At Park House Primary School, we believe that our curriculum should be challenging, exciting, enjoyable, and relevant. We strive to meet the needs of all children across the spectrum of abilities.
We have developed a curriculum that promotes a more creative approach to learning and takes account of the distinctiveness of our school. It is based on the key concepts and principles of the ‘National Curriculum’.
As teachers we ask ourselves:
1. What do we want children to learn?
a. What have we got to teach (The national curriculum)?
b. What do we want to teach (anything else you think is important for your children)?
2. Why are we teaching it?
a. Which knowledge, skills and understanding will children learn?
b. At which national curriculum level will these skills be taught?
We want a curriculum that is a carefully planned, thematic approach to teaching and learning designed to support children’s natural curiosity and stimulate their creativity. It will offer children the opportunity to work in depth, giving them the time they need to reflect, consolidate and transfer their learning.
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.
Our approach to the curriculum is a knowledge and skills based approach. The key concepts, principles and themes have been developed into a more creative cross-curricular themes through which the children are helped to develop along a skills and attitudes continuum. The intention is to give children, teachers and teaching assistants more opportunity to explore their own creativity. We used the Cornerstones Curriculum as a catalyst for our design.
Direct experience is placed at the centre of the curriculum so that teachers draw out and develop children’s thinking and capacities in meaningful contexts. Core knowledge and skills are at the heart of the learning process with the children exploring a wide range of topics, to prepare them for life.
Teaching and learning
As well as focussing on the development and application of knowledge and skills we aim to teach exciting and challenging lessons delivering lessons in a variety of ways by providing as many first hand practical experiences as possible, such as the use of practical apparatus, artefacts and technology; visits and the use of experts. Through continual assessment, work is matched to the ability of the child through differentiated activities, adult support, providing a level of challenge that is stimulating for pupils and questioning skills.
There is a strong focus on English, Maths and ICT. This includes emphasis on encouraging children to use the skills they have used in English and Mathematics across the curriculum.. As a school we encourage personal development – to help children grow up happy and healthy. This develops children’s confidence, enhancing their ability to learn, and helping them to grow up to become responsible adults. We want a curriculum where pupils engage with their learning and have creative control over its direction, a curriculum that challenges our pupils to think for themselves.
The curriculum will be as much about developing community and care as about inspiring curiosity and creativity. The curriculum will be flexible and dynamic and always open to change and modification, allowing for the children to lead their learning. We aim to: Focus on curriculum creativity. Enable pupils and staff to develop opportunities to nurture their own creativity by:
• encouraging imagination and originality
• making time for them to reflect critically
• allowing space for thinking and choice
• giving freedom to fail with the confidence to try again. Create a culture of collaboration. Ensure an effective and creative learning culture by:
• sharing values and ethos with the whole school community
• promoting the importance of talk and collaboration in consolidating learning
• ensuring everyone has the opportunity to learn from others
• promoting teamwork and detailed planning
• developing a distributed style that shares the ownership and the load and draws others into the organisation. Emphasise cognitive approaches.
Promote a creative learning experience in each classroom by:
• advocating a range of teaching strategies and learning styles
• promoting the importance of learning across the curriculum
• encouraging teachers to: – make children active partners in their learning – structure tasks and pace of learning to make it challenging and enjoyable. Make a real commitment to the community.
Forge creative links with the parents and others by:
• promoting the importance of dynamic partnership
• involving parents and carers at every opportunity • focusing on the importance of the learning environment
• extending involvement into the local community and beyond.
Promote child- centeredness. Celebrating the centrality of the children in the school by:
• promoting personal, social and spiritual aspects of the curriculum to be as important as academic aspects
Encouraging teachers to:
• develop each child’s confidence, self-discipline and understanding of their learning
• make learning vivid, real and meaningful with many first-hand experiences.
Certain essential knowledge and skills run through our curriculum. These are:
• English – which includes reading, writing, talking and listening
• Mathematics – which includes using numbers, using mathematical tools and representing information in charts and graphs
• Information and communication technology (ICT) – which includes using computers to find and share information and using technology to work together.
Other core skills which run through all the areas of learning are:
• Learning and thinking skills – which include investigating and looking for patterns
• Personal and emotional skills – which include working independently and setting goals
• Social skills – which include taking turns, sharing and understanding other people’s feelings. Organisation the curriculum we provide meets the requirements of the National Curriculum and the agreed syllabus for RE as well as providing an extensive range of learning experiences beyond the statutory requirements. Effective Learning In order for a creative thematic curriculum framework to lead to creative teaching and learning the teaching and learning approaches in school need to be founded on the following principles of effective learning where;
• Children know what it is they are going to learn
• Children know what they need to do to be successful learners
• Children are helped to be able to assess their own learning and the learning of others
• Children receive positive feedback that helps them to identify what they need to do next
• Children have time to reflect and review their learning
• Children feel cared about and are happy, secure, motivated and stimulated.
• The learning environment is well organised, attractive, stimulating and positive.
• Learning tasks are organised in small steps.
• Children experience a variety of learning situations, both indoors and outdoors.
• Lessons are interesting, stimulating and fun and children have the opportunity to learn through first hand, multisensory experience.
• Expectations are high.
• Timetabling provides opportunities for flexibility
• Spontaneity is encouraged.
At Park House Primary School we place high value on both progress and attainment. We know that children come from many starting points and we understand that children develop at different rates and in different ways. While we appreciate that children can sometimes have barriers that influence their progress, we believe there are no limits to learning; we are ambitious for our children and we work hard to help them overcome any difficulties.
Our aim is for all of our children to be the very best they can be.