What is a ‘curriculum’ ?
A curriculum is set guidelines that that have been established to help educators decide on the content of a of study – what children will learn. It is the curriculum that gives out the lesson objectives, the contents – skills and knowledge, and methods that will be used to teach. Therefore, it prescribes not only what should be taught or how it should be taught, but also why something should be taught.
Our school curriculum includes the ‘national curriculum’, as well as religious education. The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.
The ‘Brackenbury Curriculum’ details how we as a school implement and teach the subjects within the National Curriculum and the methods we use to meet the needs of the children at our school.
The intention of the curriculum at Brackenbury is to provide a broad, rich and varied education that develops children’s life experiences, interests and prepares them for the next stage of their education. Brackenbury pupils experience a unique curriculum that is underpinned by key knowledge and skills that impacts positively on their performance in all subject areas.
Using a range of teaching styles and experiences we aim to foster in the children a love of learning and a passion for enquiry. Our aim is to provide children with a safe, yet challenging, environment in which they can take risks and make mistakes as well as developing their resilience and ability to be self-reflective as they do so.
We put emphasis on the experiential nature of learning, the ‘hands-on’ approach where children can learn by doing. Our active and engaging lessons build on and strengthen children’s knowledge and understanding. We make use of the local area, both within the school grounds and beyond, to support the acquisition of skills and knowledge in a way that is meaningful for the children.
We celebrate achievement in all areas and aim to have happy children who enjoy coming to school. We encourage self-expression and creativity while promoting respect for each other within the diverse community we live in. This broad and balanced curriculum is customised to meet the local needs of our learners.
Our curriculum is split into subjects and each subject has a ‘Skills and Knowledge Progression’ document. This details the progression of learning that pupils will go though year by year within the subject. Teachers use these documents to plan units of work that ensure that we initially re-visit prior learning before building on this and deepening pupils understanding so that over units of work pupils are able to learn more, do more and remember more.
Teachers are provided with PPA (Planning, Preparation and Assessment time) to plan their curriculum for the whole term and on a weekly basis with their parallel teacher. As part of this planning process, teachers need to plan the following:
- A cycle of lessons for each subject, which carefully plans for progression and depth;
- Challenge questions for pupils to apply their learning to a range of contexts;
- Ensure that lessons and learning are targeted at the correct level for the ability of all pupils; including those with SEND and the most-able;
- Adapt future learning based on outcomes and assessments of completed work to ensure; that learning is reinforced and extended over the sequence of lessons;
- Trips and visiting experts that will enhance the learning experience;
A curriculum information leaflet for parents and carers so learners can be supported at home.
The core subjects of Maths and English are taught daily and all other subjects are taught throughout the week. Our curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way and individual subjects are where possible linked to a topic or theme over a half term. We plan the curriculum to ensure that all children receive a broad range of lessons and subjects each week in every year group.
All subjects have a subject leader(s). These teachers champion their subject across the school and ensure that standards are met. They monitor the outcomes for children and work alongside their colleagues to further enhance and develop the provision offered in their subject. Time and training for subject leadership is allocated to all teachers each term.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes;
- Review pupil response to the questions and learning provided;
- Pupil discussions and conferences about their learning;
- Book scrutinies of pupils’ learning across the school demonstrating the depth of understanding, progression and challenge;
- The tracking of standards across the curriculum.
For further information on our curriculum design and the adaptions we have made to suit our pupils please click belowUnique Brackenbury Curriculum