Intent, Implementation, Impact
Slaley First School - Curriculum Policy
At Slaley First School we believe that the curriculum is a powerful tool that promotes a love of learning and willingness to explore and the time to have fun. We are proud to use the National Curriculum as a starting point for a wide and varied learning experience for our children. We enrich it by our strong ethos based on Cherishing Childhood and Nurturing Individuals. We are committed to developing the whole child. Our children will have the opportunity to be creative, to be physically active and to be academically challenged.
We are continually reviewing and improving the curriculum we offer to our children. The curriculum at Slaley First School is evolving according to the needs of our children and to the aspirations of the staff and community.
Our school curriculum is underpinned by the values that we hold dear at our school. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.
Our school is in full agreement with the values statement included in the introduction to The National Curriculum Handbook for Primary Teachers in England. These are the main values of our school, upon which we have based our curriculum:
- We value the way in which all children are unique, and our curriculum promotes respect for the views of each individual child, as well as for people of all cultures. We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
- We value the importance of each person in our community. We organise our curriculum so that we promote co-operation and understanding between all members of our community.
- We value the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We aim to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all the children in our school.
- We value our environment, and we aim, through our curriculum, to teach respect for our world, and how we should care for it for future generations, as well as our own.
- We value parents and work in partnership with them to enrich the curriculum. Parents are informed about the curriculum through newsletters, topic webs and homework, and are positively encouraged to become involved.
Aims and Objectives
The aims which underpin our school curriculum are:
- to enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability;
- to promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school, and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
- to fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Locally Agreed syllabus for Religious Education;
- to teach children the basic skills of English, Maths and Computing, enabling them to:
- use and apply English skills in their learning and everyday contexts;
- be able to communicate their ideas and opinions both creatively and critically;
- use and apply mathematics confidently and competently in their learning, in everyday contexts and to solve problems;
- use and apply computing skills in their learning and other contexts, selecting relevant skills and resources.
- to enable children to be creative through art, dance, music, drama and design technology;
- to enable children to be healthy individuals who enjoy sport and appreciate the importance of and take responsibility for a healthy lifestyle.
- to teach children about their developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time;
- to enable children to be positive citizens in society and to feel that they can make a difference;
- to enable children to understand and respect other cultures;
- to teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to understand right from wrong;
- to help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all;
- to enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to be able to live and work co-operatively with others;
IMPLEMENTATION – Planning & Organisation
It is the attitudes and conditions for learning that enable the curriculum to have greater success and relevance. We aim to provide a curriculum that is both challenging and engaging. To achieve this, topics are used to link subjects together; however, some English skills are developed separately and then used in all topics to communicate meaning. In most cases, mathematical understanding is taught separately although links are made where relevant and possible.
At Slaley First School we are keen to develop opportunities for children to apply their learning in different ways. Providing enterprise activities within the curriculum enables children to apply their learning in a range of different contexts and draws upon a range of skills. Whenever possible, we are keen for children to take the initiative in determining the gaps in their learning and taking action to close the gap and improve upon their previous best. We are keen for children to experience ‘learning to learn’ as a preparation for future learning. As part of the curricular planning, we endeavour to enrich our topic plans through visiting speakers, workshops and educational visits both locally and further afield.
We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage. This indicates what topics are to be taught in each term, and to which groups of children. We review our long-term plan on an annual basis.
With our medium-term plans, we give a clear overview of the objectives that will be addressed through each topic.
Our short-term plans are those that our teachers write on a weekly or daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each session, and to identify what resources, teaching strategies and activities we are going to use in the lesson.
Throughout the school we adopt a creative topic approach to curriculum planning. We plan the curriculum carefully, so that there is coherence and full coverage of all aspects of the National Curriculum and early learning goals, and there is planned progression in all curriculum areas.
Children with Special Needs
The curriculum in our school is designed to provide access and opportunity for all children who attend the school. If we think it necessary to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of individual children, then we do so only after the parents of the child have been consulted.
If a child has a special need, our school does all it can to meet their individual needs. We comply with the requirements set out in the SEND Code of Practice in providing for children with special needs. If a child displays signs of having special needs, his/her teacher makes an assessment of this need. In most instances the teacher is able to provide resources and educational opportunities which meet the child’s needs within the normal class organisation using ‘quality first teaching’. If a child’s need is more severe, we consider the child for an Education, Health and Care Plan, where a co-ordinated assessment involving a number of agencies is carried out. We provide additional resources and/or support for children with special needs in order to ensure they acquire the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
The Foundation Stage
The curriculum that we teach in the Foundation Stage class meets the requirements set out in the Early Years Framework (2021). Our curriculum planning focuses on the seven areas of learning. There are three prime areas; Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Additional to this are the four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied. These specific areas are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Our school fully supports the principle that young children learn through play, and by engaging in well-planned structured activities. Teaching in the Foundation Stage builds on the experiences of the children in their pre-school learning. We do all we can to build positive partnerships with the variety of nurseries and other pre-school providers in the area. During the children’s first term in school, their teacher begins to assess each child. This assessment forms an important part of the future curriculum planning for each child.
We are well aware that all children need the support of parents and teachers to make good progress in school. We strive to build positive links with the parents through stay and play sessions and our parent-teacher observation sharing app, EYFS360 and with regular parent teacher consultations and an open door policy. This relationship is nurtured throughout their time in Foundation Stage and onto KS1 and KS2.
The Role of the Subject Leader
The role of the subject leader is to:
- Provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject;
- Support and offer advice to colleagues on issues related to the subject;
- Monitor pupil progress in that subject area;
- Provide efficient resource management for the subject.
It is the role of each subject leader to keep up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local level. They review the way the subject is taught in the school and plan for improvement. This development planning links to whole-school objectives. Each subject leader reviews the curriculum plans for their subject, ensures that there is full coverage of the National Curriculum and that progression is planned into schemes of work.
IMPACT - Monitoring and Review
Our Governing Body’s Strategic Policy & Direction Committee is responsible for monitoring the way the school curriculum is implemented.
The Head teacher is responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum and monitors the curriculum through planning, work scrutiny and classroom observations.
Other monitoring by subject leaders ensuring they are aware of the way their subject is taught throughout the school. They examine long-term and medium-term planning, and ensure that appropriate teaching strategies are used. Subject leaders have responsibility for monitoring standards and ensuring that teachers have the skills and resources they need.
The Governing Body will review this policy statement annually and update, modify or amend it as it considers necessary to ensure the policy meets the needs of Slaley First School.