echo Arena. All pupils are given the opportunity to be taught by specialist music teachers and to learn an instrument and the trust actively provides a peripatetic music service to ensure progression for pupils who wish to develop their skills and interests further. We are given the opportunity to take part in a WPT public performance, such as the Trust Christmas concert and Young Voices.
There is a dedicated Outdoor Adventurous Activities timetable where we can access 2.5 days of water based activities. During the off-season, pupils can access 1.5 days of climbing activities using WPT’s indoor provision.
In addition to the National School Games programme, there are a number of additional competitions which are available to pupils. All competitions have a National/Local Governing Body pathway leading to opportunities to transition into a club setting ranging from grass roots to professional academies.
We have designed a curriculum that values the development of the ‘able’ as much as it does ‘qualified’. We believe that both are equally important to our students so that they can play their full part in the world.
We aim to engender a love of learning, self-belief and aspiration through 4 key intentions:
Intention 1: Removing barriers to learning
Four common barriers (listed below), if left unchallenged, will limit the progress, engagement and development of our students. We therefore remove barriers to learning and support students’ ability to access the curriculum through the development:
- Literacy and language acquisition
Intention 2: Developing knowledge and skills for learning in a range of subjects
Each curriculum area intends to grow mini subject specialists through the progressive development of the subject knowledge and skills. Student knowledge and essential learning skills go hand in hand. We strive, at all times, for personal excellence by developing the 5 key skills for success below:
Intention 3: Developing personal attributes (The Whitehill Way)
The Whitehill Way allows us all to promote the attributes our children need in order to develop their independence, responsibility and resilience to have a happy and successful life.
The Whitehill Way promotes:
Intention 4: To enrich students’ experiences and broaden their horizons:
Our curriculum seeks to equip students with the understanding of how to develop themselves as well rounded citizens and maintain healthy relationships; to enrich their and broaden their horizons, both in their cultural capital and future aspirations. Our curriculum will offer:
- Experiential Learning – Trips, visitors
- Hands-on Experiences – Practical opportunities in the classroom
- Extracurricular opportunities – sports clubs, School shows
- Wider opportunities – Residential, charity work/ involvement, Young Voices
Our pastoral curriculum is planned out for progression and identifies milestones in personal development and opportunities for social, cultural and careers experiences, increasing pupils cultural capital. Starting in Early Years Foundation Stage, our students experience a full programme of PSHE opportunities. In PSHE, we use a spiral curriculum for students to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding throughout the phases.
The PSHE curriculum is developed to build key knowledge and skills around SMSC, British Values and to give age-appropriate messages around health, well-being, relationships and sex education. This is in line with the new ‘Relationships, Sex Education and Health Education in Schools (2020)’ guidance.
More about our curriculum...
The aims of our school curriculum at Brinsworth Whitehill are:
- To enable all children to understand that they are all successful learners.
- To enable children to develop 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
- 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 passionate about what they believe in and to develop their own thinking; to ask questions and take risks.
- To enable children to develop their intellect including their emotional development.
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 an Education Health Care Plan, and we involve the appropriate external agencies when making this assessment. We provide additional resources and support for children with special needs.
We plan our curriculum in phases. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage. This indicates what topics are to be taught in each term. Where appropriate, 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 Trust curriculum and early learning goals, and there is planned progression in all curriculum areas. A child may concentrate in one term on a history topic, and 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.
Many children have their first experience away from their immediate family when they come to an early years setting. EYFS settings within our Trust are at the heart of our local communities. We provide safe and nurturing spaces for children to play and learn together. Together, children learn about respecting other people, co-operating and sharing. They learn about being true to themselves and respecting the rights of others.
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage states that four guiding principles should shape practice in Early Years settings. We ensure that all practitioners plan for The Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environments and the philosophy that all children learn and develop at different rates.
We firmly believe that every child has a right to thrive and we ensure this through providing best possible quality first hand experiences, enabling children to build up a rich bank of wonderful things to remember during their time with us. It provides a sound basis for lifelong learning. Our work in EYFS has, at its core, the aim of enabling children to develop their personal, social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills, and their desire to explore, question, discover and be creative.
How children are encouraged to learn is as important as what they learn. They are more likely to reach their potential as learners if they are happy, secure and have a sense of wellbeing. All achievements are celebrated. Every small step is accounted for in order to plan the next steps for the child. We strive to provide a rich curriculum through planning a balance of adult led and child initiated activity both indoors and outdoors, sequencing the steps that children need to take to get them to the next stage, and ensuring schools and families work together in a respectful partnership.
Within EYFS every child’s learning journey is unique. There are seven areas of learning.
All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These are:
The Prime Areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
Staff also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
- Knowledge and Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Finally, the characteristics of effective learning run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development. These are:
- Playing and exploring: children seek challenge, are encouraged to have a ‘can do’ approach to learning and role-play, and take part in open-ended activities.
- Active learning: children show concentration, involvement and perseverance and feel proud of what they have achieved.
Creating and thinking critically: Children solve problems and make predictions.
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 Wickersley Partnership Trust curriculum and that progression is planned into schemes of work.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through several means:
- Outcomes for students in national examinations;
- Progress data for current year groups;
- Student and parent voice;
- Lesson observations and Work Scrutiny;
- Attendance data;
- Positive and negative behaviour data;
- Engagement in enrichment activities;
Our governing body is responsible for monitoring the way the school curriculum is implemented. The governors monitor the way the school teaches these subjects. 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 Subject Leads 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.