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Our Curriculum

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Our Curriculum

At Buckingham Park Primary School our intent is to provide a curriculum that is creative in two senses.  Firstly, as educators, we wish to adopt a creative approach to teaching and learning itself, providing learning experiences that are engaging, exciting and enjoyable, whilst fulfilling our statutory requirement to follow the National Curriculum.  We believe that through the provision of this creative curriculum, we will foster creativity in a second sense; our curriculum will enable children at our school to become creative and independent thinkers and learners and sow the seeds for a lifelong love of learning.

 Children who are encouraged to think creatively and independently become:

  • more interested in discovering things for themselves;
  • more open to new ideas;
  • keen to work with others to explore ideas;
  • willing to work beyond lesson time when pursuing an idea.

As a result, their pace of learning, levels of achievement and self-esteem increase. We believe that our curriculum will enable children to make good progress with their learning and raise achievement in our school.

The National Curriculum sets out what pupils should be taught and the expected standards of pupils’ attainment for each year group. Our curriculum meets the requirements of the national curriculum and enriches it with first hand experiences, trips and visitors. In addition to the National Curriculum, we also provide children with a range of extra-curricular experiences and learning opportunities.

Breadth

Our curriculum has been carefully designed, planned, and organised to ensure breadth, balance and depth for every learner in our school. By tailoring and personalising our curriculum, we intend for every child to be engaged, inspired and challenged. We believe that all children should feel that they can succeed and have high aspirations in a wide range of areas. Our curriculum is highly inclusive, has a balance of academic and personal development; and it places equal importance on core and foundation subjects. Within our curriculum the physical and emotional needs of our pupils are valued, understood and met. We carefully balance the requirements for pupils to reach national expectations in core subjects with our wider curriculum aims of providing a full spectrum of thoughtful and enriching experiences. As a result, our pupils are fulfilled, and they flourish and thrive.

Through careful discussions, analysis of our pupils' backgrounds, cultures and learning behaviours, we have prioritised the following areas that drive our curriculum design:

  1. Aspirations – Our curriculum is designed to provide children with an understanding of the range of opportunities available to them in their lives.
  2. Rich and memorable first hand experiences – The range of experiences that we offer, support and champion our school culture and ensures that our children benefit from a full range of academic, sporting, spiritual, moral, social, and cultural activities. These activities enrich the lives of our whole school community and make them proud of their British values and diverse society to which they belong and play an active part.
  3. Our environment – Our extensive and varied school grounds enable our children to take ownership of the care and appreciation for nature. In addition to the school grounds we make extensive use of the wider locality in which the school is situated, nestled in beautiful Sussex, in a harbour town between the South Downs and the coast. Learning opportunities are thoughtfully planned and developed so that children engage and learn outside the classroom. Through programs such as Forest School and Eco-school we develop our children's sense of belonging and their understanding of how to care for their local and global environment.

How we implement our curriculum

Balance

Our carefully crafted curriculum balances the national expectations and an all-encompassing range of experiences allowing our children to flourish. Clear strategic planning allows the curriculum to be dynamic and adapt to the context of the school and children’s needs. Age related expectations combine the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills to create a purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child. Our curriculum has high expectations to combine transferable skills, demonstrate a breadth of vocabulary and develop strong cross-curricular links. Outstanding classroom environments stimulate and engage quality thinking and reasoning.

At Buckingham Park it is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. In practice our curriculum places equal importance on core and foundation subjects ensuring that every child has the opportunity to shine and flourish. Children’s physical and mental wellbeing are as valued and important as academic development. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure. Our integrated approach to SMSC and PSHE helps to ensure that every child is well cared for and supported.

Our long term planning ensures that over the course of a year children will cover a range of topics with a different curriculum focus. For example, classes may cover two science-based topics, or two history based topic along with an art/DT and a geography based topic.

Each topic is enriched with interesting first-hand experiences, trips and visitors. Medium term planning ensures that delivery is creative and meets the needs of the class. Explicit weekly and medium term planning is responsive to children’s needs; incorporating holistic approaches to teaching and learning.

Not all subjects naturally ‘fit’ within a learning project and so these subjects are taught discretely.  For example, not everything in science links effectively with a particular learning project and so this runs alongside and links are made whenever possible.    Religious Education at Buckingham Park Primary is delivered through a selection of units and lessons in addition to whole school assemblies. Religious Education is not taught as part of another subject, although may, on occasion, be used as a stimulus for writing in and English lesson linked to the class project.

Parents receive curriculum information at the start of every new project explaining what their children will be learning at school. This document also includes ideas for opportunities that could support children learning at home. You can find the curriculum webs for the current year below. A more detailed overview of learning objectives for each project is also available.

Depth

At Buckingham Park our definition of progress is the widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours. We design, organise and plan our curriculum to ensure that children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth to their learning, which enables them to use their skills, and understanding in all areas of the curriculum.

Our careful curriculum design and planning means that opportunities for repetition and practise for essential knowledge, skills and understanding occur in every subject. This ensures that children are able to revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.

The impact of our curriculum

Assessing our children’s learning within the curriculum

Children are regularly assessed against the relevant frameworks across the breadth of the curriculum. There is a regular termly cycle of teacher assessment which provides data; this is collected, analysed and utilized for providing interventions, support and a reviewing of planning. Class teachers, leaders, senior leaders, and governors all look at the outcomes of this data analysis and this informs the next steps for our school at a variety of levels. In addition to this, the teachers meet with members of the leadership team to discuss pupil’s progress to find out the reasons behind their current attainment.

Teachers assess children every lesson in preparation for the next learning opportunity. Teachers adapt planned activities to take account of the needs and abilities of the children they teach. In reading, writing, spelling, and maths, formal assessments are conducted regularly to enable children to show their progress. Teachers also use this information to assess any gaps in the knowledge or skills of each child.

 

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