Curriculum Intent – the design of our curriculum
We are a Church of England school where education is the fundamental core. We are constantly striving for excellence and preparing our children to succeed in which ever learning path they follow in the 21st century. When planning our curriculum we have to recognise the distinct environmental factors of the school. Our children are taught in two classes, comprising of EYFS/1/2 and then YR3/4/5/6. This impacts strongly on how the curriculum is taught and the rolling programme required to navigate the learning of the children who remain in one class for up to four years. The schools catchment includes a third of children from the surrounding village, however two thirds of our children come from across Swindon, often transferring to the school for the environmental and nurturing aspects that we excel at.
The school has a bespoke curriculum, created by Dimensions Curriculum that allows coverage of all core National Curriculum requirements. As we progress through the core areas of the curriculum we are mindful to recognise the importance of building on the interests of the children. Dimensions allows us the opportunity to ‘tweak’ the knowledge learnt and the speed of coverage. This includes built in blocks which are pupil choice and pupil led. We ensure that the curriculum provides a breath of life experience, enhanced with external speakers, involvement of parents and a host of holistic experiences which develop a sense of belonging and curiosity within our children. We are passionate for all our children to have equal opportunities, regardless of ability level, the small school environment allowing this fully and supporting them to play their part in our amazing world.
Keeping children safe, linked to the KCSiE document is continuously planned for, promoting British Values ensuring that the children are aware of their rights and responsibilities. This is supported through an active School Council, Prefect Leadership team and all children will openly discuss their thoughts and feelings within our school.
Wellbeing is the heart of the school. Pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through our Christian Values are demonstrated and reflected upon daily, allowing a positive impact on all children. Behaviour within the school reflects this with classrooms being calm and children playing across all year groups on the playground. Children’s skills such as listening, problem solving, team work and resilience are high as they have to do this daily in order to deal with small year cohorts and the importance of getting on with all in the school, there is only a limited number of friendships available with 50 unique children. Staff and child relationships are very strong due to the small numbers in the school. This allows outstanding individual support and understanding of the children. The school allows additional time for PSHE, circle time, journal writing, wellbeing sessions, nurture 1:1 sessions, emotional and mental wellbeing meaning pastoral support above and beyond what you would normally find. The caring and nurturing ethos is one of the most critical parts of our school. Despite limited sporting resources we make additional arrangements to ensure that sport remains a key focus, from whole school annual swimming lessons, use of the local farm garden as a field, transportation into Swindon to utilise facilities and our links with Pinewood Prep. These continue to be hugely beneficial and has led to many children up taking sports at a higher level within the Borough.
The Curriculum – Implementation
Our foundation stage compromises of Reception. We work closely with the local nursery where children often feed into the school. It is a distinct stage of learning and prepares the children for Key Stage 1. Our Reception children work alongside Year 1, with the same teacher but their learning is distinct. They have a separate learning area when required which allows focus on teaching and learning to ensure ‘school readiness’ giving the children a broad range of knowledge and an enquiring mind, ready to progress through their school career confidently. The children have constant role models as they are working alongside Year 1 and Year 2. This helps support them and provides a positive and secure foundation for their learning.
KS1 and KS2
At Bishopstone CE we take real pride in offering and having always offered, a broad and balanced curriculum that excites and develops a wide range of qualities in each and every child. We follow the National Curriculum in all areas. This is supplemented by a bespoke curriculum created for us by 'Dimension Curriculums' which involves a three year rolling programme in EYFS/KS1 and a four year rolling programme in KS2. The curriculum is cross-curricular and consolidates the children’s learning and knowledge over these two phases. The National Curriculum 2014 is the basis of all learning within the school, including maths which is linked through the WhiteRose Maths scheme to support and teach multiple year groups. A close working relationship and constant discussion between the teachers allows reflection and support, ensuring consistent and progressive teaching across all year groups. With a small staff we utilise teachers from outside the main teaching set, for example music, french, some art and PE.
The skills and content of the National Curriculum have been placed within the bespoke curriculum, with staff ensuring a progression of skills and content over the completion of the rolling programmes. Children are regularly assessed against the relevant frameworks across the breadth of the curriculum. Children receive a high level of oral and 1:1 feedback as opposed to lengthy book marking, due to consideration for impact on the child and impact on staffs wellbeing. The small number of children per class in English and Maths allows this to be effective. Teachers assess on a daily basis formatively and summative at the end of a unit of study. Children self and peer assess as assessment is about learning and knowing how to move on from the current point. Recording achievement in a positive way through Work of the Week assembly and class reward systems helps reinforce children’s strengths and areas of development. At Bishopstone we are very proud of the achievements of the children in our school, this is not just academically but the social and emotional skills that the children leave Year 6 with.
Staff complete a regular cycle of monitoring and assessment including frequent discussions at staff meetings which aids analysis for whole school trends. In turn allowing interventions to change and adapt to individual child need and ensure continuous impact is being monitored. Regular meetings with parents, daily interaction on the playground and an open door policy also allows the consideration of home life to be reflected upon when looking at a child’s progress.
We teach phonics through the Letters and Sounds scheme. We use a wide variety of reading schemes with a focus on Oxford Reading Tree which covers fiction and non-fiction. We have a range of books aimed at children with specific challenges such as Dyslexia. More confident readers then move to free choice within the small school library where books are banded for LS2 and UKS2. However, we reinforce to children on the correct procedure to choose a book and nudge gently when we feel they could face a more or less challenging book. We have daily readers for KS2 where a more intense focus is required to enable them to consolidate their reading skills.
Learning and Teaching
Within the school the children have daily maths, english, phonics and reading. Opportunities are provided to learn in a variety of ways and children are given work dependant on ability and prior coverage, not just their age. Teachers use strategies identified for particular cohorts that has impact, from whole class, teacher modelling, differentiated work in smaller groups through to independent. We are also supporting children to become more independent through the use of technology such as ipads for reinforcing basic building blocks where appropriate. We have a wealth of knowledge with our current HLTA’s including having previously taught. Our homework system supports learning outside of school, allowing children to individualise an area to delve deeper into. Children’s knowledge gained outside of school is vital to their learning. Questionnaires to both parents and children highlight the success of this and the positivity it creates.
Early Years Foundation Stage – Reception children
Children entering Reception have access to the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) curriculum. For Government Framework published 3rd March 2017 please click here.
The areas of learning are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
It is based on three prime and four specific areas of learning, and the three characteristics of effective learning set out below:
The prime areas of learning:
- 1. Communication and language
- 2. Physical development
- 3. Personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas of learning:
- 1. Literacy
- 2. Maths
- 3. Understanding the world
- 4. Expressive arts and design
Characteristics of effective learning:
- 1. Playing and exploring
- 2. Active learning
- 3. Creative and thinking critically
Curriculum Intent – the design of our curriculum
The National Curriculum provides a framework for teaching key skills that our children are taught from Year 1 - Year 6. These are taught through different subjects and focus areas.
Through these themes and topics, the skills in each of the following subject areas are developed:
Reading (word reading, comprehension)
Writing (transcription, composition, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation)
Geometry (shape and space)
Problem solving and reasoning will feature throughout teaching.
Life Processes and Living Things
Materials & their Properties
Religious Education (R.E.)
Personal Health and Social Education (P.H.S.E.)
Design Technology (D.T.)
Physical Education (P.E.)
Modern Foreign Language – French
You are always more than welcome to arrange to meet the class teacher at any point during the year, who can answer specific questions regarding the National Curriculum coverage for your child.
|Early Learning Foundation Stage||Ages 2-5||Nursery and Reception|
|Key Stage 1||Ages 5-7||Years 1 and 2|
|Key Stage 2||Ages 7-11||Years 3, 4, 5 and 6|