The Curriculum at North Baddesley Junior School
A new National Curriculum was implemented in September 2014 and we have adapted and refined our planning to meet the challenges of the new orders whilst retaining our commitment to a broad and balanced, exciting and relevant, curriculum that encourages children to be actively involved in, and owners of, their own learning. We encourage children to work independently as well as in teams and to understand how to learn and how knowledge, skills and understanding can be adapted to everyday lives as they grow into young adults.
The quality of our teaching is consistently good or better and we have found that within a curriculum that is broad and balanced, relevant and inspiring, progress across the school improves and can continue to do so. We know that a disorganised environment without positive relationships will impact on successful learning and on children’s whole development. Excellent teaching and learning give children opportunities to be successful in a creative, safe, calm environment where classrooms and other learning spaces promote creativity and high aspirations.
Children have to be involved in the content and planning of the units – all set within a context or theme with a “hook” to engage all learners- a trip or visit, a problem to solve, a real life context to give the learning purpose. Teachers often use mind mapping at the beginning and end of units to invite children’s questions and confirm understanding at the end.
We continue to develop better ways of assessing children’s needs and measuring impact on progress and attainment and as such teaching is carefully tailored to meet the needs of all the children across the curriculum. Feedback to the child allows that child to take control of their next step learning.
The curriculum is any planned experience in school and out: lessons, learning walks, councils, eco work, assemblies, clubs, sports, trips, visits, workshops, fund raising, community work. Outcomes may be designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum or to develop the skills needed for learning and for life: e.g. creative thinking, resilience, collaboration, reflection and proactivity (known as our 5 aspects of learning).
Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or context. In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained the staff produce long term maps which show the deployment of area of study for every year group in every subject. These are developed into medium term plans which highlight clearly the learning objectives, assessment opportunities, differentiated tasks as well as links to other subjects and the thinking skills and aspects of learning most appropriate.
Teachers then translate these plans into smaller units – half term, weekly, daily plans where the specific needs of the learners are addressed, where assessment for learning impacts on the direction of the plan, and interventions from other adults are considered.
Marking and feedback by teachers and pupil self assessment (RAG - Red/Amber/Green) work together to formulate individual or group targets which are shared with, and understood by, children, and which can be seen in the children’s workbooks –and consequently are also available for parents to be able to observe their child’s progress. In English tasks children are often given a "success criteria" sheet which allows them to identify the features they have used, and the way that they could improve their writing next time. Assessment milestones are recorded using Target Tracker so that the school can determine the success and impact of its teaching and learning.
Children are used to using many other acronyms in their learning:
WAGOLL - What A Good One Looks Like - a model answer/piece of work so that children know what they are aiming to achieve
Working Wall - Each classroom has a "working wall" which helps children see the journey they are taking to complete a maths or English unit. It wuite often will have take away learning aids for the children to use.