Our curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of our children and community. Staff recognise the rich resources and opportunities we have within our local area and have used these as a starting point for our curriculum design.
Children at The Wilfred Owen school, will experience a broad and balanced curriculum, with time given to ensuring that they have access to a wide range of learning opportunities. It is important that we offer a wide curriculum to enable all children to develop the key knowledge, skills and understanding, whilst recognising and furthering their own strengths and areas of expertise.
Our curriculum long term plan is directed by children’s interests and underpinned by The National Curriculum. Linked into the long-term plans, are quality texts by a wide variety of authors both classic and contemporary, which will develop a love of reading. It is important that every child can read fluently and with comprehension.
“Young people who enjoy reading are three times more likely to read above the level expected for their age than children who don’t enjoy reading (30.1% vs 8.1%)”
Children and young people’s reading in 2019 05 Mar 2020 https://literacytrust.org.uk/research-services/research-reports/children-and-young-peoples-reading-in-2019/
Due to being in an area of deprivation, staff consider it important to offer children opportunities which they may not otherwise experience. It puts children at a significant disadvantage when asking them to read, write or learn about something with which they are unfamiliar with. It is far more challenging to use vocabulary and write a description of a setting about a beach, if you have never walked on sand and paddled in the sea, nor can you fully answer questions in a reading comprehension about the atmosphere in a gallery, if you have never visited one. To build vocabulary, experience different environments and become familiar with a wide range of activities is a significant outcome and is why we placed such high value on visits and visitors.
We want to present opportunities which engender curiosity and provide first hand experiences of things which will encourage children to discover new interests, strengths and abilities.
It is important that children at The Wilfred Owen become good citizens and have high aspirations of the things that they can achieve, both now and in the future. For this reason we focus on aspects of the curriculum which develop these skills. We want them to share their work with a wide audience and to be able to experience huge successes. We also wish to develop a social conscience in all members of the community. This may mean they are involved in an enterprise through their work, which will benefit a charity or organisation; they may plan a community project; consider the environmental impact they can have through their work or create a legacy outcome which can make a difference. We have found the recognition that they have achieved through these outcomes has a significant impact on their social and emotional development, as well as the educational outcomes. Through such public displays, children must strive for the highest quality of work, ensure they can communicate effectively and leave their mark on the community in a positive way.
Through our curriculum design we want every child leaving The Wilfred Owen School to be able to problem solve in a variety of contexts, in order to rise to intellectual and emotional challenges with resilience and self-confidence. We want them to engage in positive risk taking, using tools, equipment and environments that put them out of their comfort zone. They should be curious, ask and answer challenging questions and be willing to make mistakes which they can learn from. They should have the knowledge, skills and understanding of the curriculum secured through revisiting and building on prior learning and they should be able to apply learning in different contexts. Most of all, we want every child to reach their full potential and develop a love of learning. They should be motivated, challenged and enabled, through our curriculum, to respect themselves, other people and the environment.
Staff have worked together to identify the key aspects which we want to underpin all curriculum panning and delivery.
They are as follows:
We use the National Curriculum statements to plan our curriculum offer. Our priority is for children to know and remember more of what they have been taught throughout school.
To enable this to happen we have identified some key 'Golden Thread' concepts which are interwoven through our whole school curriculum offer. These Golden threads are:
Human Impact and Legacy
In each curriculum knowledge progression document, these themes are revisited frequently throughout a children's journey through school. At the beginning of a new unit of work, children will be encouraged to think about where they have met the Golden Thread concepts previously and use this prior knowledge to support their new learning. Through this approach, we will ensure that children are recalling prior knowledge and building on their understanding of this in a different context. It is already evident that this is having an positive impact on the children's ability to know and remember more.
Some of our most positive impacts have been:
A Grow a Pound enterprise initiative with the Credit Union which saw the children work together to raise over £2,000 for class resources and opportunities.
Census day work which developed maths across the curriculum and enabled children to use statistics to explore the impact of a National census.
Display of art work in The National Gallery, London.
A QR trail at Whittington Castle which links to animations created by year 1 and 2 about the legends and folklore of the castle.
Dementia training and a link with The Uplands Nursing Home in Oxon, Shrewsbury.
A performance at Theatre Severn of The Wizard of Oz, with ticket sales benefitting The Ark, Shrewsbury.
Publishing a Fairtrade Cookery Book through Crowdfunding. Profits from the sale of the book, £2,250, were donated to Sherwsbury Ark and hopefully will be used to provide a furnished kitchen in their new premises
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
There are seven areas of learning for children in EYFS.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The whole school theme and children's interests are used as the starting point for planning. We build upon children's prior learning and challenge them in a safe, supportive learning environment.
Development Matters is the document used to support children's learning and development through planning, observation and assessment.