The Curriculum at Archbishop Benson
At Archbishop Benson we view the design of the curriculum as an evolving and fluid process which takes into consideration: the needs and character of our children; the children’s prior learning; children’s experiences; the community in which the school exists and the statutory curriculums (Early Years Statutory Framework and National Curriculum). We have designed a curriculum, which teaches what matters to our children so that they build on concepts, know more, remember more and understand more.
When collating this policy we have agreed the following definitions:
Intent – the rationale for our curriculum choices and what we want pupils to know, remember and be able to do. This includes everything that takes place up to the point of lesson delivery.
Implementation – how you teach our intended curriculum .
Impact – the extent to which pupils have learned what we intended them to learn, and how we know this.
At Archbishop Benson, we strive to ensure that all children are given a curriculum which is relevant broad and balanced, promoting their emotional, social, physical and intellectual needs. We create a stimulating and inviting learning environment where all children’s interests and learning are fostered using a range of sources to meet the needs of the curriculum. Our Archbishop Benson curriculum is underpinned by the following aspects:
We have a dedicated team of staff and Governors, who are committed to delivering a broad, exciting, fun and challenging CHAIN curriculum for the future, which drives and shapes our curriculum and provides a rich cultural capital. Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read and experience It includes vocabulary which in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way. As a school, we are passionate that learning to read and that children gain pleasure from reading is vital.
We aim to achieve this through our unique CHAIN curriculum driven by providing opportunities to being:
We plan our curriculum to ensure that it has sufficient breadth, balance and relevance for each child. Our curriculum builds on children’s prior knowledge and helps them to develop into creative, independent, confident learners who are keen to take risks, collaborate and persevere, and are able to use their initiative to problem solve. It is these qualities which we feel are vital for success in life as well as learning.
Our curriculum is designed to give children opportunities to develop skills for adulthood including learning about staying healthy both physically and mentally, learning about personal finances, sex and drugs education, cooking skills and cyber safety.
Children learn best when they are active and fully engaged in learning opportunities. Curriculum enrichment activities including visitors/ trips/ workshops/ parent interaction and ‘Wow days’ create memorable learning moments throughout each year in school.
As a Cornish school we celebrate our Cornish identity through our curriculum and developing our place in the local community, planning opportunities for children to learn to be dynamic members of their community. Our curriculum also enables children to develop their understanding of diversity and how they fit into their local, national and global communities.
We create a bold and enriching curriculum offer which generates an excitement for learning and an enthusiasm for life. We equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their future enabling them to lead happy and rewarding lives. Our Christian and British Values permeate all aspects of school life enabling us to help every child to flourish achieve their full potential by equipping them with the virtues and skills needed to sustain a well-rounded life and a thriving society.
As a Church Primary School we work within an inclusive, Christian environment, actively affirming our common humanity through our mission values of Respect, Wisdom, Fellowship, Hope & Creation as well as promoting the British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance, throughout our school curriculum. We are committed to a whole-school approach to inclusive education based on a positive view of difference in which diversity is viewed as an asset and a resources, Opportunities for our children to be nurtured as well as nurture others is integral to our curriculum.
From our use of a creative topic based context to learning, to our focus on a concept based - innovative education, children are given an opportunity to master their full potential throughout all aspects of the curriculum.
Our school values are at the core of our curriculum design and aim to prepare our children as respectful, polite, honest and confident citizens.
Our curriculum is designed to provide a coherent, structured academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable. It is driven by the CHAIN curriculum but also sets out:
· A clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered.
The curriculum breadth for each year group ensures that every teacher has clarity on what to cover. As well as providing the key knowledge within subjects it also provides opportunities for growing cultural capital.
· The ‘threshold concepts’ that the children should understand.
Threshold concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated.
· Criteria for progression within the threshold concepts
Milestones define the standards for the threshold concepts.
· Criteria for developing understanding.
Pupils move through 3 levels of understanding: Basic, Advancing &Deep in each milestone. In the Basic knowledge building phase, foundations are built for later application. Learning is not rushed at this stage and involves repetition so that knowledge enters pupils long term memory.
At Archbishop Benson, we are aware that the children’s learning needs to keep pace with our rapidly changing world. Our creative curriculum is a carefully planned, thematic approach to teaching and learning, designed to support children’s natural curiosity, stimulate their creativity and reflects the pupils` cultural capital. It offers children the opportunity to work in depth, giving them the time they need to reflect, consolidate and transfer their learning across subjects. There is a strong emphasis on not only building up the knowledge, understanding and skills within each topic but also why the chosen learning programme is important to the here and now.
We actively promote British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, alongside our school values, to prepare our pupils for life in modern day Britain.
In order for our children to know more and remember more, we use the principles of frequent repetition and retrieval of previously learned content. We recognise that sustained mastery takes time. Some of the curriculum content is subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross – curricular topic based approach. Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum, and provides retrieval practise for previously learned content.
Learning to read for a purpose and enjoyment is prioritised across the curriculum. We also use our extensive grounds to enrich and enhance learning. Teachers plan for learning to be outside as much as possible and pupils regularly use our school forest, firepit and varied green spaces for learning opportunities.
In Reception, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) which uses skills from all areas of learning to develop the pupils` written, mathematical, investigative and creative skills.
The creative and structured environment, together with the broad curriculum, encourages the development of the whole child by:
- placing importance on reading, writing and mathematics, as early work on literacy and numeracy lays the foundation for all future learning
- foster children`s curiosity and appreciation of the world around us through a range of topics
- encouraging all children to do their best by praising their efforts and achievements, and providing an environment in which they can learn to work hard and gain self-esteem
- providing opportunities for children to work as a whole class, in small groups, with partners and as individuals
- promoting self-discipline and personal qualities such as good manners, polite behaviour and thoughtfulness towards others
KS1 (Year 1 and 2) and KS2 (Year 3-6)
The National Curriculum is used as the baseline from which we develop an enhanced and creative curriculum to extend knowledge, to develop skills and interests of all the children in our school. We offer children a challenging and extensive education, placing due emphasis on English, Mathematics and Science whilst enhancing all areas of each and every child’s development by incorporating the arts, sports, humanities and technology.
The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced, so that children make good progress and are working towards the end point of their learning so that they secure the knowledge, skills and understanding required at the end of each year group and key stage. We ensure that there are opportunities for pupils to apply the knowledge, understanding and skills they have learnt across the curriculum and not simply in isolation so that meaningful links are made between subjects in our termly topics. We aim to maximise connectivity so that pupils link new learning with previous learning in other year groups and wider curriculum ideas.
In KS1 and KS2 all children are taught the following subjects:
- Reading; Writing; SPAG/Phonics; Maths; Science
Reading, Writing, Spelling, Phonics and Maths are taught daily while Science is taught through the topic based approach. Planning has an emphasis on developing key skills across the curriculum and utilising cross curricular opportunities to embed skills e.g. through topic themed reading and writing texts.
- Computing; History; Geography; Music; Art and Design; Design and Technology; Modern Foreign Language (French); Physical Education; Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education; Religious Education
We are committed to the broadest educational offering, and that means looking beyond the National Curriculum. A very successful enrichment programme that draws upon a wide range of adult skills is offered through school trips, visiting specialists and themed days and weeks. This is shown through our CHAIN planning where opportunities to enrich learning are planned termly.
The impact of our curriculum is measured in many ways:
· By the end of each milestone, the vast majority of the pupils have sustained mastery of the content, that is they remember it all and are fluent in it. Some pupils will have a greater depth of understanding. Careful tracking ensures pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum.
· Children achieve well by developing knowledge and skills as they progress through the school. This is reflected in the results that are achieved at the end of Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
· Our curriculum and environment fosters pupils who are respectful, polite, and honest and contribute to the community in a positive manner.
· The children leave us in Year 6 as confident, ambitious, independent and well-educated young people who are ready for the next part in their education.
· Teachers continually use assessment of the children’s responses and the work they produce to measure impact.
· Subject leaders complete a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. This includes work scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations to measure the impact of teaching and learning.
· Pupil interviews help to gauge children’s engagement and enjoyment of the curriculum.
· Teachers and leaders use the school’s curriculum assessment data to support judgements on the impact our curriculum is having.