Our curriculum is evolving as the year progresses, as we want to provide the best learning experiences for our pupils and we want to ensure that our curriculum fits in with the needs of pupils in our community. Each term we provide curriculum newsletters and hold curriculum evenings to share what we will be teaching and learning.
Following consultations with pupils, our staff curriculum team and current educational research, we have made changes to the way our curriculum is structured this year. We are revisiting key skills within each subject more regularly within phases so that pupils know more, remember more and do more.
The Curriculum team’s vision is that our pupils should be ambitious, lifelong learners beyond the school day who can retain, use and apply their learning effectively. We want our pupils to be able to communicate confidently, and to be proficient readers who are excited about what they read and are keen to share their thoughts with others. We want our pupils to be secure in key mathematical skills and be able to apply these to different situations. We want pupils to be able to look ahead to the future, and embrace and accept individuality. We want pupils to be proud of our community, and to take pride in being a member of Victoria Junior School.
We have bought into “The Essentials Curriculum” by Chris Quigley and will adapt this format, as well as ideas from staff and pupils, to build knowledge and skills throughout the curriculum. Pupils will develop their skills over phases – Lower Phase (3/4) and Upper Phase (5/6). We intend to provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that is rich in cultural capital and community awareness, so that pupils develop a greater depth of understanding. It is imperative that learning must not be rushed, and will involve a high degree of repetition in different contexts so that knowledge enters pupils’ long term memory. If all the core knowledge is acquired quickly, teachers will create opportunities to develop extended knowledge.
Our curriculum is designed with the input of staff and pupils, as well as using The Essentials Curriculum. We believe that topics should be relevant to pupils living within our community, and should equip them with the skills and knowledge to be able to retain, use and apply their learning effectively.
Phases work together to develop long and medium term topic plans for learning that provide pupils with planned repetition, interweaving of skills throughout the curriculum and opportunities for frequent retrieval. Topics should be of interest to pupils within our community, and focus on developing the skills for progress from The Essentials Curriculum.
Teachers initially plan daily lessons using the aims from the National Curriculum. The milestones for progress in The Essentials Curriculum form the objective for the lesson which allows teachers to fully focus on planning differentiated activities that develop skills and knowledge within each subject.
Research demonstrates that learning may not be immediately visible. Therefore, our assessment processes take into account regular monitoring including book-looks, informal and formal assessments, conversations with pupils and staff as well as learning walks, observations and data scrutiny. Our primary aim is that pupils are provided with opportunities to be ambitious, lifelong learners beyond the school day who can retain, use and apply their learning effectively so that they have the skills and knowledge to become happy, responsible and successful adults. This is primarily demonstrated through conversations with pupils, as well as evidence from books and assessments.