Bishop’s Castle Primary School Curriculum
Basic Principle and Approach
At Bishop’s Castle Primary School, we are passionate about providing a curriculum for our learners which meets their needs in the 21st Century.
Our basic principle is that learning is a change to long-term memory. Our aims are to ensure that children at Bishop’s Castle Primary School experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.
Our approach to curriculum planning is personalised and flexible so that it can be adapted to meet the needs of learners over time.
Our starting point is ensuring that we meet the requirements of the National Curriculum in Key stages 1 and 2 and children in reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
How we plan to offer a rich and varied curriculum
In designing our ever evolving and bespoke curriculum we start by identifying our Curriculum Drivers which take account of the opportunities and challenges in the context of our school community and our pupils’ lives. They are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our students and our beliefs about high quality education and our values. They are used to ensure we give our students appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities
Our Curriculum Drivers
Reason - Some of our pupils lack …
Social Skills and Language
Confidence when they are speaking in a variety of situations
A depth of vocabulary and understanding of language in different contexts
An understanding of how to adapt their speech according to the environment they are in
Social confidence and ability
Appropriate manners and courtesy
A sense of where they live
Geographical knowledge and knowledge of current affairs
Pride in their heritage
An awareness of the diversity of the UK and the wider world
Aspirations, resilience and growth mindset
The desire to challenge themselves
The understanding that making mistakes is a fundamental part of the learning process
Ambition for what they could achieve now and in the future
Pride in their work
Resilience and self motivation
Healthy Body, Health Mind
Physical and mental health and well-being
An enjoyment of physical challenge
Being able to recognise and understand their own moods, feelings and physical needs
Sensitivity to and understanding of others feelings
Self esteem and confidence in what they can achieve
Our Y1-Y6 curriculum is underpinned by the Essentials Curriculum by Chris Quigley.
In our Reception Year, we follow the new Early Years Framework.
The Essentials Curriculum sets out the essential coverage, learning objectives and standards which are required for all subjects. Furthermore, it provides progress measures for all subjects including personal development.
One of the primary reasons we chose this curriculum is because it emphasises the importance of developing the depth of a child’s learning. In essence, this means providing children with increased cognitive challenge, allowing them to apply the skills which they have learnt independently in a range of contexts rather than moving them onto the next skill needlessly when they have not truly mastered it.
We believe this curriculum provides us with a coherent, progressive and appropriately sequenced curricular structure to enable our pupils to develop subject specific knowledge and skills to prepare them well for the next stages of their education.
The curriculum builds progressively on from the learning in the Foundation Stage. It is aligned to the National Curriculum but and goes beyond National Curriculum requirements in each milestone to ensure repetition of skills and knowledge.
Using the Essentials Curriculum, we have mapped out the key knowledge and skills for each subject across each milestone. We know that during each milestone, every indicator is covered at least twice so children have the chance to work at a Basic, Advancing and Deep level of knowledge. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, students return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build understanding of them. The goal for students is to display sustained mastery at the ‘advancing’ stage of understanding by the end of each milestone and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the ‘deep’ stage. This way we know that progression will clearly take place across each milestone and as children progress through the foundation stage to the end of key stage 2, they are prepared fully for transition to the next phase in their education.
We feel it is so important to inspire the children with a wealth of additional experiences and opportunities. The children need to have the chance to experience new things, to work with those they wouldn’t normally be with and to try things presented to them in a different way.
Each year group has at least one trip and/or one inspirational visitor per year linked to their topic area. There are also whole school annual trips (such as to the pantomime/ theatre) and visitors, the opportunity to take part in a residential visit in Year 4 and 6, and a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities throughout the year.
We aim to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum to whole-heartedly engage our pupils and develop detailed knowledge, skills and behaviour relevant for a global 21st century.
At the Heart of our Curriculum is our core belief that happy, secure and well children learn best! Our school motto, Ready, Respectful and Safe. These are key elements that we seek to develop and demonstrate as children learn about the world.
Loving learning to learn
Staying happy, safe and healthy
Developing character and social skills
Developing compassion and empathy
Our Foundations for Learning are approaches and interventions that allow our pupils to learn well and to develop their learning to learn, character and life skills. A wide range of experiences beyond the academic and the inclusion of British values in our curriculum planning, assemblies and throughout daily school life ensures that we are providing all our children with a rich and varied school life.
Speech and language development
Work with sports specialists
Family learning and support
Extra-curricular activities and clubs
Trips, visits and visitors to enhance the curriculum
Themed assemblies and events
Fundraising events for local and international causes
Mastering key skills is a continuous focus and provision to ensure that our pupils have the vital building blocks to ensure that they are well equipped for the next stages of their education. We aim for all of our pupils to make good progress and to meet or exceed their age-related expectations. We know that we need to “make it stick” and believe that learning is a change to long term memory
Developing phonic skills
Maths understanding and fluency
Development of critical thinking skills
Creating curiosity and inquisitiveness
Understanding the importance of the wider curriculum
Meaningful and engaging themes bring all of these elements together to ensure that our pupils learn in the context of an exciting, broad and relevant curriculum that makes learning irresistible.
Development, through a wide range of activities and community links, of individuals brave enough to be themselves but in the context of all the communities they are part of.
We value and respect all individuals and families and what they offer and bring to our school and each other.
As children leave Bishop’s Castle Primary School to begin the next stage of their education, we want them to be prepared for the future and to be the very best that they can be. We know that learning is a change to long-term memory so the impact will not always be seen the short term.
Measuring Impact – how do we know?
In planning and assessing the wider curriculum, we look at the practices taking place to determine whether they are appropriate, related to our goals and likely to produce results in the long-run. These are planned, implemented and monitored.
We use comparative judgement in two ways: in the tasks we set and in comparing a pupil’s work over time.
We use lesson observations, book monitoring and pupil voice to see if the pedagogical style matches our depth expectation
Our Subject Leaders have a clear and in-depth knowledge of their subjects and work closely with teachers to measure and monitor delivery, depth and impact.
Throughout their school life at Bishop’s Castle Primary, their individual identity is valued and nurtured whilst helping them develop ability to work and cooperate with others. Some will develop to become leaders, negotiators, inventors and champions but more importantly, all will have been given the opportunity to try things out. When some children need additional support, we see it essential to provide this to help them realise their full potential.
They will have worked hard to become fantastic role models who are kind and caring and who aspire to achieve in whatever area they choose to pursue.
They will have developed their resilience and ability to learn from mistakes, knowing that this is an important part of their learning journey.
They will have developed skills that can be applied in a range of different situations and contexts and will be able to make interconnected links to prior knowledge.
They will have developed their own personal strengths because these are valued and encouraged as part of a broad and varied curriculum.
We aim for children to leave Bishop’s Castle Primary School Ready for the next step, respectful individuals who know how to keep themself and others safe. Always striving to be best that they can be.