Intent, Implementation and Impact
In Spring Term 2019, we audited and reviewed our curriculum with the view to improving it as part of a 2-year process; the curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact are set out below and build upon our already good curriculum.
The basic intent of our curriculum is to provide all our pupils with the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. This includes the personal knowledge, skills and attitudes to help them in their adult lives.
It addresses social disadvantage by recognising the gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills and setting out to remedy them. It ensures equality by offering all pupils, including those disadvantaged and with SEND, an equal curriculum. It has identified subject knowledge and skills that are most useful to our pupils particularly reading.
Our balanced curriculum meets all statutory requirements but we set out to do more than that; it is designed to be strong and ambitious across all subjects to give all pupils not only the skills, knowledge and cultural capital but also the personal traits, qualities and skills to succeed in life.
It has clear starting points and is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before.
To reflect this, our curriculum is organised into three strands.
Our curriculum is designed to:
Develop their knowledge and skills
Develop our pupils’ personal development
Develop their behaviour and attitudes
These three strands are intertwined and we believe that we cannot teach one without the other two. The school’s role is to prepare the children for life in the 21st century. We do this by not only developing them academically with the teaching of a wide range of subjects but also by developing their behaviour and attitudes towards each other and their learning. Underpinning this is the development of their character as we want our pupils to be responsible, respectful and active citizens who understand British values. We want them to have an understanding of their own mental and physical wellbeing, have the positive attitude and the traits and skills to allow them to be happy in modern British society and be prepared for every changing workplace of the future.
Our curriculum is flexible, personalised and designed to build upon the experiences and backgrounds of pupils at our school. It is planned and sequenced towards building, year-on-year, the pupils’ knowledge and skills together with personal aptitudes and values. Through the curriculum we promote the culture, aims and ethos of our school. It promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural developments including the understanding of British values. We aim to develop children’s confidence and self-belief so that they can reach their full potential as rounded citizens and life-long learners.
Through our three curriculum strands we aim to promote social mobility. Our curriculum provides the cultural capital of knowledge and skills to help our pupils succeed and be happy in modern society. The teaching of the basic skills of reading, writing and maths is pivotal and is still seen as crucial to our pupils’ development. The teaching of broader subjects such as music, art, PE and geography are intended to open up a world of opportunities and interests to our pupils. We believe that every child has a special interest and by exposing them to the wide range of subjects in depth, we will develop their love of life-long learning.
Three drivers move through our curriculum. We have identified these as core to supporting our curriculum. They are Ambition, understanding Modern Day Britain and Reading.
The school’s context and the school values of Respect, Determination, Honesty, Friendship, Pride and Enthusiasm are at the core of our aims for personal development. Aspiration and an appreciation of the opportunities provided by modern British society are key to ensuring the success of our children and so we see these as drivers that must run through our curriculum.
Pupils are supported to achieve their best through a combination of academic, personal and behaviour development opportunities. The range of subjects gives a breadth of opportunities for all groups of pupils. The curriculum and teaching are organised to support pupils’ growing depth of learning and understanding, ensuring children’s knowledge and skills are developed year upon year.
Strong and ambitious teaching and subject leadership
A strong and ambitious curriculum is delivered by strong and ambitious teaching and subject leadership. Important to the implementation of this curriculum is the Continued Professional Development (CPD) of teachers, not only in subject knowledge but also in pedagogy and how memory works, to ensure that the knowledge and skills ‘stick’. This CPD includes an emphasis on the clear teaching of subject matter to promote discussion about the subject being taught, the systematic assessment of pupils’ understanding, providing clear, direct feedback and the importance of clearing up any misconceptions. Teachers must use assessment to help pupils embed and use knowledge fluently, check understanding and inform teaching. With regard to subject leadership, CPD for staff to enable them to support other teachers and lead their subject, particularly its evaluation and development, are part of the CPD provision.
Implementation to develop the pupil’s knowledge and skills
The subject curriculum is designed and delivered in a way that allows pupils to transfer key knowledge to long term memory. It is sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build upon what has been taught before and pupils work towards clearly defined points. This is done explicitly and teachers ensure that pupils are aware of the links between current and previous learning in lessons. The most important skills and subject knowledge is taught deeply to ensure that it is embedded in the pupils’ memory. This is done by using these skills and knowledge with increasing fluency and confidence in various contexts.
The curriculum explicitly sets out to address social disadvantage in the following ways: it is designed as a strong and ambitious curriculum to equip pupils with the knowledge and skills to succeed in life; assessment is used to identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge and remedy them; it contains the curriculum drivers of Ambition, understanding Modern Day Britain and Reading that are key to our pupils’ success; our school values have been identified develop our pupils’ character and it is delivered equally to all pupils.
Reading is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum. From Nursery onwards, books and reading are a focus and include the teaching of phonics through Ruth Miskin Literacy. Pupils read with staff in groups and individually and the curriculum develops and ensures progress in the pupil’s fluency, confidence and enjoyment, covering all genres. Basic speaking and listening are a focus in Early Years and this then expands to a focus on broadening the pupils’ vocabulary through the school. We use the ‘Cracking Comprehension’ scheme to develop comprehension from Early Years to Year 6, challenging children with more complex texts and different contexts. To encourage children to develop a love for reading we set reading challenges and encourage children to visit our own school library each week where they can choose a book to read for pleasure, as well as accessing a progressive reading scheme for families to support their child with reading at home. The school provides the space and time for our pupils to make choices about books and to discover authors and texts they might not get chance to look at outside of school. Teachers check pupils are reading books that will challenge them, and create reading areas around the school. Reading is assessed termly and gaps are addressed quickly both in class and through interventions such as Better Reading Partners.
Maths In Early Years and KS1, teachers have adapted their own resources and assessment materials in line with the curriculum. Fluency, reasoning and problem solving are a focus in the teaching of maths. Teacher assessment is used to track progress and support children with their next stage of learning. In KS2, White Rose schemes of work are used to provide planning and support progression. Teachers assess using NFER and White Rose materials termly. Daily practice of arithmetic ‘Fluent in Five’ or times tables practice is used at the beginning of every maths session in KS2. Times tables are also taught and practised regularly in KS1.
Writing We use a book/topic-based curriculum to support the teaching of writing. This means that each half term a new topic and new books are studied in each class and teachers generate writing opportunities from this. Grammar skills, writing planning and extended writing each week provides a regular routine that helps build up competency and ensures progression. Writing is assessed termly using the National Curriculum and moderated within school and within our local cluster of schools. Teachers ensure that pupils write for a range of purposes and audiences.
Other subjects As with English and maths, the curriculum for the other subjects develops understanding with the accumulation of knowledge and skills. The curriculum is designed to build knowledge and skills through sequences of lessons, term upon term and year upon year. Opportunities have been built into the curriculum to revisit old learning and make links between old and new knowledge and skills so that they are embedded in the children’s long-term memory. This is a major development over the next two years. In all subjects, pupils who are capable of understanding the skills and knowledge to apply them at a greater depth are given more challenging teaching and work. Teachers assess termly progress in each subject and use this to inform planning. Teachers broaden the curriculum by planning a wide variety of educational visits, singing groups, in-school visitors such as guest speakers, local police, theatre companies, yoga/ meditation sessions and organising exciting focus weeks and whole school events. Good examples are ‘Alien Invasion’ and a visit from the air ambulance which are both used as opportunities for learning. Reading is a priority and is planned in other subjects providing a wide range of reading opportunities for the pupils.
Assessment is used to check pupils’ understanding in order to inform teaching and to help pupils embed and use knowledge fluently and develop their understanding. All subjects are summatively assessed 3 times a year in all subjects.
Parents/carers and the curriculum
The support and interest of adults outside school is crucial to each pupil’s development. Termly curriculum newsletters from each planning team inform parents and carers of their child’s curriculum. Homework is given to the children. In addition, parents are invited into school each term to support children with projects, celebrate special days or watch their children learn. This is true for all year groups from nursery to Year 6.
Implementing the provision for their personal development
From the moment pupils begin Nursery, we are focusing on their Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) ensuring that the children can share and play and learn together. This continues through every year group and quickly grows into the teaching of the school’s values.
Crucial to this strand of the curriculum is the school’s ethos and values that are critical for us to understand in modern day Britain and beyond. Personal development is taught directly and indirectly in school.
Direct teaching through lessons and assemblies includes Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), a focus on British values and the school values in a series of assemblies. These two interlinking sets of values are revisited regularly. Modern Day Britain lessons throughout the school promote the understanding and importance of diversity. Visits by outside speakers and visits to various places of worship take place to encourage children’s understanding of the main religions. Positive personal traits and virtues are taught and revisited in classes and assemblies. The election of House Captains and Vice Captains and their role throughout the year, giving assemblies and representing the school, provides excellent peer role models for all the pupils.
The importance of a healthy and active lifestyle is taught mainly through PE. An understanding of healthy eating and the growing importance of mental self-awareness is taught in class. Developing an age appropriate understanding of healthy relationships is addressed though PSHE. E-safety and basic safety are taught from a very young age.
Ambition is one of the curriculum drivers. This is developed by Improving the pupils’ wider knowledge of careers so that they can aspire to something in the future is part of the curriculum. This, together with the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, is to be developed in the curriculum over the next 2 years.
To promote the virtues of good citizenship and the concept of contributing to the community, the curriculum includes local community groups, visiting the local library, working with local charities, collecting and raising money for charities and working with other schools in our cluster. The engagement with these activities, which benefits other members of the community, is important to the pupils’ personal development.
Pupils have an opportunity to go on a week-long residential that promotes both independence and team work and, for many, is their first experience away from their parents and carers.
Indirect and unplanned teaching is as important as direct, planned teaching and is embedded in behaviours modelled and revisited again and again by adults in the school. Staff take the time to remind and exemplify the virtues and qualities expected at all opportunities. These cover all of the areas mentioned above and are crucial to the ethos of the school where our pupils are immersed in the school’s values and ambitious expectations.
All of the areas above ensure that Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) learning is woven into the curriculum.
Implementing the development of pupil behaviour and attitudes
This strand is strongly linked to personal development above. Again, from the outset in Nursery and Reception classes, high expectations are taught explicitly. These are reinforced by expectations, modelled by staff and embedded in routines across all aspects of school. Teachers design good learning opportunities and look for ways to develop good learning behaviours. Attendance and punctuality are valued and awarded in assembles.
Good behaviour and positive learning attitudes are taught and rewarded regularly in classes, corridors and in assembly by staff and governors. Constant reinforcement is part of this curriculum and is set out in the school’s Behaviour Policy.
Pupils are taught in both class and assemblies about bullying, including homophobic bullying and racism, and its consequences. This is reinforced by half termly behaviour assemblies when this area is revisited and exemplified by the headteacher. Children’s Champions play a role in teaching pupils about the importance of anti-bullying.
When pupils struggle with behaviour and attitudes, there are many levels of support including the school’s trained councillor who regularly works with a number of children. Please note that she works with many different children for all types of reasons. This is a good example of some of the most tailored work that our curriculum offers.
We understand that learning how we learn helps us to be better learners. In our curriculum, metacognition plays a role; we look for ways to develop concentration, perseverance, imagination, co-operation, the enjoyment of learning, self-improvement and curiosity.
We are exploring ways to assess this area using the Early Years models of assessment so that we can more rigorously track and promote progress, particularly around learning behaviours.
This curriculum has been designed so that pupils develop detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum and as a result achieve well in all subjects. All pupils’ learning builds towards an end point, preparing them for secondary education. The cultural capital that the curriculum brings leads to the addressing of social disadvantage and improved social mobility.
Knowledge and skills
Pupil’s attainment in all subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering age related expectations. This is reflected in results from national tests and examinations, which meet government expectations. Pupil’s work across the curriculum is of a good quality. Pupils with Special Educational Needs achieve the best possible outcomes. Pupils read widely and often with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age and are able to apply mathematical knowledge, concepts and procedures appropriately for their age.
Ultimately, the outcome of this area is to create happy, confident and healthy pupils who will have developed a fully rounded character. They will have an understanding of good values and live by them. Only by really learning what these mean will our pupils be able to develop a character that prepares them for living in the community, demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day in all our pupils on the playground, in corridors and in the roles given to them. The impact of this intention is seen in the daily interaction of all members of our community, including both staff and children.
Pupils will be ready for secondary education by the end of Y6. They will have the knowledge and skills they need ranging from an understanding of Modern Day Britain to the importance of diversity and tolerance and from how to keep themselves safe online to an understanding of relationships and sex education. Importantly, they will be aware of job opportunities in the wider world and have the skills and aspirations to do their best to achieve their ambitions.
Behaviour and attitudes
The impact we intend to achieve by developing this intention is evident by how the children approach challenges every day. This could be on the playground, in a game or disagreement, or in class as part of a complex learning challenge. The impact should be that children don’t give up, are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this. Their attitude to their education is positive and they are resilient to setbacks.
The behaviour of pupils is good and they exhibit the values of Respect, Determination, Honesty, Friendship, Pride and Enthusiasm. This is reflected in their behaviour and conduct. Bullying, aggression, discrimination and derogatory language are rare or never occur.
Our pupils will be motivated by a strong personal sense of right and wrong. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community and will be resilient to the influence of others. They will go out into the world with the knowledge that they can influence their own futures and make a difference in their own life and those of others.
A more detailed curriculum map will appear termly on this page as it is designed and implemented.