How do we organise our curriculum?
As a school we work as 4 phases -
- Foundation Stage (Pre-School and Reception)
- Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2)
- Lower Key Stage Two (Years 3 and 4)
- Upper Key Stage Two (Years 5 and 6)
A new National Curriculum was launched for Years 1 - 6 in 2014. As a school we introduced this in part during 2013-14 and then fully implemented it from 2014-15. As a school we follow the Cornerstones Curriculum. We plan a curriculum which is based around 4 distinct phases of learning: Engage, Develop, Inspire and Express.
Learning begins with Engage. This is were teachers create a memorable first hand experience, or WOW moment that hooks the children into their learning. In Develop, children then have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience by practising their new skills within their current learning. This then progresses to Inspire. During this stage the children apply their skills and knowledge in real life contexts by solving real or imagined problems. Children also gain further inspiration through creative activities. Finally, in Express, the children then take on the mantle of the expert and share and celebrate their learning.
We believe that this approach brings the curriculum to life. Each stage provides opportunities for children to learn and respond in a variety of ways, keeping projects flexible and linked to children's needs and interests. In short, it is a curriculum that both children and adults are excited about! Because it is skills based, it will also equip children with the life skills they need to play a full and positive role within society.
Some subjects are taught as stand alone subjects such as Reading, Writing, Spelling and Grammar and Maths (although where possible cross curricular themes will be explored within these). For example when teaching reading comprehension skills the text may be based on the Learning phase which is being explored within other subjects eg. The Vikings. We always encourage our children to make links between subjects in their learning and apply their basic skills in Reading, Writing and Maths to their work in say Science or History.
We endeavour to make our curriculum relevant and meaningful for our children and look to our local area, local history and local cultures as a basis for units of work. For example when learning about the impact that Victorians had on modern life we will first explore local factories and canals and their influence today.
Pre-learning challenges are completed before each new unit of work is introduced. The pre-learning challenges are an excellent way for teachers to gain an understanding of the knowledge that the children already hold and their depth of understanding relating to this next topic. It also highlights the knowledge, skills and understanding that needs to be developed over the forthcoming weeks. The information gathered then informs teacher's planning enabling them to plan a wide range of learning opportunities matched to individual needs and learning styles.
Embedded within this we also take every opportunity to explore, teach and demonstrate our commitment to our Leigh Central Core Values (We aim high, We care, We are thoughtful, We have a voice, We are determined, We are a team, We are respectful and We have self belief) and the understanding of British Values (Democracy, The rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs).
If you would like to learn more about the curriculum our school is following, please visit their website using the link below: