There are changes afoot at Ofsted, the school’s watchdog, with a brand new inspection framework that came into force from September 2019. Much is the same, but much is different. Something that comes shining through is the changing focus of Ofsted to look at the wider curriculum (everything that isn’t reading, writing and maths) which includes music, art, PE, French and science as well as all the experiences and clubs that schools can offer. For a small school, we offer a good range of visitors, activities and trips that complement our focus on the three ‘R’s.
A good point to reflect, as a staff we asked ourselves ‘Why are we here?’ and ‘What do we want the children at Fordcombe to get from the subjects that we teach and the experiences and activities that we organise?’ The result is our ‘Curriculum Intent’' shown below, which we aim and hope your children take from their school experience after seven years with us.
As a staff, we have worked hard to develop our curriculum so that it covers that statutory body of knowledge and skills set out by the government in its Curriculum 2014 document, but that it is also personalised to the pupils and staff at Fordcombe.
Each year, the curriculum is split into three termly over-arching themes that were chosen because of their relevance to Fordcombe. The themes are 'A Global Perspective' (in order that we look beyond our immediate locality), 'A Historical Dimension' (in order that we see who we are through how we got here) and 'Responding to our Environment' (a theme that links Art and Technology into how we adapt and use our environment).
When planning each theme of work to last two terms, staff then take into account what needs to be taught from the National Curriculum document, and then how this fits in with a series of 'curriculum drivers' that personalise teaching to Fordcombe. The four drivers at Fordcombe are Diversity, Community, Enterprise and lastly Spirituality. These drivers have given us the opportunity to make our curriculum different to that of other schools, and given us the opportunity to play on our strengths as a teaching staff and as a community.
As we have developed our curriculum, we also considered the range of activities that pupils will have as they progress through a theme of work. Stunning starts, Marvellous Middles and Fabulous Finales all are aimed at giving pupils a range of opportunities at school that link in with the learning at hand. Opportunities may well be an excursion, a visitor, a workshop or simply an opportunity to use the knowledge, skills and learning acquired to present to parents. The news section of the website gives further information on the experiences pupils have at school.