Curriculum

Curriculum Intent Statement

Our motto ‘little seeds big dreams’ demonstrates our ambitious ethos for all pupils; we believe that every child should succeed and no child should slip through the net. In addition, we fully embrace the strengths that are reflected in our school community and work in very close partnership with parents to build on these, as well as addressing the challenges.

Contextual strengths:

  • The global nature of our pupils and their families, drawn from across the world, brings together different strands (languages, cultures, religions and experiences) which we weave into the rich tapestry of our curriculum.
  • We are fortunate to be supported by a network of engaged and aspirational parents, who instil in their children a love for and value of education, even though their own school experiences vary in length and context.
  • We are uniquely placed to develop pupil and staff expertise across the whole curriculum due to our position as a National Support School, Teaching School, Lead school for a national Maths Hub and English Hub and as a result of our RWI Model school status.

Contextual challenges:

  • Over 80% of pupils begin nursery well below typical EYFS baseline levels, the majority still requiring potty training
  • 85% of pupils speak English as an additional language (although this is likely to be higher) and begin to develop fluency in English in KS1
  • The number of pupils with speech and language difficulties has increased, in conjunction with the rise in numbers of pupils with ASD
  • Although the official eligibility for free school meals (FSM6) has decreased to 25%, in line with the national, this does not reflect the high levels of deprivation and overcrowding existing in our school community.
  • Some families are unable to access enrichment activities such as trips to museums, possibly due to levels of education or social isolation

Our Curricular goals:

Reading/Language/communication/confidence

  • All of our curricular goals rest on an ability to understand, master and deploy language, which is why we have both reading and ‘oracy’ at the heart of all subjects. There is a strong focus on language acquisition and oral confidence, particularly in the Early Years but maintained across the school. We are determined to bridge the ‘vocabulary gap’ rather than allow our pupils to fall through it. From low starting points our pupils progress rapidly and achieve excellence due to this relentless focus.
  • Reading is the bedrock of our curricular offer and all of our pupils who can access the curriculum are taught to read through the RWI scheme, which is taught with passion and purpose from nursery to year 2. We consciously support our pupils to be lifelong readers through developing a deep reading for pleasure culture. Every class has a rich daily story time and extended reading afternoons in years 5 and 6.

Growth mindset / love of learning/skills for life

  • We seek to instil in our children, not just a set of facts or a series of skills, but how to succeed as citizens. Our 5 school values are pillars central to this ethos: care, character, challenge, creativity and confidence. We want our children to be:
    • Risk takers: having a willingness to take calculated risks and to view mistakes as learning opportunities. We believe that intelligence is not fixed so we nurture a growth mind-set in children who learn that they need to work hard to succeed.
    • Problem solvers: having a creative approach to issues, always looking towards the solution rather than the difficulty.
    • Independent critical thinkers: being confident enough to form and defend their own opinions as active citizens
    • Citizens of the world: Individuals who see themselves as agents of change and take responsibility for themselves, each other and the world around them.
    • Lovers of learning: We want our children to be active participants in their learning who independently seek out learning and knowledge for its own sake.
    • Independent researchers and to be digitally literate: We encourage independent research and opportunities to develop independence in all areas of the curriculum.
  • Pupils learning experiences should one of awe and wonder, both engaging them in the here and now but also providing them with moments that will live a lifetime in their memories and keep kindled the love of learning we seek to ignite. Therefore the curriculum is enriched with exciting and memorable experiences, visits and visitors.

Cultural capital and diversity/inclusivity

  • We equip our pupils with secure knowledge of the world and the ‘cultural capital’ needed to boost their confidence and aspirations in an increasingly competitive world. This comes from rich and carefully thought out experiences.
  • Varied visits and educational experiences are designed to support the curriculum and broaden experiences from EYFS to year 6 both around the capital, the country and beyond the UK’s borders e.g. Art trips to Venice & MFL trips to Paris as well as local seaside and camping trips.
  • We think carefully about guest visitors like Franciscan monks or authors and specialist weeks that build real experiences into the curriculum to enrich learning.
  • Ambitious lesson content, democratic structures such as Student Council and planned activities such as debating are interwoven into our curriculum so that pupils build knowledge and understanding of important places, people, events and ideas such as democracy.
  • The rolling Shakespeare programme in KS2 is accessible to all children in KS2 with a focus on comprehension and performance skills
  • Our curriculum reflects the inclusive, multicultural and multilingual school culture. We celebrate all of the major faiths through the taught RE curriculum and the year group festival assemblies so our pupils not only have significant knowledge of but also learn from other cultures/faiths to develop British values such as tolerance. Our pupils with SEND and disadvantaged pupils fully access the curriculum.
  • WILL NEED MORE ON SEND

How do we ensure that there is curricular progression?

  • In order to achieve our goals, we have carefully planned our curriculum so that it has breadth as well as ambition. We follow the National Curriculum and have developed age-related curricular end points through progression documents in the core subjects and are developing these in the foundation subjects in our medium term planning.
  • Schemes are in place in literacy (RWI and Literacy and language) and maths (Maths No problem) to provide a strong foundation and consistency for all our staff when delivering core subjects. As they have been developed by curriculum experts, they are carefully sequenced to ensure careful progression and clear end points.
  • We have adopted a subject specific approach in the foundation subjects, so that children can be taught the knowledge and thinking skills required for each subject. However, we have made careful cross-curricular links to optimise these skills. We use subject experts to teach the curriculum in art, music and PE and deploy internal expertise and external consultants (team teaching and planning support) to support Science, RE, Computing, Mathematics and phonics.
  • We have chosen our content carefully and sequenced it through and across years to form a coherent journey starting in EYFS. Currently we are reducing content so that there is curricular depth. Our post-holders have subject intent statements in line with this whole school curriculum intent statement and are mapping concepts and skills in subject progression maps.
  • We pursue a mastery agenda across all subjects, building up learning in small steps and ensuring students progress, learning lessons from neuroscience and current research. Our approach to planning across the curriculum ensures that children revisit concepts to ensure knowledge , vocabulary and skills shift from working to long-term memory . Specific subject teams are tweaking medium term schemes to ensure that prior knowledge is activated. The timetable of learning conversations and lesson visits across the different subjects is helping teachers to implement the planned curriculum.
  • The significant curriculum work on embedding Maths Mastery through the Maths No Problem scheme is informing our work on mastery across the curriculum so that pupils understand concepts through clear exploration of specific concept/s through whole class teaching.
  • Increasing pupil voice is one of our 5 strategic priorities; the establishment of class learning forums as well as further work on metacognition will help our pupils to make further learning gains.
  • Our assessment and intervention programmes are carefully targeted and rigorous, ensuring that pupils who begin to fall behind are targeted for further support through:
    • Daily 1:1intervention in reading and Mathematics from reception to year 6
    • Ten week fully funded after school or Saturday morning tuition programme for pupils who are making slower progress
    • Groups to support learning behaviours and resilience, such as social skills and bounce back
    • Year 6 booster programmes in Literacy & Mathematics and year 5 summer school

Whole school Curriculum map