About our curriculum
The intent of our curriculum is built around a focus on oracy and vocabulary, equipping children with the communication, presentation and interpersonal skills needed to thrive in the twenty- first century. Evidence shows that of the children who persistently experience poverty, 75% arrive at school below average in language development (Communication Trust, Talking about a generation, 2017). A child in a low income household, over their early years of life, will hear 30 million less words. A typical child living in a welfare family will be exposed to an average of 600 words per hour, of which there is a ratio of 2 negative words to every positive. (Hart and Risley 2003)
Meadowside’s contextual information indicates that our children reside in an area that is within the highest 3% of deprivation nationally. Therefore we have created a curriculum filled with learning to talk and learning through talk, ensuring opportunities to acquire a rich and varied vocabulary, delivered in language-rich classrooms. Oracy is a set of teachable skills that are essential for life and is at the heart of our pedagogy.
The Rights Respecting agenda is at the heart of school life at Meadowside and provides a strong ethos to foster purposeful learning attitudes and positive relationships. This initiative underpins the school’s aims to provide a values led curriculum. The children learn about their own responsibilities, through learning about their own rights and the rights of others, as set out by the United Nations Convention Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
A key concept, which also shapes the ethos of our school, is Growth Mindset. Rather than simply praising success, we praise effort and persistence. We believe the best thing to do is to teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning. For children who find work easy we make sure they encounter more difficult tasks. Our children recognise that effort, persistence and good teaching are what help them improve.
At Meadowside, we believe that people learn best in different ways and children deserve inspirational learning experiences in a fully inclusive environment. We believe that skills should be developed alongside knowledge and that most importantly learning should matter. We provide rich and varied learning experiences, allowing all children to develop knowledge and skills, whilst developing critical thinking.
Following the statutory requirements, our curriculum provides all, with plenty of opportunities for enjoyment and achievement. Our children experience memorable and relevant opportunities for progressive, high quality learning and wider personal development and well-being. By fostering a curriculum, which provides both skills and knowledge, both indoors and outdoors, our children will be inspired by what they learn, be creative in their application and be passionate about their learning community and the wider world, now and in the future.
We will promote the knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs and values necessary to support future ready young people who are able to exercise ‘learner agency’ and to take responsibility for their own education and to participate positively in the world. We will do this by providing a solid foundation of literacy, numeracy, general knowledge, digital/technological competence, physical health & well-being and enable them to mobilise disciplinary and inter-disciplinary knowledge, cognitive and social skills and attitudes and values to meet complex demands.
Our curriculum pedagogy centres on the key fundamental area of oracy:
Oracy: Spoken language is the fundamental skill for the achievement of our children. We strive to develop spoken language skills and enrich children’s vocabulary through the taught curriculum and extend this beyond the classroom, supporting the development of childrens’ confidence and self-esteem. It allows children to take ownership of their learning, unlock and deepen understanding and think critically.
With oracy at the heart of everything we do at Meadowside, we implement our curriculum with a focus on 3 key areas:
Vocabulary acquisition: Vocabulary must be at the conscious forefront, the frontline of every conversation, every lesson, every interaction in your school and classroom. Classrooms are filled with talk, creating opportunities to hear new words in context, thus providing an input of new language. Opportunities for talk are plentiful, using new vocabulary in their speech, taking ownership of new language. Teaching of new vocabulary features daily and sentence stems are used to reinforce the use of new language in their speech.
Thinking and Philosophy: Our curriculum is led with an overarching philosophical question, which allows children from an early age to think deeply, to ask intelligent questions and to debate moral and social issues.
Learning outside the classroom: Throughout their journey in school, we ensure our children are provided with as many opportunities as possible for learning outside the classroom. These experiences benefit their educational, social, physical and emotional development.
Our curriculum is organised into three key whole school themes across the terms, allowing for greater depth. Each term has a core element driver and an individual philosophical key question stem for every year group. In the autumn term, the main themes are global history and geography; in the spring term, DT and Art, and in the summer term, we focus on geography and local history. Further skills are mapped to each term and embedded throughout the year.
We ensure every lesson starts with recall and retrieval practice to embed and secure learning to the long term memory (Roediger & Karpicke 2006). We want children to know more and remember more. We advocate using strategies that are evidenced based and use research and practice to make decisions around how we can apply them in the classroom. EEF- funded projects and the Teaching and Learning Toolkit provide support to improve the attainment and wider outcomes of our children.
“Time Travellers” (Global History & Geography)
Careers and Aspirations
“Let’s Imagine” (Design Technology and Art & Design
World Book Week
“I wonder…” (Geography & local History)
Keeping Ourselves Safe Week
Maths and Science Week
All other subjects are taught integrated into each term (Computing, RE, PSHE) or as discrete subjects ( PE, Music, Science).
Five core areas are carefully considered and integrated into our curriculum with the central pedagogy of developing oracy and vocabulary:
- Memorable moments and life experiences- asking questions to extend their thinking, generating ideas and exploring possibilities.
- Enrichment and out of the classroom opportunities- seeking out challenges, collaborating with others, formulating ideas and develop reasoning skills.
- Rights, Respecting values, SMSC and British Values- Showing perseverance and commitment, recognising, celebrating and valuing the diversity of the world we live in.
- Growth Mindset and developing PSHE- speaking clearly and conveying thoughts and feelings confidently, overcoming barriers, trying out alternative solutions, enabling each child to develop a positive self-image leading to high self-esteem, self-respect and a confident and responsible attitude.
- Philosophy for children (P4C)- these sessions allow every child to speak freely without feeling pressure in an inclusive atmosphere, challenging stereotypes and tackling issues such as homophobia and racism. It gives the children a chance to voice their opinions and listen to their peers in a structured and nurturing environment.
Through our curriculum teaching, we aim to:
- Overcome the vocabulary deficit for children in an area of such high deprivation (top 10% in the country) by creating classrooms that are language rich, providing daily opportunities for the acquisition of rich and varied vocabulary.
- With a focus on oracy, equip children with the skills and abilities to live in the 21st Century, so that they can grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens.
- Enable each child to develop a positive self-image leading to high self-esteem, self-respect and a confident and responsible attitude.
- Allow children to develop a greater retention of subject specific knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and reasoning skills.
- Create a happy, caring atmosphere and a secure environment where children can learn effectively.
- Provide a broad, balanced and continuous curriculum to enable each child to experience success and achievement in fulfilling their own potential.
- Enable children to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners.
- Foster children's self-esteem and help them to build positive relationships with other people and within our school community.
- Model learning and expected behaviour for the children, continuing our own journey of lifelong learning.
- Develop children's self-respect and pride for everyone, with no prejudices; encouraging them to understand the ideas, attitudes and values of others and to teach them to respect other people's feelings.
- Develop effective links between school, the child’s home and the community, which promotes aspiration and high expectations.â€¨
|Teaching, Learning & Curriculum Policy||Useful Links|
|Science||Y4 Sound RAG rating Key Vocabulary example|
|Geography & History|
|DT & Art and Design|
|Modern Foreign Languages|
Our curriculum at Meadowside CP School follows both the Statutory requirements set out by the government whilst addressing the needs and interests of our children to enjoy and have a purposeful experience in their learning.
We teach the content as set out in the National Curriculum and this document can be found at www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/primary
State schools in England must teach a range of subjects according to targets set by the National Curriculum. This was established in 1989 to ensure the same standards of teaching and learning across the nation.
READING AND PHONICS:
At Meadowside CP & Nursery Primary School we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture, encouraging pupils to develop a love of books and literature that will not only support their learning across the curriculum, but also enrich their lives.
At Meadowside, we follow the Letters and Sounds document’s principles and practices across the EYFS and Key Stage One – this is supported by using a wide range of resources, including Jolly Phonic actions, to support the effective delivery of phonics lessons by catering for all children’s needs.
You can find all the details of our reading and phonics schemes in our policy.