Curriculum Policy 2018

Guiding principle

Our curriculum is vital in ensuring we fulfil our school motto – ‘Lighting the flame of learning’. The planning of the curriculum must be seen by all as the key to pupils’ development as successful learners who are ambitious for their futures. This is only possible when the content of our curriculum engages children in learning.

Aims

Knowledge and Learning

In every lesson teachers ascertain what pupils already know and then build upon this starting point. Our curriculum is sequenced over time and so knowledge is added to. Learning must be durable and flexible. Knowledge should enable pupils to transfer their learning to new contexts.

Learning at Moorside is defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory nothing has been learned.

In planning our curriculum we are aware of the need to identify concepts and ideas that we are addressing. We also aim to ensure that we identify concepts that can be useful in other topics or themes. For example, in the topic ‘Romans’ the concept of trade is transferable to other topics.

Curriculum Map - Please click on the image below to view or download

The key skills of learning

1.     Communication – at Moorside talk plays an extremely important part in laying the groundwork for children who can read and write fluently.

2.     Application of number – we ensure that children develop the skills they need to solve increasingly complex problems.

3.     Information Technology – to use IT resources confidently and appropriately when they can enhance communication or support children’s learning.

4.     Working with others – developing team working skills and children who listen to the viewpoint of others.

5.     Improving own learning and performance – see Assessment policy.

6.     Problem-solving – children need to feel confident in their ability to work though problems and opportunity to develop this skill is given in a variety of subjects.

7.     Thinking skills – opportunities for children to think about their thinking is given in lessons daily.

8.     Reasoning skills – children are asked to explain their thinking not simply asked for answers. Teachers question children carefully giving opportunities for them to see there is not always one simple answer.

9.     Enquiry skills – children are encouraged to be active learners, they research and carry out investigations.

10.   Creative thinking skills – children develop creatively as teachers give them many opportunities to apply their imagination and practice skills. The culture of being able to learn from mistakes here at Moorside helps pupils to approach tasks with confidence.

11.   Evaluation skills – to be able to judge the quality of your own work is important but equally our pupils need to be able to judge the value of information given to them.

These key skills are part of teachers’ approach to learning at Moorside. They are used by teachers when they are planning learning activities.

Planning

Two planning formats are used:

1.     A long term overview of themes for particular year groups.

2.     A medium term plan that is  the result of an agreed process that teachers apply to the chosen theme e.g. each plan starts with answering the Big questions that can be posed regarding the chosen theme.

Monitoring

Medium term planning is collected by the head teacher and checked to ensure the quality of the plan. If there is a particular emphasis that has been decided through, for example, school improvement planning this is also checked.

Subject leaders ensure that the National Curriculum is used to support teachers in their planning. They audit their subjects by checking medium term planning against programmes of study.

Further monitoring is carried out through the following means:-

Enrichment weeks

We have 5 enrichment weeks planned throughout the school year:-

Within the week each day will have a theme related to the overarching topic of the week e.g. Reaching out week – is concerned with showing respect and care for others and celebrating difference.

Learning outside the classroom

Teachers make as much opportunity to bring learning to life through the use of outside classroom facilities and resources e.g. visits to zoos, museums, art galleries, visitors into school.

As a staff we have studied how we can enhance our curriculum provision through this approach. Teachers create many opportunities throughout the academic year to bring learning to life and broaden our children’s experiences.

Reading and Phonics

The phonics scheme we use at Moorside is Letters and Sounds. A range of resources are used to support children’s reading development including our Bug Club reading scheme.

Cross-Curricular writing

Our thematic approach enables teachers to plan many opportunities to develop children’s writing skills across subjects e.g. history, geography, science. Often a novel is chosen to generate enthusiasm and purpose for writing. This approach leads to quality writing that shows children’s awareness of not just why they are writing but also who they are writing for.

British Values

Our PSHE coordinator checks and support s colleagues in ensuring that such issues as values permeate our curriculum. She identifies where there is provision in the school and suggests resources to support teaching.

Assessment

Teachers judge pupils’ work and report to subject coordinators the outcomes of their assessments annually. Teachers share work to ensure their assessments are moderated within school. Their judgements, regarding the numbers of pupils working at, above or below age related expectations are based on National Curriculum information, NFER tests and end of key stage outcomes.

Children’s progress towards age-related expectations and progress towards achieving greater depth in learning are carefully tracked. Intervention is provided where and when it is needed.

The curriculum is kept under review – themes can be changed by teachers if they feel they need to improve or enhance their provision of learning opportunities. Sometimes themes are changed because of the need to stay relevant to pupils and motivational to both pupils and teachers.

C. Howard April 2018

Review date by April 2020