STATEMENT OF INTENT
The curriculum at Bentfield Primary School is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. The curriculum ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning. As a fully inclusive school our desire for equality is at the core of everything we do. The curriculum celebrates diversity and emphasises that everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. It supports pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
In keeping with the ethos of our school it is our main aim that the curriculum addresses the specific needs of each and every one of our pupils and the wide range of differing needs there are within our setting. We make our teaching stimulating, focused and challenging, matching our approaches to the age, interest, experiences and identified learning needs of our pupils. We ensure that children's experiences in school make them feel positive about themselves and build their self-esteem. Achievements, however small, are always celebrated.
Our curriculum has five main aims:
Our curriculum in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6), integrates the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum and is planned in termly themes which incorporate a cross-curricular approach where appropriate. Overviews have been created for all subject areas which demonstrate how we have carefully sequenced our curriculum to ensure a progression of skills and knowledge in each year group and units of study, as well as highlight potential conceptual links. Overviews are used to form long term maps for each year group and ensure that prior learning is built on over time. Knowledge organisers are also in place to support pupils' knowledge acquisition and provide them with a reference throughout their learning experience.
The curriculum is timetabled to ensure that there will always be a daily English and Maths lesson, as well as a whole class reading session, in each year group. Other subjects are organised depending on the required learning and may take a weekly approach or be blocked together if deemed more productive, for example for a Design Technology or Art project. Although there are many elements of cross curricular work, there will be some subjects which are taught discretely when it better supports the pupils' learning. Our school also follows the Essex SACRE agreed syllabus for Religious Education, and we have implemented the Jigsaw programme for Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE).
In Nursery and Reception, we follow the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum’ document. The children’s learning experiences are planned to enable them to develop and achieve in the early learning areas through play and investigative learning experiences. The EYFS curriculum features time inside and outside the classroom and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. The curriculum is approached in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development.
Special Education Needs
Our curriculum is specifically adapted to meet the needs of pupils with SEND, developing their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence, and ensuring that they make progress.
For our pupils with severe or profound learning difficulties who are working below National Curriculum levels and need a more bespoke approach within the classroom, we have implemented the engagement curriculum. This allows our high needs pupils to access stimuli and activities on a similar theme as their peers, while following their own areas of development. It works alongside the engagement model to ensure that the progress of pupils working below National Curriculum levels is tracked accordingly.
Learning beyond the classroom
We are gifted with an amazing outdoor environment and this is integral to our curriculum so that pupils are active, thus promoting physical development and progressing their responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. Our school forest area is used by all classes throughout the year with activities linked to their curriculum objectives.
Educational visits (including residential visits and visitors to the school) are carefully selected to provide children with a wealth of learning experiences and knowledge which they are then able to draw upon in their learning. These are also great opportunities to ignite children’s passion in areas that they may not have previously had an interest. We also plan whole school themed events such as Enterprise Day or Science Week, and we put in place a range of extra-curricular clubs for pupils to attend.
We believe in working closely with our parents and have adopted a more flexible approach to support learning at home. Each term, children are asked to complete a task from a choice of activities that is inspiring or creative and linked to their learning. We also offer the more traditional home learning to reinforce reading, spellings and multiplication tables.
The impact of the curriculum is evident in pupils' books, other work they have produced, their outcomes, and through pupil voice. Teachers track the progress of individuals in all areas of the curriculum to inform assessments which are shared with parents in reports and during parents' evening appointments throughout the year. Work is planned to address misconceptions and gaps in learning identified through assessment to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils.
In addition to high academic outcomes, we expect our curriculum to have the additional impact of supporting pupils' wellbeing and happiness, and to develop their independence and resilience. The children will be able to articulate their learning and their love of learning, as well as their love of school, which in turn supports good attendance and punctuality.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review, and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further. All subject leaders are given training and the opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school.
Overall, we intend that the impact of our curriculum is that children will be academically, physically and emotionally prepared for the next phase of their education. They will demonstrate curiosity and a desire to acquire knowledge and experience of the world around them, and the realisation that learning enriches their lives beyond the classroom. They will have a depth of understanding to become confident lifelong learners.
SPECIFIC CURRICULUM AREAS
For further information on each of the subjects that are taught at our school please see the relevant pages below: