At Somerford Primary School we offer an inspiring, engaging curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other real life experiences and opportunities which respond to the pupils’ curiosity about the world. We want the children to have ownership of their curriculum and therefore take a flexible, responsive approach.
The ultimate aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent, resilient and motivated learners. We want them to Enjoy, Achieve and Aspire.
PSHE is at the heart of our curriculum and opportunities are afforded to children to develop their emotional and social learning. We follow the Jigsaw programme across the school along with the skills builder programme which develops eight key skills in the children. Transitions through the day are carefully managed and children have ‘calm down’ time to ensure they are ready to learn. Daily use of Newsround and First News (KS2) encourages children to have a wider understanding of current affairs and the world we live in.
The school has a Growth Mindset approach to learning and children are explicitly taught skills such as perseverance and resilience. The curriculum is underpinned by the school’s Core Values (Enjoy, Achieve, Aspire) and these are taught on their own and through other areas of the curriculum, including assemblies. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core British Values are woven through the curriculum.
Opportunities for active learning are evident throughout the curriculum explicitly linking physical and academic development. The outdoor environment and the wider community provide learning opportunities for all our pupils. We strive to offer children and their families, experiences they may not otherwise have access to (50 Things To Do Before You Leave Somerford).
The school values sport and PE and uses some of the Sport Premium funding to offer children exciting and varied opportunities to take part in sports within school and in competitions against other schools. The Daily Mile encourages children to maximise their levels of fitness as well as developing emotional and mental health.
Learning is delivered through a topic-based approach which may be in response to children’s interests or current affairs. Whilst topics may overlap across year groups, they will always be underpinned by the progression of skills. Children’s interests guide the topic planning and subsequent lessons are personalised to these.
Assessment for Learning is used to ensure the curriculum is responsive to every child’s needs as well as guiding our future planning. Milestones at the end of Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6 ensure that children are meeting expectations in their learning. The more able are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success. The Pupil Premium grant is used to support disadvantaged learners across the school.
Many pupils are still working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they enter Year 1. There is a period in the Autumn Term where the majority of children progress to the National Curriculum. Throughout this period and beyond children are still developing their phonic knowledge through the Letters and Sounds Programme. From the start of the EYFS, children are exposed to a language-rich curriculum with a focus on oracy skills. There is therefore a focus on both age and stage appropriate learning in EYFS.
The English curriculum and the mathematics curriculum are enhanced by daily basic skills sessions. In all year groups there are small pre-teach groups and same day interventions are delivered in order to support pupils in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians. The English and maths curriculum is also designed to ensure children are ‘test ready’ and to develop their resilience and perseverance skills.
All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Additional whole school programmes and approaches support quality teaching and learning and the school is well resourced in terms of learning materials, books and technology. Some subjects are taught in blocks to ensure learning is meaningful and children can more readily apply learnt skills.