The National Curriculum
In September 2014, the Government introduced a new National Curriculum, with a great deal of fresh content and ambitious expectations of learning. It is designed to provide children with the essential knowledge, skills and understanding that they require as citizens of Great Britain. In addition, the National Curriculum provides statutory programmes of study for each subject, stating which content which should be taught to pupils in each stage of learning. As an Academy we are free to create our own curriculum. However pupils are tested nationally on key aspects of the curriculum. Therefore we follow the national curriculum key objectives in all subjects but adjust the curriculum content to suit our children.
The manner in which schools assess learning has also changed dramatically. Levels were removed and will not be replaced. Partially this is due to a shift in perception about levels: that children should master the skills that they have been taught rather than merely racing through the curriculum without gaining a secure understanding of what they have learnt. Schools were given the freedom to assess the skills acquired in each subject, at each stage of learning, in whatever manner they deem appropriate.
Our aim to ensure that by the time children leave Cloverfields they are ‘Secondary ready’. In other words, that they are equipped with the essential knowledge, skills and understanding required for their next stage of learning when they leave our school. Our assessment policy-assessment-policy-2016-17
The Early Years Curriculum
The Nursery and Foundation classes are the important start to formal learning. Children enter the Nursery with many different experiences in terms of pre-school start; it is our role to get to know the children well and enrich each child’s experience. Motivating the children to learn and develop good learning behaviours early is a key aim of the staff in the setting.The Early Years curriculum has a pupil led element which is also influenced by parents but collaboratively and through bespoke CPD. Adult-led learning activities are developed that address pupils learning needs; as pinpointed by focused observations and assessment tracking. Staff also use statements and questioning to ensure children are cognitively challenged across all aspects. Good records are maintained of children’s progress and learning and the information is used well to plan for future learning. Staff also post examples of pupils learning onto an online package for parents to access and engage with- Tapestry- https://tapestry.info/
Some recent examples of the Early Years Curriculum
Topic- People who help us
A crime happened in our classroom and we investigated, we also became fire officers after the fire engine visit-
Please visit- the following blogs- Nursery, Miss Wakefield and Mrs Clarke
The Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum
As a result of our determination to follow the national curriculum key objectives in all subjects but adjust the curriculum content to suit our children we have chose to follow the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum. This sets out essential coverage, learning objectives and standards which are required for all subjects. Furthermore, it provides progress measures for all subjects including personal development.
One of the primary reasons why we have chosen to adopt this curriculum is because it emphasises the importance of developing the depth of children’s learning. In essence, this means providing children with increased cognitive challenge, allowing them to apply the skills which they have learnt independently in a range of contexts rather than moving them onto the next skill needlessly when they have not truly mastered it. Such thinking is encapsulated in the scenario below:
Some examples of recent real life curriculum contexts–
At Cloverfields, we want to challenge our children to become independent, well-round individuals who take ownership of their learning and become deep thinkers ( divers). Moreover, we want our children to be able to apply their knowledge and skill set in a range of contexts within school and real life.
The Formula 1 project where children created and adapted a template to create a model car to race against other schools. There were many opportunities to develop presentation skills, apply science principles and design elements as well as seeking sponsorship and promoting their car. The hard work and attention to detail was recognised as one of our teams successfully went forward to represent the region in the next round of the competition. They successfully won a new special trophy for exhibiting the teamwork and learning traits that the judges admired. ( Further details- Steeper’s class blog archive)
Also pictured are our maths challenge team that successfully won the local competition. ( 25 schools entered)
Pupils in KS2 were given the opportunity of responding to the Radio Two 500 word story competition. Many pupils produced amazing stories with very limited support, demonstrating the skills gained and the impact of their wide reading and writing skills. Two pupils in different age groups successfully reached the second round out of 250,000 entries.
These very innovative projects are a selection of what happens in Cloverfields on a regular basis. It is however the day to day curriculum that has the most impact on motivation, pupil progress and attainment. There has to be a balance between the exciting motivating activities and the focused attention on the everyday skills that support those activities e.g. spellings and grammar, multiplication tables, formal calculations, handwriting etc Therefore on any given day there is a combination of different approaches to learning that suit the task in hand.
Two of the key areas we are focusing on throughout the academy is engagement and challenge. Children engage with the curriculum in a variety of ways ; individually, in a pair or part of a collaborative group where each team member contributes to each others learning. Pupils are often given options on how to respond to learning. They also have the opportunity to engage with curriculum development by selecting some elements from a menu provided by staff. Staff will also engage learners by “running with” aspects that they are motivated by. When a class expressed an interest in running a tuck shop the Year 3/4 teachers used this as a vehicle to teach money, change, profit and loss and the whole of Y3/4 benefited from the healthy snacks and lessons on how to run a business!
Further engagement is brought about by ensuring the day to day designing of lesson sequences is around our children’s interests in as many ways as possible e.g. after discovering pupils were engaged with the Stickman cartoon over the Christmas break a Year 1 teacher and her team created a series of lessons around the book. (See Mrs Holness’ Class blog- archive)
Books are often used as a vehicle for not only enjoyment, improving reading and writing skills but engaging pupils in the wider curriculum. Children are highly motivated to read at home through our “Book Buster” challenge; where pupils are challenged to read every night for 10mins. The reading nights are recorded by parents and children the receive awards in assembly. Children can pre order their library books from home and then pick them up when they next visit our Double Decker Library Bus.
A long term plan of topics is in place with a two year rotation in KS1 and a four year rotation in KS2. curriculum This ensures that, whatever class combinations we create, no child repeats any topic. However the long term plan is totally flexible to allow staff to engage with children’s interests and opportunities that arise.
Key stage 1 long term plan (2 year cycle)
|Time||Aut 1||Aut 2||Spr 1||Spr 2||Sum 1||Sum 2|
|Wild west Christopher Columbus||We are authors||Dinosaurs||Under the sea||South America Continents and comparing|
|We are authors||Local history||Asia||Global garden|
Autumn 2 plan- Owls Year 1 and 2- owls-mtp-autumn-2
Key Stage 2 Long term plan (4 year cycle)
|2013-14||AUSTRALIA||JOURNEY INTO SPACE||RAINFORESTS|
|2014-15||FOCUS ON DIFFERENT COUNTRY AND CULTURE||LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION||OLYMPICS / LOCAL AREA|
|2015-16||WATER WORLDS/LOCAL AREA||TUDORS||2nd WORLD WAR|
Autumn term 2016-17 Vikings- sample plan-lks2_sm_s1_1a_viking_invaders
For more information regarding the objectives and standards for specific subjects, please click in the curriculum menu.