At Sitwell Infant School, we value each child as an individual with a unique potential for learning. Our aim is to enable each child to contribute positively to their current and future society as a responsible, self-confident citizen. We promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, mental and physical qualities of all children. We believe that an effective curriculum offers knowledge, skills, understanding and progression. Our curriculum is designed with these principles in mind: it is personalised, reflecting the backgrounds and experiences of our pupils; it is outward facing, setting learning in global contexts wherever possible; it celebrates diversity to emphasise unity; it is rooted in authenticity and context so that learning is relevant.
We define curriculum as the totality of a child’s experience at Sitwell Infant School ensuring that they are junior school ready. This includes not only the content that children learn but also the teaching and learning strategies that are put in place to enable each child to reach their full potential.
All stakeholders contribute to the development of the curriculum design. To ensure curriculum quality we have addressed the following:
At Sitwell Infant School, we aim to design a curriculum which is ambitious, engaging and relevant for all children. We recognise that not only is each child an individual but also each class and each member of staff have unique interests, skills and talents. Our curriculum is designed flexibly to meet the needs of every individual.
We are proud to be a Rights-Respecting school; this means that all decisions are made in the best interests of the child and are framed by the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).
Knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill. We strive for children to learn skills alongside acquiring knowledge. The curriculum is designed to ensure that children can develop both knowledge and skills. We do this by having an emphasis on cross-curricular teaching. We believe that this makes the curriculum relevant and meaningful to children and provides more opportunities for contextual learning.
We believe it is our responsibility to develop children’s basic literacy and numeracy skills so that they can engage with and access the wider curriculum. Using the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum as a basis, age-appropriate progression in knowledge for each core and foundation subject has been identified. This has been mapped out to ensure coverage of identified knowledge is secured across EYFS and KS1. We carefully select the sequence of when, what and how knowledge is taught and subject leaders work actively to review this aspect regularly.
Curriculum content is grouped into a series of themes, created from children's interests. Each theme begins with an immersion event, designed to engage the children and mark the belling of the learning journey. During the learning journey, a range of objectives in several curriculum subjects are taught. This content is sequenced to ensure that components of knowledge lead to conceptual learning. This analysis is supported by strong subject knowledge from staff and aims for both depth of learning and breadth of coverage. Opportunities to practise knowledge and skills are built into the curriculum to secure deep understanding of each discipline. The curriculum planning ensures a layering of knowledge and concepts so that all children can make progress. Each theme has an express event planned at the end to enable children to share their learning with a meaningful audience.
Every theme addresses the three core learning drivers identified by all stakeholders as essential across all subjects:
1. Be an active learner...
2. Develop key basic skills...
3. Think creatively...
Planning & Progression
The National Curriculum 2014 and Early Years Foundation Stage objectives and key skills are incorporated into our planning. This is broken down over the year.
Long term planning: Gives a broad outline of the knowledge and skills taught in each year group and shows progression and continuity in skills taught.
Medium Term Planning: Outlines the subject and curriculum areas which will be taught each week; demonstrates progression through specific objectives to be taught within each area of the curriculum and the links between them.
Weekly Planning: Breaks down the objectives into daily lessons with clear success criteria and achievable outcomes for every subject. The daily lessons are planned to build on prior knowledge and introduce new learning.
In addition, the specific skills required to be successful in each subject have been identified and crafted into structured progressions. Curriculum progression documents can be found here.
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each key stage, the vast majority of children have sustained mastery of content, that is, they have retained knowledge of the content and apply it fluently; some children have a greater depth of understanding. We assess and evaluate thoroughly to ensure children are on track to reach the expectation of our curriculum.