A #GOLD Curriculum for all at SGPS
Seacroft Grange Primary School was inspected under the new inspection framework in February 2020. Ofsted judged the quality of education (and therefore our curriculum) to be good. They provided us with some useful feedback in terms of developing the specificity of our planning and as such our curriculum planning is currently under further review. We're very excited about it. Therefore the documents you find here are still relevant in terms of overall content (and correct up to February 2020) but they will be updated in the new academic year (2020/21)
We look forward to seeing further impact on our pupil's knowledge, skills and experiences over the coming weeks, months and years as well as hoping for a long-lasting legacy of a love of learning.
At Seacroft Grange Primary school we want the best for and the best from everyone in our learning community. This is often articulated to people we speak to as a contract in 3 main ways:
- We want our children to have access to the best education and therefore we expect children to work hard and behave well
- We will enable our staff to be the best that they can be through challenge, support and CPD and expect them to work hard for our children and for themselves
- We want our parents/carers to feel supported and know that their child is receiving the best possible education. In return we expect our parents/carers to support school in supporting their children.
This contract is absolutely true when it comes to our curriculum offer. We will ensure access to a high quality of education across our curriculum and expect children, staff and families to engage in this for their benefit. Children are reliant, in many respects, on schooling for their education and ability to take part in social society. Our curriculum is designed to give children knowledge, skills and experiences which allow them to have social mobility. We believe this is our social duty to provide access and opportunity for this through our curriculum.
Everything we do at Seacroft Grange is ‘Investing in GOLD standard’. The time we spend, energy we expel, money we spend etc is in ensuring that our work at Seacroft Grange is completed to a GOLD standard; not as an aim but rather as a minimum expectation. Our curriculum takes the investment of time, effort and money to ensure that it benefits our children.
The curriculum at Seacroft Grange – of course – stems from the National Curriculum as a minimum standard. However we believe that we have created an offer that is nurturing, developmental and designed to get the best out of our children and make them as ready as they can be for the next steps in their education and lives. It is the responsibility of classroom teachers to plan high-quality learning from this National Curriculum base. Primary Education isn’t just about knowledge and skills but experiences that children will remember well into their adult years and hopefully set them up for a life of learning and a recognition that learning is key to a successful future.
Experiences are integral to the curriculum at Seacroft Grange Primary School. We have the 84 experience promise; a promise that each half-term, from Reception to Year 6, every child will engage in one class-level experience and one whole-school level experience; making 84 in total across their Primary career. Such experiences may be in class, involve a visitor or workshop; they may include going out of school as class or indeed a whole-school trip e.g. the beach; a stately home. These are designed to build cultural capital and provide experiences to make abstract concepts more concrete and bring to life what they read about in books. We want these experiences to be remembered and to benefit children’s spoken language and ability to write – with direct knowledge – about a range of things. Ofsted Inspection of school in 2016 commented on how this approach (a pledge at the time) not only supported the curriculum but also children’s development socially, emotionally, spiritually and culturally and in their understanding of being a British Citizen and their understanding of Fundamental British Values.
Knowledge is key to children’s development – within this children need to have a rich and varied vocabulary to be able to articulate their knowledge in spoken language and in writing. Research tells us that vocabulary at a young age is a key indicator of future academic success and as such we pay lots of attention to the way we engage children with and teach explicitly about vocabulary. It features heavily in the way we implement our curriculum as you will see throughout our curriculum documentation (e.g. knowledge organisers). We want all children, no matter their background or ability, to develop a deep understanding of the curriculum they are learning; connecting old knowledge to new knowledge in a sequential way. Knowledge is also key to allowing a particular skill to be performed. Knowledge should be remembered and is key that this knowledge is sequenced and built upon to develop children’s schemas as they move through their education. We want our children’s lives to be enriched through the knowledge they retain in their memory. We want children to use their knowledge to understand new things that they encounter; using this knowledge to comprehend. The inter-connections between year groups, key stages and subjects are detailed in the documents adjacent.
Skills are often times where children shine – their ability to ‘do’ something and apply their knowledge. We want our children to master their skills across our curriculum and ‘have a go’ at things that they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to. We want our children to learn skills that will support them as they move on in their education. Reading is a key cornerstone of this knowledge strand and through the choosing and use of high-quality texts we plan for the development of knowledge in communication and language, listening and attention, understanding and speaking (lots of collaborative work with our partnership schools in the Leeds East Primary Partnership Trust (LEPP) has supported us in this aim. Skills are a capacity to perform based on what is known. Often quoted is how reading is like breathing in and writing is like breathing out – we want our children to be articulate speakers, skilled comprehenders, readers and writers and our curriculum offer is designed to ensure that this happens in all areas of the curriculum.
The whole-child is a key driver for our curriculum. Our children need to be loved and nurtured and therefore the universal offer and more bespoke offer for our children includes many aspects which support the development of children not only educationally but Socially, Emotionally and by encouraging positive mental health. We have a good PSHE scheme of work in place alongside more bespoke offerings such as nurture provision and support from cluster services around specific needs for a child/family.
At staff CPD sessions we talk a lot about consistency and coherence being key but conformity being the killer of creativity and stifling the skill of the best teachers. Therefore our curriculum implementation is designed as an offer, as a framework on which teachers can build and deliver in the way that suits their teaching styles and children’s needs and wants for learning. The basic premise of implementation is in line with school’s learning and teaching policy (separate document). English and Maths provision is more explicitly documented in ‘The Book – Curriculum’ (separate document). English and Maths remain key drivers for the rest of the curriculum and this document serves to articulate how the remainder of the curriculum is given high priority in the overall curriculum at Seacroft Grange.
Knowledge organisers are currently available (2019/20 onwards ) for Science, History and Geography and will be developed further for other subjects as we move to have our curriculum offer complete by the end of Summer 2021.
An example of a knowledge organiser is displayed below (completed examples of these for each year group will be available shortly)
The knowledge organiser is used by a teacher for planning and marking – this will be the only expectation of where teacher’s mark children’s work in subjects other than English and Maths – a one stop shop for teachers and children to understand what children know/can do (or don’t know yet!/can’t do yet!). Activities will take place – these are up to the teacher to decide – which support the development of this knowledge and these skills.
There are of course external measures of school’s performance in a narrow number of subjects:
EYFS, Year 1 Phonics, KS1 SATs, Year 4 Multiplication Test (from 2020) and KS2 SATs. Internal tracking of English and Maths against end of year frameworks are also completed for all year groups and are more fully explained in our assessment policy.
Subjects other than English and Maths (and possibly Science) are difficult to be tracked by year group as the National Curriculum is not split up in this way (rather into key stages). As such it would serve little purpose to say a child is or isn’t at age-related expectation in History, for example, a term into Year 4. However Knowledge Organisers are designed to be able to support our judgements.
At the beginning of a new topic/theme the teacher will complete a cold task; asking children what they already know. Before children are 'launched' into their new learning children will be encouraged to make connections in a 'pre-launch' session discussing what learning has come before which supports upcoming learning and also discussing where the learning will go as they move through school. This supports retrieval of knowledge and allows children to see that learning is progressive. Children will be introduced to the key vocabulary and ask to plot this on a ‘stages of knowing words’ cline (children are familiar with these from their classrooms). Children will then be introduced to their knowledge organisers. Teaching and learning will take place over a number of sessions and the children will then be asked to now think about what they know and reacquaint themselves with the stages of knowing words cline. These ‘end of topic’ tasks along with the pink and green (in line with school feedback and marking policy) highlighting on the knowledge organiser will allow the teacher to support their judgement of whether a child has gained the necessary knowledge and skills for a particular topic of a particular subject. This will help, over time, build up a picture of how a child is performing in a subject – using the knowledge organisers and children’s books to showcase this. This way the purpose of assessment is purely for the benefit of the child and the adult knowing where a child is with their learning. The assessment is not designed to be a useful tool for leadership or external scrutiny but rather clear evidence of progress for a child and their teacher. This, in turn, is designed to satisfy leadership and external scrutiny as children receiving a good quality of education and children making progress is the purpose of our role as educators.
Seacroft Grange Primary School uses Letters and Sounds as a programme for teaching Synthetic Phonics.
More information on Letters and Sounds can be found here