Curriculum Statement 2021/22
The curriculum at Bickershaw is broad and balanced; building on children’s starting points in order to ensure that they flourish, no matter the starting point, as they progress through the school in each key stage. We take into account the church school community; the children’s backgrounds and the local, national and global context when planning for learning. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 as well as offering other experiences and opportunities to best meet the needs of the pupils in our school. It is underpinned by Christian values and British values as well as three drivers of heritage, initiative and possibility in order to make children proud of their achievements; develop their independence, helping them to become resilient individuals and raise children’s aspirations to prepare them for their future lives. We believe that all children are capable of a deep understanding of the curriculum and carefully plan opportunities to allow children to show this and develop as self-motivated, resilient and responsible citizens.
The curriculum drivers are intrinsically linked to the vision of Bickershaw Church of England Primary School. We want every child to be represented and celebrated within our curriculum; every child to be taught how to learn with resilience and self-confidence and every child to be prepared for the next step of their education and beyond - into their future with no limits, only endless possibilities.
The children are proud of their background and heritage and know that in our church school community, everyone is valued. They will know and celebrate the heritage of the school and the local area. By celebrating the diverse backgrounds of our community and using the support, guidance and friendship of Christ, the children learn to be tolerant and respectful citizens of the world. They have an interest in learning about other cultures and the world around them. Through this, they link their learning to the wider community and rapidly changing world, giving it purpose and possibility.
At Bickershaw, the children are taught to be independent learners. We provide an enabling and supportive Christian environment so all children can independently access the learning that they may need. Children take responsibility for their learning and behaviour becoming self-motivated, resilient and responsible citizens. All of this takes place at an age-appropriate level.
This driver is designed to introduce the children to a greater range of opportunities in their life. The children are encouraged to flourish in order to become successful, life-long learners that achieve their academic and spiritual potential. Our curriculum should raise aspirations and encourage children to see how their education will contribute to a bigger picture. Ways to promote possibilities is inviting visitors to school to provide positive role models and challenge stereotypes; learning about different types of careers or opportunities; grasping possibilities to be involved in the local, national or global community. There are many more!
We follow a theme based approach to learning, in the belief that children learn best when logical connections are made between different aspects of their work. The themes are carefully chosen to promote the programmes of study at Early Years, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two as well as the children’s interests and levels of understanding. When appropriate, we will teach some of the foundation subjects (i.e. History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology) in blocks to ensure a depth of learning and the coverage of objectives within all of the subject areas. For some subjects we use specialist schemes of work or providers. The Music curriculum is based on the GM Music Online programme. The French curriculum is delivered by a French language specialist throughout Key Stage Two. PSHE is taught through the Heart Smart program, which is linked to the SIAMs framework, and additional units are used from Coram Scarf, to ensure full coverage to meet the 2020 Relationships and Health Education curriculum. Cross curricular opportunities to promote PSHE and SMSC are carefully planned for and tracked throughout the curriculum.
We also undertake longitudinal learning for specific skills in the different programmes of study where children track a theme over the course of a year or key stage for example: weather events around the world. Theme planning is dynamic as the year progresses in order to celebrate events in the world around us. In order to engage with the children, our teaching and learning experiences are multi-sensory; differentiated and makes the most of our developing provision in ICT.
A focus for the year is to develop teachers’ pedagogical knowledge about learning and the long-term memory. “Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.” School Inspection Handbook, p45
With this in mind, teachers will be mindful of the need to connect new knowledge with existing knowledge by revisiting and revising previous areas of learning – ‘keeping it warm’. Teachers will practise fluency with pupils so they develop automaticity and learning transfers to the long-term memory and can be applied in different contexts.
The curriculum is assessed using Target Tracker to ensure coverage and progression in skills, knowledge and understanding as children move through each key stage. We have developed the Target Tracker statements with smaller steps where appropriate, banded into year groups. The more able are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported in order to achieve their academic and spiritual potential
The Religious Education programme follows the Liverpool Diocesan scheme of work of a distinctly Anglican nature and is linked to Understanding Christianity. This is supplemented by additional units covering other faiths which are also enriched by a programme of visits to places of worship. There is a dedicated prayer space, in school and in our forest school area. There are also prayer spaces in each classroom. In addition, the children can nominate others who they feel have shown our school’s Christian Values. Inspired by the life of Christ, we share the Gospel with the children in order to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
Reading is fundamental to pupils’ attainment and progress and therefore, it is a priority of the school. We have created a ‘Reading Offer’ to promote and celebrate the teaching of reading, including phonics and to inspire a love of reading. Early reading and spelling is taught by developing phonic knowledge through the Letters and Sounds programme. Reading books in EYFS and KS1 are carefully matched to a child’s phonic ability, continuing into KS2 if this is required. The English programme of study is used to complement the teaching of other subjects but its fundamental aim is to raise pupil attainment in Spoken Language, Reading, Writing and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling.
The Mathematics programme of study follows blocks of learning in order to enable all pupils to access fluency, reasoning and problem solving activities as well as a deep understanding of fundamental mathematical principles. A visual calculation policy is in place to ensure sequential progression in calculating. Times tables are a priority, particularly from Y2-Y4, developing children’s fluency with times table facts so they can apply these skills across the Maths scheme of work.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. Forest School sessions are regularly timetabled for all pupils within the school grounds so they can enrich different curriculum areas including Science, Geography and PSHE as well as promoting the children’s physical and mental health.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Celebrating the school and pupils’ heritage; developing their initiative as learners and promoting the possibilities open to them as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
As a result of our carefully constructed curriculum, the children at Bickershaw achieve well in curriculum subjects across their range, in the core subjects as well as foundation subjects. We go beyond the academic by providing opportunities for a range of experiences in our ’40 before 11’ programme. They celebrate theirs and others achievements in a range of spheres of interest and learning. The children of Bickershaw develop throughout their time with us and leave us ready to explore with confidence the world around them, prepared for the next steps in their education.