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Curriculum

Welcome! Come and join us on our curriculum journey!

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Sharp Lane Primary School

Curriculum Policy

 

Our Vision Statement

 

Working together to capture and nurture the imaginations of young minds

 

Our Curriculum Design

Our NEW curriculum has landed – Let the journey commence! 2019 sees the start of our exciting new curriculum! We are going on a journey to many real or imaginary places where our children will become different types of learners such as Scientist, Historians and Artists to learn and develop skills whilst exploring and discovering themes within each journey they are on. 

 

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. 

 

Aim

Our aim is to ensure that our teaching and learning enables children to flourish in an environment which is friendly, welcoming, well-organised and caring. Our aim is to ensure that all children are able to maximise their learning potential to explore a rich and varied curriculum full of opportunities to explore and develop knowledge, understanding and skills which are transferable across all areas of learning. We want our children to leave us having acquired academic, social and life skills ready for the next stage in their lives.

 

Values

Our values are based on our 6R Characteristics of Learning:

  • Responsible Penguin
  • Reflective Owl
  • Resourceful Squirrel 
  • Resilient Spider
  • Relationship Dolphin
  • Risk Taker Hedgehog

 

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. 

 

 Vision

Our vision and what we believe is important to our children, families and staff is:

 

  • the happiness of children, families and staff.
  • caring staff who respect and know the children very well.
  • the development of self-confidence, self-motivation and independence.
  • co-operation, collaboration and teamwork.
  • exciting but safe and secure spaces, indoor and outdoor, where children can explore, discover and experiment.
  • the natural environment, the local community and the wider world.
  • a stimulating and challenging curriculum, suited to children’s needs, enabling them to reach their full potential across all areas of learning.
  • praise and celebration of the achievements of every child.
  • working in partnership with others to meet the needs of all the children and their families.
  • all aspects of British life and culture; celebrating differences, diversity, core values and preparing children for life in Modern Britain. 
  • raising aspirations and a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • children who respect all adults in school and their peers.
  • explore a wide range of experiences and opportunities. 

 

Curriculum Intent

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. Unless children are healthy, secure and confident in making relationships and able to make right choices for themselves, they will not learn to be successful learners and achieve their best. Our intent is that we will impact positively on our children’s mental and physical health throughout their time with us.

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. 

 

You will find our Journey Headings below.

HOW do we teach our Curriculum?

 

Each journey is visited by a key stage (KS1, LKS2, UKS2). Within each journey, classes will explore a range of subjects which, where possible, link to the over-arching theme. This allows for cross-curricular learning and opportunities for our children to be taught, learn and apply skills which are transferable across all areas of their learning within the statutory curriculum and beyond.

 

The delivery of the curriculum is usually based in individual classes: most subjects and skills are taught by the same class teacher, but occasionally children learn from different members of staff or specialist teachers in order to maximise children’s learning.

 

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:

  1. Aspirations – we aim to provide experiences which show children the wide range of possibilities available for their future.
    • An example of this is during Year 5 and 6 ‘Journey to BATTLE’, they are having a conscription day. Here the children will be split into groups and explore the job and roles within these such as an army sergeant, a doctor and a baker.
  2. Respect - we aim to help our children understand the importance of respect for themselves and others, showing them as role-models what this looks like. We bring respect into all PSHE lessons and it is a concept explored with specific areas of our curriculum.
  3. Active Learning – we aim to make learning as active as possible. This will involvement movement within lessons in the classroom, learning in and around school, using our school garden and all outdoor areas, extra teacher-led activities during lunchtime, wider range of extra-curricular clubs at lunch and after school and support from an outside agency, ACES, to further develop our teachers within this area.

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.

Concepts

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.

Beyond the Classroom

 

We are fully committed to providing the children with a wide and rich range of learning experiences beyond the classroom. 

 

Educational Visits 

We build opportunities for children to visit museums, galleries, theatres, parks, places of worship and historical landmarks. Not only do our children regularly explore our local area, visiting places such as Middle Park and Woods, we also take full advantage of the wealth of museums and historic buildings in Leeds and the surrounding areas. We expect that all children will participate in all educational visits as it links and enhances their classroom learning.

 

Specialist Visitors and Projects

Artists, musicians, authors, sports coaches and theatre groups frequently visit Sharp Lane Primary School to work with children, providing specialist support in developing new skills.

 

School Residential

We feel it is important that children experience a residential as part of their learning experience to help in their personal and social development. Children get the opportunity to experience a residential within school or an external residential in Years 3, 4, and 6. Parents pay a contribution towards the cost of these.

How will you know your child is doing well?

 

We make on-going (formative) assessments of pupil’s attainment to track their progress in all areas of their learning continuously to allow us to provide instant feedback and next steps for individual learners. In addition to this, these assessments help to inform our summative assessments which are recorded on our school assessment tracking system. These assessments help with future planning and also informs our discussions about your child’s progress in parents’ meetings and end of year reports.

 


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