What are the aims of your Curriculum?
Here at Lyminster Primary School we aim to inspire a love of learning, whilst nurturing and equipping our young learners to become confident and community-spirited citizens of the world. This mission informs every decision we make, and the curriculum we have developed.
How is your Curriculum Organised?
In our Reception Year we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is also then extended into the start of Year 1 and, in terms of core principles, beyond. Through Years 1-6 we follow the Primary National Curriculum, as well as the ‘Jigsaw’ PSHCE syllabus and the ‘Understanding Christianity’ syllabus for RE (augmented with further teaching around World Faiths). The objectives arising from these frameworks are organized where appropriate into cross-curricular topics so that links can be made between different areas of learning, not only making this learning more meaningful and relevant to the children, but allowing for deeper learning and application. Many strands of learning are still taught discretely, however, where this suits the objectives. The priority in curriculum organisation is always ensuring the highest quality learning in each subject discipline, and our subject leaders promote the ‘disciplinary’ approach where we plan to create Artists, Historians, Scientists etc, as opposed to learning ‘about’ each subject.
Our main Modern Foreign Language is French, however in the Summer Terms we also explore other Modern Foreign Languages such as German, Spanish and Italian. Our tuned instruments are the glockenspiel (KS1), and the recorder (KS2), with the ukelele also sometimes used as an alternative.
Each class has a weekly timetable, however teachers are encouraged to use some flexibility, for example where the practical elements of a project require more time in a block, or subject elements need to be taught in a certain order for a cross-curricular project.
In our Long Term Plans, you can see how the topics are scheduled and the main subjects, objectives and outcomes driving them. You can also find an overview of, and more information around, each particular subject in the subject pages.
How does your Curriculum meet the needs of your Children?
The topics are designed and planned to reflect our belief that learning for our children is at its most powerful when it promotes our ‘Top Ten’:
- Real application;
- Celebration of difference;
- Local knowledge;
- Personal growth;
- Child Voice.
Whilst learning journeys are pre-planned with the curriculum objectives and the above principles in mind, there is always – crucially – in-built flexibility for teachers to adapt the learning to fit the needs of individuals, groups and classes (‘Gap Analysis’), their interests and motivations (‘Child Voice’), and to ensure all children can access and are challenged by the learning (‘Adaptation’). We believe that this is the essence of effective curriculum design.
How does your own School Curriculum go Further?
The EYFS, National Curriculum and agreed syllabi are augmented in our school by different programmes related to our mission, aims and values, mainly around the personal and social development of the children. First and foremost amongst these is our commitment to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, as a Rights Respecting School. The Articles of this Convention are not only inherent in our continued School Improvement Planning, but receive weekly whole-school focus as part of our school assemblies – which also incorporate explicit teaching, discussion and exploration of British Values as well as World Faiths – and are interwoven into our curriculum topics and how these are taught.
As well as the above, ‘Growth Mindset’ as defined by the research of Carol Dweck and colleagues informs our curriculum and pedagogy, and is also taught discretely as part of a half-termly programme. The ‘E-Safety’ aspects of the Computing curriculum have been expanded and built-upon in our school curriculum via monthly lessons encapsulating different aspects relevant to modern life, such as cyber-bullying and protection of personal data. Children are also taught leadership skills, through roles created for our older children to help support the younger children, and enabled to explore and progress in their talents and interests through our comprehensive extra-curricular programme. In recognition of our impressive provision for extra-curricular activities – and sports in particular – we were awarded the Active Sussex Primary School of the Year Award in 2016, however we have a diverse programme including Creative Writing (for which some of our students have won County-level awards), French and Choir.
For each National Curriculum subject, we have also broken down the skills, knowledge and understanding into year-by-year expectations which build upon each other. These can be seen in our ‘Subject Overviews’, along with any school-specific approaches to teaching these subjects.
At different times of the year, we also dedicate extra time to certain areas of the curriculum to go into more depth and to ensure we are meeting the needs of our own community. These include:
- A Personal Development Week, with different themes annually but an ongoing focus on ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’;
- International Day, and topics devoted to countries linked to each class;
- Book Day/Week, and topics centred around authors linked to each class;
- E-Safety Awareness Day;
- STEM Week;
- Talents Day.
Celebrating internationalism, promoting a love of reading, and raising aspirations can be seen as recurring curriculum themes, and we are proud to stand for these.