At Boscastle Primary School, we pride ourselves on working with the children, families and the wider community to create an education that celebrates individuality, is aspirational and diverse in its approach to learning and creates an understanding of the wider world.
We nurture children’s individual strengths and create opportunities that support a variety of learning styles. By supporting children’s mental well-being, exploring the wider world and providing learning opportunities across the statutory national curriculum areas, we create an education that is engaging, inspirational and accessible to all.
We have considered how to deliver our curriculum in order to prepare children for the changing world and underpin all learning experiences through three core values: aspiration, awareness and acceptance.
We have done considerable research on mental health in order to better understand how the brain works, accept neurodivergence and reduce cognitive overload. We share practices of how the brain works with children and their families and make learning intentions explicit. We teach children to make links across parts of their brain and use skills learnt in other situations and experiences to support and enhance across subject areas. In order to maximise the potential for all, it is necessary to scaffold activities and incorporate opportunities of repetitive retrieval practice of small steps to success. We provide models for good examples of what is expected so children have a clear vision of what can be achieved.
3 Big Ideas:
We understand that children learn best when they are immersed in something, and can explore opportunities from every angle. They can make the necessary links between learnt skills best when dopamine is released (a chemical that allows a person to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation), so teaching is kept fun, interesting and engaging in order to be challenging. In this way, children can progress within and across subject areas. Children need to think in order in order to learn, so we pose big questions and expect children to think deeply about what they are learning, how they are learning and why their learning matters. Similarly, children need to articulate their thinking, so oracy skills are developed and rehearsed in every area of the curriculum and subject specific vocabulary is used explicitly and practiced according to what is being taught. Opportunities and experiences are designed around 3 big ideas for each subject area; these explore the skills that are required to be successful.
The 3 big ideas for each subject are:
- Writing: creativity, style, accuracy
- Reading: enjoyment, comprehension, accuracy
- Maths: fluency, language and communication (reasoning) and mathematical thinking (problem solving)
- Science: investigation, explanation, observation
- Geography: location, diversity, impact
- History: chronology, impact, innovation
- Religious Education: inquiry, understanding, reflection
- Physical Education: performance, collaboration, challenge
- Art: inspiration, experimentation, expression
- Music: appreciation, experimention, performance
- Design Technology: design, problem solving, skills and expertise
- ICT: coding, design, online safety
- PSHE: identity, choices, responsibility
- Modern foreign language: curiosity, understanding, fluency
When planning topics and considering the National Curriculum requirements, we make links between and across subject areas to embed learning (for example, writing a diary entry from a historical figure’s point of view or writing an explanation text on how an electrical circuit works.) That said, we do not force tenuous connections and some subject areas are therefore taught discretely, e.g. maths.
3 Stages of Learning:
Our topic-based curriculum is planned and delivered over a two-year rolling programme to allow for our mixed age classes, to avoid content repetition and to build on skills and progression learnt in previous years. Children revisit and recap previously learnt skills and build on these in a widening cycle of knowledge and experience year on year and as they progress through the school. For example, children experience sketching techniques in every year at school, in year 1 looking at line and shape; in year 3 at line, shape, tone and depth, in year 6 at tonal contrast, focal point and horizon. Lessons are carefully sequenced to plan a route through a subject or area, building on previous skills and using the foundations to build on for subsequent opportunities, like laying bricks when building a wall; a strong and secure foundation is necessary to build on.
In maths, children practice daily fluency skills in number, then explain their reasoning for how they have tackled or solved a problem, before solving more complex mathematical problems. Similarly, in Science, they might first explore with a range of magnets, sorting materials into magnetic and non-magnetic to gain an understanding of magnetism, before completing a challenge on transporting magnets between 2 cups to understand about poles, attraction and repulsion, then finally putting their knowledge into a real-life context, eg. Can magnets be used underwater to sort ocean waste into plastic and magnetic materials?
There is constant assessment of what children have retained in order to plan next steps and build on previous learning. Teaching staff ensure content is taught, constantly assess and plan responsively according to children’s understanding and progress made.
In this way, we constantly adapt and respond to where the children are and evolve what is being taught and how it is being taught.
In accordance with section 8 of the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 we deliver our Relationships and Sex Education (SRE) curriculum in an age appropriate way. We provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place, prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene, help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy, create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships and teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies. We use the comprehensive programme SCARF: Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience, Friendship to support us in delivering our RSE curriculum.
Our online safety curriculum uses a range of games and material from the NSPCC, ThinkUKnow and Internet Matters. We have reglar assemblies to support our children to grow in their understanding and awareness of how to use the internet safely, respectfully and creatively.
For information on the different curriculum areas, click on the links below:
If you require any further information regarding the curriculum your child will be following please contact the your child’s class teacher.