'Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire'
Yeats (20th century poet)
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Learning Without Limits – Together We Aspire, Achieve and Celebrate
Our School vision and values underpin our curriculum intent. Our aims of inspiring the children to aim high, nurturing them to be the best they can and supporting them in developing the knowledge and skills to achieve all that they want are at the core of all that we do. In line with our vision and the Church of England Vision for Education, our curriculum focuses on giving children a wide selection learning opportunities to develop their knowledge, wisdom and skills through a vibrant, enriched and exciting school experience.
Curriculum Intent Statement – What we offer and what we aim to achieve for all our children
Children at our school benefit from a rich and varied curriculum that fully meets and enriches the requirements of the National Curriculum. Our question focused, skills lead offering helps children to become lifelong learners who have not only the abilities and attributes to take them further on their learning journeys but also inspires them to have a thirst for learning and an appreciation of their place in the world. We aim to promote resilience, self –motivation, questioning and the ability to work with others within our children as core attributes to apply within and beyond the classroom.
At the heart of our curriculum is the desire to make learning fun and to engage children in their own learning journeys. We achieve this through delivering a range of pupil focused, exciting topics and enhanced learning opportunities that allow children to explore the world around them, both near and far: past and present, to gain knowledge and skills whilst being immersed in their learning. Each year group offers a range of topics with a subject area focus of either Science, History or Geography to ensure a balanced curriculum offering. This is enhanced further through a variety of learning opportunities such as trips and visitors that bring the curriculum alive and provide children with real life experiences to hang their learning and understanding upon whilst creating new interests and an eagerness to find out more. Through this, we aim to develop not only their understanding of the community in which they live and the wider world they are a part of but also their place and importance within them. From museum trips to residential stays, from hands-on experiences to virtual learning platforms children can learn in different ways and experience new challenges.
Throughout our school year, we take the opportunity to focus in on either specific curriculum areas or broader impact themes such as anti-bullying or e-safety through themed days or weekly events. At these times, we dive deeper within specific subjects and offer the children the opportunity to work alongside others beyond their own year groups and to take the lead in their own learning. Through these experiences, we aim to encourage the children to develop leadership skills and to show their strengths and talents. So be it in a Science week with our Federation partners or a Sports and fitness week enhanced by outside agencies – the children have the opportunity to shine and inspire their peers or develop new skills and interests of their own.
The core subject areas of Maths, Reading and Writing are embedded throughout our curriculum. Reading is at the centre of our curriculum - be that through the teaching of phonics to develop the core skills to instilling a passion for reading for pleasure; we view reading as the gateway to our curriculum offering. From here children develop their writing skills which are promoted within all curriculum aspects and opportunities given to demonstrate their writing skills within different formats and subjects. Alongside this, we value the teaching of oracy and vocabulary as a means to enable children to enhance their ability to communicate effectively across all three core areas - be that explaining their reasoning in maths, talking about the events in a story or orally drafting a persuasive argument – the ability to orally form and share their ideas in essential. Assessment of these areas is key to ensure the tracking of children’s progress so that we are able to identify areas to develop or support and recognise individual children’s strengths and weaknesses.
Adapted learning - Supporting all children to access our curriculum
Here at BJS, there is an expectation that all lessons and curriculum activities are adapted to the needs of all pupils so that every child can access each lesson and be sufficiently challenged. We ensure our classrooms are dyslexia friendly and support a range of different learning styles. Meaning that in lessons, whilst children will be working towards the same learning objectives, the learning will be personalised to the needs of the individual. This personalisation may take place by using different resources, groups may be guided by the teacher or working with an adult. For those children who have achieved the expectation, additional challenges are set for children that are designed to deepen their learning.
In addition to these classroom base adaptions, children may also work with other school adults in small groups to address any other learning needs. Groups may come out of class to do pre-teaching of concepts or post teaching to address any misconceptions. The school uses the breadth of our human resources to support the progress of any children who have been identified as at risk of not making expected progress and to stretch those children who are exceeding our expectations.
For those children identified as having specific needs, we run a range of formal and informal intervention programmes for children as well as intervention activities for our SEND children and Pupil Premium children as required. To ensure they have suitable learning activities and make progress at their own pace whilst striving to achieve their best.
Pupil led Curriculum – How our children enrich our curriculum
At BJS, Children are given a range of opportunities to influence and deliver aspects of the wider curriculum. This may take place through the actions of our school council where children develop a sense of responsibility and leadership through a process of taking part in elections and weekly meetings to address issues such as bullying, safeguarding and health and safety. The voice of the child is heard across our curriculum as children are given the opportunity through conferencing to share their ideas and thoughts about what they are learning, how it is delivered and how they engage with it.
Our children are actively involved in delivering parts of the curriculum through our ambassador programs that we run for Science, Computing and PE. Here children are involved in running activities across the school with the aim of promoting each subject area and giving the children a sense of ownership and influence.
Wider curriculum opportunities – beyond the classroom
As a school, we enhance our curriculum with a range of clubs and activities with a termly timetable offering a diverse selection from philosophy to Lego League. This wide-ranging selection aims to provide opportunities for both active and creative outlets. The school works in partnership with a range of providers whilst school staff provide a variety of clubs free of charge.
Celebrating Learning – how we share our children’s success
The school provides children with a host of opportunities to perform to parents and to share learning outcomes. We have bi-annual class assemblies that are always greatly anticipated and supported which offer all children the chance to share their achievements and to develop their confidence through presenting and performing. Weekly celebration assemblies take place where we celebrate both academic and personal success – we aim to instil in our children the belief that they do not need to be ‘The Best’ only to be ‘Their best’; both in their school work but also in their attitude to school life and others.