Opportunities Achievement Creativity
College Road Primary School's Curriculum explained...
We have spent a whole year completely rethinking our approach to the curriculum. The rationale (described below) drove every decision we made. A collaborative approach ensured that our teaching staff understood how each year group fitted into the big picture and that there was clear progression and high expectations. The staff have ownership of the curriculum and are proud of the education we will offer children from now on.
Our Rationale is not in any order of importance...
Plymouth – Ocean City.
We think it is important that our pupils know what it means to be from Plymouth and how significant the city, with its sea-faring, naval and exploratory traditions, and its famous residents have been through history. Learning has been carefully sequenced so that, like an ever-increasing ripple, children understand their locality, beginning with their immediate surroundings in school and gradually expanding out from Keyham to Plymouth, Dartmoor, the coast, Devon and beyond. They will learn about colonial, scientific and exploration voyages from Plymouth that have changed the world. We also want to draw comparisons with places further afield, so children understand Plymouth’s relationship to the wider world and can seek to find their place within it.
Equality and Diversity
We recognise that teaching children about all aspects of equality is essential in modern society, especially when Plymouth is a predominantly white community. In addition to our programme of visitor assemblies with people from different faiths and cultures, we have constructed a curriculum that, across the year groups, takes children to all continents of the world and explores the lives and culture of people from those places as well as significant events in history. Black History month is celebrated and Year 2 and Year 6 study countries/regions with significant Black history during October. Also planned into the curriculum, are opportunities to teach children about other aspects of equality including gender, disability, age and orientation through RSE, PSHE, RE and the wider curriculum.
Significant deprivation within our school community means that our pupils have a disparate range of experiences outside school; some may never even have visited Plymouth Hoe or the beach. We want to provide equity of experience to ALL our pupils. Our curriculum provides a range of opportunities through trips, visitors and experiences that broaden their geographical and scientific understanding of the world, The Arts and history both within Keyham and further afield, thus fostering curiosity, awe and wonder and promoting a range of aspirational opportunities for their future.
Communication and Reading
Through embedding the principles of ‘Oracy’ in all aspects of the curriculum, we aim to improve equity for our lower attaining and SEN pupils, in particular. With high levels of Speech and Language need across the school, we focus on vocabulary acquisition and the accurate use of key vocabulary across all subjects, but especially exploring words that children would not normally meet in their everyday lives. We use the ‘Oracy’ approach to teach children how to be effective communicators in all situations (both formal and informal), building this into the real-life experiences and opportunities that we provide.
We know that reading is central to children meeting their full potential, so we prioritise reading through the teaching of phonics throughout Key Stage 1 and for our older pupils with SEND. We aim to ensure that their independent reading books are carefully matched to their phonic knowledge. Children learn so much about communication through books and reading for pleasure, so we have carefully planned in key, high-quality texts that children will meet as they move through the school. These texts add depth to what children can read independently and expose all children to a rich vocabulary that is discussed and used in wider contexts, feeding into our ‘Oracy’ approach.
Creativity and Purpose
Our curriculum revolves around giving children real-life, purposeful learning experiences. These range from writing real letters to real people for real reasons, to opening the school shop. Their creativity can flourish through enterprise projects and event planning. They learn how to use a budget to make profit and a focus on fluency in maths supports these real-life, outcome based experiences. Children’s voice is vital in our curriculum; their ideas for outcomes and projects drive their learning, promoting a sense of ownership and pride as well as igniting their curiosity.
As a Values-based School, teaching positive human values and giving children an ethical vocabulary with which to express their feelings, drives everything we do. Our School Values dovetail with British Values and children learn how to be the best person they can. We would love every child to become a truly good person who achieves well and makes a difference to those around them through positive contributions to society. Our values, explicitly and implicitly taught, are embedded in every aspect of school life.
Science of Learning
We are committed to using the principles behind Spaced Learning, Retrieval Practice, Dual Coding and Building Learning Power.
They have influenced our curriculum design to ensure that children build upon prior knowledge and revisit skills regularly, before moving their learning on. The Learning Powers and Muscles support children’s understanding and self-awareness of how they learn. Dual Coding supports a range of learners to access learning and build memory. Our Talk for Writing and Write Stuff approaches adhere to the dual coding principles and make learning to write fun and memorable.