At Simonside Primary School, we are committed to providing a curriculum which ensures breadth and depth of understanding across all subjects and equips our children with the life skills needed for future learning (including transition to the next phase), employment and mental and physical well-being.
We aim to empower our children with ‘Cultural Capital’ and rich vocabulary which they can utilise to achieve ever greater depth in their understanding. As a Rights Respecting school we believe that children should be taught about rights and through rights, supporting them to develop their own self-esteem and to live as responsible citizens.
Reading is at the core of our curriculum (Learn to read, read to learn) and, as such, we aim to excite and enthuse our children with a love of reading. Reading pervades all topic maps. Our ‘concept led’ curriculum is driven by key concepts which are repeatedly taught through a wide range of carefully sequenced topics. Knowledge and skills are taught in progressive milestones using the principles of cognitive science to ensure attainment and accurate assessment.
Long Term plans for each year group show the National Curriculum coverage. Topic plans for each term expand on the LTM and specify the key concepts underpinning each topic and the core subject links as appropriate. At the heart of topic maps are class novels which link with one or more of the areas to be studied. Topic maps also show how the curriculum is being enhanced by educational visits, visitors to the school and whole school events.
Teaching and learning in all subjects is focused on meeting the criteria set out in Basic, Advancing, Deep grids. These grids specify key indicators of attainment from the NC programme of study (incorporating the KPIs – Key Performance Indicators) and then break down the indicators into three cognitive domains for each key stage. The same grids are used for both planning and assessment, making the planning, teaching and assessment cycle tight and effective.
In Early Years, children are assessed according to the Development Matters Statements which cover all areas of the Early Years Curriculum. Topic Maps detail what the children will be covering in all 17 areas of the Early Years Curriculum.
At Simonside Primary School, we use an assessment system for all subjects which assesses pupils as to where they are within a Milestone (Basic, advancing, deep). This data is then used to assess which children are working within Age Related Expectations and those children who may need further intervention to support them in their learning.
In Early Years, children are tracked termly across all 17 areas of the curriculum. Data is rigorously tracked half termly and progress meetings take place with staff and senior leaders.
We use excellent formative assessment processes that are already effectively supporting pupils ensuring that:
· We use quality initial assessments indicating pupils’ current knowledge and understanding and areas for further development;
· Effective differentiation, ensuring that tasks are matched to pupils’ abilities and provides high challenge for all;
· The quality of written and oral feedback is high, and indicates how pupils have progressed against learning objectives and success criteria;
· Continuous assessment is used by teachers to develop the next steps in pupils’ learning and subsequent lessons.