The Curriculum at Botley C of E Primary School
At Botley Primary School our curriculum intent is to inspire our children to see learning as a journey; a route to experiencing enjoyment and fulfilment. We want them to have a love of learning, feel passionate about discovering new things and have real ownership of their outcomes. Learning allows them to take control of their lives and to aspire to anything they set their mind to, developing and using all their skills and talents. We encourage children to share their learning with each other and their families and to learn from others. Everyone is an individual, who has different dreams and ambitions and we want to give our children the best start on their educational journey of life, feeling confident, being independent and valuing themselves.
Implementing the Curriculum
To support and achieve our intent, we implement our curriculum through an integrated approach. Where possible we integrate the individual subjects of the curriculum into units of work that engage the children and provide a clear context for their learning. Ensuring that the children enjoy their learning is vitally important to us and this is done by carefully planning and designing cohesive, dynamic and purposeful units of work where links between learning are made explicit.
Every ‘theme’ contains a hook to grab the attention and interest of the children and is driven by the outcome that will be undertaken at the culmination of the theme. This gives a clear and relevant reason for the learning that the children undertake throughout the theme.
The majority of themes focus on five curriculum subjects. Within each theme, English is a lead subject of the topic and this focus in each theme provides a vehicle to support development of the children’s writing and reading skills. In this way there is always a clear reason and audience for the children’s writing. This gives the children many valuable opportunities to apply their learning in a range of contexts. Through these curriculum links, teachers are able to plan a pathway through learning where children can apply skills and knowledge in different contexts and can build on previous learning. There is variation in task design so that children can experience the curriculum at their age-related stage in a way that best suits their learning needs.
Each theme also seeks to encourage the use of visits and visitors as well as providing regular opportunities for parents to come in to school over the year to participate in theme outcomes.
Our themes are complimented by our Heart Values. We understand that these are essential areas that the children need to focus on in order to develop the necessary skills and abilities to flourish, not just in education, but more generally as they progress to secondary school and on into adulthood. The Heart Values are: determination, respect and stewardship.
Not all areas of the curriculum can always be integrated and, as such, every half term there will be some subjects that are delivered discretely. At times it is possible to contextualise discrete subjects within the theme to encourage increased interest from the children. Curriculum maps produced by our individual subject leaders are used to devise our Year Overviews that ensure we fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum and that there is clear progression within each subject through the school.
The impact of our curriculum
Every theme is carefully evaluated upon completion in order to identify where it has been successful and where it could be developed and improved further. This process includes feedback from the children as their view on their learning is of vital importance. Themes are not just repeated on a regular basis but they will be altered and improved over time and will regularly be changed in order to keep the school’s curriculum fresh and dynamic.
Curriculum provision is at the heart of a school and its offer to the children. At Botley we continue to strive to ensure that our curriculum is not merely based upon ensuring children achieve highly at end of Key Stage assessment points. Rather, high outcomes for all children are based on an enjoyable, challenging and inspirational curriculum experience with exciting and stimulating learning opportunities throughout each child’s time within the school. The impact of our curriculum is that children are well prepared for the next stage of their educational journey, have a good level of understanding across the entirety of the subjects that are offered, are literate and numerate and have a passion for learning and a desire to continue to develop their understanding, knowledge and skills.