About the Curriculum at Mapperley CE Primary School
Curriculum Intent & Rationale
Mapperley C of E School is a small rural primary school situated near Ilkeston, Derbyshire and is part of the Derbyshire Teaching Alliance. There are currently 61 pupils on roll, split into three mixed-aged classes :- R/1/2 (Discoverers), 3/4/5 (Adventurers), 5/6 (Navigators).
With a predominantly White British demographic, the school takes pupils from local towns and villages, including Ilkeston, where there is a relatively high level of deprivation.
The school is at the heart of the community, with strong links to the church and other local groups and organisations, such as Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Amber Valley School Sports Partnership and the Skylark School Cluster. The school engages with the local community and the surrounding landscape so that children develop confident, healthy relationships with respect for others and can play, explore and challenge themselves with respect for their natural heritage.
Although we are a small school, we live, learn and love together as one big family, in line with our shared values which are underpinned by our Christian faith.
The school reflects the moral and religious values which underpin its Christian foundation, leading to a clear understanding of the concepts of right and wrong, of fairness towards and respect for all.
We want to tap into our pupils’ eagerness to learn by providing them with a curriculum that is highly relevant, challenging and that will raise their expectations. We aim to offer them a wide range of practical learning experiences, developing their cultural capital, as well as teaching them about human creativity and achievement. We want their learning to be both meaningful and purposeful. Our curriculum builds progressive core knowledge and key curriculum concepts using a range of learning skills and subject skills. Our curriculum should lead to pupils being able to recall and describe the knowledge and concepts in familiar, unfamiliar, local and global contexts.
Topic themes are taken from Dimensions Curriclum, which ensure a sequence of knowledge from Reception to Year 6. Teachers use knowledge grids to plan and recall from prior learning. To ensure that our children learn more and remember more, knowledge checks are used throughout topic themes. These are usually at the start of a unit to assess their recall of previous learning and at the end to assess learning from that unit.
"What I Should Know" (WhISK sheets) for KS1 and KS2 are a means of presenting core knowledge – enabling children and staff to see a progression of key facts and vocabulary – around a specific topic. A WhISK Sheet example can be viewed in files.
To summarise, our curriculum aims to:-
- Develop learners’ confidence, resilience and independence
- Reflect the need for children to develop healthy minds and bodies
- Exploit the benefits of modern technologies
- Make use of our local environment
- Challenge, support and excite
- Promote the development of skills, knowledge and attitudes
- Provide continuity and progression in learning
- Enable learners to develop and discover their own interests and talents
- Encourage academic, physical, social, emotional and spiritual development
We are committed to helping our pupils make links across themes and subject disciplines, by providing a cohesive learning journey. We believe the curriculum should be connected in a meaningful way, evidencing clear progression and should demonstrate a consistent approach throughout school. Knowledge is sequential with very strong foundations for all learning in EYFS. Class teachers are responsible for planning the curriculum for their class. They make decisions about which resources and materials to use, and how they differentiate them appropriately. They do this using their professional knowledge and expertise, sharing best practice and providing support for each other, focussed on outcomes for individual pupils. Subject leaders and senior leaders are responsible for designing the progression in core knowledge, skills and concepts into class plans. They ensure that all teachers are familiar with curriculum expectations through training, monitoring and coaching, with a focus on ensuring that outcomes can be achieved by all pupils.
We use ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum as the vehicle for this. It is underpinned by four highly relevant world issues, known as the four Cs:-
As a school that predominantly represents a white British demographic, we want our pupils to fully appreciate and embrace cultural diversity, learning about and experiencing a range of different cultural and faith heritages.
We want our pupils to value diversity, to understand the roots and importance of cultural heritage and to behave in a respectful and tolerant way towards others, regardless of faith, ethnicity or background. We actively and explicitly promote cross-cultural friendship, respect, tolerance and understanding through ‘Learning Means the World’.
As an Eco Bronze Award & Gold Award Green Tree school, we feel our pupils need a more structured approach to developing greater awareness and appreciation of local, national and global conservation issues and initiatives, learning how they have an important role to play in sustainability. We want our pupils to be more informed about sustainability issues, to care passionately about our world and to engage actively in conservation issues as good stewards now and in the future, enabling them to become positive and active agents of and agents for change.
We believe that communication is key to accessing learning and securing pupils’ future success. We are committed to nurturing high aspirations. Our curriculum provides lots of opportunities for pupils to develop their language and vocabulary, thus enabling them to articulate their learning, express themselves in discussion, debate and presentation, as well as enabling collaboration and exchange of ideas.
We want our pupils to be thoughtful communicators, learning to take account of context, including audience and setting. We want them to show empathy, an ability to listen well and to respond sensitively to others, offering support in, not only words, but also actions.
We believe that life skills should be taught throughout the curriculum and an understanding of responsible, respectful behaviour is an important aspect of learning and pupils are able to view this in the light of the conflict-focused themes.
Having a developed understanding of sources of conflict and its consequences, we believe, is an important aspect of learning. Living and learning together in a small close-knit community, we need our pupils to have a real awareness of how their behaviour affects others and how important positive relationships are throughout life. We also want them to be able to put into action conflict resolution and modify their own behaviour to help them disagree in a constructive manner.
Through implementation of our curriculum, we expect our pupils to be outward-facing, having a clear understanding of the world and their place in it as educated and responsible citizens. We expect them to reflect the moral and religious values of the school, which underpin its Christian foundation, in what they think, say and do. We also want pupils to use and apply their wealth of cumulative knowledge in practical and effective ways, making good choices now and in the future. They will have good self-esteem, leading to increased confidence and a willingness to take on new challenges, seizing the opportunities that are available to them.
Our teachers routinely evaluate the progress of pupils within and across lessons using the curriculum frameworks to make judgements. They use this information to analyse how effectively pupils are achieving or exceeding expectations and to adapt their planning accordingly. Teachers provide Subject Leaders with timely summative information about the outcomes of pupils in their class. Subject Leaders and Senior Leaders routinely evaluate the summative outcomes for their area of responsibility. They use this analysis to identify any necessary actions that develop the quality of provision in their subject, to moderate assessments, and to benchmark outcomes against expectations beyond our school.
Pupils will be able to define and identify the characteristic features of culture and understand why cultural diversity is important. They will be able to talk about the features of a range of different cultures from around the world, explaining some of their similarities and differences.
They will also learn how culture affects perception and influences behaviour.
Pupils will be able to define conservation, outline key areas e.g. biodiversity and understand why it is such an important world issue. They will learn how we can live more sustainably, understanding the importance of natural resources and renewable energy.
On a personal level, they will learn how they can make a difference by reducing their carbon footprint and behaving in a more environmentally responsible way.
Pupils will be able to communicate in ways that build and maintain positive relationships through focused listening, confident speaking, sharing ideas and explaining clearly. They will know how communication has developed through time and the chronology of technology, now our current main means of communicating.
They will also learn how to communicate in an assertive way, avoiding conflict through mutual respect.
Pupils will be able to define conflict and explain the key reasons as to why conflict exists. They will also be able to give specific examples of conflict, both past and present, on a local, national and global scale.
On a personal level, they will learn how to handle disagreements constructively and resolve their differences peaceably.