Alverton Primary School
Curriculum Statement 2020 – 2021
At Alverton, we want to give every child the very best learning experience that we can. We provide a rich and exciting curriculum that promotes independence and opportunities for everyone, regardless of individual need, to succeed. We endeavour to find out what interests the children and aim to give them the academic knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to allow them to progress confidently onto their future learning and into the world. We feel that reading is fundamental to a child’s success and ensure that this is embedded throughout the curriculum. All staff have a shared ethos and high expectations for all our pupils and celebrate their successes in all aspects of school life, encouraging pupils to reach their full potential and adapting the curriculum to meet the needs of every pupil. We take a project approach to teaching and learning, through which we deliver a coherently planned and sequenced, broad and varied curriculum which is hugely engaging and designed to ensure that all of our children succeed and love to learn.
Following our return to school in September 2020, we have needed to respond to the enforced absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Initial assessments have identified priority pupils across the curriculum and also those requiring pastoral support. Following this, we have timetabled additional Basic Skills sessions to allow us to focus on our identified priorities, as well as increasing the focus on “gaps” during lessons. We are focusing particularly on key skills in Reading, Writing and Maths.
We have a whole-school priority of children’s mental health and wellbeing and have introduced our whole-school approach of Five Ways to Wellbeing. We are dedicating additional time to PSHE and to providing the children with any additional pastoral support they may need as well as increased opportunities to talk as needed. Health and fitness have been identified as an area for some of our children and additional daily exercise sessions are planned.
Our projects take a cohesive and coherent, cross-curricular approach towards the planning, sequencing and delivery of lessons in order to immerse the children in their topic and ensure the children accumulate the knowledge and skills needed for future learning. Each key stage follows a rolling program of umbrella headings (such as World History) which ensures full and rigorous curriculum coverage in all year groups, enabling pupils to revisit and remember the content and skills they have been taught and to link these into new learning. A range of feedback and assessments are used effectively to check understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions and inform our practice and priorities, adapting teaching as needed.
Each term, the project is designed around a question or statement which drives the children’s learning and the teachers’ planning. Teachers create environments that enable pupils to focus on learning and we plan and design learning opportunities that are relevant, memorable and engaging, often with real-life outcomes. The children’s learning is enhanced by launch days, outdoor learning opportunities, visits and visitors. The knowledge that an authentic audience will see their work gives the motivation to ensure that it is completed to the highest possible standard.
Teachers have good knowledge of the subjects they teach and are supported by each other’s expertise. They have high expectations for their own knowledge and understanding and ensure, particularly, that their own English and Maths supports pupils in obtaining these key skills.
Confidence and fluency in reading are prioritised in all year groups and we actively encourage a love of reading; the EYFS and Key Stage 1 ensure that children obtain the phonics, reading and communication skills needed to access the curriculum as they progress further through the school and we ensure that we address any gaps in pupils’ reading skills.
We provide many varied opportunities for excellence beyond the classroom such as through our highly successful sports teams or our annual musical production. Our pupils have the opportunity to take on a range of leadership roles and responsibilities including the School Council and Parliament. From Reception through to Year 6, we take opportunities to extend the curriculum through visits and visitors. We use our amazing grounds as much as possible and get out and about in the locality and the wider environment as well as planning educational visits to enhance the children’s learning. Years 3 to 6 have the opportunity to spend time at a residential centre during the Summer Term, helping to develop self-reliance, co-operation and initiative as well as giving the children the chance to experience different activities and environments.
Following Covid-19, we have added Basic Skills sessions to our timetables. This has necessitated a small reduction in the time spent on foundation subjects but we have ensured that all children still access a broad curriculum and have used opportunities to incorporate these subjects in, for example, reading sessions and writing opportunities.
Basic Skills sessions provide increased opportunities to focus on age-appropriate key skills in reading, phonics, handwriting, SPaG and arithmetic as well as enabling us to revisit and / or cover objectives from previous years as necessary.
We have reviewed how we deliver reading and are changing this in 2020 – 2021; this is also intended to try to address any learning ‘gaps” which may have arisen with a different approach and increased sessions, and interventions, for reading. Phonics is now also taught daily in Year 3 and our Key Stage 1 Phonics intervention programme has been extended into Lower Key Stage 2.
We are providing teacher-led 1:1 and small group intervention for Reading, SPaG and Maths in Year 6. In all other year groups, interventions for Reading and Maths are prioritised and additional time / sessions / support staff used to increase their frequency.
The impact of our curriculum is strong. Our pupils demonstrate work across the curriculum of a high quality and children are given the opportunity to show what they learn and know, often in real-world contexts such as the Year 3 and 4 “Are we Polluters or Protectors” exhibition which linked with the current Plastic Free Penzance initiative. Our final outcomes value the children’s work and ensure that their learning is memorable and has an impact both on the pupils themselves and more widely in the locality and beyond. Further details can be found in our Curriculum Statements for each subject.
Our headline assessment data is always at least in line with national figures and, by the end of Key Stage 2, most often significantly exceeds this, confirming that all pupils acquire detailed knowledge and skills at Alverton. This ensures that our pupils are well-prepared for the next stage in their education, including those children with SEND who have been supported to achieve the best possible outcomes.
As a school, we have developed a culture of reading for pleasure. Challenge tasks, work across the curriculum and end of term projects demonstrate that the children are able to apply their key skills of reading, writing and maths across the curriculum.
Following Covid-19, we will continue with our existing range of assessments ensuring, in particular, that regular assessment in relation to intervention ensures that these are accurately focused on the correct pupils, enabling maximum progress to be made.
Please see our Curriculum Framework Document for further details.