The curriculum is at the heart of a school’s purpose and our curriculum reflects our school motto:
At Long Ridings Primary School, we recognise that improving educational outcomes is a big way that we can positively impact our students’ futures. We take the term ‘educational’ in its most broad sense: this means more than just a set of results. It includes a child’s intellectual development, social and emotional development, citizenship and responsibility, happiness and success.
We hope that this vision is ‘lived’ in the way teachers develop the curriculum and the way students experience it. We want a curriculum that is designed effectively and implemented, that is true to subjects’ core content and concepts, develops a love of lifelong learning, and creates beautiful work, expertise, fascination and wonder.
We want to create pupils today who will help create the future of tomorrow for themselves and those beyond.
The National Curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.
The aims of our curriculum at Long Ridings Primary School are to enable children to:
- Feel safe and valued as part of a caring community that celebrates success
- Be independent thinkers / learners who are able to seek solutions creatively and collaboratively
- Develop an enquiring mind and be able to ask questions
- Be confident enough to take risks in their learning
- Be able to listen and articulate responses showing consideration to others
- Be proactive in their responsibilities towards the community, society, the environment and economy - linking ‘real life’ with their learning
- Understand, respect and celebrate diversity
- Be aware of and recognise their own learning needs and be involved in planning future steps
- Develop a sense of self-esteem: be mindful, well-balanced and healthy individuals
Our curriculum at Long Ridings Primary School is ambitious, broad and balanced. It has been checked against the National Curriculum and the new OFSTED Framework. We used Focus Education (May 2021) to help support the design of our curriculum which caters for all our pupils’ needs. We have a thematic and literature-led curriculum where teaching and learning is driven by a wide variety of books and resources. Our theme in each year have been carefully considered and thought about; they reflect a wide range of subjects, knowledge, diversity and fields.
We recognise and promote the key importance of the core subjects and developing the pupils’ expertise in reading, writing and maths. We aim to activate the pupils’ learning in these subjects in innovative, creative and exciting ways. We firmly believe that this should be balanced within both the whole National Curriculum and the wider school curriculum. Our curriculum does not overly prioritise core subject learning at the expense of a broad and balanced curriculum or pupils’ holistic development, but each should support and enhance the other aspects.
Our curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced so that skills and knowledge are repeated and reinforced to allow long term ‘Sticky Knowledge’. It includes metacognition, knowledge, skills, vocabulary and also takes full account of previous learning. We have mapped our themes to purposeful trips and meaningful cultural capital to immerse our pupils into not only the breadth, but the depth of the curriculum to enrich their education whilst being in our care.
Organisation and planning:
- Our curriculum has a whole school theme overview in place which outlines the leading topic or area of learning for each year group in each half term. These include the whole breadth of the curriculum although are predominantly history, geography and science based.
- Each year group has a Yearly Overview which outlines the main aspect of learning that is covered in each subject in each half term.
- Each year group has a LTP which outlines the key skills and knowledge that we expect all children to be taught, learn and know. This is what we refer to as our ‘Sticky Knowledge’ statements.
- To facilitate and support the learning of the ‘Sticky Knowledge’, we have MTPs for each subject. These provide deeper levels of teaching and learning and also ensure progression throughout the school.
- Short term plans are what teachers write on a weekly basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives/ intentions for each session and identify what resources and activities will be used within the lesson.
- Each half term there is always a ‘Celebration of Learning’ event. These can be at any time during the half term and are used to not only reflect, but also to promote and inspire the children with their learning. These can take many guises and are constantly evolving. They can include school trips, local visits, assemblies, external visitors, parent collaborations, etc.
Teaching and Learning is driven by our six non-negotiables (progress, pace, personalisation, AFL, pupils’ engagement and pupils know what they are learning) to ensure consistency. With our curriculum, we have carefully considered progression and ensure knowledge is taught and stays in the long-term memory – what we call ‘Sticky Knowledge’. Our planning structures ensure this happens.
As a teaching team, we work collaboratively to produce well thought through and comprehensive curriculum planning which not only includes all subject areas, but also takes into consideration the depth, breadth and balance of skills and knowledge needed to be taught. Whilst doing so, teachers consider how to include more challenging, deeper questions and to ensure these are built in to the learning. Careful planning ensures that all learners are catered for. Teachers share very clear learning intentions and discuss what success looks like with the children.
All planning is stored on the server for all staff to have access to. Specific planning can be found on the Curriculum area of the school website.
Reviewing and Monitoring the Curriculum:
To ensure that our curriculum continues to be relevant and appropriately matched, the ELT are constantly reviewing and monitoring the curriculum.
Monitoring is very thorough and comprises of a number of approaches including: lesson observations, learning walks, pupil feedback, governor visits and book scrutinises. Subject leaders monitor their subjects too.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The governing board ensure that:
- A robust framework is in place for setting curriculum priorities and aspirational targets.
- The school is teaching a "broad and balanced curriculum" which includes English, maths, and science, and enough teaching time is provided for pupils to cover the National Curriculum and other statutory requirements.
- Proper provision is made for pupils with different abilities and needs, including children with special educational needs (SEN).
- The school implements the relevant statutory assessment arrangements.
The Headteacher ensures that this policy is adhered to, and that:
- All required elements of our curriculum, and those subjects which the school chooses to offer, have aims and objectives which reflect the aims and vision of Long Ridings Primary School and indicate how the needs of individual pupils will be met.
- The amount of time provided for teaching the required elements of our curriculum is adequate.
- Where appropriate, the individual needs of some pupils are met by permanent or temporary disapplication from all or part of the National Curriculum.
- The school’s procedures for assessment meet all legal requirements.
- Proper provision is in place for pupils with different abilities and needs, including children with SEN.
The Curriculum Lead maintains an overview of our curriculum and works in partnership with the Headteacher and ELT on a range of strategic planning, monitoring and evaluating tasks.
Subject Leaders ensure that all the aspects of the National Curriculum content are identified within the curriculum overviews, LTPs and MTPs. Subject Leaders review their area of curriculum to ensure that pupils’ learning becomes increasingly more challenging as they move through the year groups, and to maintain an overview of standards within their subject. Subject Leaders produce policies for their subjects, assess and review the standards within their subject and provide or signpost staff towards training and resources.
Class Teachers have the responsibility to produce class specific, short term planning for their pupils. They also have responsibility for the standards their pupils achieve, the progress they make and the evidence of this learning. The organisation of our curriculum and the planning structure give teachers a framework to work within and they are able to use their own teaching style, creativity and personality to best teach our curriculum to the children in their care.
The National Curriculum is for all pupils and the expectation is that the principles of inclusion pertain. Where necessary, the teacher will support children with SEN through personalised activities and adult support from either the class teacher or LSA. Individual programmes for teaching and support are drawn up as appropriate by teachers in conjunction with the SEN co-ordinator. Care is exercised to ensure that parents and carers are involved appropriately and kept fully informed.
Our Learning Environment and Displays:
We believe in a creative, attractive and purposeful learning environment in all areas of school. Each classroom has an English, maths, science and theme display board.
Attitudes to Learning:
When considering the impact of our curriculum, a more significant factor than data would be the children’s attitude towards their learning. We aim to make pupils more eager to talk about, discuss and reflect upon their learning. This is evident through their engagement in lessons, when talking with them about their learning and also what can be seen in their books.
Assessment lies at the heart of teaching and learning. It allows children’s progress to be expressed and monitored. This is done in partnership with children and parents. It is an ongoing process carried out to support teaching and learning to ensure each child achieves their potential and makes good or better progress throughout their time at Long Ridings Primary School.
We have well-embedded assessment procedures in place to check what pupils can do, understand and remember. We are then able to help identify where there are gaps. Whilst we do carry out formal assessment as a means of providing a progress measure, we recognise the most important assessment and feedback is when given immediately whilst new learning is taking place in the classroom.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
The Headteacher has the overall responsibility for the quality of provision provided for the pupils and the outcome in terms of both attainment and progress. Monitoring and evaluating tasks will be undertaken in partnership with the Curriculum Lead, the Monitoring Lead, the wider ELT and Subject Leaders. These tasks will link into a programme of monitoring, School Development Plan priorities and actions, as well as performance management of teaching staff. The Curriculum Lead and Monitoring Lead (supported by ELT and individual Subject Leaders) will monitor and evaluate the planning and standards achieved by pupils and report on any findings. The quality of teaching and learning in subjects will be evaluated through observations, learning walks, data analysis, book scrutinies and pupil interviews. Those undertaking these task will provide written feedback to governors, the Headteacher and staff to celebrate strengths and identify aspects for improvement.
Impact can also be identified in the number of children taking on the many additional responsibilities that are open to them in our school and perhaps beyond. These include, but are not limited to, our School Council members, House Captains, Head Boy and Girl, Eco-Warriors, Better Planet Schools representatives, Peer mentors, Gardening club, etc.