Introduction to the Curriculum
At West Melton Primary, we want children to understand the life-long skills that give all the curriculum areas relevance to real life and future career opportunities. With this in mind, we aim to provide our children with a range of experiences to provide enrichment opportunities during their time at West Melton.
Our curriculum drivers are:
Curiosity – Creativity – Opportunity
In a small school we are able to provide whole school experiences. We also have links with the local community e.g. local church & West Melton Early Years.
At West Melton Primary School we believe that our children should have the opportunity to experience the curriculum through real experiences and make valuable long lasting memories throughout their time in school in our care. The skills and attitudes which are developed in this way promote a joy in learning that we hope will continue through for life. We provide a broad, balanced curriculum for all our pupils, at all stages of their development. We do this by teaching the full range of subject areas through the Development Matters in Foundation, and choosing the appropriate teaching methods to take account of the wide variety of learning styles of our children. At West Melton we believe every child should be taught the skills of each subject in the depth needed to be able to apply these skills in different activities taught and develop lifelong skills for learning.
At West Melton Primary we provide an engaging and exciting curriculum through using a “hook” for learning, planning deeper thinking opportunities linking to the skills and knowledge taught in each year group. There is a progression of skills throughout each year group so children are taught how to broaden and develop these skills further. English and mathematics are taught daily with 2 hours minimum of quality PE per week. We follow the 2014 new curriculum throughout EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Our curriculum staff teams ensure that there is progression of learning and skills throughout each year group and monitor our curriculum development, ensuring that each child accesses and engages with our school curriculum.
Our curriculum is based on the September 2014 National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 & 2 and the Early Years 2012 framework in the EYFS. Our curriculum is a project-based, thematic approach and provides children with a range of rich and memorable learning experiences.
- Engage children through interesting topics and hands-on activities.
- Make meaningful links between subjects.
- Develop children’s skills, knowledge and understanding of a range of themes and concepts.
- Make effective connections to the real world.
- Help children to think creatively and solve problems.
- Develop children’s capacities to work independently and collaboratively.
- Enable children to make choices about their learning.
- Take account of children’s interests and fascinations.
- develops independent learners and a sense of resilience and perseverance
- develops children to the best of their abilities
- helps children to find their passions and interests
- facilitates children’s acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding
- helps children to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically and morally
- assists children in becoming independent, responsible, useful, confident and considerate members of the community
- promotes a positive attitude towards learning, so children enjoy coming to school
- helps children to acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning
- creates and maintains an exciting and stimulating learning environment
- ensures that each child’s education has continuity and progression
- enables children to contribute positively within a culturally diverse society.
Our curriculum is built from using a “hook” to engage all children from the start. The children use what they know as a starting point and teachers use this and discussions with the children to develop their thinking in what they want to learn next about the project they are learning and address misconceptions.
The “Hook” into learning
- hook learners in with a memorable experience eg a visit, visitor in school
- set the scene and provide the context
- ask questions to provoke thought and interest
- use interesting starting points to spark children’s curiosity
- teach knowledge to provide depth of understanding
- demonstrate new skills and allow time for consolidation
- provide creative opportunities for making and doing
- deliver reading, writing and talk across the curriculum
- provide imaginative scenarios for creative thinking
- enable and assess the application of previously learned skills
- encourage enterprise and independent thinking
- work in groups and independently to solve problems
- encourage reflective talk by asking questions
- provide opportunities for shared evaluation
- celebrate success
- identify next steps for learning
Each topic or learning project begins with a memorable experience that stimulates children’s curiosity and prepares them for a new theme. A memorable experience often involves an educational visit out of school or a visitor coming into school to share their expertise with the children. An overview of the hook to learning for each year group can be found in the curriculum section of the school website.
Our curriculum design gives each year group the opportunity to cover a broad range of themes and subjects. Projects last either a half or full term depending on the amount of content and the children’s interests. In some cases, projects may be taught for a shorter period, for example during a science or art week.
In the EYFS the curriculum is planned on a yearly basis linking to the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning in the EYFS and is guided by the children’s interests. In KS1 our curriculum is all planned on a yearly cycle with an emphasis placed on ‘wow’ experiences, cross curricular links and learning supported by quality texts and other quality experiences.
English is taught discretely in each year group. We follow the Read Write Inc programme for phonics in EYFS and KS1 to ensure consistency with phonics teaching and learning. We follow the Talk for Writing approach which incorporates a reading into writing learning journey. English is a core subject and is at the heart of our curriculum. In addition to this, English is taught throughout the curriculum, linking to the topics and individual projects. Each project covers a range of reading and writing genres and, where appropriate, links to other areas of the curriculum.
Spoken language is a vital taught skill and is modelled and promoted throughout the curriculum and across all subjects.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are taught discretely and promoted throughout all writing opportunities, with each year group following National Curriculum objectives.
Mathematics is also a core subject and is taught discretely on a daily basis. Throughout the topics and projects taught mathematics is used to apply these skills across different subjects and link to real life problems.
Science is fully covered throughout the curriculum. Some projects have a science focus, and others will have less of a scientific emphasis. Scientific enquiry is planned throughout the year for each year group, with opportunities for children to plan and investigate using their scientific knowledge and skills.
Some Science objectives may be taught in a discrete, mini Science block to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum objectives throughout the year groups.
The foundation subjects – history, geography, design and technology, art and design, PE and music – are integrated into each project and provide enrichment across the curriculum. Specialist teachers from the Wickersley Partnership Trust join our team at West Melton each week to teach languages, PE and Music to offer specialist support to develop and support the skills of the children further within these areas.
RE is a statutory part of the curriculum and follows the Rotherham agreed syllabus. The RE curriculum is enriched through planned and organised assemblies and events throughout the year.
PSHE and citizenship
PSHE and citizenship are important aspects of our curriculum and are taught both discretely and within the projects. At West Melton we follow the “You, Me and PSHE” scheme of work for each year group. We also plan and organise assemblies and events which celebrate and teach PSHE skills needed for our children to be positive role models to others and good citizens.
At West Melton we are a Rights Respecting School and working towards our Silver Award this year.
ICT and computing
The core skills of ICT are taught as a discrete programme across school. However, other elements of the computing curriculum are integrated into the curriculum as part of project work. These include e-safety, digital publication and presentation, research, data handling and the use of digital media.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Opportunities
The staff and governors ensure that all children are provided with SMSC opportunities both within the planned curriculum and through current affairs, independent study, assemblies, extra events and experiences. Our curriculum is structured to enable the development of social skills and independence.
Self Esteem and Self Worth
Celebration assemblies are held each week recognising the achievements of our children. Talents of individual children are celebrated within class and at school assemblies and in school productions and school representation at competitions and events. The awarding of class Dojo points also encourages children to do their best both in their school work and in their effort to learning and in their behaviour towards others.
Children’s work and achievement within the curriculum will be celebrated and displayed to enable it to make a significant impact on the visual appearance of the school and to contribute to the ethos.
Extra curricular activities
A wide range of activities is offered at the start of each term. Parents of children wanting to attend such activities are asked to sign a consent form. Most teaching staff participate in the provision of extra curricular activities at some stage during the year. We also have many enrichment activities organised by external providers.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Headteacher takes overall responsibility for the curriculum. Subject Leaders monitor their particular subject to ensure that it is implemented consistently and effectively in line with the agreed policies. Consultation relating to the curriculum is facilitated from parents through newsletters and questionnaires, from children through pupil discussions and questionnaires, class discussion and the school council, and from staff and governors at regular meetings
Assessment, Recording, Monitoring and Evaluation
Short and medium term assessment is the responsibility of the class teacher and is in line with the assessment policy. However, teachers will use informal assessment and observation on a daily basis to determine what children can do independently and therefore plan next steps for learning. Formative assessments take many different forms and are reflected in the pupil’s books/work in the detailed marking and provision of constructive feedback. Feedback follows the school’s policy and identifies areas for children to improve giving focused challenges and expecting children to take ownership of their learning and respond and reflect in order to improve. Summative assessments support teacher assessments in the core subjects and children are presented with these in a relaxed format so as to cause minimal anxiety for pupils. These are used to help prepare children though the year groups for the end of key stage testing as our statutory duty.
EYFS pupils are assessed using the Foundation Stage Profile. Pupil profiles are established for each child in the EYFS and assessments are made against the Foundation Stage Profile Statements.
Children’s progress and attainment in each subject will be assessed by their teacher against the learning outcomes and end of year expectations. Pupil progress will be reported to parents at three points in the year either in writing or at an appointment where parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress. More informal class teacher/parent discussions happen on a daily basis before or after school.
Each year group has a set of non-negotiable allocations for various aspects of the curriculum, including English, mathematics and PE. Teachers are free to arrange their afternoon timetable to make the most of cross-curricular opportunities and the needs of pupils. Sometimes subjects and activities might be ‘blocked’ or run over successive afternoons.