Curriculum

Just as children are at the heart of everything we do, our curriculum is at the heart of the school. We strongly believe children should enjoy coming to school and love learning. Each day should be filled with creativity and challenge, enabling children to discover their talents to become extraordinary Mathematicians, Writers, Historians, Linguists etc. We have thought carefully about what is taught, what has to be learnt and what children need to know and be able to do in order to progress and succeed. Equal prominence is given to developing character, creativity, self-esteem and well-being. We ensure all children regardless of physical or academic ability have equal opportunities to participate in everything that we offer. This includes the physical environment which allows all pupils to have access to the facilities within the school. This vision for our curriculum underpins all the learning that takes place in our school. Our high expectations drive pupils to raise their own expectations in learning, in their social interactions and ultimately in their lives. We encourage independent learning and self-reflection in order to prepare our pupils for a future we cannot predict, while ensuring their academic excellence and well-being remain our highest priorities.

What we believe (Intent)

We strongly believe, that through our curriculum, children should feel connected to the world in which they live. Our Curriculum is driven by the need to prepare children for life in a forever changing, diverse and multicultural world as well as developing a love of lifelong learning. It provides a valuable foundation to embed our key values and reflect the demands of the EYFS framework 2021 and of the National Curriculum 2014. RE is taught following The Saffron Academy Trust RE Scheme, which is based on the Essex Agreed Syllabus 2023. Our curriculum is ambitious, inclusive and ensures equality of opportunity and experience. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum that supports the development of the whole child. Its key elements focus on the mental and emotional health and well-being of our children (and families) so that children are ready to learn and achieve academic success.

The curriculum is designed to promote resilience, creativity and problem solving through a variety of opportunities both in and outside the immediate school environment. It aims to encourage articulate, questioning learners who through a variety of experiences develop a sense of curiosity, awe and wonder. It ensures fun, meaningful and interactive lessons cater for all types of learning styles and children from all types of backgrounds. The curriculum addresses social disadvantage by building on pupils’ knowledge and skills enabling them to take advantage of a variety of experiences. The curriculum offers academic, vocational and technical opportunities. It ensures all pupils are treated equally, prepared for the next stage of their education and equipped with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Through our curriculum, children are encouraged to be collaborative and cooperative learners who value each other’s thoughts and opinions and show kindness and empathy to all around them.

Why is the curriculum designed as it is (Implementation)

The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014. We have deliberately thought about what is taught, what has to be learnt and what children need to know in order to progress and succeed. We respond to current issues such as preventing radicalisation through teaching diversity, tolerance, keeping children safe online, as well as meeting the new statutory requirements for teaching RHSE and developing mental health awareness as guided by KCSIE 2023.

We have designed our curriculum to ensure our key values are embed through a consistent and progressive approach. An ambitious two-week cycle of subject coverage has been implemented to inspire and interest our children. The approach enables continued in depth and progressive learning of a topic within a subject over a series of well-planned and sequenced lessons. It enables rapid progress and the achievement of new skills and knowledge. Each topic starts with a subject planner which informs the areas of learning, indicates the technical vocabulary to be learnt and develops a sense of curiosity through questioning, problem solving and activity tasters. The curriculum provides children with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which they can learn and develop a range of transferable skills.

The school’s curriculum is broad and balanced. Specialist Teachers in PE, Music and Spanish enable children to acquire knowledge, understanding and skills in all aspects of their education providing them with opportunities to discover their talents and reach their full potential. This year we have introduced a STEM Enrichment Curriculum which is designed to inspire future careers in STEM and strengthen links with our local and wider community. A range of initiatives, enrichment activities, focused days, trips, visitors and extra-curricular activities are undertaken to establish a curriculum that is inspiring, valued and enjoyed by all.

Carefully planned and organised progression maps for each subject enables regular and purposeful assessment. Knowledge planners form the start of each unit of work, highlighting core knowledge, key vocabulary, prior learning and end of topic outcome and each unit of work includes a Mastery element and an assessment quiz. Teachers review and evaluate their teaching and planning and have a clear understanding of where their children are within each subject area.

We have followed statutory guidance and teach RHSE through our own bespoke plans, covering suggested learning opportunities and the needs of our pupils. We recognise the part our curriculum plays in the emotional wellbeing of children and work hard to build awareness of positive mental health through half termly themes. A timetable for extra-curricular activities is offered by the school, with clubs that support the core curriculum and children’s physical development, whilst also extending the range of their experiences.

The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment. We have high expectations for all; children at all levels are helped to achieve their full potential. We are proud of the recognition that we have been awarded in PE, Enhanced Healthy Schools, Spanish, Diversity, and for our more able pupils, NACE. We are working towards reaccreditation for Artsmark and PSQM quality marks.

Why do we do what we do (Impact)

We have embedded the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children into our teaching and learning and continually ensure opportunities to develop resilience and independence are explored. Children use their prior learning to develop transferrable skills, knowledge and progression in their learning; they build memory by revisiting particular themes. We encourage and value self-reflection; we support our children to have high expectations of themselves and ambitions for their futures.

Please click on the documents below to see a sample of the learning that takes place.
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To find out more

If you would like to find out more about the curriculum we are following, get in touch