Our curriculum gives everyone the chance to let their light shine
At Waltham-on-the-Wolds CE Primary School, we believe in making all learning meaningful, exciting, ambitious and fun. The aim of our curriculum is for children to become:
- Confident Individuals
- Responsible Citizens
- Successful Learners
Our curriculum is deeply embedded in our school vision and Christian Values – they are the roots of our curriculum. Values are beliefs or principles that guide the way we think and behave. Our Christian Values are: friendship, respect, perseverance, love and compassion. These are interwoven with the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
We use a curriculum that has been written by subject specialists within the RISE trust; a range of accredited schemes and our own school curriculum. We want to ensure that our curriculum offers the children a rich cultural capital, builds on prior learning and prepares them for the next steps in their education. This balance of schemes, and curriculum content written by subject experts within our trust schools, ensures that we strive for excellence at all times, aiming to inspire and motivate all children through the way we teach, enabling them to flourish and succeed.
We aim to develop each subject through a clear progression of knowledge and skills across the year groups, building on prior knowledge through recall, repetition and retrieval in order to deepen understanding. This approach enables our children to make connections across their learning, leading to deeper learning experiences so that the learning is purposeful and meaningful.
We also provide the opportunity for children to apply their reading, writing, mathematical and computing skills across the whole of the curriculum wherever links are appropriate.
How we deliver the curriculum
Children are taught skills in all subjects and apply them across the curriculum whenever possible. Knowledge is organised progressively in each subject so that children are introduced to new learning, alongside retrieval of prior learning; this supports their long-term memory and deepens their understanding. Subjects are taught discretely but may be intertwined with other subjects, providing the links are meaningful; for example, it would be highly appropriate for children to apply their knowledge and skills of measurement and proportion (maths) if designing and making a prototype of a sustainable house of the future (Art/Design/Science).
Personal Social Health and Citizenship education is developed discretely while also being integrated across the curriculum and all aspects of learning. The same is true of our approach to Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural development.
In each Key Stage, children are taught every aspect of the curriculum and learning builds on the knowledge and skills of previous years. To extend children’s learning further, we have specialist music teachers as well as sports coaches to deliver games, gymnastics, swimming and dance. We are a strong advocate of the Forest Schools approach to learning and our children benefit from our specific links with the Woodland Trust who visit us on site to deliver an extended curriculum to our children. We plan educational visits in our local area and beyond, as we believe this first hand experience enriches their education beyond the classroom which support long term memory and a love of learning and life itself.
Through this approach children will:
- have fun
- be actively involved and engaged
- acquire knowledge and be able to recall it it over time
- develop learning skills quickly, as each one is connected to and reinforced by the other
- be confident and motivated
- love learning.
Children are at the centre of all learning and we are proud to work with them and their parents to help them achieve their full potential.
If you would like to know more, please click on the links below and visit our Class pages. We would be happy to discuss any aspect of our provision when you visit us, too.
Waltham Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage spans the period of learning and development from birth to 5 years old. Children who start our school during the academic year they turn 5 years of age, are known as Reception. At Waltham-on-the-Wolds Church of England Primary School we have one Reception Class, plus our pre-school and we work very closely with other feeder pre-schools, child minders and Nurseries in the surrounding area to support transition for our Reception children.
Please visit our Early Years Curriculum page for further information about the entitlement curriculum for Reception children and for further details about our provision, please visit our Class 1 page and Waltham Pre-school page.
Our RISE Curriculum
For Art, DT, Science, Geography and History we use curriculum planning and resources that have been designed within our Academy Trust. The curriculum was developed collaboratively, with subject leaders across all our schools coming together to logically sequence and develop materials for teacher to use in lessons. What we want to achieve within each subject is the ability for all children to not only be ready for the next stage in their education, but to have a strong academic foundation in both the substantive and disciplinary knowledge within each subject in order to excel in their continued studies.
Our curriculum is built on the premise of what foundational knowledge and skills would a person need to know in order to have the best chance at studying the subject at university. The academic rigour in the curriculum can be seen through the strong focus on rich knowledge and subject-specific vocabulary developed within and across subjects.
We also want our children to have the ability to engage in near and far transfer of knowledge within each subject, enabling them to make links and widen their understanding of each academic discipline. The design of the curriculum supports this though linear and non-linear links both within and across subjects.
The curriculum has been designed with a 'teach to the top' and scaffold down approach, in that we are ambitious for all our pupils and expect them all to access the learning, other than those with complex needs. Our curriculum is inherently challenging through its content choices, rather than an additional 'bolt on'.
Each subject is designed using the most up to date thinking and research, and is under continual development and review in order to ensure it enables pupils to learn more.
The curriculum is designed to be taught in blocks of learning, so pupils can immerse themselves in a discreet subject area for a period of time, and through the carefully mapped out long term plan of the year, revisit subjects at appropriately spaced intervals in order to retrieve prior learning and embed this in long term memory. (Research Link: Spacing - Bjork & Bjork; Forgetting Curve - Ebbinghaus)
Long term plans are in place for each subject with knowledge, skills and concepts having been mapped back from the end of KS2 down to the EYFS to ensure that progression takes place, highlighting the links between what has been previously taught, and what will be taught in future years.
The long term plan has then been broken down into units of lessons consisting of either 5, 10 or in some cases 15 lessons that are delivered sequentially. Each unit of lessons has been logically sequenced to enable children to build on knowledge in small steps both within and across lessons (Research Link: Small Steps - Rosenshine). Subject content has been specifically chosen to be meaningful for pupils, and also to provide them with a deep understanding of knowledge and concepts within each discipline.
Within the design of the curriculum, knowledge of vocabulary plays a huge part in ensuring children are able to comprehend the information given to them. Each unit of lessons highlights subject specific vocabulary that should ideally be pre-taught to pupils so they can immediately access content. This is taught alongside Tier 2 vocabulary that will also help them comprehend across the disciplines. (Research Link: Vocabulary Prioritised - Hart, Law et al; Tier 2 & 3 Vocab - Beck et al)
To assist in enabling children to remember more over time, interleaved low-stakes quizzes are used across the year to give children the opportunity to revisit key information again from content that has been taught from throughout their schooling, as we know this is one of the most effective methods of learning. The quizzes are subject specific and are made up of content that has already been taught, but not necessarily from within the current, or even previous years learning. (Research Link: Interleaving - Bjork; Quizzes - Dunlosky)
Subject knowledge is fundamental in delivery high quality teaching, and without it deep learning of content cannot occur. Each unit of lessons is underpinned by a teacher pack that outlines the minimum key knowledge that teachers must know to be able to deliver the lesson effectively. The teacher pack also outlines the sequence of lessons, key vocabulary, prior knowledge children should know (including where and when it was taught), and where the unit fits in the progression throughout the subject. (Research Link: Subject Knowledge - Great Teaching Toolkit - Coe)
Within each lesson pupils are given the opportunity to retrieve knowledge that can then be built on. The knowledge being retrieved has been carefully selected so that children can then build on that key information, and therefore not putting additional strain on cognitive load. (Research Link: Retrieval - Rosenshine; Cognitive Load Theory - Sweller)
An element of each lesson is the utilisation of overlearning through cumulative quizzing within the units. Pupils have the opportunity to overlearn key knowledge by revisiting the cumulative quiz each day and adding more questions, while continuing to answer the ones from previous days, even if they have answered they correctly before. This allows for the continued revisiting of core knowledge within the unit of lessons. (Research Link: Overlearning - Soderstrom & Bjork; Christodoulou).
Further curriculum information is detailed below.
For specific details about our curriculum and provision, please visit the Class pages, alongside the subject curriculum maps found in the links below.
Our approach to the curriculum, complies with duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 as we ensure it is accessible to all children, including for those with disabilities or special educational needs.