School Curriculum: An update
From September 2019, Ofsted will begin inspecting schools under a new framework which they are hoping will provide much more emphasis than the previous one on the substance of education i.e. the curriculum itself.
It therefore seemed timely to remind parents of our unique creative curriculum offering at Eltham Church of England Primary school. Our statement of intent is shown below together with a final Y1-6 creative curriculum overview for 2019 20.
Creative Curriculum: 2018 19 statement of intent
At Eltham Church of England Primary School, we aim to provide an inspiring curriculum, nurturing the development of the whole child and in which every child can achieve. Themes which capture the children’s interest and enthusiasm for learning have been chosen and are delivered in a trans disciplinary approach where learning is engaging, relevant and meaningful. We believe it represents the world we live in and provides the experiences, skills and knowledge our children need to function as young people and adults in the 21st Century.
The National Curriculum Framework 2014 is central to our curriculum and every pupil is taught in line with those expectations. However, our distinct curriculum also includes learning opportunities that are designed to support our values and reflect our local communities whilst retaining the flexibility to respond to our children’s changing interests and the developing world around them.
Our curriculum provision is are enriched further through a regular programme of themed weeks and WONDER days. We select these in response to feedback from our parent and carer communities, our children and in response to topic local, national and international events and themes.
Units of learning
Our unique creative curriculum combines art and design, history, geography and design and technology objectives. Rigorous teaching of discreet subject specific skills and knowledge is delivered alongside opportunities to apply those skills in a cross curricular context. Topics often focus on familiar themes, such as ‘Roman Britain’ and the ‘Ancient Greeks’ but also include newer, themes such as ‘Solution Revolution’, ‘Difference’, ‘Garbage to Gold’ and ‘Kings and Queens’. These themes offer opportunities to apply learning from our British Values and SMSC curriculum, promoting liberty, tolerance and mutual respect.
Each theme is linked to our whole-text approach to teaching literacy with each taught session setting out to answer a Challenge Question. We aim for our children to be inspired by their learning, to develop enquiring minds, a sense of their own identity and respect for other cultures.
At Eltham Church of England Primary School, themed (off-timetable) weeks are held regularly throughout the year. This allows us to either immerse our children in an area of the established curriculum or enrich our children’s education beyond the statutory curriculum.
Themed weeks for 2018 19:
* Design Week – w/c 29 October 2018
* Adventure Learning Week – W/c 1 April 2019
* International Arts Week – W/c 17 June 2019
In additional to the introduction of our very own Edible Playground in the autumn term, our themed weeks for 2019 20 are:
* HOW week – W/c 28 October 2019
* Out of this World – W/c 1 April 2020
Think of a time when you have seen or heard something and thought “WOW”.
At Eltham Church of England Primary School, we are committed to providing those opportunities to our children and want those memories to remain vivid and lasting.
Our WONDER days are in place to stimulate that “WOW” reaction, to inspire learning and personal growth. Our range of WONDER days are planned to reflect our communities and values and to encourage a sense of enquiry.
WONDER days will often work across the whole school or within specific year groups. At present, the costs associated with WONDER days will be met through School Funds.
Whole school WONDER days currently planned for 2019 20 include:
- WILD WONDER days (summer term)
- When I grow up…. (summer term)
- Celebrations of 75th anniversary of VE Day (spring term)
Impact of Themed Weeks 2018 19
We have surveyed the children to understand their experience of our themed weeks. We asked them:
- Have they helped build your confidence and resilience?
- Have they helped to develop new skills and knowledge?
- Have they helped motivate you to learn about something new in more depth?
An average of 86% of our children ‘agreed completely’ with these statements with a further 8% ‘agreeing a bit’. We are so proud of what the children have achieved this year and delighted the themed weeks have been so impactful. We will continue to use the more detailed analysis of our Impact Surveys to inform future themed weeks and WONDER days.