At Fordcombe Church of England Primary School, we believe that our curriculum is one that is broad and balanced and is ambitious for all. It is knowledge-rich, exciting, meaningful and responds to the needs of the individuals within our learning community, enabling them to shine academically and flourish socially, emotionally, morally, culturally and spiritually.
We believe that our curriculum should celebrate the individuality of each child, providing opportunities for them to develop their interests. We want our curriculum to provide our pupils with the knowledge and skills that they need so they can be well prepared for future life. Permeating our curriculum are our vision that we can all be good shepherds, and the core values of our school which are: Love, Hope, Forgiveness, Respect, Honesty and Perseverance.
Our curriculum at Fordcombe is designed to allow each one of our learners to:
Our core values help to underpin our ‘curriculum design’. They help to shape our curriculum drivers and respond to the needs of the school community. Our curriculum drivers at Fordcombe are:
Our children will have healthy minds, showing they are emotionally happy and resilient learners, stay true to themselves and attempt new learning and challenges with confidence. They will have a deepening understanding of their own and others’ beliefs.
Our children will have a curiosity and love of learning, both in school and beyond our gates. They will be courageous and curious learners, taking responsibility themselves and have the skills to learn well together. They will gain the knowledge, skills, understanding and vocabulary to empower them to contribute positively to society.
Through our Christian ethos that underpins all we do at Fordcombe, our children will be kind. They will show empathy, tolerance, and compassion. They will also have the integrity to make a positive contribution to the world around them, valuing their own identity and place in the world, whilst forming habits of stewardship for others.
Hope and aspiration now and for the future
Our children will have ambition and high aspirations for their futures. Each child’s capacity to see possibilities in the world will be developed—their horizons broadened through a broad and aspirational curriculum that gives them opportunities to undertake a wide range of educational activities. Children will know that their aspirations will be reached through hard work and perseverance.
We have designed our curriculum thinking about the learning journey that we want our pupils to take. This has been developed through an understanding of:
Our curriculum is underpinned by current research, and has been designed to take account of the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Primary National Curriculum. This is evidenced by our commitment to research-based approaches, such as Maths Mastery and the Power of Reading for our core offer.
The full range of core and foundation subjects have been carefully mapped out across school in clear progression frameworks, so that knowledge, understanding, skills and concepts build over time. As a result of this, we hope that all children leave Fordcombe having mastered a wide range of concepts and skills and gained the knowledge that gives them a love of learning, prepares them for their next steps and develops an understanding of the world in which they live.
As part of our carefully mapped out curriculum, we also ensure we provide all children with opportunities for experiential learning, such as curriculum led Stunning Starts, Marvellous Middles and Fabulous Finales for each term’s learning theme, cross-phase experience days, visitors to school, residential visits and extra-curricular clubs.
We have adopted a thematic approach to our curriculum and throughout the academic year. Teachers teach from three broad themes across a school year (‘A Historical Perspective’, ‘A Global Dimension’ and how we are ‘Responding to our Environment’).
These themes look to provide over-arching direction for the term with subjects linked to this theme where practical and where the opportunities to deepen and review knowledge allows. Subjects are taught discretely so that the correct knowledge and skills for each curriculum element progress as our pupils move through the school.
Mathematics is taught using Mastery techniques, following adapted White Rose plans for mixed-age schools. The foundation subjects are taught in a rolling two-year cycle to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum, mapped by the senior leadership to ensure complete coverage.
Subjects taught in a two-year rolling cycle include: Science and Computing, History and Geography (using resources created by the educational consultant by Steve Mastin and used across the Tenax multi-academy trust); Music and French (taught by specialist teachers on a two-year rolling cycle); Religious Education (taught following the Diocese of Rochester teaching sequences and the ‘Understanding Christianity’ resources), Physical Education (following resources provided by the local Sports Partnership and our dedicated PE support) and Relationships and Health Education (taught using the Jigsaw schemes of work)
To engage, immerse and ‘hook’ the children in their learning experiences, every class begins with a theme launch called a ‘Stunning Start’. The purpose of this is to engage the children immediately and to deepen their knowledge for new subjects from the outset. Follow activities, a ‘Marvellous Middle’ will link directly to the learning and provide an opportunity for pupils to deepen their knowledge on a particular theme. The school encourages visits, trips and visitors to add interest to the taught curriculum, add to the children’s cultural capital, provide experiential learning and opportunities to develop social, moral, spiritual and cultural capital.
High-quality whole texts, through the Power of Reading are integral to our curriculum approach, as we recognise that fluency in reading and an excellent understanding of vocabulary enables children to have access to the full curriculum entitlement. We believe it is our role to ensure children leave us being able to articulate themselves clearly, and read and write confidently and effectively. A quality text is chosen to drive learning in English and as the basis for the teaching of our bespoke ‘writing sequence’. We ensure as far as possible that the texts chosen as the driver for English link
to the termly theme. During the term, children will experience narrative, poetry and non- fiction texts. Technical aspects for English are interwoven into our teaching units through separate teaching sequences in Key Stage 2 undertaken daily.
We endeavour to ensure that children see a relevance and a purpose to their learning, so plan for learning to build towards a purposeful outcomes. This is an opportunity for children to reflect on the new skills that they have learnt and showcase their learning to a wider audience, for example through an exhibition to the school community, or through the publication of a class text or similar.
Central to all of the above, and to our curriculum design, is an expectation of well thought-out quality first teaching and learning, delivered by all. Teaching staff use our curriculum progression document and planning format to ensure that learning is sequenced so that children build knowledge and skills over time – both building skills and knowledge within the year group curriculum, but also building on, and making connections with, prior knowledge from other years so that the learning is linked and progressive.
Our next step is for staff to identify the ‘sticky knowledge’ that they want the children to learn during the course of the theme and then ensure there are multiple opportunities for the children to practise and apply this knowledge in a range of different contexts, so that they achieve deep, long-term learning. We are also reviewing the gains in digital learning approaches we made during the pandemic and thinking of ways to utilise these new skills.
Impact of our curriculum
As a result of our planned and implemented curriculum, we would expect the impact to be that:
If you wish to find out more about our curriculum or if you have any questions, please contact the school on email@example.com.