Curriculum at Chigwell Row
Our staff understand that our children come from a variety of backgrounds. We are aware that some of our pupils have English as an additional language, that we have children from ethnic minorities and various religions. The percentage of children who attend Chigwell Row from disadvantaged backgrounds is below national and with SEND, above national. We recognise that our mobility is increasing due to some children leaving mid-way through year to once a junior school place has been allocated. With these facts in mind, our curriculum therefore needs to embrace varying viewpoints and beliefs, give children a good basic skill set and equip them for life and learning beyond Chigwell Row Infant School. At Chigwell Row, we have designed our creative curriculum with pupils’ learning at the centre. We recognise that a curriculum has to be broad, balanced and offer pupils opportunities to grow and make progress as individuals as well as learners from whatever their starting points may be.
Our creative curriculum is structured so that skills and knowledge build from year to year. We aim create a firm foundation for our children’s continuing growth and development as they enter junior school, senior school and beyond. We hope that pupils will be motivated by achievement both at the end of their time at the school and in the future so that they will have a positive attitude towards themselves, others and their environment. We ensure British Values are explicitly taught though assemblies, stories and school projects. We learn in our local environment and make use of the forest and outdoors as a learning space at every opportunity. Our curriculum is broad and well-balanced. We plan the curriculum carefully, with a clear learning sequence, to ensure new knowledge and skills are built upon. We ensure that all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, identifying quality first teaching as the biggest key to success. The Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) is allocated wisely to enable us to ensure pupils entitled to PPG funding make progress in line with their peers. Our curriculum is carefully differentiated and aims to provide skills-based challenge therefore addressing the needs of our children with SEND as well as those who are more able.
Our curriculum intent is encapsulated in these three areas:
- Exemplary teaching that secures knowledge and understanding.
- Creation of memorable experiences that make pupils think, challenge and question.
- Enthuse and excite through a purposeful learning journey.
We offer our pupils new experiences through extra-curricular activities and enrichment activities that are designed to build resilience, confidence and self-esteem. Our curriculum is supported by enrichment days, theme weeks and extra-curricular activities such as horse-riding, orienteering, forest school and swimming. We want to make learning fun, practical and exciting to ensure that it is embedded in the long-term memory. We aim to develop resilience in our pupils, so they are willing to take risks in their future learning, accepting that making mistakes is an important part of the learning process. We have a breadth of curriculum which includes keeping healthy, wellbeing, anti-bullying, growth mind-se and British Values.
Our core curriculum plans have been designed and constructed with schemes of work for each year group. The plan allows for unnecessary repetition and moving learning on. It is our school’s policy to maximise the potential of all pupils. We aim to accelerate the learning progress of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils in order to diminish the gap in progress and attainment. Pupils with SEND receive well planned individual support that enables them to make good progress. Our teaching assistants are deployed effectively and carefully guide pupils’ learning. Staff know the pupils well and have a very clear picture of the needs of individuals. We access support from specialist teachers at every opportunity and carry out rigorous One Plan meetings each term for children on our SEN register as well as those with EHCPS. Our curriculum meets the needs of our disadvantaged pupils by being practical, creative and includes lots of discussion and visual stimulus. Our SEND pupils are served well by our curriculum because of the targeted support they receive.
We engage with the wider community by ensuring there are opportunities for pupils to participate in the community eg – All Saint’s Church, Lambourne End Farm Centre, The Grange at Chigwell, Epping Forest Museum, Hainault Forest Country Park and the woodland. We aim to embed each project within the curriculum into the relevant subjects, e.g. creating art out of litter and investigating the effects litter has on the environment. This shows pupils the value of protecting and being involved in their community and establishes a link between the theories they learn in the classroom to practical examples in real life.
The programmes of study of the National Curriculum tell us the minimum requirement of what needs to be taught in Key Stage one. The aim is that the required Knowledge, Skills and Understanding are covered as many times as possible throughout the Key Stage. In order to track the progression of skills each subject is arranged in steps and these are used to plan the next steps in children’s learning. Long term plans indicate what will be taught and when. We recognise that children have preferred learning styles, and so make allowances for this in our planning and delivery. To achieve this, open ended tasks elicit a variety and depth of response; scaffolding where appropriate, practical opportunities are provided for kinaesthetic learners; using visual stimuli and artefacts are used to promote interest.
Teaching Assistants are used to support the work of individual children or groups of children of varying abilities as directed by the class teachers. The principles of Assessment for Learning are used by class teachers. Teachers use formative and summative assessments regularly and use this to inform further teaching. Assessment grids are completed at the end of a unit of work so gaps can be addressed. End of year final assessments are completed which are reported to parents via their end of year report. This data is analysed, and improvements needed are addressed through school development actions. Termly pupil progress meetings are used to monitor progress and attainment in English and Mathematics. A provision map is produced termly to target those identified at these meetings for interventions needed to ensure the gap is diminishing.
It is expected that all children will be given the opportunity to learn in a creative and encouraging learning environment which encompasses a range of learning and teaching styles. It is hoped that this approach will motivate and support children’s learning at all levels including the Able and Talented, EAL and children identified with SEND. Trips and visitors are organised to further understanding. Careful use of questioning enables teachers to check pupils’ understanding and also challenge them.
We enrich the curriculum by inviting visitors into the school and also by arranging external visits. Practical activities are used to inspire learning. Individual Education Plans are devised, where appropriate, to ensure the curriculum is adapted to meet the specific needs of learners. Themed days such as ‘Growth Mindset Day’ are designed to promote skills such as resilience as we know this is a barrier to learning. Opportunities to develop reading skills are utilised widely and a love of reading is actively promoted, via focused initiatives and rewards. This helps us to address the issue that many children do not read at home.
Pupils enjoy their learning and are enthused by the knowledge they gain. They often choose to complete further work at home, linked to their topic in class. They are motivated by things that happen at school Pupils enjoy reading both for learning and for pleasure. The curriculum subject leader is responsible for supporting colleagues in their teaching, for being informed about current developments in the subject, and for providing a strategic lead and direction for their subject. The subject leader gives the Headteacher all monitoring which is discussed and evaluated looking for strengths and weaknesses in the subject, and indicates areas for further improvement. All subject leaders are responsible for monitoring and reviewing the Curriculum on a half-termly basis, undertaking regular monitoring and evaluation.
This process is reflected in the Leader’s action plan, and is achieved through:
- regular formal and informal discussions with staff
- observations of lessons or lesson dips
- analysing assessment data
- scrutiny of children’s work
- monitoring planning to ensure curriculum coverage
- collating data from staff, parent and children’s questionnaires.
- speaking with the children about their learning.
- checking progression though subject leader assemblies
As a result of the above, the subject leader knows the impact their subject is having on pupil’s learning.