Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact
Intent: why have we designed our curriculum this way?
At Teignmouth Community School Mill Lane, we are trying to instill in our pupils a love of learning which will support them through their life. These learning behaviours are developed from our Green Behaviours of resilience, independence, curiosity, respect, honesty and responsibility. Our curriculum allows pupils to delve deeper into their learning each year as skills grow progressively. It also responds to our assessment data and pupils’ individual learning needs to provide personalized learning.
Implementation: how do we carry it out?
We use the national curriculum as a starting point to plan out engaging topics through a thematic approach for pupils to learn about, which we wrote from our staff and pupil voice ideas about what they thought would work well in their year groups, and what pupils enjoyed learning about. It allows pupils to have a holistic approach to learning, drawing on skills that they learn in literacy to apply to their history etc. These are further supported by our half-termly ‘Quest’ days where pupils choose their learning on this day based on their topic. Topics all start with a ‘hook’ to immerse pupils in their topic and we provide opportunities to share their learning with parents and other pupils to bring their learning to life. We enrich these experiences further throughout the year through inviting in authors, artists etc. and through our trips to deepen their learning. Home learning projects allow pupils (and parents!) to make or do something related to the topic in a way that they would like it presented, giving them ownership and choice. Using the outdoors as a way of learning is fundamental to our teaching and learning which we strive to make as practical as possible.
At the heart of our curriculum is literacy, maths and science but we truly value our wider curriculum, which gives all pupils a chance to flourish. Literacy is taught through quality texts that link where possible to our topics, using cross-curricular links. We follow Read Write Inc. Phonics in EYFS and KS1 and then use the VIPERS model (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and sequencing/summarizing) for whole class reading from year 2 – year 6. Writing is linked to topic.
Maths is taught using the White Rose framework as a basis but front loading number to give pupils the core skills they need. We use an elicitation task at the beginning of the unit so that teachers can plan personalised and fluid groupings from this. Maths is a mixture of practical and written tasks.
Science is thematic where appropriate, but taught discretely where needed to avoid tenuous links.
The impact of our curriculum is seen through pupil’s engagement in their learning and the pride that they take in their work. It is also shown through teacher assessment of data in core subjects and progression of skills in foundation subjects. Pupil voice is highly valued and we regularly take feedback from our school council on our curriculum and use this as a measure of success and make changes to keep improving where needed. We quality assure our teaching and learning to measure impact through learning walks, book looks and further pupil voice. Pupils are secondary school ready by the time that they leave year 6.
Here at Teignmouth Community School we provide a broad and balanced curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 primary national curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. It is based on a child-centred pedagogy called The Four Cornerstones and is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) and Knowledge Rich Projects (KRPs), which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of children’s learning. We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides many learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively. Cornerstones also provide a rigorous skills and knowledge framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These skills and knowledge are tied to activities and are age-related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.