'The breadth of subjects taught and pupils' involvement in shaping the curriculum are notable strengths'
Ofsted November 2015
At Nunnery Wood Primary School, our curriculum has a clear aim that we deliver through exciting, engaging and enthusiastic opportunities in an inclusive environment. Our school value tree supports the development of learning behaviours and personal attributes and our school charter outlines the experiences that children will receive to support their school life within our community.
How does our curriculum fit in with our vision?
When designing our curriculum, we felt it was important to base it around our whole school ethos of learning and growing together. We want to ensure that we equip our children with skills for life through themes and subjects that are engaging and taught in a secure environment where everyone feels safe.
Working with all staff and children, we created a ‘Values Tree’ that incorporates key qualities and learning behaviours that we feel are most relevant to us at Nunnery Wood Primary School. We believe it is vitally important that these core values are at the heart of everything we do.
We want our learners to be curious; to have opportunities to explore; to make links in their learning and to develop skills for life. Having a positive attitude is also very important to us and through teaching children about resilience, perseverance and self-belief, we aim to promote a real love of learning, which helps children to grow as individuals in all aspects of their development.
How did we design our curriculum?
We spent a considerable amount of time designing our curriculum, discussing the needs of our children and the wider community. We dedicated meeting time to enable staff to work together to develop a broad and balanced curriculum with depth, whilst covering the full range of knowledge and skills from the National Curriculum.
Our School Charter was created to ensure that all children experience a wide variety of opportunities that enrich and broaden their horizons beyond their everyday lives.
How does our curriculum meet the needs of our learners?
As a team, we discussed our pupils’ backgrounds, life and cultural experiences and how we could tailor our curriculum to our school community. We also discussed what excites and motivates our children as learners and how we can respond to their interests and motivators. To ensure that we meet the needs of the children, they have elected school, eco, computing and library councillors who provide a pupil voice working in collaboration with staff.
We believe that it is essential we provide opportunities for our pupils to learn to respect, tolerate and understand others, while experiencing the benefits of living and learning in our multicultural society. We aim to be able to respond to local, national and world events, enabling children to see different perspectives and develop their own opinions within an ever-changing world.
We also believe it is important to ensure children’s physical and mental well-being are met and, to this end, we have built opportunities for mindfulness and reflection into our weekly curriculum.
The outcomes of our discussions and beliefs helped us to shape a thematic based curriculum where children can grow as learners; explore their own interests, beliefs and values and build positive relationships with others around them. An over aching theme for the learning can be explored through a full range of subjects across the curriculum. The themes will change throughout the year.
Teachers and pupils have collaborated to develop strategies to make our school eco-friendly; we currently hold the Eco School status with the Green Flag award. In terms of physical development, we provide a wide range of opportunities for all learners and this has allowed us to gain the Platinum School Games Award.
How do pupils progress and achieve within our curriculum?
Our curriculum design ensures that children are not just covering content, but achieving a depth to their learning, which enables them to use their skills and understanding in other areas. Where possible, we build in many opportunities for repetition and practise for essential skills and key concepts, knowledge and understanding. This ensures that children can revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.
How will we evaluate our curriculum?
We pride ourselves in constantly improving our school and value feedback from all stakeholders. We give our parents and governors many opportunities to share and celebrate the outcomes of our curriculum including at open days, parent’s evenings and class assemblies.
An important aspect of our curriculum is motivating pupils from the very start of each topic with a ‘hook’ activity or visit (Stunning Start). Each topic ends with a celebration where a purpose is given for the learning (Fabulous Finish). Year group pages on the school website inform parents of the current topic for their class and all classes invite parents to an assembly during the year where pupils showcase their learning. Throughout the year, we also plan a range of exciting open mornings and special days, which excite and inspire the children.
Curriculum coordinators and senior leaders monitor and evaluate the impact that our curriculum is having on learning