'All experience is an enrichment'
Wider Curriculum Opportunities & Cultural Capital
Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of enriching experiences and opportunities both within and beyond the school day. This includes an extensive programme of after-school clubs, that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as music, whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences (Cultural Capital). A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and make very good progress across the curriculum. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who can struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
In addition to our exciting and stimulating cross-curricular themes, we also provide further opportunities to enhance children’s learning wherever possible. These include:
Whole School Theme Days/Weeks
Throughout the year, themed days/weeks are woven into the curriculum to extend the breadth and balance of opportunities we offer our pupils. These include, Anti-bullying Week and Safety Day, Arts Week, World Book Day, Black History Day, Sport & Health Week, Science Days, , Church Days and many others.
Educational Visits and Residentials
School trips and visits are an integral part of the education of children at our Federation. We value the opportunities such visits offer our pupils and the commitment of staff and adults undertaking them. Trips include class visits aimed at bringing learning alive and providing first-hand experience and bringing learning alive; extra-curricular outings such as activities or sporting events; and attending or taking part in performances or competitions.
Children in Year 6 take part in residential visits. These are planned to provide new and exciting experiences. Children in Year 6 spend 4 days at Morfa Bay Outdoor Centre in Pembrokeshire, focusing on a range of outdoor and adventurous activities from climbing to caving and surfing.
Visitors into School
Visitors have a valuable role to play and can contribute to many aspects of the life and work of the school. They deliver talks, workshops and full day activities across a wide range of subjects, giving pupils access to outside experiences and expertise. Visitors provide a link with the wider community – children have the opportunity to work alongside artists, musicians, authors, health professions and others.
As a school we offer pupils opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities after school. At any time, a wide range of clubs is on offer – our programmes of clubs and activities available is revised termly depending on the time of year and other commitments children may have.
PE & Sport
At Backwell Federation we are using our PE & Sport Premium to part-fund qualified sports coaches. Premier Sport provides high quality instruction during PE lessons; and also run sporting activities at lunchtimes; and promote increased pupil participation in PE & Sport beyond the school day.
Music, Art & Drama
Backwell Juniors provides opportunities for children to take part in a wide range of musical activities and performances where they are encouraged to sing, compose and work creatively with sound. Through active listening, pupils’ awareness, understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of music are developed. A range of opportunities are provided within and beyond the curriculum for children to showcase their musical skills and talents, for example through assemblies, music concerts and our annual Easter Festival!
As a school we appreciate and understand the importance of drama within our curriculum. Research reveals that drama had a positive impact on children’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development.
Opportunities to Volunteer
Volunteering is an activity that everyone can get involved in and benefit from. We promote and encourage pupils’ active citizenship and positive contribution to the school and wider community. We offer lots of opportunities for pupils to take on new responsibilities and be involved in successfully supporting the life and work of the school. These include elected representatives on our School Council, Eco Committee and PE & Sport Ambassadors. Older pupils can also apply and be interviewed for positions such as Playground Leaders and Pupil Chaplains and within classes children can volunteer to take on various responsibilities ranging from lunch duties, to collecting and distributing registers, to helping with the organisation of equipment in assemblies.
Pupils tell us that they enjoy the opportunity to volunteer to help make their school an even better place to be and rising to the challenge that additional responsibility brings.
A rounded programme of daily assemblies helps to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and provide clear guidance on what is right and what is wrong. Once a week, worship is led by a member of our local clergy, and at least once a term child participate in a service at St Andrew's Church. At the end of the school day on a Friday an Assembly of Celebration is held.