Our Vision for the Curriculum at Lawn Primary School
Our curriculum is seen in its widest sense as the entire planned learning experience. This includes formal lessons as well as events, routines, and learning that takes place outside the classroom. It aims to:
- provide a broad and balanced education for all children that is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively acquiring sufficient knowledge for skills and future learning and employment.
- Enable children to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations
- Support children's physical development and responsibility for their own health and enable them to be active.
- Ensure equal access to learning for all children, with high expectations for every child and appropriate levels of challenge and support.
- Have high academic/vocational/technical ambition for all children.
Lawn Primary School strives to be an inclusive community where children grow, learn and flourish together. We value each child as an individual with a unique potential for learning. Their natural curiosity is fostered through a creative and ambitious curriculum that excites and challenges; and enables all to be independent, resilient and successful learners. Our curriculum nurtures and prepares children educationally, socially, morally and physically for their continuing learning journey, where doors will be opened rather than closed to future success. Supported by a culture of equality and aspiration we aim to remove disadvantage so that every child believes in themselves and can thrive. Through the curriculum children develop an understanding of citizenship and are empowered to make valuable contributions locally and globally.
The Design of our Curriculum
Our curriculum is designed to develop inquisitive, independent thinkers who develop a love of life-long learning. We understand that the curriculum, both within taught lessons and beyond them, should create an environment where questioning, academic risk-taking, divergent thinking, and the freedom to learn from mistakes are all encouraged. Our intent is that our whole curriculum will develop in our children the qualities of responsibility and independence, and a sense that learning can excite and strengthen throughout your whole life.
Curriculum design is viewed by Senior Leaders, Governors and Teachers as an exciting, continuous and fluid process, which takes into consideration the needs, characteristics and interests of our children; their prior learning and experiences; and the statutory curriculum (EYFS Statutory Framework and the NC). The whole community is involved in the design of the school's curriculum, and the views of children and parents are sought to inform policy and practice. It is consistently evolving to ensure local, national, and global contexts are topical; that approaches to our ever-changing and often unknown world and technologies are embraced; and current educational research and best practice informs pedagogy.
As such, our annual Raising Achievement Plan targets focus on innovative approaches, enhancing initiatives and maintaining high standards to ensure our curriculum is aspirational, dynamic and forward thinking.
As a school and so with our curriculum we are guided by our ethos of Aspiration, Adventure, Knowledge and Smiles and our core values of Courage, Compassion, Creativity, Citizenship and communication which we refer to as our '5 Gifts of Lawn'. These are communicated to and understood by everyone in our school community. For our children to be 21st century citizens we have a duty to develop the whole learner. Our core values are therefore underpinned by our learning competencies: Resilience, Risk-taking, Ambition, Respect, Kindness, Empathy, Innovation, Originality, Imagination, Honesty, Integrity, Tolerance, Confidence, Understanding and Teamwork. Our core values identify the skills and attributes we expect our children to master as citizens of the world. Our vision, ethos, values and learning competencies are embedded throughout our curriculum offer.
The Aims of Our Curriculum
We want children to develop a love for learning enabling them to become lifelong learners. At Lawn Primary we take pride in celebrating that we are all learners; and that every child can achieve their full potential. Through a rich, broad and balanced curriculum, our aim is to make all aspects of teaching and learning exciting, engaging and motivating; ensuring all children have the best possible start to their school life.
Knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill. We strive for children to learn new skills alongside knowledge, ensuring that both are explicitly developed. Recognising that knowledge and skills are intertwined, we as much as we can link our subjects to ensure teaching and learning is relevant and meaningful.
Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or context each term as much as possible. Each subject has an overview, a long-term overview showing what is being taught when with a brief description and short term plans. For each term there is a topic overview sheet which is shared on the class pages.
We teach discreet subjects with an aim of preserving the unique nature of each subject and allowing children to gain a better understanding of each subject discipline, making connections where they are appropriate. We give a great deal of thought to making connections where they are appropriate. We give a great deal of thought to the difference between substantive and disciplinary knowledge. We understand that there is more to a subject than the information, facts and concepts that are taught and learned. These are substantive knowledge. Disciplinary knowledge focuses on what it is that historians, geographers, scientists, language speakers or programmers do to preserve the discipline in each subject and make it about more than substantive knowledge. This ensures that our children are supported not just to 'know and remember' but also 'to do'.
RE, PE, PSHE which includes RSE and Health education are taught as discreet subjects to ensure coverage of the main objectives and age-appropriate knowledge and skill development across the school.
The overview of research document provided in the 2019 Ofsted framework states that "Learning is at least partly defined as a change in pupils' long-term memory." The guidance also states that retrieval practice is an effective teaching tool for strong retention of knowledge. Our curriculum supports schema development (a pattern of repeated actions, which will later develop into learnt concepts). We have established key concepts in each subject area and have carefully considered how they interconnect with other subjects. These are broken down into smaller parts: the knowledge and skills objectives that provide the building blocks for learning - 'know more, remember more'. These are carefully sequenced, revisited, and built upon through our curriculum from EYFS to Year 6.
At Lawn Primary School we strive for all children to achieve their absolute potential, by having high expectations across all aspects of school life. Children make very good progress from Foundation Stage through to end of Key Stage 2. Our stimulating curriculum prioritises core skills in English, Mathematics and PSHE whilst actively encompassing the acquisition of knowledge and skills across all areas of the National Curriculum. The innovative practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills both indoors and out. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality-first teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children's outcomes. The impact and measure of our curriculum is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the curriculum but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points. In shaping our curriculum this way, progress is measured and evidenced for all children, regardless of their starting points or specific needs. Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and excellent behaviour.
When our children leave us, as well as being ready for the transition into KS3 curriculum, they have a wealth of transferrable skills which have been developed throughout their time at primary school in an inclusive and nurturing environment. Our children enjoy lessons, and we believe this early love of learning stimulates children to become life-long learners. Our work on promoting social-skills and character traits through our PSHE and Relationship curriculum, as well as directly linking to our school's values, enables children to become excellent role models and aspire to be the very best they can be. Developing their independence, motivation and attitudes as learners, and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of our teaching and learning.
We ensure quality-first teaching enables our children to develop their long-term memories and define their progress as knowing more and remembering and remembering more. Teachers and staff work hard to plan a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum which is expertly delivered to ensure a child's entire school experience enables them to develop a deep body of knowledge which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life in whatever pathway they choose.
Assessment and Pupil Outcomes
Assessment should have a purpose, be meaningful, impact on outcomes and inform future teaching and learning. We use a range of assessment strategies to build a clear picture of the progress our children make. They are assessed within every lesson which helps the teacher plan the next steps of learning, and regular 'check-ins' take place to shape and create a bespoke curriculum to meet the needs of our learners. Assessment week takes place towards the end of each long term (3x a year), with assessment data being gathered, analysed and interpreted with the support of SLT in Pupil Progress Meetings. Day-to-day teacher assessment and moderation, from a range of evidence also helps to inform overall termly judgments being made. Children are expected to make good or better progress in all subjects and this individual progress is tracked and reported to parents at Parents' Consultation Evenings and within end of year reports. Bespoke support and interventions are put in place to accelerate the progress of any children who are identified as 'at risk' learners.
Class teachers are responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the curriculum. Subject leaders monitor plans, ensuring that all classes are taught the full requirements of the agreed schemes of work, and that all lessons have appropriate learning objectives.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further. All subject leaders are given access to training and CPD opportunities to keep developing their own knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and the professional practice of colleagues.
The role of the subject leader and/or team is to:
- Provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject
- Support and advise colleagues on issues related to the subject
- Monitor children's progress in that subject area
- Provide efficient resource management for the subject
- Keep up-to-date with developments in their key area of learning at both national and local levels
- Monitor how their subjects are taught through monitoring the medium and short term planning, ensuring that appropriate teaching strategies are used.
- Reviewing curriculum plans for their key areas ensuring there is full coverage of the National Curriculum and that progression is planned for.
- Review the way the subject is taught in the school and plan for improvement linking to whole school priorities.
- Lead sustainable improvements through supporting colleagues and others.
- Judge standards within their subjects so they indicate the achievements of children at each key stage and indicate expectations of attainment.
- Evaluate teaching and learning, and assessment within their subjects.
- Have a secure awareness of the schemes of work for KS1 and KS2.
- To also have an awareness of the EYFS and how the subject can be accessed through 'Planning in the Moment' and how this is contributed to by the environment.
- Lead consultations with the children to gain feedback about areas of the curriculum.
- Report to the headteacher and curriculum lead on the strengths and areas for development of the subject and the strategies for improvement.
It is the role of the subject leader and/or team to keep up-to-date with developments in their subject, at both national and local level. They review the way the subject is taught in the school, and plan for improvement - development planning links to whole school objectives and priorities. Each Subject Leader reviews the curriculum plans for the subject and sees that knowledge, progression and acquisition of skills is planned into schemes of work.
Governors and Accountability: Support and Challenge
Governors take an active role in supporting the curriculum review process. A termly schedule is in place to allow subject leaders with link governors to see their subjects in action across the whole school. Governors take accountability for feeding into the subject leaders post-review report - these are shared and discussed at staff meetings as appropriate. Reports are also shared with the FGB so that they are fully kept in the loop.
We value the importance of and invest in Quality Assurance to ensure we continue to improve our efficiency, leadership and pupil progress through self and external review. By working towards quality assurance standards, we ensure that both staff and children support high-quality inclusive teaching and learning. We work in partnership with Northfleet Schools Cooperative Trust, The Local Authority and wider school community to support and inform our monitoring and evaluation processes. The benefits of Quality Assurance to our school are:
- Provides us with accountability at all levels, including goal setting.
- Supports ongoing school development, including quality of education.
- Enables professional dialogue and outward thinking.
- Sparks innovation.