We believe that children learn better when they use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides learning opportunities and challenges throughout the academic year which require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum. We use our remarkable location and all that it offers culturally, historically and geographically to enhance our curriculum.
We want our children to be:
- interested and excited about learning
- confident in who they are and aware of the positive impact they can have on other people and places
- responsible for their own learning and motivated (to continue learning outside school)
- knowledgeable and able to apply what they know in new contexts
- problem-solvers, critical thinkers, creative and good communicators
- curious, creative and inventive
- persistent, resilient and determined and adventurous
- able to learn from others, but able to lead
- reflective and evaluative of their learning
- mindful, thoughtful and respectful
- compassionate, responsible and active citizens
Every term, our children are taught the links between what they know and have done before to a new theme or the next milestone in a particular concept. We usually begin by asking the children what they already know, what they want to know and we agree our aims for the term. Teachers usually plan ambitious whole school topics that deliver the threshold concepts through various topics to each class.
We often have an exciting event to launch a new school theme. These have included an alien landing, a trip to Eden, a themed ‘dress up’ day and several visiting time travellers.
Through termly assessment, we monitor all children against milestones that show us where we need to take them next. Some of our children have a bespoke curriculum to meet their additional needs. Speaking, reading, writing and mathematics underpin much of our topic work. We continue to work on our curriculum to ensure it is cohesive and challenging for all our children and to ensure that they are able to articulate what they know and what they need to do next.
At the start of a new term, we aim to engage the children in a new theme with:
- first-hand experiences, such as going on a visit or inviting a special visitor into school,
- a 'wow' experience,
- an introduction to a topic or theme,
- starting research and setting enquiry questions,
- making observations,
- talking, listening and experimenting,
- take part in sensory activities,
- having lots of fun,
- working out what we already know that can help us this term.
After initial engagement, we aim to:
- improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic (key themes, vocabulary),
- develop and practice their new skills,
- write a cross-curricula piece of writing,
- compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes and read across the curriculum,
- dispel misconceptions and clarify facts,
- research their own questions and those set by others,
- complete homework activities that support their learning.
Then we support the children to:
- apply skills, knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts,
- solve real or imagined problems using everything they've learnt,
- get inspired by imaginative and creative opportunities,
- revisit anything not fully grasped.
In the final weeks of a topic, we support the children to ‘hang on’ to their learning by:
- becoming performers, experts and informers,
- share their achievements with parents, classmates and the community,
- evaluate finished products and processes,
- compare what they now know and can do with the start of the topic,
- celebrate their achievements.
Now we have Microsoft Teams, we can do this more regularly throughout a topic.