At Wath CofE Primary School our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum breadth, focusing on key knowledge and skills and designed with the needs of our children in mind. Central to our curriculum intent is our vision. This is outlined below.
Through our approach to the curriculum and its delivery, learning at Wath CofE Primary School is engaging. We create a positive environment where children believe success is achievable for everyone and all learners can aspire to excellence safe in the knowledge that if they don’t succeed first time they have strategies to help themselves. Children develop a positive outlook towards all learning challenges on their journey towards reaching their potential as learners and as people with a focus on exceptional effort being what we should all expect of ourselves. We are inclusive and believe that every child has talents and these must be celebrated in a range of ways that shines a light on those talents across the school curriculum.
Wath CofE Primary School is rooted in the community. We have strong links with All Saints Church and other Christian groups in the parish but also give the children a broader appreciation of their community and what it is like to be a respectful citizen of the world in 2021. We believe in working closely with children and families, we can nurture children to be kind, positive, motivated, polite and confident. Through our Christian ethos, we aim to work in a supportive and caring manner with children and their families. Our vision is reflected in our motto, ‘Aim higher, shine brighter’ which was generated by the children and is at the heart of everything we do.
The children understand the five words of our vision through the Kevin Smith story which is unique to our school. Keven Smith attended our school only to leave after Year 6 and lost his life trying to help others on the Penlee Lifeboat.
Curriculum Driver – Vocabulary
At Wath CofE Primary School, we have one driver which is exceptionally important to the development of the learners at our school and the aims of our curriculum. Our curriculum driver is vocabulary. We have chosen this driver as 90% of the words we know are learned through print. Also, vocabulary learned in particular topics supports comprehension relating to those topics. Knowledge of concepts is developed through our vocabulary focused curriculum in a range of subject areas. This is reinforced by the central part of reading in our curriculum through guided reading, reading practice, phonics and daily class story in every class. As well as this, children learn in vocabulary rich environments and access a range of texts in their classrooms which include fiction and a range of non-fiction. The video link explains further how teaching a broad curriculum supports the development of children’s vocabulary.
There is a clear rationale behind our curriculum and careful though has gone into each area of learning to ensure progression. Through our school maps, which are broken into year groups, progression is clear in subject areas. This is further reinforced by cold tasks at the beginning to history, geography and science topic. These are revisited at the end of topics to show how children have gained knowledge they didn’t previously have. Launch events such as trips or hooks, the delivery of curriculum and celebrations of learning at the end of units of work ensure learning is engaging. So that knowledge sticks a variety of vehicles are used as part of our teaching and learning practice. These include; early bird maths which focuses on arithmetic, maths meetings which focus on revisiting mathematical knowledge, a multi-sensory spelling scheme and retrieval practice in a range of subjects.
There are a range of shared experiences for all pupils in school in reading as well as a clearly sequenced structure for teaching reading across school to ensure all pupils can read and fully access the full curriculum. Children have daily class novel or story in their classrooms, the Headteacher recommends a series of books which are read by children, there is a weekly reading race in KS1 and KS2 to promote home reading and FS2 and Year 1 parents completed regular early bird reading with their children in school. The sequenced structure for teaching reading across school is outlined below:
Use of Letters and Sounds phonics to teach reading in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.
Bookbands matched to phonic phases and year group assessment for early readers.
Guided reading in school from FS2 which is in groups in F2, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 so that the teaching of reading matches learners’ needs and focused on the VIPERs structure.
Whole class guided reading in Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 focusing on the VIPERs structure.
Regular reading practice for all children with extra one-to-one reading for the bottom 20% of readers.
The impact of our curriculum can be measured and evaluated in a number of ways. These are listed below:
The climate for learning which can be seen around school
Through pupil voice and understanding the impact the curriculum has had on learners
Knowledge gain evidenced in books from cold tasks, the learning which has taken place then the warm task at the end of a unit of work
Regular diagnostic assessments in all core subjects including phonics
Assessments made using school progression maps
The progress and attainment of the children.
Learning and memory
Children learn something when it is committed to long term memory.
Our working memory is much smaller and can hold up to 4 items at a time. This is why in single lessons, the learning progresses with small steps and is chunked.
To support committing learning to the long term memory, we teach learning activities which match the knowledge content, make connections regularly to known knowledge in that subject area and other subject areas and use a retrieval structure which follows teach, recall, recall, recall and recall until the content is learned. Spacing of content will support recall over a period of time.