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 believe that when learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms. When creativity blossoms, thinking emanates. When thinking emanates, knowledge is fully lit!
At Ward Jackson C of E 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. We want to build a learning community of independent thinkers. Our curriculum has a strong STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) focus that invites pupils to question the world around them and carry out investigations to find their own answers.
The wider curriculum at Ward Jackson C of E 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, including parents and community leaders within the local area, classes collaboratively select three 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. Throughout the thematic delivery of the wider curriculum, four distinct phases of learning are embedded throughout the thematic unit 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 to pupils and the wider school community, as a stimuli and engage phase for learning. The thematic units collaboratively selected will appeal to the interest levels of the teaching group and cover dual assessment objectives when classes contain mixed year groups. ‘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 occasionally taught separately from the thematic unit, although attempts at curriculum links are made whenever applicable. 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 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.