Sharp Lane Primary School
At Sharp Lane Primary School, we have worked collaboratively to design our curriculum rationale which is underpinned by our Aims, Values and Vision for our school community and the children within it.
Our values are based on our 6R Characteristics of Learning:
Following our 6R Characteristics Progression Document (see below), we ensure children are taught the key skills to the values above and model how these look in action. They then use and apply these values in all aspects of their learning around school.
As our Curriculum Journey evolves, our intent is that our children will understand the many subjects which they will visit within each journey, such as Art and History. Our intent is that, over time, our children will understand what it means to be an Artist, a Historian, a Scientist etc. Our intent is that they develop subject specific and transferable skills which they can apply to their learning. Our intent is that they will explore key concepts such as conflict, invasion and change which they are able to relate to a range of subjects and topics learnt as well as in their own lives.
‘We are going on a journey to battle and today we are Historians analysing different sources of information to gain as detailed and accurate understanding as possible about the Battle of Britain. The key concept for today is conflict in order to understand the possible reasons as to why this happened’.
Having undertaken careful analysis of the previous curriculum involving pupil interviews, school council meetings and a detailed analysis of My Health, My School completed by UKS2, alongside our School Health Check, it became very evident that at the heart of our curriculum the Personal, Social and Health Education is crucial to ensuring we have happy children who are ready to engage and access learning. Happy children who are ready to leave us in year 6 to head out into our ever-changing world, able to make informed choices about their future is the centre of our curriculum.
WHAT do we teach?
The provision we offer is guided by the requirements of the National Curriculum and the requirements of the Local Authority.
Our provision takes into account every aspect of a child’s development. The curriculum gives all of our children the opportunity to achieve the highest possible standards of numeracy and literacy which is integrated across all areas of our curriculum. To enable our children to develop socially, morally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, we provide stimulating learning environments in which children are encouraged to learn through their own experiences and apply their knowledge independently. Within this framework of both a broad and balanced curriculum, our planning and progression documents ensure that our curriculum suits the needs of all pupils in school where lessons are practical in real-life contexts where possible to provoke curiosity we want our children to have in order to fully engage in our exciting journey curriculum. The individual needs of each child are met through well planned and varied learning activities, including visits, workshops and specialist tuition.
Learning in the Early Years
We believe that the Characteristics of Effective Learning should be kept at the forefront of teaching and learning. We need to support our children to build the strongest possible foundations in Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Communication and Physical Development to ensure they achieve their potential and beyond.
See the Early Year area of our website to find out more.
Learning in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (Years One to Six)
Our topics follow a similar theme in that each term we go on a curriculum ‘journey’ around the world to real or imaginary places
These real or imaginary worlds on our journeys see us learn some wonderful things. For example, children in Key Stage One go ‘Back in time’ before heading off to the ‘Arctic’. Within all topic learning, children are made explicitly aware of the skills and knowledge they are developing. For example, our children may be Scientists, making predictions and then observing what happens when plants grow in different environments. At Sharp Lane we follow a ‘topic based’ approach to the curriculum which means that wherever possible, we group our subjects around a topic. Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ with a topic so these subjects are taught separately.
HOW do we teach our Curriculum?
Teaching for depth of learning
At Sharp Lane Primary school, our progressive curriculum has been carefully designed, organised and planned to ensure that our children are not merely covering the statutory content of the National Curriculum but achieving a depth of learning through the widening and deepening of essentials skills, understanding and concepts thus allowing these to be used across all areas of the curriculum. Within our curriculum, we build in many opportunities for repetition and practise to ensure that children are able to revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop and build upon this to ensure for depth
Teaching for balance of learning
At Sharp Lane primary school, we carefully design, plan and implement our curriculum to provide balance across areas of learning to allow for children to develop both academically, personally and socially. It is part of our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience feeling success in a wide range of curriculum areas as responsible and resourceful pupils who reflect on their learning, building resilience and taking risk whilst understanding that we learn from our mistakes. In addition to this we want to ensure that our children build and develop and maintain good relationships.
Furthermore, we place high priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental wellbeing are met. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure, therefore we work closely with our PDC (Pupil Development Centre) which allows us to adopt a flexible approach so that we can meet and respond to the needs of our pupils.
Our balanced curriculum is not at the expense of high standards in core subjects. Our cross curricular approach to learning ensures that high standards and expectations of our children’s work and outcomes are consistent across all areas of their learning.
Our full, rich and varied curriculum, with its excellent range of experiences, ensures that every pupil at Sharp Lane Primary School makes excellent progress both academically and personally. It is unique to our school and allows our children to flourish.
Teaching for breadth of learning
At Sharp Lane Primary School, careful analysis and discussion about our pupil’s backgrounds, experiences and culture has helped us to design a curriculum with three priorities underpinning every subject area. We believe that by focusing on the following key priorities, our children will be ready to successfully meet the challenges and opportunities they will face in the next stage of their education and lives.
Our curriculum priorities are:
We have designed and planned the curriculum to offer a range of experiences which contribute to every child receiving a full and rich curriculum. The range of experiences we offer support and champion our culture and ensures that our children benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities. These activities enrich their lives and those of our whole school community and make them proud of their British values and diverse society to which they belong and play an active part in. We are proud that our curriculum gives our children the skills, confidence and self-belief to lead a happy and fulfilled life by encouraging them to aim high and work towards their goals and dreams in life.
Teaching for knowledge, understanding and skills
Our subjects are taught discreetly under our Umbrella Topic (Journey) so that our children are aware of the many subjects within our curriculum and the skills within these (both subject specific and transferable), alongside knowledge and understanding. We plan very carefully to always ensure there are purposeful links to interweave subjects where it naturally fits. This ensures that planning and learning is sequenced appropriately to help support understanding and for progression and to allow children to be able to obtain knowledge whilst applying the skills necessary and vice versa.
An example of this is in Years 5 and 6 on their ‘JOURNEY TO BATTLE’, is that they spend time as Historians, researching and analysing when and why WW2 began. In order to understand this further, they look at the allies and axis and where these countries are in relation to one another. At this point, the children become geographers and learn how to use 4-point grid references when using maps.
Our intent is to ensure that our children develop the knowledge and understanding needed in what we must cover statutory from the National Curriculum as a starting point, but to also take their learning deeper to ensure it has ‘stickability’. Alongside the knowledge and understanding, are the many subject specific and transferable skills we teach.
During our many Journeys, classes will explore concepts which they will be able to apply within and across subjects as well as to themselves.
For example, in History, Year 5 and 6 will learn the concept of ‘empathy’ when understand how evacuees and their families felt during the war. They will then explore this concept on a more personal level and discuss how to show empathy towards others appropriately.
Another concept Year 5 and 6 will explore in their ‘Journey to BATTLE’ is ‘conflict’. Here the children will explore the causes of conflict, be it land, resources, power. Again, they will then explore this at a personal level and discuss if the same conflict which occurs in the playground is due to similar reasons (fighting over a football, power to want to lead in a group).
Further information will follow on the specific rationale and intent for individual subjects.
The rationale and intent of Individual Subjects are in working progress with the subject leads and will be uploaded here once complete.