Curriculum Explanation

Our children have the entitlement to a broad, balanced, creative and coherent curriculum which should prepare them for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century and raise aspirations. They are equipped with the skills, attitudes and dispositions they need to become well rounded individuals and life-long learners whilst instilling the love of learning in our diverse world.

In order for children to learn to think for themselves, our curriculum is stimulating and enquiry-based. Our children are responsible for their own learning, enabling them to plan and show initiative, persevere and have a commitment for self-improvement.

First hand experiences in our curriculum are essential: trips out of school are vital to our children’s understanding of the world. Each class has a trip, local visit or visitor in school at the beginning of each half term to kick-start their new topic. We know the value of having these experiences appropriately-placed throughout the year to maximise learning opportunities.

Our topics have recently been revised ahead of the 2014 curriculum, with our children’s interests and heritage at the heart of the design. Our themes are engaging, stimulating and challenging for all pupils. We have created a broad and balanced opportunity for creative thinking and learning for both boys and girls.

Through our curriculum provision, we aim to:

  1. Promote and sustain a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning.
  2. Create a sense of wonder in our pupils.
  3. Promote inclusion, diversity and community cohesion.
  4. Keep up with technology.
  5. Encourage children to work independently and cooperatively.
  6. Ensure that children are taught to become enterprising.
  7. Develop emotional intelligence and raise aspirations.
  8. Help to make children socially responsible.
  9. Contribute very well to pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.
  10. Ensure that all pupils realise their potential.
  11. Ensure that children achieve high standards across a variety of subjects.
  12. Ensure that all children are taught the essential knowledge in the subject disciplines.

 

 

 

Autumn 1

 

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Nursery

 

Why do you love me so much?

 

 

Why do leaves go crispy?

 

 

Where does snow go?

 

 

Are eggs alive?

 

 

Why do spiders eat flies?

 

 

Can we explore it?

 

 

 

Reception

 

Do you want to be friends?

What is a shadow?

Why can't I have chocolate for breakfast?

Do dragons exist?

Are we there yet?

Will you read me a story?

Year 1

 

 Dinosaur Planet

 

Splendid Skies

Moon Zoom

Memory box

Paws, Claws and Whiskers

Rio de Vida

Year 2

 

Land Ahoy!

 

 

Street Detectives

 

 

The Great Fire of London

 

 

Towers, Tunnels and Turrets

 

 

Wriggle and Crawl

 

 

Beachcombers 

 

Year 3

Tribal Tales

Tremors

Gods and Mortals

Mighty Metals

Predator

Scrumdiddly

-umptious

Year 4

I am Warrior

 Potions

 

Burps, Bottoms and Bile

 

Road Trip USA

Traders and Raiders

Misty Mountain Sierra

Year 5

 

Alchemy Island

 

Pharaohs

Star-gazers

Off with her Head!

 Beast Creator

  Scream Machine

Year 6

Hola Mexico!

Fallen Fields / Revolution

Frozen Kingdom

WW2

Darwin's Delights

 

Tomorrow's World

 

 

How is our curriculum delivered?

Every half term begins with the fundamental principles of the learning cycle. The ‘engage week’ generates excitement and engagement for something new. The children share what they know already and decide what it is they want to discover. Children have a first-hand experience related to their topic: something exciting they will always remember. This process takes a week.

For 3-4 weeks after this, the children acquire new knowledge. They are trained to be resilient, open minded and to persevere when mistakes are made. The research is done to answer their own questions and new skills are developed. This is our ‘develop’ section of the topic.

The following week after this is known as our innovate week. Now skills have been practised, our children know they are to think about things in different ways. Thinkers keys are used, problem solving becomes more challenging and children are taught that even though mistakes aren’t as frequent, they are learning through higher order thinking skills.

Finally, we have an express week. Our children know that teaching their new skills and knowledge to someone else allows them to embed their learning. Work is evaluated and successes are celebrated. And so the cycle continues.

 

Learning Behaviours

To help our children understand how they learn in the best way they can, we teach them a set of key learning behaviours. In foundation stage these are broken down into: risk taking, cooperation, imagination, independence, concentration, taking care, pride, don’t give up, explore, fun, check it and ideas.

In KS1 and KS2 the behaviours the children focus on are: cooperation, concentration, courage, curiosity, enthusiasm, direction, empathy, flexibility, humility, imagination, independence, humour, open mindedness, perseverance, precision, reflectiveness, resilience, responsibility, risk taking and self-discipline. These are displayed in every teaching area and having a word of the week allows children to practice these behaviours, building up an understanding of good learning skills.

At the beginning of a new topic, usually every half term, our classes will consider what they know already about that topic and discuss what they want to find out. Every child and every class is unique, which is why our planning has to be flexible to change with the needs of the individuals. A wonder wall is created in each class, with a knowledge harvest, questions and work in progress throughout the theme. Our wonder walls are transferred to the corridors for all to see at the end of every half term and renamed as a wow wall. This means our stunning displays are constantly changing.

 

Cooperative Learning

Our children are encouraged to work together and use coaching skills to help each other achieve an outcome. They are always accountable to each other in a team. When they share ideas, their talking time is equal to avoid children taking over the conversation or being left behind. All children discuss simultaneously rather than the teacher asking one child to answer a question. Our teachers are learning facilitators, creating a challenging yet safe environment for children to want to take risks and learn from mistakes. This is the way our cooperative learning works. The children in Nursery begin with very basic structures, which are gradually built upon in each year group. With a shoulder partner, face partner and team of 4/5, every child has the security of never being alone in learning. Teams change every half term to avoid the children becoming too comfortable with their shoulder partners.

 

Themed Events

Once per term we have a week dedicated to a specific theme. During the week, we explore our learning behaviours and teach very practical and thematic lessons. Everything during that week ties into the theme across the school.

 

Reflection Opportunities

We understand that for learning to take place, we need regular time to reflect on our thinking. At Greenacres reflection doesn’t just happen at the end of a lesson, but continuously throughout the day. Our teachers use regular ‘stop structures’ to allow thinking time for children to reflect on the learning process and embed new thoughts with their peers.

 

Use of ICT

We strive to engage all learners in our curriculum in as many ways as we can. With that in mind, we use a variety of innovative equipment to enhance learning opportunities. Over half of our children are learning English as an additional language. They need visual aids to support their learning which is why we use smart boards, visualisers, iPads and touch screen TVs.