Curriculum statement – October 2018
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 sources 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. Our mantras of “Being a Boss of your Own Learning” and “moving your cutting edge of learning into the challenge zone” help children articulate how to be independent learners.
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. In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained, the programmes of study are then developed into medium term plans which clearly highlight the learning objectives, assessment opportunities, differentiated tasks as well as links to other subjects. These topics are designed with the end in mind, working towards a final project, show or community event. Teachers then translate these plans into smaller units – half term, weekly, 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 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 use incentive schemes such as Reading Karate and Accelerated reader to carefully track progress and practice at home. Each week, parents and volunteers listen to children read in school and we ensure reading books are carefully matched to ability. 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 and 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.
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, and excellent teaching and support to ensure children make excellent progress. In EYFS children learn how to hold a pencil properly and begin to form letters, words and sentences. We explicitly teach cursive handwriting daily and our Pen Queen, who sits on her throne every Friday, awards pen licences each week to children who can prove 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 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 letters to our MP, reports for our newsletter and performance poetry and speeches.
Our mathematics curriculum covers everything from cooking with weights and measures all the way through to long division and algebra. New mathematical ideas are introduced with lots of hands-on science at Penponds which gives our pupils an opportunity to learn about science by being real scientists. Through the use of Maths Learning Ladders, our pupils work in small groups with their teachers facilitating the learning. Children self-assess, are constantly challenged and have clear models and images to help their understanding. From 2019 two of our teachers will qualify as Primary Maths Mastery specialists and will conduct action research to constantly improve our maths provision. Our ‘Mastery Checkpoints’ built into our learning ladders and weekly problem solving investigations develop children’s conceptual understanding enabling them to apply their skills to different problems. We practice mental arithmetic daily and explicitly teach strategies for calculation with a focus on mental methods, jottings and formal written methods.
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 which our pupils are involved in designing and making things from moon buggies to pizza. Children are taught to use tools correctly and safely, even our reception class has a wood working bench!
In Art children have opportunities to draw, paint, print, make collages, use fabrics and threads and use clay. 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 Ukelele 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 every year, often drawing upon our rich and varied regional culture and staff expertise. We teach singing lessons, violin, guitar and keyboard as well as our popular choir which perform at local concerts throughout the year.
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. Computer programming we use various methods including Scratch, Code club and Expresso coding.
Modern Foreign Languages are enjoyed by Class 3 and Class 4. We have a specialist French teacher visit us every two weeks from Camborne Science and International Academy which provides language learning to our Key Stage 2 classes. This specialist tuition would not be possible without close ties to our secondary school and also benefits the primary staff by providing valuable CPD.
Religious Education at Penponds is based on the agreed Cornwall syllabus. It is an entitlement for all children and the school plans lessons to link with the termly topics. Religious Education does not seek to urge religious beliefs on children or to compromise the integrity of their own beliefs by promoting one religion over another. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education. Suitable alternative provision will be made.
Physical Education is where our children participate in all activities supported by partnership with Camborne Science and International Academy.
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.
Physical education is seen as key to developing healthy lifestyles in young people and at Penponds we provide a wide array of opportunities to develop this and sporting skills outside of the normal curriculum time. Regular lunch time clubs: Scooters (KS1), Daily Mile, Football Club, Playground Leaders etc. encourage children to be as physically active as possible.
Extra-Curricular Clubs are very popular, and there are a variety of clubs available for KS1 and KS2 pupils. These include football, netball, code club, cricket, computer club, surfing, gardening, KS1 and KS2 athletics etc. 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.
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. Special Educational Needs (SEN) at Penponds we have developed a programme of early intervention in order to identify pupils who have special educational needs. This process is co-ordinated by Miss Berry, who is supported in her work by outside agencies, which provide specialist advice.
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 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. Our learners will be the owners of their own destinies.