School Curriculum Statement
Knowledge + Skill (capacity to perform) + Attitude = PROGRESS
We place a strong emphasis on challenging and supporting every pupil to aspire and achieve academic success and mastery of the curriculum.
We intend to achieve this through a well–designed, progressive curriculum which enables all children to learn a high–quality curriculum: knowing more, remembering more and being able to do more of the curriculum.
We want children to understand that our curriculum comprises of a body of knowledge and skills which are hierarchical, enabling them to build a competent long–term memory and to tackle increasingly complex tasks as they move through the school.
We want children to understand that the knowledge and skills they acquire will often be transferable to different contexts.
Learning must be durable (it should last) and flexible (it should be applicable in different contexts) …if we accept these ideas then we should always accept that learning cannot be observed in the here and now. The only way to see if something has been retained over time and transferred to a new context is to look at what students can do later and elsewhere. (David Didau)
A Relevant Curriculum
Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the children in the context of our locality, for example:
- We make cross curricular links with aspects of learning about Melanesian and teach about the historic links and host regular visitors at the school.
- Living close to the coast and to local rivers we ensure all children can swim by the end of KS2 with top-up swimming sessions.
- As a Christian School we root our learning in our Christian values and expect attitudes to learning and behaviour to reflect these at all times.
- Year 6 children participate in the Torbay and Devon Civic Award to raise their awareness of others and develop a sense of courageous advocacy.
- Financial Education objectives have been integrated into the curriculum to ensure the children are financially literate.
- We Eat Elephants has been adopted across the school to support children’s mental and emotional well-being and links with work continued in the secondary setting.
- Residential visits are an integrated part of the curriculum throughout all KS2 year groups and enable children to grow in self-confidence and independence away from familiar surroundings.
- Aware that are children experience less diversity in the community than in other parts of the UK, in RE lessons and across the curriculum we regularly plan to make specific links between the learning that is being explored and wider current affairs.
- We seek to promote peace and reconciliation through our curriculum. Feniton is an International Cross of Nails School.
- Our PSHE Curriculum is informed by Church of England documentation including Valuing All God’s Children and Mental Health and Wellbeing 2018.
- As a rural school we seek opportunities with local organisations, such as the Devon Wildlife Trust to promote a love of the environment and a respect for all living things and help the children understand how they can make a positive difference to the natural world.
- Aware again that our children can be less ‘streetwise’ than their peers than in other areas of Britain, we raise the profile of internet safety through PSHE and Computing.
Progress for All
Feniton Primary School is committed to equal opportunities and has the same academic and social ambitions for all learners. However, where this is not practical, for example for some learners with high levels of special educational needs and/or disabilities – their curriculum is designed to be ambitious and to meet their individual needs and individual progress is tracked. There is an expectation that all learners will access a full curriculum and exceptions will only be made when a child’s needs deem it appropriate and all opportunities and provision have been explored.
It is our aim that children with SEND will develop their knowledge and skills to apply what they know with increasing fluency and independence and resources and learning support are utilise to meet this objective.
Curriculum Structure and Progression
The Reception Year follows the DFE Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stagewhich includes 7 areas of learning and development:
The 3 prime areas:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The 4 specific areas:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Where children move into Year 1 without having achieved the Early Learning Goals, they continue to be taught in line with the Foundation Stage Curriculum. Transition to the Year 1 curriculum does not happen at a point in time but rather when children have reached that stage in their development.
From Year 1 to Year 6 the curriculum consists of:
– The National Curriculum: English, Maths, Science, Art and Design, Computing, Design Technology, Geography, History, Music, PE, RE, French.
– Devon Agreed Syllabus for RE. Parents may exercise their right of withdrawal from religious worship and instruction.
– Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) Parents may exercise their right of withdrawal from SRE lessons. –
We have school specific curriculum progression documents for each subject area, which document the significant knowledge and skills which children are expected to acquire in each year group. These progression documents are reviewed annually to ensure they are ambitious in our expectations.
From Reception through to Year 6 opportunities will be taken to extend the curriculum beyond the statutory requirements through:
– visitors, including artists, craftspeople, actors, musicians;
– the use of the school grounds, the locality and the wider environment;
– educational visits;
– support of parents.
We have a thematic–based approach to organising the curriculum and these themes are shared with parents at the beginning of a term, so they can plan home learning. The themes are designed to help children make links between their learning and apply knowledge and skills across the subjects.
We aim for all children to receive a full entitlement to a balanced curriculum.
OVF teachers have good knowledge of the subject(s) and they teach. Leaders provide effective support for those teaching outside their main areas of expertise. This is achieved through peer mentoring, lesson observations, work scrutiny, collaborative planning and opportunities for teachers to observe the practice of others. Members of the SMT and governors regularly drop-in to lessons to ensure standards of subject knowledge and teaching are high.
Teachers present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion about the subject matter being taught. They check learners’ understanding systematically, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In doing so, they respond and adapt their teaching as necessary, without unnecessarily elaborate or differentiated approaches. Further information can be found in our Curriculum Policy and our Assessment Policy.
Teaching is designed to help learners to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. This is evidenced in medium-term and long-term planning.
Key Principles in Implementing our Curriculum
- Lessons are enquiry based and begin with a key question to be explored: Children are encouraged to answer the question and reflect on how they achieved progress in each lesson.
- The curriculum, whilst paying due regard to achieving high standards in English and Mathematics, should be broad, exciting and challenging.
- Lesson activities should focus thinking on the key learning goals / key question and avoid overloading the working memory.
- Teaching strategies should take account of children’s different learning styles to enable every child to show maximum engagement, concentration, application and productivity and the capacity to work independently and collaboratively.
- Fluency or automaticity requires ‘over learning’ through repeated recall. This may be achieved through pre-teach sessions / fast brain episodes.
- Learning is about the learning goal rather than the isolated activity and may need to be evaluated over time rather than in isolation during a lesson.
- Subject Progression documents, Non-Negotiables and APP sheets should be referred to when planning and assessing to ensure key knowledge and skills are the priority.
- Teachers are expected to create and maintain an attractive and organised environment that allows the learner to focus on learning. Resources displayed in the classroom should be relevant to current learning and should not overload, but should consolidate recall of knowledge and encourage children to think about the application of their learning in different contexts.
- Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we apply a rigorous approach to the teaching of reading to develop learners’ confidence and enjoyment in reading. At the early stages of learning to read, reading materials are closely matched to learners’ phonics knowledge and as progress is made, children are expected to apply their reading skills with purpose and understanding across the curriculum.
- Vocabulary development is essential for high quality learning and work. Key vocabulary is planned into units of work across the curriculum, and explicitly taught within the lessons.
- All opportunities should be taken to make teaching exciting; offering children first–hand experience to reinforce their learning and to underpin their growing knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes.
- Learning should open their eyes to the wonders of creation and cause them to marvel at the incredible and fantastic world in which we live;
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural
There are numerous opportunities for supporting the pupils’ SMSC development through all areas of the curriculum. Spiritual development is promoted through RE sessions, a range of Collective Worships and half termly themes Collective Worship themes such as “Signs and Symbols” and “Recognising God”. We use a “Wow Moments” system to highlight moments of spiritual reflection for the pupils.
Moral development is promoted through class Circle Times, discussions about class and school rules, and Collective Worship themes such as “Choices” and “Wisdom”. There are also elements considered within PSHE. Our Ethos Committee regularly discuss moral issues and lead collective worships.
Social development is promoted through a wide range of collaborative learning experiences and opportunities for play, PSHE, Sports Council, community events and Collective Worship themes such as “Harvest” and “Mothers”.
Cultural development is promoted through specific projects such as our links with the Solomon Islands. We encourage all classes to be aware of current affairs and these are interwoven into the curriculum as appropriate.
British Values plays a big role in the structure of Citizenship education and at Tipton St John are taught through a vertically streamed approach, allowing children to develop their understanding of community. We have separate guidance for British Values to ensure thorough coverage.
Learners will be ready for the next stage of education. They read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension. They will have developed a sense of responsibility and resilience which will stand them well in their secondary education. We will be able to evaluate our impact through parent and pupil questionnaires and through feedback from our secondary providers.
Transition arrangements to secondary school are well established and thoroughly planned to ensure that pupils needs are met. Activities are incorporated into our curriculum to meet these needs and include the following:
- Church School Transition morning
- Project Week
- Bicton Activity Week
- Torbay and Devon Civic Award
- Year 6 Celebration Service in addition to a Leavers’ Service.
We provide parents with up to date termly information about the curriculum for their child’s year group. Parents are also invited to a start of year Q&A session to meet the class teacher and learn about expectations for the year ahead.
Three times a year parents are invited to meet with the class teacher to discuss their child’s achievements and progress in learning. An interim report is published in February and an end of year report is sent home in July.
Our mastery learning model forms the basis of our approach to traditional teaching. This means spending greater time going into depth about a subject as opposed to racing through the things that all children should know. Previously, racing through content lead to some children having large gaps in subject knowledge because the concept they had just learnt was either too big or learnt too quickly. As a primary school, it is our duty to ensure that children have an absolutely solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills as well as being emotionally resilient for secondary school.
In short, this means working towards:
- Teach less, learn more: less teacher talk and more evidencing learning and progress
- No child left behind: all children are enabled to keep up every day.
- Space and time to experience and apply, with all children entitled to additional support to ensure they do not fall behind or to go deeper
- Understanding real life applications wherever possible to make learning relevant and not abstract; nothing should be taught without a purpose.
Click on the link below to find out more about our mastery model of learning in different subjects.
Further information regarding our school curriculum can be found in our School Prospectus in Important Docs / General Docs.