The design of our curriculum
Our curriculum has been designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and the needs of our children. With an intake of 45 children per year, we have designed a two-year rolling programme to ensure consistency of coverage for our mixed-year group classes and which seeks to offer all children the opportunity to revisit key skills and knowledge.
We strive to excite and engage our learners through topics which are selected to enhance their cultural capital. Historically in our community, the experiences of our children have been isolated to their local environment and it is therefore important that we seek to expand horizons within their school experiences. Our curriculum also includes many opportunities for children to understand the cultural importance of Braintree and its geographical and historical context.
Mrs Karen Barefield is our Curriculum lead and works closely with Mrs Smyth and Mrs Carvalho to monitor its effectiveness.
The teaching of our curriculum – structure and sequence
Our curriculum has been designed to be knowledge-rich, with plenty of opportunities to revisit key subject knowledge and to apply skills across all subjects. We are mindful of the need to improve our children’s understanding of the world, whilst avoiding cognitive overload. Therefore, skills and knowledge are introduced progressively. Knowledge planners are used to ensure children have access to key information about topics at hand – these are currently available for History, Geography and Science. Quizzes are used regularly within topics to assess whether children know and remember more about what they have been taught.
Although we have termly or half termly topics, individual subjects are taught in blocks, allowing teachers to fully immerse children in a given subject. Further to this, we encourage children to make links between different subjects and to see that many skills are transferable. Subject leaders have worked with senior leaders to create subject skills progression documents which clearly set out the skills to be taught in each year. In addition, our long-term curriculum plans detail the knowledge to be delivered and revisited.
Our curriculum has been designed around key questions to focus teaching and learning and drive a strong emphasis on introducing new vocabulary in all subjects. The school is a language-rich environment and children are taught new vocabulary explicitly. Vocabulary to be taught is detailed on curriculum plans.
Underpinning our taught curriculum
In addition to the carefully-designed curriculum, there are a number of tools and attitudes that we use in our school to enable children to maximise their access to the learning opportunities. These have become fundamental in our approach and include:
- Developing a safe and nurturing environment where all children feel secure to take risks with their learning
- A choose and challenge approach to ensure there is no ceiling set on attainment
- Peer and collaborative learning strategies
- A clear focus on teaching vocabulary and improved oracy
- Outdoor learning
- Metacognition – Using tools such as The Metawalk to encourage children to identify their personal level of understanding and subsequent next steps
- Teaching of school and British values
- Self-regulation using Zones of Regulation
- Growth mindset and resilience
You can download our Fundamentals document which gives details of our over arching strategies to support teaching and learning at Beckers Green Primary School.
Please browse through the following pages to see details of our topic based curriculum.