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Learning

Curriculum Intent

At Christ the Sower School Ecumenical School we provide the ‘good earth’ for all our children to flourish, where every child can explore who they are created to be. Our Christian values ensure that all of our children grow to become the best they can be in a loving place where we all care, learn and grow together. Therefore we create opportunities which encourage children to make good choices, appreciate themselves, each other and the world in which they live, reflect on their learning experiences and events and engage with each other, their learning and opportunities. Our Cultural Curriculum is designed so that it enables children to CARE, learning and growing within our Christian community so that they are ready to make a positive contribution to the wider world and are ready to move onto the next stage of their education and development.  

Whilst the National Curriculum forms the basis of our curriculum, we have designed our Cultural Curriculum to ensure that it is built on a good understanding of our children.  We understand the importance of building cultural capital enabling our children to learn from a rich cultural curriculum and pedagogy. At CtS we have adopted a book-led approach across the curriculum.  High quality texts are at the centre of our provision and stimulate learning across the curriculum. Our school is rooted in a story - the Parable of the Sower from the Bible. By providing the good soil of quality teaching and learning rooted in a curriculum that engages and nourishes children, we expect all of our children to grow as learners and caring individuals.

Our Cultural Curriculum allows for fundamental key skills in Maths, Reading, Writing and spoken language to be revisited regularly, and then embedded over time, ensuring that knowledge and skills can be applied in a range of contexts and will remain in children’s long term memory to be built upon in the future.

Core British Values, our School Values and SMSC are demonstrated through CARE and run through our Cultural Curriculum to ensure that children understand the rights and responsibilities, as well as the rules of law and democracy that they need in life now and in the future.

Curriculum Implementation

Implementing our CtS Cultural Curriculum starts with a book. Our Cultural Curriculum is planned so that we start with a book in English and then develop the children’s learning across the Humanities and Science; using the key text as inspiration where possible. We select books that offer interest and opportunities for equality and to develop cultural capital, accessibility and challenge.

As a book led curriculum we select a culturally rich and varied selection of key texts that inspire a reading culture.  We choose a range of engaging and challenging books to support our Cultural Curriculum. We talk books, share books and show books around the school, including  daily stories.  We start sharing books and stories in our nursery and this continues throughout the school.

Our English Curriculum starts with a focus on early reading and the teaching of phonics, developing a love of reading that deepens cultural capital and imparts knowledge as well as strengthening imagination and learning links.  We use RWInc to teach early reading starting in our EYFS and ensure that we are systematic in our teaching and matching the right books to build reading skills over time. As reading develops the class libraries, school library and school library service offer challenge and age appropriate books to engage children from all backgrounds and experiences, from Malory Towers to Malorie Blackman.

Writing is purposeful, which is the foundation to our approach.  Over time we develop the children’s ability to write to inform, entertain, discuss and persuade. Our English Curriculum identifies writing purposes alongside the best texts.  Progressions papers clearly identify the key skills and knowledge the children need to become successful writers.  The children are given daily opportunities to write as part of English lessons and/or across the curriculum.

Our Mathematical teaching is based on the theory of mastery.  We follow a well-structured curriculum – Power Maths scheme which ensures coverage and that skills progress logically and in small steps that our children can understand. The curriculum in each year group starts with place value and number.  This is because they are the basis of the rest of the learning for the year.  The skills of place value and calculation are taught in their units; they are then applied continually. Once children are fluent in a concept, they will then move on to activities and learning that supports reasoning and problem-solving.  Our children are best supported through use of a concrete and pictorial stage before moving to the abstract.  This provides them with models that they can use to clearly understand the concept images that will support their calculation strategies.

Our Humanities Cultural Curriculum offers a range of programs of study that builds knowledge and skills over time.  Computing and RE are planned to develop knowledge and skills that are unique to their subjects but also support personal development and transferable skills.  We draw on the PSHE Association to support our PSHE planning and delivery.  Our RE curriculum follows the ODBE & Milton Keynes agreed guidance and each unit of work starts with a big question that develops academic thinking and spiritual and cultural development.

Our Creative Arts Cultural Curriculum offers the children the opportunity to listen to and create music of different genres and times. We follow the Charanga music scheme and resources. In Art the children learn new skills through appreciation of well known artists to develop their own skills and artistic understanding and techniques.

Our PE Curriculum, Get Set for PE, is well-structured so that the children develop through a progression of skills learnt through a variety of taught sporting activities.

Our STEM Cultural Curriculum is planned to offer a real, practical and academic understanding of the Sciences and technologies that frame their world and instils a caring mind set that will enable them to grow and develop as quickly as their surroundings so that they can be fully engaged in their futures.

We implement our Cultural Curriculum by timetabling the school day to support learning. 

Subject

Time Allocation

Maths

5 x 1 hour sessions a week

English

5 x 1 hour sessions a week

Phonics

5 x ½ hour sessions a week

Guided Reading

4 x ½ hour sessions a week

Humanities

1 hr a week

Science

1 hr a week

Computing

45 mins a week

RE

45 mins a week

Art/D&T

1 hr a week

Music

45 mins a week

PSHE

45 mins a week

PE

2 hrs a week

French

45 mins a week Y3-Y5

2 week intensive teaching in Y6

Our EYFS has it’s own timetable with adult and child initiated activities planned across the week.  This pattern changes as the children progress through the year.

 

The sequencing of teaching and learning starts with our CtS Growth documents that identify the overall end points (what we want the children to know and be able to do) for the different disciplines and the skills and knowledge that enable the children to get there.  The whole school overviews then map the sequential pattern of learning which is then mapped across each individual year group.  Teachers then plan individual subject units, identifying the core knowledge and skills to be taught in each lesson.

The pedagogy of teaching and learning starts with reviewing previous learning  introducing new information in small steps  asking a range of questions  providing examples and models  practising or rehearsing new learning  checking for understanding  achieving general success  scaffolding and support  independent practice  reflecting at a later date to build on knowledge and skills.  Teachers use their professional skills to identify how much time needs to be spent on each part of the learning journey with an aim to ensure ‘sticky knowledge’ and application over time.

Curriculum Impact

Leaders monitor the curriculum on a regular basis, which is planned out for each school term.  This enables leaders to have a good understanding of the impact of the curriculum on children’s learning and achievement. Middle leaders conduct learning walks, planning and book/work scrutinies so that they can track the progress of learning over time, identify and support or identify training needs and share good practice with other staff.  Senior leaders support middle leaders in their roles as well as strategically manage the whole CtS Cultural Curriculum.  Members of the local governing body visit the school regularly and have a good understanding of our Cultural Curriculum and what that looks like in daily implementation.

Teachers are assessing for learning on a daily basis and we have termly formal assessment points.  We assess the children in Reading, Writing and Maths by using a range of assessment material including previous SATs papers, phonic screening checks, NFER Reading Comprehension papers, Power Maths assessments and National annual assessments. We use Target Tracker to monitor our assessments across the year for all year groups and end of key stages. Non-core subjects are assessed against the Growth in Knowledge and Skills documents.

We review our Curriculum each year to ensure it is meeting the needs of our children, with books and resources being updated when necessary. 

The impact of our CtS Cultural Curriculum is that children leave our school and move onto their secondary school with the basic skills, love of learning and sense of ambition. They are able to make good choices, appreciate themselves, others and the world in which they live, reflect on their learning experiences and events and engage with each other, their learning and opportunities.

We know this because we are able to watch the children’s growth in learning and how they are able to build positive CAREing relationships.  We also receive positive feedback from parents, children and their feeder secondary school. 

This is all part of our School journey to good and beyond!