The Eltham Curriculum
From September 2019, Ofsted began to inspect schools under a new framework which will provide much more emphasis than the previous one on the substance of education i.e. the curriculum itself.
At Eltham, our curriculum is well-constructed and sequenced to support progress over time. Our curriculum is dynamic, subject to continual review and unique to Eltham. Our statement of intent is shown below together with the Y1-6 creative curriculum overview for 2022-23.
Creative Curriculum: 2022 / 23 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 enriched further through a regular programme of themed enrichment. We select these themes in response to our curriculum review process, feedback from our parent and carer communities and in response to topical local, national and international events.
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 ‘Africa is a Continent’. 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. Our knowledge organisers support a range of assessment activities including quizzing/retrieval practise and assessment sampling.
Examples of Knowledge Organisers:
Year 4: Invasion and Ideals
Year 2: Frozen
Progression of skills
Our curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure that all National Curriculum objectives are covered, and skills are built upon as children move through the school. Below are links to the progression of skills in each subject. These progression maps are reviewed annually.
At Eltham Church of England Primary School, themed (off-timetable) weeks have been held regularly over the last 5 years. 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.
So far, we have celebrated:
- Design Week, October 2018
- Adventure Learning Week, April 2019
- International Performing Arts Week, June 2019
- HOW? Week, October 2019
- Edible Playground launch, November 2019
- Reading Festival, May 2021
- Maths is Magic Week, February 2022
- Happy Heart, Healthy Heart Week, July 2022
In 2022 23, we have adopted a slightly different approach to curriculum enrichment with our first themed year. The Creative Arts will be the focus of our whole school enrichment for the ENTIRE YEAR. We are confident this will provide a more sustainable impact on learning whilst still providing the anticipation and excitement we have all come to expect from our curriculum enrichment at Eltham! There are already a number of exciting activities planned and these will be added to over the year
Autumn term activities:
- The Day the Crayons Quit – a whole school creative writing and drama project
- A celebration of Black Artists and Craft makers to support our celebrations of Black History Month
- Let’s Think in English – a whole school project to promote oracy
- Year group parent assemblies/performances
- Sketchbook Adventures – a whole school project to promote the use of sketchbooks in our Art and Design curriculum
Impact of Curriculum Enrichment
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 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.
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.