Intent: why have we designed our curriculum this way?
Kenton Primary we instil in our pupils a love of learning which will support them through their life, to ensure achievement and to support pupil well-being and happiness. Each school’s learning behaviours are developed from our school values of Respect, Responsibility. Kindness and Honesty.
Our curriculum allows pupils to delve deeper into their learning each year as skills grow progressively. It also responds to our assessment data and pupils’ individual learning needs to provide personalised learning.
By the time they leave our schools our aim is for all of the children to:
- be enthusiastic readers.
- to have a comprehensive maths knowledge base, which they can apply to problem-solve.
- To have all of the necessary ‘tools’ to be able to understand what others say and mean and to be able to
- express themselves eloquently verbally and in their writing for a variety of audiences.
- have the self-confidence to know that they are successful learners and to know how to learn effectively.
- To have a broad knowledge, experience and skills base of the wider curriculum, from which their
- experiences and cultural capital make them active citizens in our rapidly changing world.
Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. It celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Our curriculum also enables us to build strong relationships, celebrate diversity, encourage respect and build a sense of community. It provides and acknowledges success for all children, in all aspects of their development and it recognises, encourages and celebrates all types of talent.
Kenton Primary School is smaller than average primary school in rural village setting in Devon and is in the heart of community life. The children come from a range of socio- economic backgrounds and have a wide range of out-of-school experiences. We adapt and tailor the curriculum so that all of our children achieve well, encompassing children from the broadest ranges of abilities and experiences.
Implementation: how do we carry it out?
We use the national curriculum as a starting point to plan out engaging topics through a thematic approach for pupils to learn about, which we wrote from our staff and pupil voice ideas. We use the benefits of being located in a rural setting and also compensate for the drawbacks of this. We develop children prepared to be active citizens for both the UK and of the World, now and in the future.
We provide first hand learning experiences that allow children to develop interpersonal skills and build resilience. It allows pupils to have a holistic approach to learning, for example drawing on skills that they learn in literacy to apply to their history. These are further supported by our half-termly ‘Quest’ projects where pupils choose their learning on this day based on their topic. Topics all start with a ‘hook’ to immerse pupils in their topic and we provide opportunities to share their learning with parents and other pupils to bring their learning to life.
We have developed a rich and varied menu of enhancement opportunities to make learning engaging, to provide memorable experiences and recognise individuality, such as inviting in authors, artists etc. and through our trips to deepen learning. Home learning quests allow pupils (and parents!) to make or do something related to the topic in a way that they would like it presented, giving them ownership and choice.
Using the outdoors as a way of learning is fundamental to our teaching and learning which we strive to make as practical as possible. Outdoor learning acts both as a means of motivation and as a means of embedding knowledge about and care for the environment, both locally, nationally and globally. This is done through putting the use of the environment at the centre of our planning, including Forest School slots of all children planned in throughout the school year.
At the heart of our curriculum are literacy, maths and science and we truly value our wider curriculum, which gives all pupils a chance to flourish in a range of experiences.
Literacy is taught through high quality texts that link where possible to our topics, using cross-curricular links. We follow Letters and Sounds Phonics in EYFS and KS1 and then use the Westover Green for whole class spelling from Year 2 – Year 6. Writing is linked to topic.
Maths is taught using the NCTEM framework as a basis but front loading number to give pupils the core skills they need – progression to other key mathematical skills? We use an elicitation task at the beginning of the unit so that teachers can plan personalised and fluid groupings from this. Maths is a mixture of practical and written tasks.
Science is a central driver in our thematic approach, where we plan for a progression of skills and knowledge in a cyclical way. Through science we embed reading, writing and maths skills across the curriculum.
We aim to link all subjects to our thematic approach where possible. At times this can be through the development of vocabulary in other areas of the curriculum for example, mathematical language from our sports coach in PE or scientific or Design Technology skills in Forest School.
Our school values, PSHE lessons and assemblies promote positive attitudes which reflect the values and skills needed for future learning and success. Our PSHE curriculum is being developed further in line with the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum 2020 in collaboration with parents and the wider school community.
Teamwork and responsibility are an essential part of our curriculum and we enable children to take on key roles, becoming involved in the community, through celebration of local traditions, by learning new skills and enabling them to take an active part in events throughout the year.
We adapt the curriculum, the support provided and the challenge of skill application to a range of situations for children with SEND and for the most able. We take care to note that the abilities of children may differ across subject and according to the skill being taught, so ensure that we fine tune what is provided according to individual need.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a termly programme of monitoring, evaluation and review, embedded in our School Improvement Plan, and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further. All subject leaders are given training and the opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school.
Training for teachers across all subjects forms a fundamental part of this, based on annual staff competency audits. The focus of this is to ensure that children experience high quality learning in all aspects of the curriculum.
The positive impact of our curriculum is seen through pupils’ engagement in their learning and the pride that they take in their work. It is also shown through teacher assessment of data in core subjects and progression of skills in foundation subjects. Pupil voice is highly valued and we regularly take feedback from our school council on our curriculum and use this as a measure of success and to make changes to keep improving where needed. We quality assure our teaching and learning to measure impact through learning walks, book looks and further pupil voice – a termly programme embedded in our School Improvement Plan, Pupils are secondary school ready by the time that they leave Year 6 as can be seen by the outcomes for both schools’ Year 6 assessments, both in attainment and progress. There are areas that we need to focus on for further development in order to improve this further e.g outcomes in Y1 phonics at Kenton, but our own self-evaluation identifies these and they form a significant part of our School Improvement Plan.
The innovative practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills both indoors and out. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s outcomes.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things. High quality visits and visitors to the school enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for writing for a purpose.
The development of oracy and debate across the curriculum enables children to understand how others use language and how they can use it to the best effect themselves. This enables them to be effective and confident communicators and prepares them for their adult lives.
Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
Children leave Kenton Primary School with a sense of belonging and are proud that they have developed the confidence and skills needed to be learners for life, supported by our Golden Threads.
Behaviour for learning – Secrets of Success
Our vision and values are at the core of everything we do. They underpin our teaching and
learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils as confident, happy citizens.
Secrets of Success.
As a school we use 8 Secrets of Success by Chris Quigley to develop children’s understanding
regarding ‘behaviours for learning’. This is an integral part of recognising and celebrating behaviour
that supports learning.
Behaviours for Life
Kenton has four behaviours for life. These are values that we expect the school community to adhere to. These were selected to represent a compassionate and thoughtful way to conduct ourselves.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
At Kenton Primary School we believe that every child has a right to access the full curriculum and we welcome applications from children with special needs. We include all children in all aspects of school life and give the support necessary to help them succeed. We work closely with professionals from many different specialist areas and monitor individual needs and progress closely.
Provision is led and monitored by our designated Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), and by the Governor responsible for Special Needs, but all members of staff and teaching assistants have experience of working with children with a range of needs. The school works hard to ensure that it is well prepared to meet the needs of all its children. Above all, our policy of inclusion means Kenton Primary School is a particularly caring environment where children respect and accept difference and welcome all newcomers into the school community.