Lower School Curriculum Rationale

Rationale 

Due to the national lockdowns, school closures and isolations our aim is to look at our curriculum in two parts. Lost learning due to the pandemic and a focus on reading. 

Lost learning: specific topics that could not be done remotely, such as science experiments, intense 1:1 reading, algebra and elements of art. For our young children remote learning has been extremely difficult and we have looked at a number of models that work best for them. From Teams live lessons to paperwork packs and then eventually a mixture of all models.  

Reading: Improving reading and literacy during the pandemic has been difficult, our young children need a high level of specialised support which we can provide within school. The other difficulty we have faced is encouraging pupils to read for pleasure. Reading was built into our remote learning, but we found pupils lacked concentration for any length of time.  

 

Intent 

  • Our curriculum continues to meet our pupils’ needs and interests.  How to provide each pupil with access to a curriculum, which is tailored and personalised to how they best learn and provides the best teaching and learning opportunities to enable them to make good progress and attainment and to be fully prepared for their next steps in learning. 

  • Minimising the impact of Covid restrictions and Covid related absences on the well-being of pupils and staff, as well as on teaching and learning.  

  • Thrive to underpin and support pupil’s social and emotional needs. 

  • Ensuring all Lower School staff are clear on expectations and provided with appropriate leadership, CPD and support. 

  • Dedicating more teaching and learning time to Maths and English, including the length of time given to pupils to apply their English and Maths skills across the curriculum.  

  • Introducing reading interventions for those identified as requiring it – Nessy and Toe by Toe 

  • Further developing our one to one reading focus and recording. 

  • Further developing and enhance our reading resources. 

  • Coverage of the foundation subjects. 

  • Further developing the Enrichment curriculum and how this support resilience and enhance social and emotional development.   

  • Maximising progress by enhancing the analysis and monitoring of pupil data (not solely academic) and teachers’ actions following pupil progress meetings.     

  • Preparing for the coming Academic Year, including long term planning of subjects, assessment and possibly replacing Letters and Sounds as our Systematic Phonics Program.  

  • Ensuring any transitions to upper school are a positive experience for pupils and staff and Upper School staff are provided with a full and clear handover or all relevant information. 

Implementation 

  • Across Lower School, pupils will work within their key worker system of familiar adults in either our ACES 1, ACES 2 or Nurture/Primary provision. 

  • Staff will make learning vivid, real and meaningful with many first-hand experiences. 

  • Pupils attend school and engage in their learning opportunities, making good progress across academic and social aspects of their learning. 

  • Pupil’s take pride in their work and their achievements will be celebrated, for example through the classroom environment. 

  • All pupils will be tested in reading to enable teachers to identify our weakest readers and plan to bridge gaps as well as those pupils whose reading has dipped due to the pandemic. 

  • Staff take pride in their work and contribute to the further development of the curriculum. 

  • Parents and Carers are engaged and where possible supporting their child’s education. 

  • Pupils’ make good or better progress in basic skills and are able to apply these skills across the curriculum.  

Enrichment, rewards and points

  • Plan and implement enrichment activities to enhance the Creative Curriculum and our pupils’ development. 

  • Continue with star of the week, attendance, mention certificates and prizes during weekly assemblies and positive phone calls home. 

  • We will follow government guidelines for activities, adapt where necessary and introduce when guidelines allow us. 

 

Impact 

The curriculum is planned carefully, using the National Curriculum (England) as its basis, to make it relevant to our pupils and to provide them with challenge. It is broad and balanced, providing pupils with opportunities to link ideas together through half-termly topics. Each curricular topic includes first hand-experience such as a visit, visitor or a final project. Team-building opportunities, the curriculum topics, visits and theme days captivate the pupils’ enthusiasm for learning and enhance their progress and personal development. Pupils across the curriculum will read and write with a purpose, with improved resilience, self-esteem and self-worth due to their ‘can do’ and ‘have a go’ attitude.  

  • Pupils and staff have aspirations and are inspired to learn and develop further. 

  • Pupils and staff have an understanding, and have ownership, of their responsibilities. 

  • The curriculum contributes well to pupils’ behaviour and welfare, including their physical, mental and personal well-being, safety and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. 

  • Pupils acquire knowledge, understanding and skills through the range subjects and themes taught, including through our Enrichment curriculum. 

  • Staff have a rigorous approach to the teaching of reading and this develops our pupils’ confidence and enjoyment in reading.  

  • Early readers are provided with the appropriate curriculum and support. 

  • Parents and Carers are fully informed about their child’s education and how our curriculum contributes to their child’s progress and development.  

  • Governors, and the school’s improvement partner, regularly monitor the curriculum.