At the heart of learning:
We want children to develop a strong and deep vocabulary and conceptual understanding across many subjects over time.
We are striving to enhance children’s long-term memory and skills so they can apply their knowledge in different ways.
Bishop Road is a story-centred school that recognises narrative as the fundamental way that people share meaning and develop a sense of the world. We value and emphasise reading and literature as central to our culture and ethos. We invest in high quality books and make time for reading and sharing stories each and every day.
Our core principles for learning:
1. Building knowledge
Knowledge is fundamental in our curriculum and is the pathway to creativity enabling us to think and shape new ideas. Lessons are planned to develop knowledge, increase conceptual understanding and make connections with prior learning.
2. Developing language
We place a strong emphasis on identifying, exploring and absorbing new vocabulary. Children are immersed in a language rich environment, with a particular emphasis on high quality children’s literature, rich in vocabulary and meaning, to extend and deepen understanding and expression.
3. Shaping character
The school culture emphasises children developing values and character, learning to use their knowledge and skills to help others and contribute to the world (a core school value). This is not a discrete taught skill but is essential to our philosophy of learning.
We are an inclusive school that provides every child access to a broad and balanced education. Children’s individual needs are taken into account when planning and delivering the curriculum to make it accessible to all. Our aim is to ensure all children are supported to become confident, independent and reflective learners. Our curriculum promotes children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, ensuring that they are considerate and responsible citizens. Fundamental British Values are actively promoted in order to prepare the children for life in modern Britain.
Our curriculum design
· Our curriculum covers all of the National Curriculum and has been organised into a framework to support progression in learning as children move through the school.
· We use key concepts for learning in all subject areas across the school, deepening and strengthening the learning by revisiting these concepts year on year.
· We separate concepts into smaller learning milestones to describe specific stages of understanding and ensure learning is increasingly challenging within each stage of the school.
Foundation stage curriculum
In Reception, children’s learning is based on the Foundation Stage curriculum. There are 7 areas of learning: Communication and Language; Physical; Personal, Social and Emotional; Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Art and Design. The is a strong emphasis on the development of reading and we value hands on learning across the curriculum both in and outside the classroom. Staff assess the children and use this information to plan for the learning opportunities they provide. Parents contribute towards this process which is recorded in the children’s Learning Diaries.
How we deliver and implement our curriculum
· Teachers hold high expectations for the level of knowledge and related vocabulary in each year group.
· We have a strong focus on the outcomes that children produce in each lesson as we recognise the link between practising and securing new ideas through repetition and rehearsal. We have a culture that prizes quality of work and pride in presentation.
· Staff carefully model and demonstrate processes, skills and techniques as well as high quality presentation so that children can develop an understanding of how to apply their new learning.
Measuring the impact
Children achieve well by developing secure knowledge, skills and language that is embedded in their long term memory leaving Bishop Road in Year 6 fully prepared for a successful transition to secondary school. The impact of the curriculum is also more widely evaluated through end of Key Stage statutory assessments, governor monitoring visits, external partnership visits and monitoring of teaching, learning as well as pupil voice. School self-evaluation is also focused on the impact of our curriculum.
Teacher assessment is used across all year groups in the school and is a professional judgement based on:
· Reflection on pupil work (using pupil books and tests)
· Observation of learning over time (evaluation of understanding in lessons and tasks)
· Comparative discourse (benchmarking discussions across four classes)