As school, we use evidence based research to inform our teaching practice, along with inhouse expertise, joint lesson observations and buddy teaching. We work collaboratively with other local schools.
Resources for the curriculum are managed by subject leaders and the quality of teaching and learning is monitored by subject leaders and senior leaders. Any schemes we use have been carefully chosen to suit the needs of our children and reviewed by subject leaders.
Please see our Teaching and Learning Policy for the rationale behind our pedagogical processes and decisions.
Planning the Curriculum
Teachers work collaboratively with subject leaders to produce plans, based on the drivers detailed in our curriculum intent.
Our wider curriculum will incorporate three ‘projects’ per academic year, for each year group. Teachers will have the National Curriculum objectives for skills and knowledge for the year and have the freedom to decide when and how these are achieved.
Subject leaders will play a key role in monitoring the quality, delivery and coverage of the curriculum.
Outcome based projects
Our projects will be ‘outcome’ based and act as a ‘vehicle’ for learning rather than a topic based approach. A good vehicle draws all areas of our school curriculum drivers and the National Curriculum and will also:
- Drive the learning throughout the term;
- Reflect life in the real world;
- Use expertise where possible;
- Include milestones; and
- Align closely with our school vision and values.
We will not be delivering a ‘rolling’ programme, where a child in Year 4 knows already they will be learning about World War 2 in Year 5.
There will be little repetition, meaning that projects will be different from year to year, but running alongside this, objectives are covered.
Here are some examples of what a project might be:
- Video put together to show BBC/ parents/ specific year group
- Radio show
- Performance – fashion show, dance, singing
- Putting together an art gallery
- Cake sale for local residents/ elderly
- Story puppets for the play group
- Make and record a song
- New restaurant
- Plastic education
- Garden centre
- Escape room
- Chinese Take away
- Fun park for children's centre
Throughout the project, we encourage pupil voice, the projects have to have a meaningful reason behind planning them. We want the children to lead where they can and the role of ‘Junior Project Manager’ is going to be developed over time.
When curriculum subjects naturally lend themselves to the project, they will be linked with the outcome. However, we do not believe in squeezing in unrelated objectives. In this case, subjects would be taught discreetly, for example, mathematics, RE or Science.
For our children, outdoor learning will be an integral part of our curriculum, especially given lockdown earlier in the year. There are many benefits of this style of learning. For example:
“Evidence indicates that direct exposure to nature is essential for physical and emotional health. For example, new studies suggest that exposure to nature may reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)…”
Louv, R, 2009, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature
As this is approach is new to all staff, the planning process will be fairly prescriptive to begin with. As teachers become confident using the format, and as the process is adapted and reviewed, teachers will be able to use their own format. This is also to ease workload of teachers.
The process will look like the following:
- There will be a dedicated planning day for planning the project ahead of the next term. Cover will be organised for the class on this day and teachers will work alongside senior leaders and/ subject leaders so that they feel supported.
- The school drivers (being ready, being safe and being respectful as outlines in the intent) and the National Curriculum will be used as starting points to decide on a project and its outcome.
- Prior learning and objectives need to be considered to ensure progression and coverage.
- A key text will be chosen.
- Key questions may be used to sequence the project.
- Teachers will identify three ‘milestones’ which pin point the start of the project, the middle and the outcome at the end. This will be to ensure that children are genuinely interested in what they are taking part in and to give the project direction.
- Pupil input is important and this needs to happen at various points during the project.
- Teachers then ‘walk through’ the project – does it include elements of our intent? Will the project excite the children? Have we thought of an outside expert to be part of this? Does it align with the school vision and values? What about social and cultural capital?
- Objectives are ticked off and coverage is checked. Subject leaders may want to be part of this ‘sign off’ to ensure whole school progression.
Short term plans are then written and outside experts contacted.