Our Curriculum Approach
At Pucklechurch CEVC Primary School we are fully committed to providing a relevant, broad and balanced curriculum to all children. Through our curriculum we aim to encourage and develop inquisitive thinkers and learners who are engaged in the curriculum via exciting and stimulating opportunities. This curriculum intent and school vision was revised during 2018-19 with staff, children and Governors inputting into the words and ensuring that they capture what we aim to enable every child to achieve. We have designed a curriculum that is ambitious for all our pupils. It is planned and sequenced to ensure children gain knowledge and skill, year on year, in all national curriculum subjects.
Our curriculum drives all we do and encompasses all forms of learning both within the classroom and outside it. We believe that every child has the right to an exciting, engaging and inclusive curriculum that both meets the academic needs of every child as well as building resilient, inquisitive and rounded young people who are ready to enter the wider world. Our aim is to provide our children with an engaging, exciting and empowering curriculum that equips them for today and tomorrow.
Our curriculum is designed to: recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers.
Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our diverse school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values with a vision to prepare them for life beyond primary school. We constantly provide enrichment opportunities to engage learning. We believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives, where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. We use our Pucklechurch CEVC Values (Friendship, Courage, Respect, Generosity, Compassion and Forgiveness) to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.
Community involvement is an integral part of our curriculum, inviting families and visitors to facilitate learning new skills and sharing experiences such as assemblies, curriculum workshops and celebration events. Children leave Pucklechurch CEVC Primary with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
Our curriculum priorities are as follows:
We prioritise early and secure literacy skills. Our curriculum design is centred around rich language development, oracy (expression through speech) and reading, because this is what our pupils need.
2. Long term memory: knowing more and remembering more
We place a high value on key concepts in each subject and although our curriculum is broad it is also balanced. Concepts are carefully ordered across a year group to enable links to be made between subjects. Concepts are also progressive, so in any subject a teacher can link back to previous learning.
3. Positive mental health
Positive mental health is key because 'educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all' — Aristotle. SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development) is a 'golden thread' that runs throughout the school. This is evident in PSHE teaching and learning and pastoral care. In addition, all lessons are designed to encourage collaborative problem-solving which develop our school values and provide challenge and ambition, as well as self-management and discipline.
This is how we achieve it —
At Pucklechurch CEVC Primary, we deliver our vision through a curriculum which consists of the National Curriculum core and foundation subjects, taught through a relevant, contextual and inspiring programme.
We take an enquiry based approach to learning. We believe learners should be actively involved in their learning process at all stages and that learning should be led by their interests and passion. Towards the end of each term all classes complete an enquiry day where we explore our next topic and the children have the opportunity to choose the direction of their learning, share knowledge, ask questions and research their new topic. The subsequent planning is based on the outcome of these sessions. We aim to link all learning in a cross-curricular manner to ensure children get the most out of a term. By linking learning across the subjects the children are able to develop a deeper understanding of all aspects the topic and grow their skills as historians, artists and geographers whilst increasing their understanding of the main theme.
Our taught curriculum is split into two cycles as we work as Hubs (two year groups together) and this way we can make sure that no child misses or repeats a subject during their time with us. Each cycle lasts one year and this is split into six terms - two from September to Christmas, two from Christmas to Easter and two from Easter to Summer (please see the term dates on our calendar page). While every area of the national curriculum is covered across the year, we do not try and teach every subject every term as this does not allow the rich depth of teaching we want, so generally each term has either a science or humanities focus while subjects such as English and Maths are taught every term. This also allows for time to be spent outdoors, swimming, trips and visits and residential camps.
We regularly re-evaluate the curriculum as it is a living document that constantly changes and evolves to meet the needs and interests of the current cohorts. Our teachers work incredibly hard to ensure the curriculum they deliver across each year group is engaging, interesting, exciting and challenging. Our curriculum overviews give an outline of the area covered within each subject for each term of the academic year. Parents receive additional information through the school newsletter, homework updates and events where we invite parents to join us in school. If you would like any additional information regarding the curriculum please see your child's class teacher.
Our curriculum is thematic and allows the children to explore different subject areas via exciting topic themes. The themes are relevant and stimulating and allow the children to pursue their own ideas, make progress through the requirements of the National Curriculum and ensure the children develop a broad set of transferable skills.
Our curriculum is motivating, engaging and taught through Learning Challenge Curriculum themes with a strong emphasis on developing English. Visits and visitors are used to help deliver the curriculum in an exciting and stimulating way. Where areas of learning do not fit in to our themes we teach them as high quality stand-alone units.
“. . . the joy of true education: of reading for the sake of a wonderful book rather than for an exam; of following a subject because it is fascinating rather than because it is on the syllabus; of watching a great teacher’s eyes light up for sheer love of the subject.” Professor Richard Dawkins.
We follow specialist schemes:
- The Jigsaw scheme - a rich resource designed to facilitate the development of self-control, emotional awareness and interpersonal problem-solving skills.
- The REAL PE scheme — sits alongside a focus on key sports and team-skills.
- Charanga Music scheme - a fantastic music program for children, with opportunities to develop skills and perform.
We have also designed regular visits to ensure learning is always first hand, with a wide range of extracurricular creative and physical opportunities. You can also find the curriculum overviews for each hub on their pages.
The impact of our curriculum and holistic schooling offer is seen through a myriad of sources. To see the real impact we would encourage you to talk with our children to hear the breadth of experiences they have had; the depth of confidence they have in their abilities; and how ready they are to continue to grow through their next steps. Our Facebook page (closed for parents only), newsletter and website are excellent sources of information charting the journey of our school each year and demonstrating the rich variety that every child experiences. Furthermore, discussion with our engaged parent body, proactive Governors and innovative staff will illuminate how our curriculum impacts our children and their families.
As with all schools, we also measure the impact of our children's education through statutory end of Y6 assessments (SATs). We also monitor through internal data during each year of our pupils' education. Teachers and senior staff meet every long term (three times a year) to discuss every child in terms of their academic strengths and barriers but also in terms of their social, pastoral and mental health needs.
Curriculum lead: Alex Capel