"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29.11)
At Baldersby St James Church of England Primary School, we are totally committed to continually improving teaching and learning through an evidence based approach. Fostering our pupils’ personal development and love of learning is our passion. To this end, we believe that dialogic talk should permeate all aspects of our curriculum. When talk is a fundamental element of teaching pedagogy, pupils’ confidence develops and they become much more effective independent and collaborative learners. The development of resilience is also a vital ingredient across our curriculum. We believe that if pupils have the ability to learn from and embrace setbacks and mistakes, this not only encourages good learning behaviours but also contributes significantly to their mental health and well-being.
As our context is predominantly White/British, our curriculum promotes the rich diversity of Britain and an inclusive culture and ethos built upon respect and consideration of all others. It enables pupils to develop the cultural capital required to engage with society and understand the importance of being a good UK and global citizen, preparing them for an appreciation of life in modern Britain. Our curriculum is ambitious for learners with SEND and disadvantaged pupils: extra support and/or resources are provided where necessary to close individual learning gaps.
Our curriculum is rooted in the acquisition of the knowledge and skills that pupils need to take advantage of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. As such, it is a broad and deep curriculum which gives equal value to each foundation subject. Pupils are supported throughout their learning to remember connected and essential knowledge, incrementally building their long-term memory. This is done through the planning of sequenced units of work following a knowledge rich approach with clearly defined progression from Reception to Y6. Recalls are integrated into planning to support the development of pupils’ long-term memory. Lessons are planned so that they meet the needs of all learners whilst ensuring that they do not overload pupils’ working memory. A mastery approach to deepen learning is applied throughout the curriculum.
Through the support and nurture provided in Early Years, pupils begin to develop their knowledge, thinking and skills through play-based activities and focused sessions which build their phonic and number knowledge. Pupils learn to share and work independently and learn to play with others. In doing so, they are learning to engage with the world around them. We believe that being able to read to an age appropriate level and fluency is vital for pupils to fully access the curriculum. A key priority in Early Years is the development of reading for all pupils. In KS1, reading continues to be the focus of the curriculum alongside writing and mathematical knowledge, ideas and operations. Our curriculum provides opportunities for all pupils to read and be read to regularly, thus enabling them to develop a wide vocabulary and a rich understanding of the meaning of words encountered.
Creativity is a strong thread that permeates our curriculum. Teachers plan opportunities in all subjects for pupils to think in different ways, find different solutions, create original designs and make links and connections between knowledge gained in different subjects. Special events and visits are planned to fit within a sequence of work to enhance the acquisition of knowledge. Music, drama and sport activities are highly valued as part of the broader curriculum. They enrich the knowledge and skills taught in other subjects.
Assessment is an integral part of planning and teaching and learning. Our culture is based on assessment for learning. We ensure that pupils are provided with quality feedback which enables them to progress. Questioning plays an important role in identifying pupils’ understanding and next steps. We use low risk assessments such as quizzes and puzzles to assess the development of pupils’ knowledge. We use summative assessments in a balanced way with three data collection points over the year.
We place great importance on the health, safety and well-being of our pupils. Our provision is designed to prevent our pupils from spending too long on computer games and tablets. We encourage our pupils to experience a wide range of activities both during and after the school day. Through our teaching, learning and behaviour expectations, we give pupils the knowledge and understanding of how discrimination and prejudiced behaviour is dealt with, including the prevention of bullying.
Our curriculum strives for our pupils to be the best that they can be so that on transition to secondary school they will be:
At secondary school, students will have good subject knowledge across the curriculum. They will have made good progress from their starting points with an above average percentage attaining the expected standard and above in reading, writing and maths at the end of KS2 and therefore able to access the KS3 curriculum. Disadvantaged and SEND students will have made good progress from their starting points at the end of KS2 and acquired essential knowledge.
For more information about our curriculum, please contact Nigel Stewart who will be happy to answer any further questions.