The Children are the Curriculum
We have designed our curriculum - based on the National Curriculum - to meet the needs and interest levels of our children and wider school community. We have a knowledge engaged approach; we believe that when learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms. When creativity blossoms, thinking emanates. When thinking emanates, knowledge is fully lit!
At Ward Jackson Church of England Primary School, we strongly advocate the promotion of learning within all contexts and make excellent use of points of interest in the local area, specialist facilities and inspirational guest speakers to bring learning to life. Our curriculum places the emotional health and well-being of pupils at the heart of everything we do - as our mission statement clearly states - we want to 'empower children to flourish for the rest of their lives'. We nurture a creative curriculum - rich in Literature, Drama and Arts to build self-esteem and key communication skills, which we know are essential skills to enable children to succeed in secondary school and beyond. Moreover we also have a strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) focus which invites pupils to question the world around them and carry out investigations to find their own answers; we want to continue to build a learning community of independent thinkers.
As we are a small, family school filled with enthusiastic Readers, Scientists, Artists, Historians, Theologians, Writers, Mathematicians, Athletes, Designers, Musicians, Performers, Linguists, Speakers, etc... the list is endless... we recognise and nurture the individual skills and talents of all learners - inclusive of pupils, parents and staff - and adapt our curriculum to provide outstanding teaching and learning experiences underpinned by a strong Christian ethos.
We are Ward Jackson - we are proud that there is no other school quite like us. As our children, parents and staff continue to grow and develop so too will our bespoke curriculum - enabling us all to continue to become the best that we can be.
The wider curriculum at Ward Jackson Church of England Primary School is based upon a thematic and enquiry-led approach to learning; this ensures learning is both engaging and purposeful for all pupils. In collaboration with the wider school community, classes collaboratively select three Cornerstones thematic units of study per academic year based upon their prior knowledge and interest levels. Opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of all curriculum areas are therefore maximised by creating strong links within and across subject disciplines and transferable skills are nurtured at every opportunity. Throughout the thematic delivery of the wider curriculum, four distinct phases of learning are embedded throughout the thematic units to ensure depth and demonstrate knowledge, understanding, consolidation and mastery of the learning process:
- Engage phase - 1-5 days
- Develop phase - 1-3 weeks
- Innovate phase - 1-2 weeks
- Express phase - 3-5 days
In the first instance, teaching practitioners present and adapt Cornerstones thematic units of study. The thematic units collaboratively selected will appeal to the interest levels of the teaching group. 'Enquiry Based’ and ‘Child Initiated’ approaches - similar to the Early Years model - ensure pupils are fully invested and immersed in their learning. Some specific subject areas of the National Curriculum, such as Maths, SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and Religious Education are usually taught separately from the thematic unit, although attempts at curriculum links are made whenever authentic cross-curricular links apply. In addition to the thematic curriculum, some specific areas of the National Curriculum are also taught as supplementary units to ensure full coverage of National Curriculum assessment objectives. Throughout the thematic study, pupils record their learning journey through a number of mediums, including: exercise books, performances, discussions, child-initiated events and a class portfolio to showcase their learning journey. This is shared with the whole school and wider school community as part of the express phase of learning.
We reviewed, re-modelled and implemented our new school curriculum in September 2017. 2018 - 2019 is therefore dedicated to curriculum growth. We are still embedding, developing and growing aspects of our wider curriculum in 2018-2019 but the short-term curriculum impact on pupil progress and attainment in English, Maths and Science is incredible. Please review the attainment and progress measures via our 'key information page' to see the most recent end of phase attainment data and progress measures.
Recent pupil voice feedback noted how much the newly implemented curriculum has impacted the frequency of educational visits and memorable experiences; children love to take their learning outside of the classroom and pupils (Y6 pupils in particular) have noted a significant increase in the amount of educational visits now on offer - inclusive of residential experiences.
We are now also assessing children in every aspect of the wider curriculum to ensure clear progression across every phase / subject and nurture the individual skills and talents of each child. Please read the pupil voice feedback below to see how our newly implemented curriculum has made an immediate impact:
Curriculum Pupil Voice:
“My favourite subject is Maths because there is always only one answer to a question – you are either wrong or right. I really enjoy doing different activities in Maths especially when we go outside and play Maths related games.” - James
“I really enjoy Science because we have lots of fun researching and conducting experiments. I like that we get to learn in lots of different and interesting ways.” - Brooklyn
“My favourite subject is PE. This year we have been doing street dance, tag rugby, football, swimming, judo and athletics. We get to attend lots of different competitions and meet pupils from other schools. I enjoy learning new skills and developing my sporting ability.” - Logen
“My favourite lesson is RE. During these lessons we are able to explore how other people view the world and reflect on how our actions shape the world around us. I have really enjoyed having visitors come into our lessons and show us new things like how to make a Christingle.” - Lilly
“Accelerated Reader is really good because it keeps track of my reading scores and tells me how I can improve my reading. Since we started doing it I think I have become a stronger reader and writer.” - Varit
“I love our residential week at Dukes House Wood. I like to challenge myself when I am there to try new things like the 3G swing and the leap of faith. It is good to spend a week out of school and in a different environment where we can do different things.” - Paige T
“Art is one of my favourite subjects because it gives us the chance to be creative. This year we have looked at different styles of art and attempted to try some of our own.” - Shania
“Computing is my favourite subject because I like exploring new things about technology. This year we have been learning how to code algorithms and spend time looking at how to keep safe online. We have been able to attend Space to Learn and Crucial Crew to learn about these things.” - Matthew
Information for Parents / Carers
At the start and end of each thematic unit of work, children are provided with 'topic webs'. This will provide an overview / review of curriculum knowledge and skills.
Curriculum Learning Journey
If you require any further information regarding curriculum content for your child, please speak to their class teacher or alternatively ask your child to share their class learning journey with you.
Children love using the class learning journey for recording and reflect