At Birdwell, we are currently in the process of developing the approach to the wider curriculum. The development of a curriculum which is progressive, builds on key skills and knowledge whilst ensuring coverage and engages and inspires pupils with rich experiences is the key driving force behind our curriculum intent. Wider curriculum topics are intrinsically linked to the National Curriculum objectives for each year group and planned across year groups.
In line with the DFE guidance on a broad and balanced curriculum released in July 2021, the curriculum of Birdwell Primary School is designed to ensure there is breadth but also allows the prioritisation of missed content in core subjects, including key knowledge, skills, vocabulary and concepts. Topics are carefully planned to enhance cultural capital are evident and wider experiences are given to all children.
At Birdwell Primary School, we deliver the curriculum through a topic, thematic-based approach, underpinned by the accelerated learning approach to teaching, learning and progress. The key concepts and principles build up progressively, helping children to grow and develop as they move through school. Our curriculum provides children with the understanding and ability to gather knowledge (which covers History, Geography, Art and Design, Design and Technology, Science, PE, Music, Computing and RE) and allows a creative way of learning and teaching.
A variety of subjects are still taught discretely through the week: Science; RE; PSHCE; MFL; PE and Music. However, links to the thematic approach are encouraged if at all possible.
The curriculum we offer is designed to meet the needs of all our pupils. It is rich, varied, imaginative and ambitious and meets the needs of individual learners but can easily be adapted for pupils with additional needs. 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.
To ensure coverage over time, cohort maps are filled in to ensure breadth of study across school. Teaching of foundation subjects follows a long term plan to ensure breadth of study across the school.
The Accelerated Learning Cycle, based on the work of Alastair Smith, is applied in all lessons. It stems from the idea of a supportive and challenging learning environment. The cycle has active engagement through multi-sensory learning, encourages the demonstrating understanding of learning in a variety of ways and the consolidation of knowing
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.
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.
Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each lesson. It assesses progress and enables the teacher to make flexible adaptations to their planned teaching.
Insight Online Tracking is used as a summative assessment to assess foundation subjects. The knowledge and skills based curriculum is regularly highlighted to identify any gaps or misconceptions to be addressed or passed onto the following teachers.
Subject Leadership roles are allocated across school to ensure all subjects are effectively managed and prioritised throughout the year. These staff are responsible for leading and managing quality of education, attainment and standards in their subjects.