Penponds School Curriculum statement
Our Curriculum Intent – how do we consider the quality of the curriculum in each subject as a driver of change?
As a school we base our learning on a broad and balanced curriculum and strive to deliver a wide and varied learning experience. We are fully committed to developing each child’s unique potential within a secure and caring environment. We use a range of resources to meet the needs of the curriculum and provide an exciting and enlightening learning experience for our children, maximising the opportunities in our local area. We believe that our children should not only reach their best academically, but also develop a thirst for knowledge, foster a love of learning and leave our school with exceptional independent learning skills. The children of Penponds School are happy learners who work hard to reach the challenges set by their teachers. Excellent teaching and learning give children opportunities to be successful in a creative, safe, calm environment where classrooms and other learning spaces promote creativity and high aspiration. We encourage our children to be resilient and to be leaders of their own learning.
Our Curriculum Implementation– how do we consider the content and teaching sequence in each subject?
The curriculum consists of many planned experiences in school and out: lessons, topic days, school council, assemblies, clubs, sports, WOW! trips and visits, workshops, residential camps, fund raising, and community work. Outcomes may be designed to meet the requirements of the new National Curriculum but also to develop the skills needed for learning and for life. Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or context each term. We have designed our own Penponds curriculum which builds on prior learning from EYFS to the end of KS2 ensuring consistency and progression across the whole school. In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained, the detailed programmes of study are then turned into curriculum drivers. These topics are designed with the end in mind, working towards a final project or outcome, show or community event. Teachers then translate these plans into smaller units of weekly or daily plans where the specific needs of the learners are addressed. We are developing better ways of assessing children’s needs and measuring impact on progress and attainment in the wider curriculum and, as such, teaching is carefully tailored to meet the needs of all the children.
Reading is a key tool for life. Teaching children to become excellent readers is a large and exciting part of what we do at Penponds. We have lots of opportunities for reading exciting books and materials. We celebrate our love of reading by having Reading Tea Parties and by making recommendations to others. Each week, parents and volunteers listen to children read in school and we ensure reading books are carefully matched to ability. We have further improved provision by purchasing decodable readers for children to read at home. We use RWI phonics daily across EYFS and KS1 and all pupils will normally have an hour and a half of English lessons in the morning. This is a mixture of learning about reading, writing, speaking and listening, which includes a variety of text types and genres. We are very proud of our high standard of Public Speaking, taught through our Youth Speaks program, often resulting in regional competitions and trophies. Our English Lead is currently working for the English hub as a reading specialist and provides bespoke support to other schools.
Writing is an essential part of our curriculum offer and very important at Penponds. We have lots of wonderful opportunities to inspire pupils, which makes sure they enjoy writing, plus excellent teaching and support to ensure children make excellent progress. In EYFS children learn how to use a correct pencil grip and begin to form letters, words and sentences. We explicitly teach cursive handwriting daily and encourage children to show they can write across a range of subjects and genres. We teach writing using Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing approach, employing the three stages of imitation, innovation and invention to a range of non-fiction and fiction genres. We link our writing context to our curriculum topics, finding real life reasons for children’s writing to enthuse them with purpose; recent examples include a Year 5/6 project writing letters to more senior members of our community who may have been feeling lonely due to lockdown.
We use the DFE approved Power Maths scheme to support our teaching of maths. It has been designed to support and challenge all pupils, and is built on the belief that everyone can learn maths successfully. Following the Power Maths scheme, children self-assess, are constantly challenged and have clear worked examples, models and images to help their understanding. One of our teachers is on a Primary Maths Mastery specialist programme with the Maths hub and brings this learning back to school to improve our maths provision. We practise mental arithmetic daily and explicitly teach strategies for calculation with a focus on mental methods, jottings and formal written methods. We use Timestables Rockstars to further improve our teaching of tables and recently purchased SumDog, initially to facilitate remote learning. We now use the latter to complement teaching, as it provides opportunities to practise skills and assess progress.
In our rapidly evolving world, science is a vital part of our curriculum intention. Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. Pupils learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
At Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate.
At Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas
Design and Technology is a subject where our pupils are involved in designing, researching, making and evaluating a range of everyday objects from catapults to pizza! Children learn about food, textiles, construction and technological developments. Children are taught to use tools correctly and safely.
In Art children learn about the work of artists, architects and designers as a starting point to developing their own ideas. Children develop skills in drawing, painting, printing, using mixed media and creating sculpture. They are taught the skills and techniques and then given the opportunity to practise them to produce individual and group pieces of work. Children are encouraged to critically evaluate their own work and that of others in order to learn from their experiences. We are very proud of our art work at Penponds and regularly present our efforts to the local community at celebrations such as Trevithick Day.
Music and drama is a key part of our curriculum offer. We currently have Cornwall Music Service visiting school each week to teach Years 3, 4, 5, and 6 children to play the Ukulele and all children have the opportunity to take part. Performing and visual arts also play a significant part within our curriculum with a Christmas nativity for Key stage 1 and a summer musical production for KS2, often drawing upon our rich and varied regional culture and staff expertise. We teach singing lessons, guitar and keyboard as well as run a popular choir which perform at local concerts throughout the year including our annual MAT extravaganza in the spring term.
Computers and other IT can help pupils make accelerated progress. We support pupils to develop their skills such as researching, typing, editing and art skills. Then we use those skills in cross-curricular work. When Computer programming we use various resources recommended by Teach Computing.
Modern Foreign Languages are taught across KS2. At Penponds we teach French using the Twinkl Scheme of Work and children enjoy learning new vocabulary and testing out their French speaking. They particularly enjoyed their recent French Day which gave an opportunity to show off their knowledge while learning more about French culture.
Religious Education at Penponds is based on the Cornwall Agreed Syllabus 2020 - 2025. We follow a 2 year rolling plan to ensure coverage is rigid and thorough. The principle aim of religious education at Penponds school is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living. All pupils develop their understanding of Christianity in each stage of their learning and in addition, pupils will develop understanding of the principle religions represented in the UK, with a consideration of other religious and non-religious worldviews. Links are also made to Religion in Cornwall and how beliefs and traditions affect the people and landscape around us.
Physical Education(PE) is an important part of our curriculum and we encourage all of our children to participate in a wide range of activities. We are supported by partnerships with Camborne Science and International Academy, Global Boarders, Go Active, Pirates Rugby and Sports4Tots.The aim of physical education is to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Children are taught to observe the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators. Children take part in games, gymnastic movement, dance and athletic activities using indoor and outdoor environments where appropriate. Children can take part in after school clubs and have the opportunity to compete against other schools. In KS2, children go on a residential course for outdoor activities. Children have swimming lessons in year 3/4 then again in Year 5/6. Extra-Curricular Clubs are very popular, and there are a variety of clubs available for Reception, KS1 and KS2 pupils. Playtimes are an important part of our pupils being happy, healthy and ready to learn. We have well-staffed and equipped playgrounds, a sports field and an Outdoor Area specifically for the EYFS children. Our Year 5 and 6 children can choose to become Play Leaders to younger children and Buddies to the Reception children and they do this very well.
At Penponds we believe that all children are entitled to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum through which we support children with additional needs. All children are encouraged to achieve their full potential and to be included in the social and academic life of the school. We aim to provide educational experiences that take into account the individual needs of children, appropriate to their level of ability. We have developed a programme of early intervention in order to identify pupils who have special educational needs. The school is supported in this work by a variety of outside agencies, which provide specialist advice.
Our approach to the curriculum complies with our duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 to ensure the curriculum is accessible for those with disabilities or special educational needs. See our SEN Information and Supporting SEND subject specific strategies for accessing the curriculum.
Our curriculum impact – How well are our pupils learning the content within our curriculum?
We have four intentions when it comes to measuring the impact of our curriculum.
Intention 1: to develop our learner’s learning (Our head and body: what we learn)
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their age related expectations when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering where they should be for how old they are. We intend that the impact is that children will be academically and physically prepared for the next phase of their education, in Britain and the world.
Intention 2: Develop the character of our learners (Our heart and character: Who we are when we learn)
The impact will be that our learners will have fully rounded characters with a clear understanding of complex values like equality, friendship, trust and many others. Only by really learning what these mean will our learners be able to develop a character that prepares them for living in the community demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day in all learners on the playground, in the corridor, and in the many roles we give them. The impact of this intention is seen in the daily interaction of all members of our school community
Intention 3: Develop behaviours and habits to become effective learners (Our actions and attitudes: How we act when we learn)
The impact we intend to achieve by developing this intention is seen by how the children approach challenges every day. This could be on the playground, in a game or disagreement, or in class in a complex learning challenge. The impact should be that children are resilient, they don’t give up, are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this.
Intention 4: Develop the moral compass of our learners (Our place in the community and wider world: Who we are)
Our learners will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community. They will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others. They will go out into the world and make a difference in their own life and to others.
If you need additional information about our curriculum please contact Mrs Jo Wood in our school office on 01209 713929 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org