Introduction

  • 2014 saw the launch of a new National Curriculum: an exciting time in education and a chance for us to reflect on what our children at West View Primary School need in terms of knowledge, skills and experiences to ensure that they are well-prepared for life in modern Britain. 

    The curriculum we offer our pupils is constantly evolving as we take in to account statutory requirements as well as their interests and needs.   

    Intent

    At the heart of our work is PSHCE: personal, social, health and citizenship education. 

    Our aim is to provide a curriculum which extends learning beyond the academic, technical or vocational, supporting our pupils to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy and safe.  We recognise that, children learn best when they feel safe, secure and all their basic needs are being met (as illustrated in Maslow’s hierarchy of need). 

    At each stage of education, we prepare pupils for future success through planned transition and careers education.  By developing their understanding of the School’s core values as well as fundamental British values, we model how to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to an increasingly diverse society. 

    A key driver of our curriculum is vocabulary and language acquisition, taught and developed through our rich reading curriculum.  By exposing pupils to a range of texts, both fact and fiction, we foster their love for reading, promote knowledge acquisition and develop understanding about the world.   

     

    Implementation

    Although we are an academy school, we still teach the statutory programmes of study from the National Curriculum, but with a “local” approach. Our aim is to ensure our pupils learn about their immediate locality in relation to other places and to be proud of where they come from: our overarching theme is “All Roads Lead to Hartlepool”.  When teachers plan their projects, they take the approach of beginning locally and working outwards.

    Core Subjects

    English and mathematics are taught daily at West View.  Science, maths and English are taught discretely; however, our teachers are very experienced at developing these skills through a range of other subjects and activities.  Teachers use a document we call our “non-negotiables” which sets out the programmes of study for each year group.  From these, they design tailor-made units of work to suit the needs and interests of their pupils at the appropriate level.  Coverage is tracked by the teachers themselves using a term-by-term highlighting system.

    Foundation Subjects

    Teachers use our subject content documents to develop a curriculum which is inspiring and relevant to their year group.  We are constantly refining and improving our cross-curricular approach which is driven by reading: creating as many links between subjects as possible. 

    Teachers have the freedom to choose projects / topics to study within given parameters: as long as certain language, knowledge and skills are taught.  We encourage pupils to be involved in constructing their curriculum whenever it is feasible to do so.

    These projects are mapped out into long term plans then subsequent individual lessons are planned.   Teachers endeavour to begin each new project with an engaging activity known around school as a “sparkly start”.  This could be an educational visit or a guest speaker.  Projects often culminate with a “fabulous finish” when pupils are given the opportunity to express their learning.  This could be through a class assembly where parents are invited in.  Teachers ensure each lesson is differentiated in order to meet the needs of all learners. 

    There are lots of things teachers take into consideration when planning the perfect curriculum:

    Details of projects can be found on class pages on our website. 

    Impact

    Assessment

    Formative assessment takes place in every lesson.  Teachers and teaching assistants are very effective at observing and questioning children in order to find out their strengths and what needs teaching next.  Assessments inform teachers’ planning.

    Reading, writing and mathematics are assessed frequently using set criteria set out in year groups. 

    Science and foundation subjects are assessed termly using criteria based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which were developed by each subject co-ordinator based on the requirements laid out in the National Curriculum.  Formative assessment is done on a lesson-by-lesson basis, helping to form a judgement about a pupil’s achievement against the KPIs. 

    The School has an assessment schedule which sets out which assessments take place and when.  Low stakes testing such as quizzes, “pop tests” and Time Tables Rock Stars are carried out frequently by teachers to help pupils practise, retrieve and revisit previously-taught knowledge.   

    Summative testing takes place termly (or half termly) in certain year groups.  Information collected is used to inform teacher judgements.  The outcomes of tests are used to identify pupils’ targets and next steps for learning; thus informing teachers’ planning.

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