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Curriculum Policy

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CURRICULUM POLICY

 

Our school is:

a safe, supportive stimulating learning environment;

a team of respectful, tolerant, open minded citizens;

a community where everyone aspires to be the very best they can be;

a community of resilient lifelong learners;

a centre of excellence where all achieve success.

 

PURPOSE

 

At Arboretum Primary School we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the idea that both adults and children learn new things every day. We maintain that learning should be a rewarding experience for everyone; it should be enjoyable. Through our teaching we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy and rewarding lives. This policy highlights classroom practices and procedures that promote high quality teaching and learning.

 

Review Date

February 2017

Reviewed By

Nigel Daintith

Next Review

February 2019

Summary of changes

 

Changes made to reflect the new systems for assessing pupils in all afternoon subjects using Pupil Asset

 

CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION - 2 -

2. Entitlement - 3 -

2.1. Knowledge: - 3 -

2.2. Equal Opportunities: - 3 -

2.3. Gender: - 4 -

2.4. Able, Gifted and Talented: - 4 -

2.5. Special Education Needs: - 4 -

2.6. Resources: - 4 -

3. Policy into Practice - 4 -

3.1. Scheme of Work: - 4 -

3.2. Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Issues: - 4 -

3.3. Education for Citizenship: - 5 -

3.4. Environmental Education: - 5 -

3.5. Our Classrooms are attractive learning environments: - 5 -

4. Teaching Methods - 5 -

4.1. Classroom Organisation: - 5 -

4.2. Grouping of Children: - 6 -

4.3. Progress Tasks: - 6 -

4.4. Nature of Experience: - 6 -

4.5. Teaching Styles: - 6 -

4.6. Use of I.C.T: - 7 -

4.7. Links with other subjects: - 7 -

4.8. Resources: - 7 -

4.9. Safety: - 7 -

5. Assessment - 7 -

5.1. Purpose: - 7 -

5.2. Methods: - 8 -

5.3. Reporting Procedure: - 8 -

6. Curriculum Monitoring, Review, Evaluation and Revision - 8 -

Appendix 1 - 9 -

 

1. INTRODUCTION

At Arboretum Primary School we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the idea that both adults and children learn new things every day. We maintain that learning should be a rewarding experience for everyone; it should be enjoyable. Through our teaching we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy and rewarding lives. This policy highlights classroom practices and procedures that promote high quality teaching and learning.

Life is not lived in separate blocks of time with certain skills and knowledge being used at only those times; because of this we encourage and promote a cross curricular approach in school.

An understanding of basic skills and knowledge in all areas and that subjects intertwine is therefore required by everyone, in order for them to understand the world around them and achieve their own potential. At Arboretum we aim to provide the foundations that these skills can be built upon.

2. Entitlement

2.1. Knowledge:

At Arboretum Primary School each year group plans together, during their PPA time and in an assembly time, to fully include all relevant topics together – giving the children a theme rather than a subject label. All areas of the curriculum have the ability to merge together and form a theme. Children are taught relevant skills and knowledge from other subjects - in a cross-curricular way. English and maths skills are encouraged to be used at all times.

Effective Learning

We acknowledge that people learn in many different ways and we recognise the need to develop strategies that allow all children to learn in ways that best suit them. We take into account the different forms of emotional intelligence when planning teaching and learning styles in order that Pupils learn to:

  • Effectively acquire new knowledge or skills in their work, develop ideas and increase their understanding.
  • Show maximum engagement, concentration, application and productivity.
  • Develop skills and capacity to work independently and collaboratively.

We offer opportunities for children to learn in different ways that may involve the use of varied seating arrangements. The learning styles used include:

  • Independent work;
  • Paired work;
  • Group work;
  • Whole-class work;
  • Investigation and problem solving;
  • Independent and group research;
  • Asking and answering questions;
  • Debates, role-plays and oral presentations;
  • Watching and responding to live drama and musical presentations.
  • Creative activities;
  • Designing and making things;
  • Use of the I.C.T;
  • Use of games;
  • Outdoor work and visits to places of educational interest;
  • Use of audio visual resources
  • Participation in athletic or physical activity.

 

2.2. Equal Opportunities:

All pupils have access to the curriculum regardless of their individual ability, gender, race, cultural or social background or any physical or sensory difficulty. Our aim is to encourage all children’s progress in the foundation subjects through the provision of a balanced curriculum – striving to meet basic skills levels for all in Literacy and Numeracy. Arboretum Primary School has universal ambitions for every child, whatever their background or circumstances. Children learn and thrive when they are healthy, safe and engaged. In order to engage all children, cultural diversity, home languages, gender and religious beliefs are all celebrated. Our curriculum includes a wide range of texts and other resources which represent the diversity and backgrounds of all our children. We believe in ‘valuing what the child brings to school’ and recognise the importance of supporting a child’s first language, not only to foster self-esteem, but to assist in the learning of English.

2.3. Gender:

Boys and girls have equal access to the curriculum.

2.4. Able, Gifted and Talented:

Provision is made to develop the talents of more able pupils in a variety of ways. Through increasingly complex investigative tasks, and open ended tasks which enable them to tackle more complex issues and understand more difficult concepts.

2.5. Special Education Needs:

Pupils with Special Educational Needs are supported to help them succeed in all areas of the curriculum. Staff support less able children, and liaise with the Special Needs Co-ordinator when they are concerned about a child’s progress. Pupils with learning difficulties will be given tasks which will be broken down into smaller steps, thus giving them achievable goals. In cases of sensory or physical difficulties the school will endeavour to provide special appropriate apparatus.

2.6. Resources:

Pupils have access to the necessary resources to undertake a variety of activities and facilitate the teaching of the whole curriculum.

 

 3. Policy into Practice

3.1. Scheme of Work:

All guidelines are met for time allocation for all foundation subject teaching throughout the year. Science is taught each week and not in a block format. Staff are encouraged to hold curriculum days that celebrate and enlighten the children in a creative way. Enrichment weeks, visiting experts and trips are used to bring the curriculum to life.

Our teaching resources are drawn from the 2014 National Curriculum Standards and are written in a MTP format – which can be found on the internal intranet ‘Teachers’

A year group curriculum overview indicates which themes are being covered and how they inter-link with different subjects. (Appendix 1)

3.2. Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Issues:

Through the attitudes we promote in our teaching of all subjects, we aim to develop pupil’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding. We are aware of the ethnic diversity within our school and will take account of this in our planning and teaching.

3.3. Education for Citizenship:

Within our school the whole curriculum contributes to the education of pupils for citizenship by encouraging their development of key attitudes and skills. These enable our pupils to explore and make informed decisions. Through the use of a balanced range of teaching methods pupils are actively involved in lessons. Group work supports the development of personal and social skills by encouraging the children’s co-operation, patience and open-mindedness towards the ideas of others.

3.4. Environmental Education:

The children at Arboretum are encouraged to develop an awareness of the environment through direct experience as well as secondary sources. We aim to stimulate their knowledge of how and why we need to maintain, protect and improve the quality of the environment Pupils are encouraged to participate in a range of tasks and activities inside and outside the classroom and to make use of the wide variety of possibilities our school site offers.

3.5. Our Classrooms are attractive learning environments:

We believe that a stimulating environment sets the climate for learning.

An exciting classroom promotes independent use of resources and high-quality work by the children.

  • We change displays at least once a term (or half term as appropriate), to ensure that the classroom reflects the topics studied by the children.
  • We ensure that all children have the opportunity to display their best work at some time during the year.
  • We use interactive Numeracy and Literacy displays.
  • Additional displays include: Marking and Feedback Poster, Class Rules and Fire procedures.
  • Classrooms have a range of dictionaries and fiction and non-fiction books, which are attractively labelled, as are all equipment stored in the classroom.
  • Resources and equipment stored in the classroom are readily available and attractively labelled to promote independent learning.

 

4. Teaching Methods

4.1. Classroom Organisation:

The curriculum can be delivered in a variety of ways. Classrooms therefore should be organised in a way that allows the children to access necessary resources and equipment depending on the type of activity being undertaken. As children progress through Arboretum they are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for the choice and organisation of resources, thus reflecting their greater independence and maturity. At our school we aim to provide a rich and varied learning environment that allows children to develop their skills and abilities to their full potential by catering for those different learning styles.

Through our teaching we aim to:

  • Enable children to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners.
  • Foster children’s self-esteem and help them build positive relationships with other people.
  • Develop children’s self-respect and encourage children to respect the ideas, attitudes, values and feelings of others.
  • Show respect for all cultures and, in so doing, to promote positive attitudes towards other people and their possessions.
  • Enable children to understand their community and help them feel valued as part of this community.
  • Help children grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens.

 

4.2. Grouping of Children:

Lessons are taught in a range of formats:

Whole mixed ability classes

Whole single year group classes

Whole mixed year group classes

Read Write Inc groups

Mixed ability class groups

Maths groups

Ability groups

Smaller Intervention groups

 

4.3. Progress Tasks:

Progress tasks are given out to pupils in each year group according to the school policy. There are opportunities for pupils to attend weekly ‘homework’ clubs in KS1 and KS2.

4.4. Nature of Experience:

Our pupils are provided with a range of learning experiences, dictated by the nature and content of the activity being undertaken.

(e.g questioning, speculating, describing, explaining, predicting, direct teaching, handling artefacts, research, observing, visits etc)

When teaching we focus on motivating the children by:

  • Providing a varied and exciting curriculum in line with the statutory requirements and principles of equal opportunity.
  • Ensuring there is a balance of appropriate teaching styles used and suitable teaching strategies.
  • Using interesting and good quality resources and visual aides to aide effective learning.
  • Building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum.
  • Using the school curriculum plan to guide our teaching with clear learning objectives.
  • Ensuring the learning environment is stimulating to interest, encourage and engage pupils.
  • Make effective use of time and insist on high standards of behaviour.
  • Use Home-Learning effectively to reinforce and extend what is learned in school.

 

4.5. Teaching Styles:

The makeup of each lesson follows the guidelines and content set out in the 2014 National Curriculum. Typically lessons include thinking/introduction time, a main teaching activity and a plenary. We aim to make our lessons fun and exciting, using as many different teaching styles as possible, including visual, audio and kinaesthetic methods as well as closed/open questions, discussion, debate, illustrations, labelling, ordering, identification, written work, recording observations, designing, individual/group investigations, audio/visual equipment, role play and drama.

The learning objectives and success criteria are introduced to the whole class through the use of stimulating varied staring points.

Assessment for Learning is used in all classrooms as an assessment tool for teachers and for the children to take control of their learning.

4.6. Use of I.C.T:

I.C.T. is incorporated in the curriculum in a variety of ways:

  • All classrooms are equipped with an IWB to stimulate children’s learning
  • Software is available in every classroom for use on the PC in each room.
  • Software is available on laptops and IPADs
  • A bank of laptops/IPADs with foundation curriculum software can be used in lessons.

 

4.7. Links with other subjects:

All subjects are linked – when appropriate. An over- arching theme for a term allows for cross curricular links and the content is informed by questions from the pupils. An enquiry based approach is encouraged that covers a range of skills and relevant knowledge.

4.8. Resources:

Teaching resources are kept in curriculum cupboards throughout the school. These are to be used when required and returned afterwards. They are audited every year and consumable resources are replaced when needed.

4.9. Safety:

At all times the safety of the children in the class is paramount. We aim to teach and learn in as safe an environment as possible. Health and Safety guidelines are followed at all times and where necessary the relevant risk assessments completed.

Pupils work in a healthy and safe environment.

  • We ensure that all tasks that the children undertake are safe and identify risks in the plans.
  • Educational visits are seen as an important way of enhancing the curriculum, but prior to any visit we consult the Head teacher and complete a risk assessment form.
  • Risk assessments are shared with both participating staff and pupils.
  • Parental permission for educational visits is always sought.

 

5. Assessment

5.1. Purpose:

Assessment and record keeping is the means by which our pupil’s attainment and achievements are monitored and an appropriate progression through the curriculum is ensured. By monitoring and recording pupil’s progress, teachers are able to build up a profile of individual strengths and areas for development. This is then used to inform their planning and teaching. Assessment also allows staff to identify those children whose achievements fall outside the boundaries of differentiated activities. Assessment information is completed termly by staff on Pupil asset to show attainment against the 2014 National Curriculum descriptors for:

• Computing

• Art and Design

• Design and Technology

• Geography

• History

• Languages

• Music

• Physical Education

• RE

 

5.2. Methods:

Assessment is used to inform future planning and teaching and takes place in many ways:

  • Day to day assessment is carried out through constructive marking, AfL, observations in class and verbal discussions with children.

  • A more formal assessment is carried out every term in Numeracy, Literacy and Science.

  • The results of this assessment (along with teacher assessment) are used to determine if children are in the correct ability groups and if they are working at age related expectations.

5.3. Reporting Procedure:

Parents are invited to attend termly assertive mentoring meetings, where they can discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher. The child’s teacher also provides a termly written report, which forms part of the annual report to parents.

 6. Curriculum Monitoring, Review, Evaluation and Revision

 

The Curriculum co-ordinator is responsible for monitoring the curriculum. Monitoring is done is several ways, including:

  • Regularly looking at the class work in books and classrooms

  • Monitoring planning

  • Through analysing assessment data

  • Monitoring targets

  • Lesson observations

  • Work scrutiny

  • Displays

  • Curriculum walkabouts

  • Pupil discussions

  • Business meetings

  • Staff meetings

  • CPD

     

    The curriculum co-ordinator is responsible for keeping abreast of current developments in the teaching of the whole curriculum, with the assistance of the headteacher, and feeding these developments back to staff, governors (on a yearly basis) and all stake holders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1

Year Group Curriculum Overviews

 

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

FS

Cycle A

2014-2015

Once upon a time…

*Note all Topics subject to change based on children’s interests and needs.

We are going on a Bear Hunt

(Jez Ahlborough/

Mick Inkpen)

Wicked Witches and Spooky Spells

Beastly Bugs and Creepy Crawlies

Commotion in the Ocean

There’s no such thing as a Gruffalo

(Julia Donaldson)

 

Cycle B

2015-2016

 

As above

Y1/2

Cycle A

2014-2015

Amazing Adventures

(History: Christopher Columbus/Geography)

Autumn Watch (x1 week)

Picturesque Parks & Plants

Living things/habitats/plants/materials

Winter Watch (x1 week)

Spring Watch (x1 week)

Knights & Castles

(History: Robin Hood)

Summer Watch (x1 week)

Cycle B

2015-2016

 

Space Explorers

(History: Neil Armstrong/Diet & Health – Training for a space mission…)

Autumn Watch (x1 week)

Food Glorious Food

(Countries in the UK, where does food come from?)

Winter Watch (x1 week)

Spring Watch (x1 week)

Dynamic Dinosaurs

Summer Watch (x1 week)

Y3/4

Cycle A

2014-2015

Rotten Romans

Two Sides Go to War

(Anglo Saxons and Vikings)

Delve into Derbyshire

Cycle B

2015-2016

 

Peek into Pyramids

(Egypt)

Mountain Mayhem

Nasty or Nice?

(Science topic- life cycles/plants animals/food chains/growing/life processes).

Y5/6

Cycle A

2014-2015

Majestic Monarchs

TUDORS (British History)

 

Parrots and Palms

South America/Rainforests

 

On our Patch

UK Geography & Fieldwork

 

Cycle B

2015-2016

 

Mayan Civilisation

(Non-European Society)

Stone Age to Iron Age Britain

 

Vive La France

Geography of France

 

Togas and Temples

Ancient Greece

 

                 

 

 

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