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Curriculum Intent

 

Valentine Primary School

Curriculum 2021- 2022

 

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 own 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. The team is guided by a strong and true moral compass. The school is a happy, safe environment which exudes positive energy.

 

What is distinctive about our school?

  • 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 an exciting project based curriculum that inspires and engages our learners, developing cultural capital.

 

We know that, in order for children to learn, there must be a lasting change in their knowledge and understanding; there must be an alteration to long term memory. Consequently, at Valentine knowledge is carefully sequenced in each subject from Year R - 6 to build upon prior knowledge so that new ideas can be integrated with existing knowledge. This, along with purposeful practice and regular reviews of learning, enables children to embed knowledge successfully in their long term memory.

 

Proficiency in Reading, Writing and spoken language is fundamental to success in all areas of the curriculum in school as well as in training and work in the future. At Valentine, the philosophy that ‘every lesson is a reading lesson’ is constantly reinforced by SLT and Reading Ambassadors.

 

Our curriculum is centred around our core values:

  • 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.

 

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.
  • All writing has a clear purpose and audience
  • Our Maths curriculum includes opportunities for fluency, reasoning and problem solving – allowing children to ‘grapple’ with difficult concepts
  • Across the curriculum, deliberate practice of key basic skills allows us to strengthen memory and makes information more retrievable
  • Phonics (EYFS and KS1) and Reading (all year groups) is prioritised; every opportunity is 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.
  • Pre assessments allow teachers to see what children already know before a unit of work and plan learning to build on this knowledge
  • Regular reviews (daily, weekly and monthly) and low stakes quizzing ensure that knowledge is embedded in long term memory
  • Knowledge organisers are used to show the journey of our learning, the knowledge and skills we have gained and the answers we have found to our questions
  • RE is taught using the enquiry approach so that children experience deep learning, this may be through weekly lessons or experience days
  • Every child in Year 4 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and learn to swim (Covid dependent)
  • We offer a range extra curricula activities that go beyond the school day
  • We offer a range of enrichment activities that go beyond the classroom (school council, travel ambassadors, allotment committee members, trips, residential trips, visitors, competitions, fundraising)

 

Impact

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

  • Pupil conferencing – are children happy, engaged, motivated to do well, challenged? Do they know more? Can they remember more?
  • Learning walks with governors and external visitors – can they see evidence of our values in action?
  • Planning –is it allowing children to gain knowledge and master skills? Does it meet the needs of all learners? Does it allow for a range of experiences?
  • 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?

 

SLT, September 2021

 

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