Our Curriculum at Stocksbridge Junior School
At Stocksbridge Junior School, we value a high-quality education and offer a curriculum that provides our pupils with the knowledge, skills and experiences that form firm foundations for future learning. The National Curriculum, statutory requirements, our safeguarding curriculum and the Thrive Approach programme for social and emotional education form the basis of our curriculum. Adhering to these frameworks, each aspect of our curriculum is carefully planned, sequenced and assessed and forms a part of the entire curriculum framework delivered at Stocksbridge Junior School. The design of our curriculum enables our pupils to accumulate the knowledge, skills and experiences that are the products of effective teaching and learning. Our curriculum is ambitious and promotes equality for all pupils ensuring that all pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and those who are disadvantaged, experience a broad curriculum that removes any barriers to successful learning by skilful diagnostic assessment and targeted support.
At Stocksbridge Junior School, teaching healthy behaviours and safeguarding curriculum are embedded within the culture and values of the school. Our curriculum embodies our REACH ethos and has at its core the British Values. Our RSHE curriculum aims to ensure that, through quality first teaching, pupils are provided with the skills and knowledge so that they are well-equipped for navigating their life in the 21st Century with tolerance and a respect for diversity. Additionally, we apply a consistent whole-school approach to behaviours both online and offline, model safe technology use, teach safe online behaviours and equip children with the tools to report concerns when they occur, to ensure that every child has the skills to be a safe and responsible digital citizen.
We regard reading as a valuable skill and believe that it is the right of every pupil at Stocksbridge Junior School to be able to read. We strive to ensure all our pupils can competently apply synthetic phonics, be able to read and experience a wide range of quality texts by the time they leave Stocksbridge Junior School. Throughout our curriculum, there is an emphasis upon our pupils accessing a range of high-quality texts. Our curriculum places emphasis on our pupils becoming fluent readers who can read for pleasure and to assist them in becoming independent learners.
We provide our pupils with vital cultural capital: ‘the essential knowledge that all pupils need to be educated citizens’ by ensuring we offer a broad and balanced curriculum and by offering our pupils a wide range of curricular activities involving visits out of school, visitors to school and links with local community projects, all of which are designed to foster a desire to learn, build confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
Our Curriculum Intent
At Stocksbridge Junior School, our curriculum is primarily focused upon ensuring that our pupils are supported and challenged so that they can acquire both knowledge and skills and are supported in their social and emotional development to become successful life-long learners. Through our broad curriculum, we intend to prepare all of our pupils so that they can confidently enter the next phase of their learning journey. Ultimately, our pupils will become responsible individuals who will contribute to community living, the environment and the society in which we live.
Our curriculum is taught through a subject specific approach to learning, making links between subject areas wherever possible, to reinforce learning. Through a connected curriculum, we believe our pupils will develop subject schema that will enable them ‘to organise knowledge in a meaningful way’ and develop an appreciation of how facts may be connected across the curriculum subjects. Through the development of subject schema, learning should be embedded in our pupils’ long-term memory.
To ensure that there is a consistent approach to delivering our curriculum, each subject has been planned around Key Concepts that define the specific learning to be experienced in that area. Across the whole curriculum, a route has been planned to ensure that there is a progression of knowledge and skills in every subject area and that pupils revisit these throughout the Key Stage in order to reinforce the learning and aid retrieval of this knowledge and skills. By returning to skills, pupils can utilise prior knowledge and thoroughly embed learning. Each time a skill is revisited it is covered in greater depth or with increased complexity.
Throughout our curriculum, there are clearly defined end points of learning for each key stage, year, unit and lesson linked to each subject area. Skilful teaching directs pupils towards these end points and provides assessment opportunities throughout the lesson, unit, year and key stage. Planned assessment opportunities ensure that teaching is always precise, relevant and provides targeted support to ensure all pupils are working towards the ambitious end points.
The design and planning of each subject area has been supported by subject specific research and research into pedagogy. When planning each curriculum area, we focus upon learning and the role the short-term and the long-term memory play in this process. Teachers are aware of the cognitive load theory and consider how this knowledge can be applied to their lesson plans in order to maximise learning. We focus on how information is taught to our pupils and build in opportunities for pupils to recall prior learning before building upon it.
Through our curriculum, we aspire to produce learners who can successfully communicate with their peers and with a wider audience. As such, the teaching of a rich and varied vocabulary is central to all teaching in every subject area. To further promote confidence in communication with peers, we embrace the Kagan Approach that encourages communication, collaborative learning and an interest in classroom interaction through a series of instructional strategies. Throughout our curriculum, we provide our pupils with the opportunity to express their ideas orally and encourage pupils to listen to each other with respect.
We offer memorable, enjoyable experiences that support our curriculum ensuring that it is broad and offers a wealth of knowledge, skills and experiences to all our pupils. The curriculum at Stocksbridge Junior School seeks to develop the education and social and emotional development of each and every pupil. We recognise that our pupils should be challenged in their schooling; learning from errors and celebrating successes. We intend for our curriculum to be empowering, enabling pupils to develop their interpersonal skills, creativity and independence. Our curriculum takes into consideration The Equality Act 2010, is inclusive, ambitious, broad, balanced, challenging, celebrates diversity, reflects the British Values and has at its core our school ethos REACH.
- R – Respect – To always consider others – their needs, feelings, qualities and achievements.
- E – Endurance – To always keep going and try hard in every situation.
- A – Aspiration – To always have a growth mindset and to keep our ambitions in sight.
- C – Courage – To challenge ourselves to positively face things that may be tricky.
- H – Honesty – To always be trustworthy and truthful.
Our Curriculum Implementation
Our Curriculum has been designed to ensure that pupils learn the essential substantive and disciplinary knowledge in the fourteen areas (Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, RSHE, Art and design, Design & Technology, Computing, Physical Education, Religious Education, Music and French) that our curriculum is comprised of. Our whole school curriculum map details when the specific subjects will be taught across the year. Although each subject is taught discreetly, to further embed learning, relevant links between subjects are made across year groups and the Key Stage.
The key concepts that define the areas of learning in each subject area ensure that the knowledge and skills that are taught in that area, provide essential learning. By revisiting the key concepts throughout the key stage, we ensure that knowledge and skills are revised and built upon to guarantee that what has been learned has been remembered. Each subject area is led by a dedicated subject lead who contribute to the design of the curriculum. Through carefully constructed schemes of work, they provide consistency in the teaching and learning experiences for all our pupils across the key stage.
Planning is derived from sequential schemes of work that meet and exceed the demands of the National Curriculum. They have been carefully designed to ensure that there is sound progression throughout each year group and across the Key Stage, building upon pupils’ prior knowledge and extend their learning to meet ambitious end points. Units of work in each subject are taught in a sequence to maximise the route for the progression of knowledge and skills. When designing the curriculum, connections that can be made between the subjects and the unique relevance they serve for the pupils of Stocksbridge Junior School is taken into consideration. Assessment is a vital tool that is used skilfully throughout the year to monitor teaching and learning and the overall effectiveness of our curriculum. Teachers make use of formative and summative assessment to secure pupils’ progress and direct targeted challenge and support where necessary. Feedback is provided regularly to our pupils to check understanding and quickly establish where misconceptions may have occurred, ensuring all make solid progress.
The shaping and delivery of our curriculum is influenced through subject specific research and studies into pedagogy approaches that provide staff with the knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how this process impacts on teaching and learning. Staff knowledge of each of the curriculum areas is enriched through quality CPD that supports our staff in teaching a broad curriculum. In order to ensure that our teaching reflects best practice, the school adopts a coaching model that enables staff to work collaboratively and reflect upon their practice in order to maximise teaching opportunities.
The effectiveness of our curriculum is subject to systematic scrutiny where the concepts, end points, connectedness and teaching approaches are reviewed, revised and implemented in a continuous cycle.
Our Curriculum Impact
Pupils leave Stocksbridge Junior School fully prepared for their next phase in their learning journey. During their time at Stocksbridge Junior School, our pupils will have experienced a broad, varied and engaging curriculum that fosters a love of learning and supports our pupils social and emotional development. Our pupils experience a curriculum that is taught through a variety of approaches, enables them to build schema, recall learning and achieve well.
The design of our curriculum provides inclusive learning opportunities that ensure excellent outcomes for all our pupils including those with SEND and disadvantaged pupils. A combination of formative assessments throughout the year and summative assessments at regular intervals support our pupils in their learning. Throughout the curriculum, teachers use ambitious end points to monitor pupil progress and set learning targets. End points are also shared with pupils to encourage self-assessment and reflection on their learning. Teachers utilise teacher assessments and pupil assessments to inform planning to ensure that all pupils make maximum progress. Subject leaders skilfully analyse assessment information to monitor teaching and learning which ensures that our pupils are meeting the high standards of education we promote for all our pupils.
The monitoring cycle of all subjects enables subject leaders and the Senior Leadership Team the opportunity to scrutinise pupils’ work, undertake lesson observations and learning walks as well as conduct pupil/parents’/carers’ and teachers’ voice surveys and interviews. Our curriculum is constantly reviewed and adapted accordingly to ensure that it meets and exceeds the high standards we place upon our curriculum for all our pupils.
The success of our curriculum is measured by our pupils’ ability to make progress in all areas of our framework. Our pupils’ enjoyment of learning, their desire to become independent learners and their ability to articulate their learning using a rich and varied vocabulary demonstrates the impact of our curriculum. Our pupils leave Stocksbridge Junior School ready to confidently embark on the next phase of their learning journey and prepared to become life-long learners.
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