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Curriculum Intent

Valentine Primary School

Curriculum 2020 - 2021

School Vision

Valentine is at the heart of the community. All members of our school community are proud members of Team Valentine and uphold the school’s inclusive ethos. They commit to learning and therefore are active participants in their personal growth. All team members are creative thinkers and learners, who solve problems and are fully prepared to take on the challenge of the jobs of tomorrow. Team members are inspired to lead fulfilled lives with positive relationships and have the self-confidence and motivation to achieve their dreams. All members embody the school values of: aspiration, confidence and empathy (ACE). The team are guided by a strong and true moral compass. The school is a happy, safe environment which exudes positive energy.

Our stakeholders say our school is distinctive because:

  • We are fiercely inclusive
  • We embrace difference
  • We are the hub of the community
  • We are a highly supportive team
  • We set and maintain high expectations of ourselves and others
  • We understand the importance of adopting a growth mindset
  • We have a friendly inviting atmosphere
  • We are a great network/ family for children to feel structure and security

Curriculum Intent

Based on the context of our school and the needs of our community, we have developed a creative, project based curriculum that inspires and engages our learners and builds cultural capital. It is centred around our core values (ACE):

  • Aspiration – We strive to develop an understanding of the importance of setting high expectations of ourselves and achieving personal goals in order to be happy and successful. We expect all team members to always try their best to achieve a given goal, no matter how big or small this may be.
  • Confidence – We expect all team members to believe in their own abilities to meet challenges and succeed; our safe, supportive environment allows learners to take risks without judgement or fear of failure.
  • Empathy – We expect all team members to understand and acknowledge the feelings of themselves and others, embracing and celebrating difference and diversity. We strive to always be caring and understanding of the needs of ourselves and others, managing our emotions effectively.

 

Every aspect of our curriculum embodies these values – in the classroom, the corridor, the playground. Our school curriculum allows children to be safe and happy in school and understand how to keep themselves and others safe. It raises the aspirations of our learners by offering a range of experiences: each child will aim to complete their ’50 things to do before I am 11 ¾ booklet’ in their 7 years at Valentine. It also enables them to cultivate an awareness of, and interest in, the world around them. We provide children with the subject specific vocabulary and knowledge that allows them to build links and enhance learning. Learners take pride in their work and challenge themselves to do better.

 

Throughout our curriculum, we provide learners with the skills and knowledge they need in order to be able to enter the next stage of their education. For each National Curriculum subject there is a progression of knowledge and skills from Year R to 6 to ensure that the curriculum is progressive and each year builds on prior knowledge in line with the National Curriculum (MFL Year 3 – 6 only). In addition to this, there is a clear progression of knowledge and skills for British Values, Global learning, PSHE and RE from Year R to 6. In addition to subject specific knowledge and skills, we enable learners to develop and deliberately practise key learning skills across all areas of the curriculum:

  • Independence
  • Collaboration
  • Resilience
  • Reflection
  • Critical thinking/ curiosity
  • Creativity

Following the school closure due to Covid-19, our priority is for children to feel safe and secure as they return to school because Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need shows us that children need to feel safe and secure before they can learn. Our Post Covid Curriculum focuses on developing relationships and belonging as this will be central to pupils being successful learners in the short and longer term on their return to school. There will be a high and forensic focus on securing basic skills in reading, writing and maths, embedding prior expected learning and striving for all children to be working within year group expectations by the end of the academic year.

During the first week we will focus on belonging and the remainder of the half term there will be a whole school project focused on our school values of Aspiration, Confidence and Empathy (ACE). This will enable teaching to focus on basic skills based on a context that is relevant to the school context and community so that teachers can refresh and secure basic skills.

Our ambition is for children to be fully accessing age appropriate objectives from the Spring Term onwards.

 

Implementation

There are a number of signature pedagogies to ensure that we meet our curriculum intent; these make our curriculum unique for our learners.

  • Each project starts with a fertile question which is explored throughout the project.
  • There is a hook to engage children and an outcome to showcase their learning to a named audience.
  • Our project display shows the journey of our learning, the knowledge and skills we have gained and the answers we have found to our questions
  • All writing has a clear purpose and audience; children will have the opportunity to make their own choices regarding their purpose and audience.
  • Our Maths curriculum includes opportunities for fluency, reasoning and problem solving – allowing children to ‘grapple’ with difficult concepts and investigate the best strategies and methods to use
  • Children are exposed to regular opportunities for global learning in order to understand the world around them and have opportunities to discuss current issues and news in a non-judgemental environment.
  •  Key Stage 1 and 2 have a weekly ‘Globetrotter afternoon’ whereby they experience global learning opportunities including PSHE, P4C (Philosophy for Children), Spanish (in KS2) and Music
  • RE is taught as experience days using the enquiry approach so that children experience deep learning
  • Every child in Year 4 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and learn to swim
  • Every Year 5 child learns specific mindfulness skills and techniques through the Paws.B programme to help secure better mental health through their adolescence and beyond.
  • We offer a broad range extra curricula activities that go beyond the school day (sports, music, Rock Challenge, drama club, nature club)
  • We offer a range of enrichment activities that go beyond the classroom (school council, travel ambassadors, play leaders, trips, residential trips, visitors, competitions, forest schools, fundraising)
  • Children will deliberately practise key basic skills to strengthen memory and make information more retrievable

In the Autumn term 2020, the implementation of our curriculum will be adapted in order to enable children to make a smooth transition back into full time education.

In Autumn 1, each Year group will do a project on ACE rather than their usual Autumn 1 project. In the short term, we will reduce the range and depth of our curriculum in order to prioritise the most crucial concepts for teaching (those that underpin multiple other aspects of the curriculum) and the key building blocks that are essential to the next year’s programmes of study.

 Teaching will focus on the key basic skills from the Summer term of the previous year group, focussing on Reading, Writing and Maths. They will be taught in short sessions throughout the morning in order for children to fully focus and will be reinforced regularly with deliberate practice (learn more, know more, remember more). Each lesson, staff will assess whether children were successful independently, needed support or need further teaching and plan accordingly for the following session (teach, practice, apply).

Phonics and Reading will be prioritised in each year group; every opportunity will be taken to teach and practice decoding, fluency and comprehension in order for children to make progress in Reading and be able to access the curriculum. The philiosophy that ‘every lesson is a reading lesson’  will be constantly reinforced by SLT and Reading Ambassadors. In Autumn 1, Reading will be taught through a series of book studies related to overcoming adversity in each year group.

 Each child will have a personal profile based on their baseline assessments in Reading, Writing and Maths and their progress will be monitored closely and reviewed each half term. Computing will be integrated into all areas of learning in order to maximise engagement as well as enhance knowledge and skills in this area.

 The afternoons will focus of PSHE, Science, History, Geography, RE, Art and DT.  Outside learning will be an integral part of our curriculum implementation in  order to enhance the physical and mental wellbeing of children.

PE and Music provision will continue as it was before the school closure.

Progress of children will be regularly reviewed throughout the Autumn Term and the implementation of the curriculum will be amended and adapted as appropriate. Our ambition is to reinstate the broad and balanced curriculum as soon as we are able.

Our remote learning platform, Seesaw, will be used to provide high quality resources and learning opportunities as well as home learning. Seesaw will also be used to share the learning children have been engaged in with parents in order to enable parents to support their child’s learning more effectively.

Impact

We will judge the success of our curriculum in the following ways:

  • Pupil conferencing – are children happy, engaged, motivated to do well, challenged?
  • Learning walks with governors and external visitors – can they see evidence of our values in action?
  • Planning – does it allow for a range of experiences, is it allowing children to gain knowledge and master skills, does it meet the needs of all learners
  • Books – are all children making at least sufficient progress from their various starting points?
  • Parent surveys – are parents happy with the curriculum we provide, if not – how can we change?
  • Learning environment – is it rich in language to support children’s learning, does it support independence, does it promote pride in their work and high standards of presentation?
  • Behaviour logs – are children embodying the school values at break and lunch times?

In September 2020 baseline assessments will be completed in Reading, Writing and Maths. From these, pupil profiles will be created and progress against this specific targets will be measured. Formative assessments will be repeated in October and December and progress closely monitored during pupil progress reviews with SLT. Teachers will be required to evidence good progress.

Pupil interviews will show that pupils feel happy and safe within school.

 

SLT  July 2020
 

References:

Gov. UK: Education and Childcare During Coronavirus – Supporting staff in curriculum planning for a phased return.

Gov. UK: Education and Childcare During Coronavirus – Making the most of reduced classroom time

Southampton City Council: Guidance for Schools on Curriculum post COVID-19 Transition

Southampton Psychology Service: Planning the transition back to school

The Bristish Psychological Society: Back to School: Using psychological perspectives to support re-engagement and recovery

Recovery Curriculum Webinar – Barry Carpenter

Churchward School Recovery Curriculum May 2020

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