Over the past three years, we have been working hard on curriculum development. The purpose of this is to ensure that the learning experiences provided for children meet the needs of our learners and are motivating, exciting and informed by current research related to cognitive development.
OUR SCHOOL CURRICULUM
What do we want for our children and how will we work together to achieve this?
Our curriculum, built on a firm understanding of our overall school vision and values, is designed to inspire enthusiasm for learning, to ensure achievement and to promote pupil well-being and happiness. When designing the curriculum for our learners in our school we considered the following:
- The needs and interests of our children: interests, strengths and areas for development
- The locality that we live in: what are the benefits of living where we live and what are the resources that are around us? What local knowledge is it important that the children have? What skills do they particularly need as a result of where they live? (For example, as Plymouth is an 'Ocean City', learning about life near water is important). What limitations are there because of our location, and as a result, what do children need to learn so that they are prepared for living in an interconnected 21st century?
- Research into curriculum design, learning pedagogies and cognitive development: how do we know that children are learning more and remembering more? Which are the most effective ways of learning? Which approaches to curriculum design will enable children to retain and apply knowledge?
Following these considerations, we decided that our school curriculum should:
- Promote the secure development of fundamental communication, reading, writing and numerical skills as these are essential for overall achievement.
- Ensure that children learn and remember more as they progress through the school. This learning should be sequenced carefully and should be taught within contexts where children are building a body of general knowledge across the curriculum.
- Teach knowledge and skills that children develop in a way that promotes critical thinking and decision making.
- Encourage children to be active learners with the support from both school and home. They should be interested and excited by the learning opportunities that we design.
- Inspire children: it should provide opportunities for the development of a range of interests and also nurture children as individuals. Children should leave our school with a pride in their achievements, with the ability to listen to and respect others, and with the confidence to communicate their own opinions.
- Promote a healthy lifestyle: children should develop an understanding of how to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy. Importantly, they should understand how to stay safe, both virtually and in the real world, and know what to do if they have any worries or concerns.
We celebrate our own special school identity through the unique experiences that our curriculum provides. We have developed a curriculum that reflects the local area whilst being outward looking to ensure that all children develop firm foundations on which to build their understanding in a global 21st century. We have developed a rich and varied menu of enhancement opportunities to engage learning and recognise individuality. These include: raising children’s awareness of significant events and special days across the year; planned assemblies to improve overall understanding of the world; a focus on mental health; theme days and weeks; an established school and eco-council and a wide range of sporting activities and events as well as carefully planned units of learning and school visitors and visits.
Our curriculum enables us to build strong relationships, celebrate diversity, encourage respect and build a sense of community. It provides and acknowledges success for all children in all aspects of their development and it recognises, encourages and celebrates all types of talent.
Teamwork and responsibility are an essential part of our curriculum and we enable children to take on key roles within our community, to understand local, national and international traditions and celebrations, and to learn new skills enabling them to take an active part in events throughout the year.
Foundations of Knowledge
We have worked hard to design a curriculum in which core knowledge is carefully structured and skills are taught progressively. We believe that these are essential foundations for success and we have designed a range of learning opportunities to allow learners to revisit these essential elements of successful learning in a range of different contexts.
Effective Attributes of Learning
We use Secrets to Success, to promote positive attitudes and so that children understand how to develop skills and qualities needed for lifelong learning.
Believe: Don't Give Up, Try New Things, Push Yourself, Imagine
Achieve: Work Hard, Concentrate, Improve, Understand Others
Try New Things:
If you never try, you’ll never know.
It’s not luck or looks that make you successful, it’s all about the effort.
Learn to focus, tune out distractions and be mindful.
Fight your fears and learn to push past doubts.
Have ideas and don’t be scared of being wrong.
Keep advancing, bit by bit. Success never comes in one giant step.
Learn to listen; listen to learn about others.
Don’t Give Up:
Sir Winston Churchill said ‘Success isn’t final, failure isn’t fatal.
It is the courage to continue that counts.’
We use these attributes to encourage children to think critically about the world, asking questions and building on their natural curiosity.
We want children to be active learners and not passive recipients of information and our school logo, the ladybird with its spots, is used to remind children that they have an active role to play in their own learning.
We use the term ‘Spot-it’, as follows, to develop the application of core skills and promote critical thinking.
‘SPOT-IT’ encourages children to make links in learning, be enquiring and actively involved in lessons. Children are encouraged to be observant and notice patterns, trends and aspects of learning which stand out, for example: spot…the pattern, the difference, the strategy, a different method, a spelling pattern, prefix, writing technique, link in learning between subject areas, how a small improvement could be made and what I need to learn to improve my attainment/understanding.
The skills and knowledge that we teach in our school curriculum are based on the National Curriculum and use Chris Quigley's Milestones to assess children's progress. These milestones are used to report to you and you can see how these are broken up into units of learning by looking at each year group's Knowledge Organisers. These are published on class pages. Partnership with you, as parents and carers, is very important to us so please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
As a result of our curriculum offer, children will leave Pomphlett Primary School feeling well supported and with the knowledge that their talents and interests have been nurtured. They will have experienced a sense of belonging, in a community in which they are valued, and in which they have learned to value others and are proud.
They will have developed the confidence and skills needed to be learners for life.
Each subject page details the separate skills and knowledge that we expect to see in our learners.