Curricular Aims and Intent

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Our curricular aims are to develop Growing Minds that are:

 Curious, Critical Communicators.

The rationale for the school’s curriculum is underpinned by:

  • the school’s vision for empowered learners which challenges low aspirations, passive learning and social disadvantage

  • the school’s belief that education is transformational - the school uses the term ‘change agents’ for pupils and staff and develops this at an individual, community and global level

  • a focus on ‘deep learning’ of knowledge and skills with cognitive challenge an entitlement for all pupils including pupils with SEND

  • a clear social justice agenda with high expectations for all pupils (see Pupil Premium Policy) which links to deep learning

  • the school’s curricular aims: to develop growing minds that are curious, critical communicators (these aims were selected as they are key components of deep learning)

  • the development of the learner attributes: professionalism, motivation and reflection

  • the school’s values: humanity; a sense of self; celebrating diversity and difference - which seek to be both inwardly reflective and outward looking and to support children to understand themselves as individuals, as members of multi-racial Britain and as global citizens of the world (with the focus on the subjects of Geography, PHSE and RE)

  • a deep understanding of the impact of neuroscientific research on the process of learning with the focus on metacognition, growth mindset, memory and recall and connecting learning experiences (schema)

  • a commitment to social and cultural capital through a knowledge rich curriculum which includes the use of specialist teachers, particularly in the arts, and a programme of wider curriculum experiences e.g. performing in a theatre to a live audience

  • developing a deep appreciation of their geographical locality as a UNESCO biosphere and an area of outstanding natural beauty

The curriculum reflects the needs of our pupils through:

  • a key focus on the systematic teaching of and immersion in a vocabulary rich environment from nursery - Year 6

  • a key focus on the core skill of reading from nursery - Year 6 including the systematic teaching of phonics and Reading for Pleasure

  • a key focus on oracy, dialogic teaching and pupil voice in the classroom so pupils use their vocabulary to reason, explain, justify and communicate their thinking - linked to higher order thinking and deep learning

  • an inquiry-based curriculum with subject specific topics designed to build sequentially on prior knowledge, skills and understanding and that develops ‘curious, critical communicators’

  • challenging topics that develop pupils’ humanity e.g. topic on refugees

  • a focus on the learner attributes, especially professionalism, that reinforces high expectations in all areas of the curriculum and challenges low aspirations

  • developing cultural capital and professionalism, including through an arts rich curriculum

  • staff professional learning and development that focuses on subject and pedagogical knowledge including how teachers can support the lowest 20% to achieve e.g. through PLD on working memory and processing issues 

  • a Thrive based nurture class that builds its therapeutic approach around supporting pupils to access and achieve in academic learning