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The curriculum at Greatstone Primary School is the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the various extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich children’s experience. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’ – what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We want children to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and cooperate with others while at the same time developing their knowledge and skills, in order to be ‘secondary ready’
Our school curriculum is underpinned by the values that are important at Greatstone Primary School. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.
- We value children’s uniqueness, we listen to the views of individual children, and we promote respect for diverse cultures.
- We value the spiritual and moral development of each child, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
- We value the importance of each child in our community, and we organise our curriculum to promote inclusion, cooperation and understanding among 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 want to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all our pupils.
- We value our environment, and we want to teach ourchildren, through our curriculum, how we should take care of the world, not only for ourselves, but also for future generations.
Aims and objectives
At Greatstone Primary School our goal is to create situations where children love learning, seek challenges, value effort and persist in the face of difficulty.
The aims of our curriculum therefore are:
- To provide fun and engaging challenges for all
- To equip children to ‘know what to do’ when they ‘don’t know what to do’
- To ensure there is a ‘wow’ factor with a ‘hook and grab’
- To provide real, hands on experiences with maximum opportunity for outdoor learning.
- To lead to a high quality ‘product’ that can be shared with others
Through our curriculum our objectives are:
- To teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT.
- To enable children to develop scientific enquiry.
- To enable children to be creative and to develop their own thinking.
- To teach children about the developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time.
- To help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage.
- To enable children to develop and explore physical skills with increasing control and coordination
- To enable children to familiarise themselves with the sounds and written form of a modern foreign language (at KS2).
- To appreciate and value the contribution made by all ethnic groups in our multi-cultural society.
- To enable children to be positive citizens.
- To fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Locally Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education.
- To teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to distinguish right from wrong.
- To help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all.
- To enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to live and work cooperatively with others.
Organisation and planning
Programmes of Study in English, maths and science inform curriculum planning in these subject areas.
Other areas of our curriculum are organised around the concept of Prime Learning Challenges expressed as a question. History, geography and science are our main curriculum drivers for the other subjects.
We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage. This indicates what Prime Learning Challenges are to be taught in each term, and to which groups of children. We review this long-term plan on an annual basis.
Through our medium-term plans, we give clear guidance on the objectives to be taught, as outlined in the National Curriculum.
Our short-term plans are those that our teachers write on a weekly or daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each session.
Having identified a Prime Learning Challenge question reflecting the appropriate National Curriculum Programmes of Study, pre learning tasks are planned. Through the pre learning tasks we ensure that children are directly involved in the planning process. The tasks bring out what they already know; what misconceptions they may have and what really interests them. Pre learning tasks then inform a series of subsidiary challenges which are also presented as a question.
Continuity and progression in the Learning Challenge curriculum is built around a set of matrices known as essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within subject disciplines. They are broken into year group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners.
In addition, there is an expectation that teachers apply English, mathematics and ICT skills where it is appropriate to do so.
Time for learners to reflect or review their learning is central to the whole process. This is in keeping with the ‘Learning to Learn’ principles where reflection is seen as a very important part of individual child’s development.
In Key Stage 1 we follow the Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme.
For more information on Curriculum please browse the Department for Education website –
The curriculum and inclusion
The curriculum at Greatstone Primary School is designed to be accessed by all children who attend the school. If we think it necessary to modify some children’s access to the curriculum, in order to meet their needs, then we do this only after their parents or carers have been consulted.
If children have an additional need, we do all we can to meet those needs by complying with the requirements set out in the SEN Code of Practice. If a child displays signs of having additional needs, then his/her teacher makes an assessment of this need. In most instances, the teacher is able to provide the resources and educational opportunities that meet the child’s needs, within normal class organisation. If a child’s need is more severe, we involve the appropriate external agencies in making an assessment and may consider the child for an Educational Health Care Plan.
Some children in our school have disabilities. We are committed to meeting the needs of these children, as we are to meeting the needs of all groups of children within our school. The school complies fully with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that these children are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled children. Teaching and learning are appropriately modified for children with disabilities. For example, they may be given additional time to complete certain activities, or the teaching materials may be adapted.
The school has implemented the recommendations of The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: Macpherson Report (1999). Our schemes of work address the diversity of our society, and reflect the National Curriculum programmes of study.
The Foundation Stage
The curriculum that we teach in the reception classes meets the requirements set out in EYFS Statutory Framework 2014. Our curriculum planning focuses on the Early Learning Goals, as set out in this document, and on developing children’s skills and experiences.
Greatstone Primary School fully supports the principle that young children learn through play, and by engaging in well planned and structured activities. Teaching in the reception classes builds on the experiences of the children in their pre-school learning. We have strong links between our own nursery and Reception classes and do all we can to build positive partnerships with other pre-school providers in the area.
The role of the subject leader
The role of the subject leader is to:
- provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject;
- support and advise colleagues on issues related to the subject;
- monitor pupils’ progress in that subject area;
- provide efficient resource management for the subject.
It is the role of each subject leader to keep up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local levels. They review the way in which the subject is taught in the school, and plan for improvement. This development planning links to whole-school objectives. Each subject leader reviews the curriculum plans for the subject, ensures that there is full coverage of the National Curriculum, and sees that progression is planned into Learning Challenges. The subject leader is responsible for monitoring consistency in outcomes across year groups and Key Stages.
Monitoring and review
The Governor’s Teaching and Learning committee is responsible for monitoring the way in which the school curriculum is implemented. This committee reviews each subject area during its cycle of review and development.
Teaching and Learning committee members liaise with the respective subject leaders, and monitor closely the way in which these subjects are taught. There is also a named Governor assigned to Special Educational needs, who liaises with the SEN coordinator, and monitors the ways in which additional needs are addressed.
The Headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the curriculum, ensuring that all classes are taught the full requirements of the National Curriculum.
Subject leaders monitor the way in which their subject is taught throughout the school. They examine long-term and medium-term planning, and ensure that appropriate teaching strategies are used. Subject leaders also have responsibility for monitoring the way in which resources are stored and managed.
This policy is monitored by the Governing Body and will be reviewed every two years, or before if necessary.
In Key Stage 1 we follow the Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme.