Our Approach to the Curriculum
The school has developed a new curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners particularly the disadvantaged the cultural capital they need to succeed in life. The curriculum is aligned with the National Curriculum.
- The school’s aim has been to develop a conceptual curriculum that targets 8 key concepts prioritised by the school. These concepts are: Culture, Democracy, Equality/Diversity, Conservation, Similarities/Differences, Cause and Effect, Exploration and Viewpoints and Debate.
These high yield concepts inform a 3-dimensional Curriculum.
- Vertical links are reinforced through these 8 high Yield concepts. The concept of conservation is explored in KS1 through considering the impact of coral bleaching/plastics on the Great Barrier Reef and wildfires in Australia. This moves onto the harnessing of the power of water in the use of Aqueducts in Ancient Rome to the impact of logging in Brazil in years 5 and 6. Other such conceptual links, include Equality and Diversity, that are explored in KS1 in the Victorians where child labour laws were outlawed. These concepts are expanded upon in Years 3 and 4 when pupils explore working conditions in Mills as part of our local History Topic. In years 5 and 6, pupils learn about the implementation of the United Nations and the declaration of human rights. Key figures such as Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela are studied.
- Horizontal links, commonly known as cross curricular links, allow individual subjects to enhance these concepts further, for example, the concept of Culture in years three and four explores the stained glass windows of the churches of Eyam during the Plague. As part of the Science curriculum, pupils will then explore the science of microbes and Viruses and how modern vaccines have changed the face of the modern world.
- Diagonal links are established across year groups, for example, the theme of Exploration investigates individuals such as Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong and the Wright brothers. Pupils in Years three and four investigate Shackleton and in Years five and six pupils explore the achievements of Ellen MacArthur.
- The conceptual curriculum is embedded within a framework where there are clear end goals and a high focus on vocabulary. The language rich environment and teaching approaches in EYFS are built upon so that pupils have skills and knowledge to expand their ideas and articulate their views using accurate terminology. Embedding reading within the broader curriculum helps support this language. Each topic area has a text related to the learning outcomes within that year group. Through reading these books, pupils are able to contextualise the background knowledge, apply dramatic features within their writing and acquire and build upon pupil cultural capital gained within other subjects. Enrichment activities/school trips help reinforce this knowledge and allow pupils to witness History first-hand.
- The curriculum is underpinned by our strong commitment to well-being. We believe that happy learners make effective, confident and independent learners. The outdoor learning principles of the EYFS setting are reinforced throughout the whole school so that pupils are given opportunities to extend learning outside the classroom in subjects such as Science, Geography, History, Art and PE.
- The STEM subjects are strengthened by a strong ICT curriculum that provides pupils with the real-life skills they will require. A strong emphasis on enquiry and application using multi-media is embedded. Pupils get the opportunities to solve real life problems that tap into their own interests. In our Enterprise Week, pupils are given a budget and have to design, manufacture, budget, advertise, market research and then sell their products to the community. In KS1 pupils learn about key engineers, such as Brunel and Emily Warren, and learn to design, construct and test bridges. Links are made in Science regarding the use and relative strength of materials. The social and economic impact of bridges is picked up later in their learning as part of our transport topic where pupils learn how the growth of transport and infrastructure impacted population/industrial growth along with changes to working conditions for women and children.
To access the school's Curriculum Concept Map, please click on the link: