Wixams Tree Primary Curriculum
Central to the curricula are the fundamental principles that a curriculum should be:
- of quality
- contextualised to reflect the community of the school
- developing core transferable knowledge and skills
- securing progress in the core areas of reading, writing and mathematics
- broad and balanced
- meeting the expectations set out in the National Curriculum (2014) exciting and engaging
At Wixams Tree Primary school, we aim to provide all pupils with a stimulating and inclusive educational environment in which everyone feels safe, respected and supported to grow and develop to their full potential. We encourage our children to develop an internal moral code based on British values and a wish to learn and understand how they can improve their own lives through education and first hand experiences. It is our mission to support, challenge and inspire children to achieve their ambitions and become well-rounded adults that are fully prepared for a purposeful and enriched life in the modern world.
Aims to offer high quality education in a friendly and supportive environment by:
- teaching children to have an internal wish to learn and how they can improve their own lives through education and first hand experiences
- providing an inclusive curriculum that encourages high standards, provides challenge and engages all children with their learning
- leading children to have an internal moral code that is based upon British values
- giving parents the information needed to support their child to learn and behave well
- staff working hard, but enjoying their work because of their visible impact on the children and families
At Wixams Tree, we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful; consequently, instilling a ‘growth mind-set’ is important. We want all our pupils to relish challenges, embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process, value the importance of effort, respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. This will help them to achieve, not only with us, but also in their adult lives. We know that in order for our pupils to fulfil their potential and encourage them to become confident and resilient learners we, as a team, need to be modelling the mind-set of a learner who is not afraid of making mistakes but who thrives upon them, knowing that this is all part of the learning process. At Wixams Tree, we consistently endeavour to challenge and develop the attitudes of all pupils and staff towards learning by considering what makes a successful learner.
- Staff have high expectations of themselves and all children.
- Teachers are expected to impart knowledge accurately and with enthusiasm which generates high levels of commitment from children.
- We expect children to make rapid and sustained progress in lessons.
- We expect teachers to support children in developing independence.
- We expect teachers to systematically check understanding, intervening in a timely manner when needed.
- We expect children to be challenged.
- We expect teachers to regularly provide high quality and constructive feedback to children.
The curriculum is not just a list of subjects that are taught in the school. Our curriculum describes everything that is going on in our school and helps children to learn about the world around them. We believe that we should provide a broad and balanced curriculum offering the children the opportunity to achieve success in many different areas. Although our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, there are other planned opportunities that make up the wider curriculum. We like to involve learning inside and outside, promoting their social, moral, cultural and spiritual development.
Where possible we follow a theme-based approach to the curriculum in the belief that children learn best when logical connections are made between different aspects of their work. We support them in becoming aspirational – aiming high – in order to make the most of their learning.
At Wixams Tree Primary School, we embrace a pedagogy of ‘Personalised Learning’, an approach that expects all children to reach or exceed national expectations, to fulfil their early promise and develop latent potential. High expectations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs. There is an expectation of participation, fulfilment and success; and teaching and learning is characterised by ambitious objectives, challenging personal targets, rapid intervention to keep pupils on trajectory and rigorous assessment to check and maintain pupil progress. There are clear plans to support those who are struggling to maintain trajectory. The teacher’s priority is to support and challenge children so that they can keep up with the pace of learning and make good rates of progress.
Traditionally it was expected that teachers would differentiate by task or expectation and many different levels of success were accepted, this approach often ran the risk of lowering expectations. Today, the effective teaching practices at Wixams Tree Primary School see teachers expecting everyone to succeed by offering higher levels of support or extra challenge for those who need it, so that all pupils can access the learning at the expected year group standard.
Key foci for effective teaching
1. Quality first teaching
– Highly focused lesson design with sharp objectives;
– High demands of child engagement with their learning;
– High levels of interaction for all children;
– Appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining;
– Emphasis on learning through dialogue;
– An expectation that children will develop resilience and accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently;
– Regular use of encouragement and praise to motivate children.
2. Target setting
– Individual children’s progress tracked;
– Strengths and weaknesses identified supporting planning and intervention
– Data collected on a regular basis and shared with staff and children;
– Children have regular opportunities to discuss their progress. Teachers actively involve children in setting and reviewing their progress towards their targets;
– Teaching, interventions and revision programmes are adjusted in the light of progress children make;
Parents and carers regularly are regularly updated on their child’s progress:
– Processes run across the whole school to ensure consistency and are regularly evaluated by SLT to ensure that the needs of all children are being met.
3. Focussed assessment
– Rigorous assessment and tracking of children’s performance takes place to inform classroom practice allowing children to make good progress and close attainment gaps;
– Day to day, Periodic and Transitional assessments used effectively;
– Assessment for Learning (AfL) evident across the school – learning objectives, learning outcomes, success criteria, self and peer evaluation
– Individuals and groups who are not making sufficient progress are identified;
– Provision for intervention is mapped according to need;
– Detailed plans are put into place;
– Learners are enabled to perform beyond the norms expected for their year group where appropriate;
– Interventions are evaluated and relevant adjustments are made;
– Staff meet regularly to discuss current and future interventions engaging in dialogue around the impact of interventions, potential barriers and further actions required.
5. Learning environment
– Organisation of the classroom/learning environment adapted to the children’s learning needs;
– The use of learning resources and IT developed to allow children to work independently and successfully;
– Make effective use of other spaces – ‘outdoor classroom’, hall space;
– Displays to be a mixture of celebration of children’s work, supportive resources and information.
6. Curriculum organisation
The curriculum is designed to cater for the needs and interests of a full range of learners including:
– Gifted and talented
– Learners with learning difficulties, including those with speech, language and communication needs
– Learners who are learning English as an additional language
– Boys and girls
– Children who are in care
– Learners with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
Flexibility is built into the curriculum organisation and delivery to ensure greater coherence from the children’s perspectives.
7. Extended curriculum
– The school offers a range of ‘out of hours’ activities and clubs which enhance and extend the basic curriculum;
– We ensure access for all;
– Parents and carers, as well as the wider community, are involved in extended provision wherever possible;
– Access to other services is provided or arranged, including health and social services.
8. Supporting children’s wider needs
– The school maintains close communication with parents and carers;
– We develop and maintain multi agency links to support vulnerable children;
We acknowledge that people learn in different ways and we recognise the need to develop pedagogies, which enable all children to learn in ways, which suit them.
We offer ways for children to learn in different ways including:
- investigation and problem solving;
- open ended tasks;
- research and finding out, with independent access to a range of resources;
- group work, paired work and independent work;
- effective questioning;
- presentation and drama;
- use of ICT;
- visitors and educational visits;
- creative activities, designing and making;
- use of multimedia, visual or aural stimulus;
- participation in physical or athletic activity;
- extra-curricular clubs and activities.
In our Early Years (Pre-school and Reception), we follow guidance outlined in the following documentation: Development Matters – 2021, Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook – 2021 and Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage – 2021. The framework covers the Prime Curriculum Areas: Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development. The Specific Curriculum Areas are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world and Expressive Arts and Design.
A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of Continuous Provision. This means that children are developing, using and refining specific skills and knowledge throughout the year on a daily and weekly basis.
Continuous Provision practice and principles support children to develop key life skills such as independence; innovation; creativity, enquiry; analysis and problem solving. Learning and play opportunities facilitated during Continuous Provision supports the development of Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning and the school’s 5s for learning: Responsibility, Resilience, Reflectiveness, Reciprocity and Resourcefulness.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum
Our curriculum is designed to give children the opportunity to:
- set clear links between different aspects of learning
- develop a rich and deep subject knowledge
- develop new skills and independence through a variety of contexts
- be curious learners – experiencing the challenge and enjoyment of learning
- develop individual strengths.
Where possible our teaching is theme based to allow pupils to make links in their learning across a wide range of subjects, apply their skills in a variety of ways and develops a structured approach to the acquisition, understanding and use of a rich vocabulary.