The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and The National Curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said, and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement. It provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.
Children move from the EYFS framework, where a focus is placed on developing the Prime Areas of Learning and embedding essential skills into the Specific Areas of Learning, to a continuation of this ethos within the National Curriculum. The importance of Personal Social and Emotional Development, language and self-care are an integral part of learning. By valueing these areas, we ensure high levels of wellbeing and involvement are maintained. Characteristics of Effective Learning in the Early Years is continued into both Year 1 and Year 2 to give opportunities in the curriculum for independence, critical thinking, active learning and exploration. Please see the EYFS policy for more information about how our Early Years Curriculum is designed.
When the new National Curriculum was introduced in September 2014, along with the revised EYFS framework, Beaver Road adopted the Learning Challenge Curriculum developed by Focus Education for Key Stage 1 and 2. A concept which is built around the principle of greater pupil involvement in their work, with a focus of learning fewer things in greater depth to ensure a secure and deep understanding of their year group expectations, being able to use them ‘inside out’ before moving on to progressively more challenging learning. Therefore, our staff plan around a number of broad enquiry questions from the Learning Challenge Curriculum that spark pupils’ curiosity.
In designing the curriculum in Key Stage 1 and 2, our teachers use a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question, as the starting point, such as ‘What makes the Earth angry?’. Using the information gained from pre- learning tasks to ascertain the starting points of their learners, the new National Curriculum, the distinctive needs and interests of our children and the school’s context, a series of subsidiary challenges are then planned with a clear ‘end point’ to assess against. As successful teachers, we are clear about the destination of the learning and the steps the children need to get there.
The children learn skills alongside knowledge, ensuring that both are explicitly developed. Where meaningful, these lessons are cross-curricular, which makes sure the curriculum is relevant and purposeful to pupils by putting knowledge into a context.
Art and Music lessons are delivered by specialist teachers, whilst a highly experienced sports coach teach the children for Physical Education. These lessons are taught during class teacher’s planning, preparation and assessment time. In addition to PE lessons, Beaver Road is represented at numerous sports competitions, such as football, hockey, swimming, handball, tennis and basketball to name just a few. Music is highly regarded with several specialist peripatetic teachers providing brass, woodwind, percussion, singing and guitar lessons.
Kagan structures - instructional strategies, are intrinsic to high quality teaching and learning at Beaver Road. Kagan structures are based on 4 principles: positive interdependence, individual accountability, equal participation and simultaneous interaction.
We understand feedback closest to the point of teaching and learning is likely to be most effective in driving further improvement, especially for younger pupils. Therefore, we continually provide high-quality feedback throughout all our lessons enabling teachers to address any misunderstanding and provide the right level of challenge in future lessons.
Every classroom at Beaver Road is an inviting and enabling environment. Working walls demonstrate the learning journey that is currently taking place, with key skills, vocabulary, models and methods displayed for the children to use whilst they learn. Whilst the celebration of work motivates and inspires children to achieve the best they can.
At Beaver Road, we have skilled subject leaders for each area of the curriculum, who are well trained, ambitious and knowledgeable in their area of leadership. Using assessment data, lesson observations, planning, book scrutinies and discussions with the children, they are able to monitor and evaluate the teaching of their curriculum area. This information is then used to develop and promote their subject to ensure the learning is appropriately sequenced across the school, enabling all pupils including SEND, disadvantaged pupils, more able, pupils with low prior attainment and EAL, to build their knowledge and skills towards the agreed ‘end points’.
There is a widespread commitment across the school to support children’s holistic wellbeing so that they can flourish as learners. Consequently, there are strong and well-established systems to promote children’s physical, mental and emotional health. Inclusivity and respect is modelled by all staff and children, and we are proud and passionate in making sure everyone in our school community feels valued. Curriculum planning incorporates the promotion of diversity and inclusion through the UN convention on the Rights of the Child, one of the many reasons we and been awarded with the Gold Rights Respecting School accreditation.
Links with other policies and documents
- EYFS policy
- Feedback and marking policy
- Teacher handbook
- English policy
- Maths policy
- Science policy
- Computing policy
- Geography policy
- History policy
- Art policy
- Music policy
- PE policy
- D&T policy
- MFL policy
- SEND policy
- Assessment policy
- Gold accreditation report
- National Curriculum programmes of study
- Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework