Aycliffe Community Primary School is a Rights Respecting school. The school’s curriculum meets all the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. The curriculum is designed to build on the experiences and backgrounds of all pupils, with the aim of giving them the skills, knowledge and values, whatever their starting points, that can be used in life, and to ensure their readiness for the next stage in their education. Through the curriculum, the school promotes the values of caring, tolerance, passion, reflection and innovation which resonate with British Values. At the start of each seasonal term, the children engage in projects, further developing their understanding of these core values. Our curriculum teaches all aspects of the National Curriculum through a cycle of themes, projects and discrete subject lessons, providing a broad and balanced curriculum with opportunities to deepen understanding and knowledge.
We recognise that some of our pupils experience barriers to learning, including: confidence, aspiration, the understanding of, and fluency in the basic skills in mathematics, rich language and vocabulary and learning behaviours. When planning our curriculum we are mindful of these barriers as we aim to develop children who are creative, are problem solvers and collaborate when learning. To achieve these learning behaviours, the language of learning and collaborative skills are taught. There is a specific focus on English and mathematics which underpins the whole curriculum. Each class has daily lessons that focus on reading, writing and mathematics. Within lessons, teachers reinforce and develop our pupils’ understanding of learning through a shared learning vocabulary of learning values (resilience, perseverance, participation, reflection, collaboration and resourcefulness) and learning action words (wonder, question, share, connect, think and explore). Within planning and lessons, key vocabulary is clearly identified and explained, and there is a specific focus on the development of new vocabulary across the whole curriculum. Classroom learning environments clearly display a range of vocabulary to support the development of pupils’ knowledge and understanding, as well as promoting independence in the application of vocabulary in writing. Pupils are taught how to be problem solvers. Our daily reading, spelling, grammar and mathematics lessons show children how to be successful and give opportunities to practise and apply skills and develop knowledge. These skills and knowledge are then applied throughout the curriculum within our projects and discrete subject teaching.
Our school has developed curriculum maps which identify knowledge and skills to be taught, understood and applied in each year group; teachers use these expectations within their planning. Linked to the curriculum maps are assessment criteria for each year group which support teachers in making accurate assessments of pupils’ attainment. In foundation subjects, leaders analyse pupil attainment mid-year and work alongside teachers in setting next steps to maximise end of year pupil outcomes. We plan memorable experiences for our pupils to deepen learning and use ‘frequent quizzes’ to support the retention of knowledge over time and to enable pupils to make meaningful connections with new learning. We are currently reviewing our curriculum to identify key concepts that we want the children to learn and remember so that they are able to make rich connections, not only to other areas of the curriculum, but also to beliefs, feelings, emotions. In addition, we are identifying specific knowledge and skills to be taught at the start of the year, so that they can be applied throughout the year.
We aim to ensure that the impact of our curriculum is that our pupils are collaborative, inquisitive, compassionate, creative, confident and eager; these are our core pupil attitudes and are woven into all aspects of our curriculum. As part of our School Improvement Plan this year, we are further developing children’s metacognitive skills, building in opportunities across the curriculum for pupils to think about, and reflect on themselves as learners and as individuals. Because we want our children to be confident, to have a voice and to be able to participate and engage positively within our society as adults; we are a Rights Respecting School. We have weekly children’s rights assemblies and teachers seek opportunities to make rich connections to children’s rights throughout the curriculum. A termly ‘day for change’ enables children to reflect on children’s rights around the world. Weekly ‘pupil panel’ meetings give pupils a strong voice in advocating for children’s rights. Pupil voice helps to shape the planning of our curriculum themes as pupils share ideas about what they would like to learn within each topic. Opportunities for ‘public speaking’ within our curriculum, builds confidence in speaking to a wider and less familiar audience.
Aycliffe Community Primary School is an inclusive learning community. Classrooms embrace inclusive practices which include all learners in the whole class teaching. Pupils with additional needs are supported by provision planned through each class’s provision map. Individual pupils are also supported through provision plans and high needs funding. There is inclusive access to all areas of the curriculum and we make reasonable adjustments to achieve inclusion.