What is our Curriculum?
At WGPS we believe that our curriculum should be challenging, exciting, enjoyable, and relevant. We want a curriculum that is a carefully planned, thematic approach to teaching and learning designed to support children’s natural curiosity and stimulate their creativity. It allows children the opportunity to work in depth, giving them the time they need to reflect, consolidate and transfer their learning.
Our Early Years Curriculum
At WGPS we are proud of the start we give to all children in Foundation Stage as they join our school. The Foundation Stage is a discrete and very special phase and is concerned with the development of “the whole child”, each area of development closely and often seamlessly intertwined together as children learn and develop following a play based curriculum. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum has three “prime” areas of learning; Personal, Social and Emotional development, language for communication and thinking and physical development, and four “specific” areas; literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. Broad developmental bands indicating likely stages of development and behaviours in each of these areas form the basis of our planning for learning and children’s progress and attainment is monitored in relation to these developmental bands. All activities and experiences are designed and planned to meet individual needs and interests.
Quality play experiences form the basis of each day in Foundation Stage and children are encouraged to initiate and develop their own ideas, working with other children and adults in a variety of contexts both indoors and in the outdoor classroom.
Our Years 1-6 Curriculum
Our approach to the curriculum is a skills based approach. The key concepts, principles and themes have been developed into a range of progressive skills through which the children are helped to grow and develop. This Skills Based Curriculum (which covers History, Geography, Art and Design, Design and Technology, Science, PE, Music, ICT and RE) allows a creative way of learning and teaching, enabling us to move away from discrete lessons into a more meaningful, engaging, topic based approach for our foundation subjects.
The curriculum we offer is designed to meet the needs of all our pupils. It is rich, varied, creative and imaginative and meets the needs of individual learners. Through regular assessment tasks are matched to the ability of each child through differentiated activities, adult support, providing a level of challenge that is stimulating for pupils and questioning skills.
Teaching of foundation subjects follows a long term plan to ensure breath of study across the school.
Our SBC has evolved from the use of National Curriculum and schemes of work which was then reviewed to ensure that it is relevant to the children’s and school’s needs. After researching a number of different skills based curriculums a long-term plan was written. This then enabled careful consideration of the skills that would be required. With this long term plan in mind a set of skills was written which would show clear progression throughout school and would allow pupils to develop skills they can use in a variety of contexts. Skills within each foundation subject have been cross- referenced with the 2014 National Curriculum and reflect any changes needed within the skills.
We value the importance of direct experience within the curriculum so that teachers draw out and develop children’s thinking and capacities in meaningful contexts. Core knowledge and skills are at the heart of the learning process with the children exploring a wide range of topics, to prepare them for life. A gather, skills, apply approach to planning and delivery of lessons is taken across school to ensure children develop a deep understanding of specific skills and are able to apply these in a range of situations.
We have adopted and amended the 2014 curriculum for teaching Literacy and Numeracy and where appropriate cross curricular links are made. This includes opportunities for encouraging children to develop their spoken and written English in a variety of contexts and to apply Maths to everyday situations. The reading focus within our literacy curriculum in KS1 is supported through the Read Write Inc systematic synthetic phonics programme.
Where appropriate and meaningful links can be made Science is part of topics across school however when meaningful links cannot be made Science is taught discretely. Science is taught through AT1 (Scientific enquiry) which allows children to test and explore scientific theories. Hoyland Common celebrates Science Week each year and a whole school focus is given to developing specific skills and knowledge.
PE, and RE are taught discretely outside of topic time to ensure depth and rigour and to take advantage of specialised teaching. A customised curriculum which meets both the academic and pastoral needs of all our pupils is fundamental to our school ethos and vision. RE in school provides a balance of opportunities for children to learn about and learn from religion. Learning from religion provides huge scope for developing children’s spirituality. Children are given plenty of sporting opportunities, both in school and extra-curricular groups, to practice and develop the skills taught during PE lessons. ICT is not taught discreetly but is fully embedded across the whole curriculum and permeates every subject. It is used in all curriculum areas and has raised interest, self-esteem, creativity and aspirations of all children. The ICT curriculum is rich and varied and provides our pupils with the skills required for life in the 21st Century.
INCERTS is used to assess foundation subjects and the skills based curriculum is highlighted each year to identify any gaps to be passed onto the following teachers. A WGPS science tracker has been devised that is similar to the literacy and numeracy ones used that gives a clear picture of each child’s progress and attainment in the subject. Our curriculum is continually monitored and reviewed. This is done through the use of pupil voice feedback and through skills monitoring by our curriculum lead and subject teams.