An inspiring curriculum here at the Federated Schools of Shalfleet and Freshwater & YarmouthCURRICULUM
At the Federated Schools of Shalfleet and Freshwater & Yarmouth Primary, we provide the children with a broad and balanced curriculum. We take into account the locality in which we live – ensuring that the curriculum is enriched through the environment. We take part in Forest Schools, to particularly benefit our Pupil Premium children and the children who have joined us from other schools. We firmly believe that developing the characteristics for good learning should underpin academic progress. We also use the copse and the local community centre to connect with locals. Some of the younger children also perform songs to members of the older generation.
The Federated Schools of Shalfleet and Freshwater & Yarmouth are both very much the centre of each local community. They have strong links to Yarmouth town through the Pancake Races, Firework night, Carols in the Square and the Gaffer’s Festival. We are now building strong links in Freshwater due to our move to the new school building. We are supported by strong PTFA’s who are very proactive and organise inspiring fundraising ideas and events with the local community.
We are very aware that through living on an island the children could become isolated and not have a broad understanding of the wider world. Therefore, we arrange many experiences for the children to visit the mainland – this means that the children will have left the Island at least 7 times before they leave Primary School. We also organise many Federated events, including a residential where the children integrate with their friends from our Federated schools, developing in confidence and resilience.
In terms of the Curriculum we make sure that we take the interests of the children into account and each year group plans a topic focussing on class interests. This has proven to be popular and instrumental in ensuring the children engage with their learning. We also ensure that our teachers have taught a topic which is inspiring for them. We believe that through teaching something you are passionate about inspires passion in others and thirst for learning. We also fulfill the demands of the new curriculum.
Our curriculum topics are varied, they include many home tasks and provide opportunities for independent learning. The topics are underpinned by the school Christian Values of Respect, Resilience and Relationships which run as a thread through everything that we do.
We have developed ‘Inspire Days’, these are days where we provide the children with some out of the box learning experiences. Inspire Days along with other specific events enable us to invite parents, governors and the local community into the school to share the learning and support the children to progress.
Our curriculum is enriched through the support that the ELSA is able to provide to the children. We have seen many children increase in their confidence and their abilities through this intervention (as evidenced through the ELSA impact sheets). We also have a very effective Therapeutic Play Practitioner, who has been instrumental in changing mindsets and supporting the children with additional needs.
The schools celebrate its student voice through the Junior Leadership Team and the Learning Leaders. We also have Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. The children have worked very hard to create their own SEF and FDP.
We hope that this information has provided you with an insight into how we strive to inspire and enrich the children’s learning within our Federated schools.
Our Federation Learning Principles
1. Coherent learning links and pathways
Children’s learning is a coherent experience, taking a holistic approach, incorporating outdoor experiences where possible. There is a detailed curriculum map with clear links between different areas of learning that build upon previous knowledge.
The federation offers a range of whole school topics, such as looking at our Island and all that it has to offer, the wider world and considering global and current affairs.
2. Strong working partnerships
We develop and sustain strong working partnerships across the school, the federation, the local community and further afield focused on providing a good education to all children where all stakeholders feel valued.
Opportunities are built in for shared trips and events across the federation, facilitating opportunities to share skills and knowledge, building in links with the local community as well as links with schools on the mainland. We invite people in to share their expertise through Inspire Talks and sporting events.
3. High quality outcomes, deep learning
At every stage across the federation, children achieve their very best in all areas, with opportunities for accelerated progress for all. Members of staff have high expectations for all learners.
There are opportunities for children and young people to develop their full capacity for different types of thinking and learning, exploring and achieving more advanced levels of understanding. Children take ownership of their own learning by making choices of what they would like to learn and engage in exciting and relevant topics. We use high quality texts and experiences that engage and motivate.
4. Valuing all children, learning is accessible to all
The learning planned for children and young people responds to their individual needs and support their particular needs, aptitudes and talents. It provides opportunities for exercising responsible personal choice, celebrating all successes across the curriculum. Ensuring that learning stretches as well as supports, that it is adaptable; drawing on the experiences, outside learning and working together where possible. All pupils complete meaningful tasks that come from their interests, designed to build resilience and independence.
5. Challenging, engaging and motivating
The federation is committed to offering a curriculum that embeds learning and has high expectations for all children at its core. There is an ethos of a growth mind-set, where mistakes are celebrated and encouraged as learning opportunities. Wherever possible learning themes and topics come from the children, making learning topical and based on current affairs. Beginning in the EYFS, practice is flexible and relatable, learning is steeped in practical activities and problem solving opportunities. This hands on approach continues right through the school, taking in outside learning opportunities where possible. Topics link to rich texts, the local community and further afield to develop our learners into resilient, knowledgeable world citizens. Staff have the opportunity to specialise in areas of expertise and share their skills across the federation.
6. Opportunities for memorable experiences
We offer a variety of experiences that give children genuine, lifelong memories. We involve the children in planning their own experiences where possible to ensure there is an authentic child voice. We involve parents, the community and have opportunities for visitors across the arts, sciences and sports as often as is possible and relevant. Throughout the year, there are Inspire Talks and Risk Days to open the children to new experiences and ideas. In classes, there is consistently good teaching and time to build relationships with key adults in school, for example the ELSAs. The church forms a significant part of the children’s school life experience with key visits to the local church as well as church groups and representatives regularly visiting school. As an island school, we celebrate what the Isle of Wight has to offer with a range of trips, as well as looking further afield and ensuring all children have the opportunity every year to ‘get off the rock’ and experience new and diverse opportunities.
7. Promotes independence and curiosity
Beginning in the EYFS, we give opportunities to children to take ownership of their learning. Finding out how they learn as well as what they have learnt in order to personalise their experiences. From the beginning of their time in school, children learn about a growth mind-set, thus developing resilience, and their awareness of the self and others. We encouraging open tasks where the children are able to choose their own level of challenge. Elected JLT and Learning Leaders give the children ownership of choices made in the school by representing options to the Senior Leadership Team and Governors and being involved in the writing of policies.
8. Broad, relevant and balanced - Local, Mainland, Global
There is a clear and coherent curriculum, covering all areas of the EYFS and National Curriculum. Linking topics across the curriculum where possible, linked to high quality texts and current affairs as well as significant periods in history. Topics will look at influential people alive today and through history, the environment and has an emphasis on topical issues such as climate change.
At the Federation we recognise the importance of learning that is both meaningful and memorable. We know that it is essential to make connections between different subjects and to link learning, so that children see a purpose for the learning that they will carry with them throughout their lives. As a result, the ‘Learning Led Curriculum’ is planned, enabling links between subjects around a central theme. We focus upon developing four key skills:• Working together • Improving own learning and performance • Creative thinking and problem solving • Enquiring minds
This way of working encourages ownership and develops children’s independence. It is an exciting and challenging way of learning and one that all our children (and teachers) enjoy.
Some aspects of the curriculum are taught discretely. These include mathematics, the ‘basics’ of literacy [spelling, phonics, handwriting] and subject areas such as PE. Other curriculum areas such as ICT, French and music have elements of subject area that are taught discretely but are also incorporated into topic led areas of learning.
The reception class is the final year of the foundation stage. We follow EYFS curriculum. The curriculum of the Early Years Foundation Stage is organised into seven areas of learning:PRIME AREAS • Personal, Social and Emotional Development • Communication and Language • Physical Development SPECIFIC AREAS • Literacy • Mathematics • Expressive Art and Design • Understanding of the World
The children develop through engaging in teacher planned activities, but also those which they initiate themselves. Through play based activities, children enjoy and gain confidence in basic skills of Literacy and Numeracy. They develop interest in the world around them, are happy to experiment in creative skills and increase development and control of their movement. In all areas children are encouraged way to view themselves and others positively, learning to express their emotions and ideas to become confident to try new activities. We aim to work with each child’s individual interests and to provide opportunities to learn from a wide range of experiences.
Assessment within Foundation Stage will now include a baseline assessment during the first half term of the year. This is simply a check on how well children are settling in to school and will consist of observations of the child at play, not a formal test. Children will be unaware of the process, and there is no pass or fail, it is simply an observation of the child’s skills to date. At the end of the Foundation Stage (Reception Year), children are assessed again against the set of 7 key areas of learning and development. These cover not only numeracy and literacy but also include personal, social and emotional development, physical skills, communication and language. For each goal, we will report whether your child is meeting expectations, exceeding them or they’re still working towards the skill concerned, this is called ‘emerging’.
Year 1 - Year 6
We aim to provide a high quality education for all our children. We do this by providing a carefully balanced curriculum which:-• Includes all the National Curriculum subjects and RE • Is stimulating, challenging and encourages creativity • Develops lively, enquiring minds • Is relevant to the needs and interests of each child • Gives opportunities for children to work together co-operatively and support each other in small teams • Helps prepare every child with the skills needed for a lifetime of learning.
We are flexible in our structure of classes to ensure that the work given to the children is always at the appropriate level for each of them. We teach many of the subjects through a creative programme of challenging topics. We follow the Isle of Wight syllabus for Religious Education and all the children take part in a planned programme of Personal, Health and Social Education.