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Woodthorpe Primary School

Welcome toWoodthorpe Primary School

Curriculum

Intent

Our school is a happy, exciting and caring community in which each child thrives and our curriculum intent is to embody this in every aspect of our daily practice. Our curriculum journey began by using national expectations as a foundation for our standards within school, however we acknowledge that to develop a truly inspirational curriculum, we needed to take ownership of each aspect of the curriculum and shape this to meet the needs of our pupils.

 

We believe that children achieve best when excited, engaged and enthused within memorable and ‘hands on’ curricular experiences. All the while, maintaining a relentless drive to ensure that our children have the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to take the opportunities and experiences of later life. 

 

With particular focus on our disadvantaged children, we closely track, monitor and intervene in order to remove any barriers and close the achievement gap. Unashamedly, communication & language and early reading are school priorities and form the bedrock of future success for all.

 

Our curriculum builds towards pupils being able to meet/exceed national expectations, become next stage ready and to demonstrate confidence around our school values of ‘sport’, ‘respect’, ‘skills for life’ and ‘challenge’. The school’s curriculum is planned and sequenced in such a way that new knowledge and skills build upon what has already been taught and children work towards the clearly defined end points as previously mentioned. 

 

We believe that the curriculum is a constantly evolving, responsive model and ,as a result, is kept under constant review. Annual pupil outcomes are analysed and consequently prompt curriculum adjustments where appropriate.

 

We aim to widen children’s experiences from their immediate locality to a global scale, spiralling outward in order to gain a comprehensive view of the world. With particular emphasis on most disadvantaged pupils, who learn best when fully engaged and not held back by cultural capital. 

 

In response to the school’s local context, we understand that, in order for children to reach their full potential, we also at times need to support and nurture within the family environment and consider the other external factors that so many of our children face. 

 

Our curriculum aims to equip children with the knowledge and skills necessary to take advantage of opportunities and responsibilities of later life. With this in mind, the end points of our curriculum form three main goals: children meet age related expectations within all curriculum areas, are next stage ready and the aims and values of the school are met. Consultation with secondary providers also help to shape the curriculum to ensure that children leave school secondary ready. 

 

Each curricular area is progressive: building year upon year and forming the foundation of what is to come in the future. As working memory is limited, we need to sequence our curriculum to reduce cognitive load by drawing on prior knowledge and logically sequencing episodes of learning so they accumulate in small stages, securing understanding at one stage before moving on to the next. For example acquiring knowledge of a specific location and then being able relate this to reasons behind the human and physical development. 

 

‘Our school is a happy, exciting and caring community in which each child thrives.’
 

Implementation

To ensure effective curriculum delivery, we acknowledge that we need all of our teachers delivering good or better lessons on a daily basis. As a result, teachers are supported to develop their practice in a connected and personalised way, to achieve this, we use the common language gained via Teaching Walkthrus. All staff members have frequent opportunities to reflect and refine their practise through regular team meetings and development sessions.

 

To ensure subject specific knowledge, we frequently visit curriculum areas within teacher CPD sessions at a whole school level and peer support during phase discussions in order for staff to gain insight and experience from one another. 

 

Assessment

Our unique framework of aims and expectations, including the knowledge and skills to be gained by pupils by the end of each academic year, enables the annual evaluation of pupil’s knowledge and skills. In turn allowing subject leaders to analyse the strengths and weaknesses at pupil level and shape their subject accordingly.

 

Within core subject areas we use a range of assessment data that ensures a tighter focus on the key elements of reading and maths. Pupils are encouraged to own their assessments and are challenged to improve their reading comprehension accuracy and improve their number of words read each half term. Within maths we also encourage competition around times-table speed and accuracy.

 

We also use national schemes such as GL Assessments, STAR Reader & Lexia to inform teaching and learning. These give us reliable indications as to subject attainment and progress that is benchmarked nationally. We also acknowledge that pupils engagement and mental health are key attributing factors and so these are monitored as part of timely assessments.

 

Wider Curriculum

Over the last 2 years, school leaders have worked hard to redevelop the school’s wider curriculum in order to ensure maximum engagement whilst still honouring the school’s aims and values. Elements of our curriculum e.g. ‘Nature & Danger’ also focus on building pupils' resilience, determination and perseverance, which are essential when taking into consideration our children’s starting points. Pupil voice indicates that our children especially enjoy more practical, hands-on subjects and this has led to a curriculum review where art, DT and practical science have been reflected on and shaped to include greater opportunities for this. Within each subject we aim to develop ‘memorable moments’, that often form the pinnacle of a unit of work and equip children with takeaway knowledge which they are then able to apply to future learning. All areas of the curriculum have been designed to at least meet the aims of the national curriculum and are often more ambitious. 

 

Whilst covering the national curriculum we aim to develop core skills such as teamwork and respect through a range of learning opportunities and school assemblies.  The skills are inherently linked to the Fundamental British Values, which are:

  • Democracy
  • Rule of Law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

 

Impact

The impact of our curriculum is measured in a number of ways from children’s enthusiasm and engagement for their learning, to curriculum presence which is celebrated within fortnightly newsletters. We ensure that each curricular area is kept under constant review and subject leaders hold detailed curriculum plans highlighting intent, implementation and impact evidence. 

 

The impact of the school’s reading curriculum is that every pupil will be reading at an appropriate level and / or they will be receiving additional support that is matched closely to their needs in order that they continue to make progress within this area. It is through this enhanced support that we are able to ensure that children can access each curriculum area. 

 

When reflecting upon curriculum impact, we measure this against our initial starting points and believe that as our intent and implementation are highly effective, this in turn leads to the best possible outcomes for our children.

 

If you would like any further information regarding our school curriculum, either in person or in writing please do not hesitate to get in touch with the school office on 01904 806464. 

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