PSHE Curriculum is available on individual class pages
Click on a link below to view this half terms curriculum maps
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Our curriculum is based on themes for learning which means that we link subjects together to give our children a cohesive learning experience. Each theme revolves around a question, this gives plenty of scope for investigation and research.
How we deliver our curriculum
Our curriculum is taught on a two year cycle and within the phases we have in school (Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2). So as to avoid repeating the same theme each year, the skills from the National Curriculum are split into Year A and Year B objectives which we then plan themes around.(These can be seen below for each Phase). Most of the subjects and skills are taught by the same class teacher however, as themes are planed with partner classes, teachers can share ideas and skills when planning and delivering themes and sometimes swap classes or combine together to improve the quality of provision.
Themes are taught over a term to our children, starting and ending with ‘wow’ days. After the initial ‘wow’ day, children are encouraged to ask questions which teachers then plan to answer. This allows the children to have ownership over their curriculum and lead their own learning.
English, maths and ICT skills are taught during discrete lessons but revisited in the curriculum so children can apply and embed the skills they have learnt in a purposeful context.
Each theme has a visit or a visitor to ensure our children have first-hand experiences to support and develop their learning. We enhance our PE provision with specialist sports coaches who support the children’s learning if it ties in to a creative theme.
The National Curriculum sets out the minimum content. At Thorpe Primary, we make sure children learn lots of additional skills, knowledge and understanding. For example:
- we offer a range of after-school clubs and opportunities to learn a musical instrument
- if a class or group show an interest in a particular subject, teachers will try to include this in the school year
- current local/national or international events; these can provide a great basis for learning. Natural disasters and the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire are good examples of where our curriculum has been enhanced to ensure our children are aware of what is happening on a local and global scale.
Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ within a theme and so these subjects are taught in a discrete way. Subjects will not be tenuously linked as this means that learning lacks the depth of understanding we want to provide our children.
Our curriculum is a creative, skills-based curriculum.
- Creativity = imaginative, purposeful activity + originality + with value
- Core skills = communication + mathematics
- Supporting skills = ICT + improving own learning and performance + working with others + problem-solving + working with others
Creativity is important so our children are really engaged in their learning: we want our English, Maths and theme lessons to be inspiring, challenging, enjoyable and relevant to the pupils. Skills are needed so that our children can become effective, life-long learners and successful, happy citizens. The skills feature in all subjects; they are sometimes the primary objective of a lesson whilst at other times skills are developed more implicitly.
Communication is a two-way process. We communicate ‘outwards’ by speaking and writing, and we receive communication by listening and reading. In all our teaching and learning, we aim for our pupils to communicate orally to a high level, and so we place a lot of emphasis on all forms of speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing. In this increasingly information-based world, we also want our learners to evaluate information critically rather than believe everything they come across without questioning. For example, children at Thorpe frequently compare different websites or books and decide which are better, and why.
Maths is a key skill. We all need to be able to perform simple mental maths skills; understand functions of a calculator and interpret the results; read and question data we see in tables and graphs; tell the time… There are many areas of everyday life in which we use mathematical skills without realising. In addition to this, Maths gives us the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills and apply logic and reasoning. We don’t think it’s acceptable for anyone to have poor numeracy skills and so we’re constantly thinking about how to develop this core skill in our themes and not just in a Maths lesson. (It’s worth remembering, too, that research shows the better a person’s numeracy skills are, the more likely they are to earn more and manage their finances better!)
As well as dedicated Computing lessons, which form part of the statutory National Curriculum, there are many more lessons in which information and communication technology (ICT) is used as a ‘vehicle’ to learn in other areas. This might be as simple as using a maths game to practise times tables, or something more complex such as entering data from a PE lesson to compare performances.
Improving own learning and performance
At Thorpe, we recognise that our children must be able to initiate, engage, persevere and reflect in all their learning. We want our pupils to be able to work independently without close supervision. We often, for example, incorporate independent research on a subject that they want to find out more about. Children then might present their findings to others.
Working with others
Working with others is a life-skill that will help to prepare our pupils for their future. Just like adults, children need to be able to cooperate and compromise, agree and sometimes constructively disagree, help others to learn and learn from others.
Problem-solving and thinking skills
Another aim of our teaching is to build children’s confidence to investigate and find solutions to problems and to think for themselves. There are many ways to build up skills in this area. For example, we might do this through lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement, teaching step-by-step problem-solving techniques, and indirectly by using role-play or other realistic problems to reach agreement.