Leechpool Primary School | Our Curriculum
Curriculum Intent Statement
At Leechpool Primary School the curriculum is designed to:
At Leechpool, ‘Every Child Really Does Matter’ and our curriculum aims to ‘Breath Life Into Learning To Be The Best We Can Be’.
The children’s learning is underpinned by basic skills knowledge and understanding of concepts and values and is supported by the school rule ‘Respect’ (chosen by the children) and our 6Rs: Relationships, Resilience, Resourcefulness, Risk Taking, Reflectiveness and Responsibility. We are constantly enhancing the children’s education with experiences that enable them to be happy and seek out and investigate new challenges. Our children have a constant interaction with the wider world, with regular visitors coming into school and journeys out into the local and wider environment. Music and the arts are central to our children’s well-being and development and play a large part in the life of the school. This is reflected in our central music room and our vibrant bright learning environment.
We celebrate traditions and festivals in a local national and international context whether they be religious, cultural or sporting. We take up every opportunity to give our children experiences outside school and this adds to the rich learning the children develop.
Our children leave Leechpool with confidence and a sense of having belonged to a supportive and varied community made up of their peers, teachers, teaching assistants, lunchtime supervisors, office staff, premises managers and parents. The interaction they have with others whilst at Leechpool gives them the skills and vision to succeed as lifelong learners.
Leechpool is committed to providing a broad and varied curriculum rooted in the exciting contexts of our Learning Journeys. Each term’s work is driven by a theme that allows the learning to be experienced in real or imaginary contexts. From Early Years to Y6 the work is planned round a two year cycle of learning journeys that have a balance of History, Geography, Science and Literacy themes. The KS1 and 2 programmes of study are carefully planned within each learning journey to ensure that both years of the cycle provide the coverage and progression required. Maths, RE, Technology and computing either supplement or compliment the thematic learning, ensuring that their own programmes of study are fully covered.
The school is always looking for new approaches and strategies to improve the learning experience for our children. Over the years this has been influenced by a Skills Based Curriculum, TT Education’s Writing Process - Path to Success, the use of clear learning objectives with ‘process and non-process’ success criteria and regular self-evaluation, the use of RAP (reflect and progress) feedback and response time, and the ‘Thinking Curriculum’ as developed by educationalists such as Carol McGuiness. Our curriculum aims to develop clear and effective thinking skills that can be applied across the curriculum and is encouraged by well-focused questioning, that supports children’s progress and challenges those of higher ability.
The 6 Rs learning qualities.
Children learn best when they are happy and are being collaborative. Educational research has shown that given the right environment and stimuli, children can solve problems and complete tasks with little or no direction from the teacher.
The concept of reflecting on and reviewing learning, plays an important part in the embedding and future application of skills knowledge and understanding. Children are given time to evaluate and improve their work as well as coaching each other.
The school has invested in many and varied learning resources and the children are encouraged to make independent decisions about what and who can help them with their learning. Initiative and creative thinking is valued and rewarded throughout the school.
Children are challenged and learn that success does not come without effort and that ‘the struggle’ is indispensable if they are to reach their potential.
We believe that the school’s job to encourage the children to push the boundaries of their learning even when this will sometimes mean making mistakes and getting things wrong. They can take risks and try things in the knowledge that they are safe and can only benefit from their mistakes.
Our aim is for the children who walk out of the gate, at the end of their time with us, to be confident and happy to take responsibility for their own learning and future success. As a through Primary we encourage the progressive shift of responsibility, from supporting adults to the child, as they develop from the age of four to secondary school.
Our curriculum is supported by the core value of the school ‘Respect’, which was chosen by the children. This demands that other children, adults, beliefs, cultures and traditions are valued alongside our traditional and contemporary British values. Knowledge and understanding of these is developed through various areas of the curriculum as well as within the RE and PSHE subject areas. Important religious festivals from different faiths are marked as well as the Christian Holy days. B lack History week is a key feature within the school calendar as is British Week which each year celebrates a different aspect of our culture.
At Leechpool we have a developed a subject leadership system that empowers staff to oversee, develop, monitor and evaluate the teaching and learning within their subject. The role is highly valued and staff are given leadership time either on a regular basis or for particular projects. Working parties form an important part of our Professional Development Meetings and subject leaders benefit from the collaboration of all staff. CPD opportunities are taken up whenever possible, to allow subject leaders across the curriculum to learn about the latest thinking in their area and share it with the rest of the staff.
Early Years Outcomes
In the Early Years we provide a range of activities and opportunities to broaden the children’s knowledge across the 17 areas of the curriculum and at the end of the year we assess the children against these. The curriculum provides children with the opportunity to explore, investigate and consolidate their learning and the adults support the children by observing, facilitating and moving children on with their individual next steps of learning. The children’s development is supported by a rich learning environment both inside the classroom and in the outside play area with road layouts, play huts, balance bikes, sand and water areas, carpenters bench and many other pieces of equipment provided to enrich the children’s play to learn experience.
We have invested heavily in time and money to develop our literacy curriculum working for 2 years with the consultants TT Education. The emphasis is on the relationship between reading and writing and how one feeds the other. We have developed a writing process of ‘experience it, play with it, use it, develop it, connect it’. The learning process disaggregates the complex skills and allows the children to develop their knowledge and use of language, their knowledge and use of grammatical structures and their ability to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Half termly units of work generally follow the pattern ‘poetry (language and vocabulary), fiction (grammar and stylistic devices) and then non-fiction (using the skills above and others specific to the purpose of the texts). We have a school wide list of recommended reads which, along with an evolving stock of contemporary books, enrich the reading experience of our children which in turn gives them access to and an understanding of, the language and grammatical devices to affect the reader in different ways.
At Leechpool we use the White Rose Hub Maths Scheme as the basis of our curriculum. This reflects the importance we place on the learning of basic number skills and the building of number fluency.
Children have access to a variety of mathematical apparatus designed to aid their calculation with numbers. As children progress in their ability to solve mathematical calculations we teach the children specific ways to record their working out. It is important that children progress through each stage of the progression chart, shown in the Leechpool Calculation Policy, as this ensures they fully grasp the mathematical concepts that underpin the calculations they are doing. Children receive oral and written feedback and are given RAP tasks to help correct any misconceptions and/or build on their learning and provide the next steps.
Tracking pupils progress through the curriculum
Children’s progress in reading, writing, and maths, is tracked through a variety of methods. Ongoing assessments record when children are working towards the various expectations and when they have shown they are secure in them. These are recorded in the front of the children’s books and within the school’s tracking system. Children’s progress through the programmes of study is updated twice a term and is supported by twice termly snapshot tests. In maths diagnostic spreadsheets are used to flag up individual or group areas of weakness in arithmetic.
‘The school’s comprehensive assessment records, together with work in their books, indicate that all groups of pupils typically make at least the progress the school expects through each year.
The school’s own assessment information closely matches the results of national tests.’
Ofsted July 2017
We are constantly evaluating the effectiveness of our curriculum with each term’s learning journey being reviewed to identify areas where it could be improved. As a school we are evolving our teaching and learning towards an even more thinking led curriculum which will use a wide range of learning journey experiences to develop skills that children can use not only in their school career but also throughout their lives.