Curriculum Provision at Willowbrook Primary School
All aspects of our curriculum are accessible to all children, irrespective of their ethnic background, gender, disability, religious or linguistic background. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those who are more able, those with special gifts and talents and the children who are learning English as an additional language. We provide a rich, challenging curriculum, which stretches all of our children. Staff are aware of children who have exceptional talents and gifts and monitor or track their progress carefully to ensure their academic potential or talent is continually developed. For further details see separate policies: Inclusion, Most able.
We believe that our curriculum should be enjoyable, rich, varied and challenging in order to engage and excite our children. We strive to meet the needs of all our pupils and ensure each and every child is able to fulfil their potential. We aim to foster a lifelong love of learning, through adopting a highly practical and cross curricular approach. It aims to deliver a twenty first century education that will equip the children with the skills required to be independent and responsible citizens. We believe that this is the key to motivation in learning and the growth of pupils’ self-esteem and enjoyment. The intention is to give children and teaching staff more opportunity to explore their own creativity and to give the children more purpose for their learning. We aim to create independent thinkers who take ownership over their learning. We place a strong emphasis on the development of the basic skills necessary for our children to be confident independent learners and successful adults.
At Willowbrook Primary School children develop a strong sense of moral purpose in addition to a respect and understanding of people who have different characteristics to themselves, whether that be age, disability, gender, race or sexuality. A rigorous, well planned curriculum, delivered by excellent staff in an ethos of care, love and support enables our pupils to be well rounded, empathetic young people who have a thirst for learning and respect for all around them.
As part of but not exclusive to the curriculum, Willowbrook Primary School actively promotes opportunities and experiences our children will remember for a lifetime.
At Willowbrook Primary School we believe that our curriculum should encourage our children to:
Be Inspired to develop a love of learning.
Embed skills in order to prepare for further learning and productive adulthood.
Take learning beyond the classroom.
To be adventurous.
Develop and become reflective learners who have a sense of responsibility for their own learning and development.
Build confidence and motivation.
Grow and understand the importance of perseverance, resilience and tolerance.
Use their acquired skills and knowledge to observe, question and think.
Learn to value others, their views, cultures and beliefs.
Be challenging and dynamic
Be respectful of cultural differences and abilities of all children.
The Implementation of our Curriculum
We have developed a thematic curriculum which involves teaching the key skills of the National Curriculum (2014) through a series of coherently planned and sequenced lessons. This thematic and creative approach to the curriculum is both skills and knowledge based. The rehearsal and application of basic skills learned in the core curriculum is a driver for the entire curriculum. Our Creative Curriculum encompasses all core and foundation subjects and enables us to provide a high standard of teaching and learning. It is designed around inspiring themes and each theme lasts a term. We teach the knowledge and skills of these subjects through class topics for example Hot and Cold, Fire and Ice, A Bugs Life, Eager Explorers, The Lion King, Romans, Age of Change, Ancient Greece, Moving On, Chocolate and Under the Sea. These topics also integrate elements from other subjects such as maths, literacy, art and music. We ensure our children learn about their local environment, local history and the wider world. Each topic is given valuable time for collaborative planning by year group teaching staff to design stimulating learning experiences and children are able to make connections between all their learning whilst still valuing and delivering key skills as required in the National Curriculum. Each topic may include a visit, visitor and workshop booking which allows the children to participate in a truly memorable experience and seeks to deliver learning experience which children will remember forever.
The curriculum balance is monitored and revisited regularly to ensure that pupils in this school develop a range of learning skills, knowledge and understanding over time. Different approaches to learning, media, publication and assessment techniques are also varied to ensure there is breadth and depth for all learners. Throughout the day, pupils engage in whole-class work, group work, paired work and independent work. We aim for each session to include visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities so that pupils see, hear and do. We make good use of ‘talk partners’ and we model, encourage and praise cooperative learning.
The Subjects that are taught
The following website links from the Department of Education (DfE) may provide you with more information in regards to the Early Years Foundation Stage(EYFS), The school curriculum and the primary subjects within this
In English we will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others; through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. All children engage in a daily literacy skills session where they develop their reading and comprehension skills in addition to developing a command of all aspects of the English language.
Spoken language- Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. At Willowbrook, we do this through discussion of books, role play and hot seating; discussions of work whilst peer assessing writing; and debating topical issues.
Reading- The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
At Willowbrook we teach these skills through daily class reading, weekly guided sessions, and a structured individual reading scheme which caters for all abilities. We encourage and support the need for all children to read every night. It is essential for them to develop as writers.
Children rapidly begin to read in our Foundation class by following a programme called 'Letters and Sounds'. To ensure that our children are reading books that are relevant and enjoyable for their ability, we use a variety of different schemes including big cat phonics, project X, Tree tops in fact, songbirds and Rigby star. We also use a Salford reading test to assess children’s reading and comprehension age.
Writing -The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
These skills are developed through structured English lessons that teach how to plan, revise and evaluate writing with an understanding of audience, purpose and context. We also use Talk for Writing which develops pupils ability to retell texts and broaden their use of vocabulary. Furthermore, the children are given opportunities to use their writing skills in other subjects and through extended writing. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting which is taught on a weekly basis.
Spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar -
At Willowbrook we teach these skills daily through discreet lessons as well as embedding them when teaching reading, writing and spoken language.
Parents and carers are our pupils’ first and most influential educators. We work in partnership with our parents/carers to enhance learning. Each term we create termly Knowledge Planners. These include a summary of each topic, identifying links. Alongside this there is a letter from the teachers outlining specific activities or events for the parents/carers to prepare for with their children.
In order to further support parents/carers, we hold workshops to outline the curriculum and teaching strategies as well as suggestion for how parents/carers can help at home.