Curriculum Overview

This curriculum overview aims to provide all stakeholders with a clear understanding of Mayespark Primary School’s curriculum and procedures.

All whole-school practices, pedagogies and initiatives deployed by the school form our unique curriculum.  

Curriculum 

The objective of our curriculum is to give children the knowledge and skills they need to be healthy, successful and safe in today’s society, as well as open their eyes to the world beyond their local environment and culture.  

We nurture a love of reading, encouraging children to access a range of texts, including the classics and quality non-fiction texts which enlighten them on a range of subjects. We place a high emphasis on oral and written communication and expression.  

We want our pupils to apply knowledge and make links between their learning and current issues for example, understanding how history can teach us how to live peacefully and how geography and science can inform us of how best to protect the environment.  

Our curriculum supports our drive for children to have healthy lifestyles; we teach food technology every year, so that children understand how to create healthy meals. We provide additional swimming to increase the number of pupils who can swim and be safe around water. Regular physical activity in PE lessons is supported by children running the Daily Mile.    

Our PSHE curriculum enables children to keep safe in today’s society; avoiding dangers on the internet as well as in the local area, through grooming, gangs and knife crime.  

We are committed to ensuring children’s mental health remains well regulated; all children receive music and art lessons, in which they both learn about the works of successful artists and musicians and learn to create their own masterpieces.   

Children learn best from first hand experiences both in and outside of the school environment, so we aim to expand children’s cultural capital and inspire them to make a difference to our world through educational visits and visitors.  

Our school values and British Values underpin the curriculum at Mayespark, to enable our school community to live in harmony and respect with each other and the wider community. 

  

Statutory Requirements   

The curriculum delivered to pupils at Mayespark Primary School comprises all learning and experiences planned for our pupils. This includes providing access to the full National Curriculum, and fulfilment of other statutory obligations, as detailed below.

1. The statutory Primary National Curriculum states that state-funded schools must offer a curriculum which is balanced, broadly-based and which: 

  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society
  • prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life  

2. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all earlyyearsproviders must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.   

3. Primary schools must also: 

  • make provision for a daily act of collective worship  
  • teach Religious Education to pupils 
  • make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), including relationships, sex and health education (RSHE), drawing on good practice 

  

Unique Curriculum 

The Mayespark Curriculum comprises of the EYFS Curriculum, the National Curriculum and our unique curriculum, which represents the needs of our community. Together they encompass a wide range of pedagogies and experiences. The Mayespark Curriculum is designed and monitored in order to build the character of our pupils in line with our school vision of every child being inspired to achieve their best.  

Metacognition 

Underpinning our curriculum is metacognition. It is placed at the core of what we do because we have seen the evidence that it improves learning outcomes. Individuals who are strategic in their learning are more successful than those who do not reflect on the learning process. Metacognition lessons are taught regularly from Year 1, enabling children to plan, monitor, evaluate and make changes to their own learning behaviours. 

The Daily Mile 

Childhood obesity remains a stubborn issue within our school community. At Mayespark, we believe it is essential that children exercise daily, to ensure they lead a healthy life. Within our school day, we have therefore made room for every child from Year 1 to take part in the Daily Mile initiative. We recognise that not all children will be able to run or walk a complete mile every day; teachers encourage children to compete against themselves and achieve a personal best each time.  

Food Technology 

In order for children to live healthy lives, it is essential that they develop food technology skills. Every year, children will design, make and evaluate a healthy dish for a clear user and purpose. It is our hope that this knowledge will be transferred into our children’s homes resulting in healthier lifestyles.  

Reading 

Mayespark Primary School places a high value on the role of reading across the curriculum. Core texts are provided in English for each half term. These texts are sequenced in order to be progressive in their complexity both within and across academic years. In addition to the role of the core text, which may be a vehicle to learning in multiple subjects, pupils are enabled to practice their reading skills within all areas of the curriculum and at all times during the school day and beyond.  

Relationship and Health Education RSHE 

The entire curriculum at Mayespark is predicated on the importance of RSHE. Learning in relation to a pupil’s relationship and health development occurs explicitly throughout the curriculum. Additionally, the subject is taught discretely using an agreed scheme of work as a basis for planning. This is adapted to meet the needs of our children.  

Our strongly RSHE-focussed curriculum is a key element of our safeguarding strategy. Teachers relate lessons to our pupils’ context, emphasising how they can help to keep themselves safe and what they should do if they are worried.  

Our Values 

Our school values are embedded into all aspects of our curriculum and school life.  Each half term we focus on a different value and children receive regular lessons and assemblies based on the current value.  

 

Organisation and Planning  

Within each curriculum subject, leaders determine the most logical sequence in which to teach all the National Curriculum Programmes of Study and/or any additional curriculum content that we consider to be relevant to our pupils’ multi-cultural context and locality. Where a certain concept is a precursor for another, it will be taught first. This detailed sequencing by school leaders is an ongoing process, involving consultation with teachers and using pupils’ work.  

Long Term Planning 

In determining which curriculum content is delivered when, leaders consider the most logical sequence of learning within subjects. This ensures the curriculum is progressive and conducive to the efficient accrual of procedural and semantic knowledge, facilitating a change in long term memory. Leaders discuss whether cross curricular links can be made however these do not result in individual subject disciplines being diluted. Long term planning is reviewed by leaders annually and is accessible on our school website.  

Medium Term Planning 

Medium term planning is undertaken by subject leaders. This provides teachers with an over-arching question for each unit of work, serving to engage children and ensure learning is relevant to their lives. Prior knowledge linked to each unit of work is identified, enabling teachers to help children to make connections and ensure appropriate progression.  

Key threshold concepts are highlighted on medium term plans. These tie together separate units of work as the same concepts are explored over a wide breadth of topics. Through revisiting the threshold concepts, pupils gradually build understanding.  

Concepts and vocabulary are identified in plans with possible misconceptions and ways to address them.  Medium term planning provides teachers with learning intentions along with suggested steps and activities of how these might be met.  

Short term planning 

Teachers are required to plan lessons which fulfil learning intentions and meet the needs of children in their class. At this stage, teachers are encouraged to consider best pedagogical practice in relation to high quality teaching and learning. Teachers are free to plot their own course through a unit of work using the learning intentions and suggested activities on the medium term planning. This should be led by their pupils’ starting points, harnessing their own skills and interests. Distance marking sheets are used during lesson time and when marking to enable teachers to note next steps for individuals.  

Further broad principles to be adhered to are as follows:  
  • Each subject discipline is taught discretely. Teachers make links between subjects and units of work but these must always be purposeful and never tenuous.  
  • It is not necessary to teach every subject every week. Teachers plan as many or as few lessons as are required to fulfil the learning intentions stated  
  • There is no specification of the amount of time that should be allocated to the teaching of a given subject with the exception of Religious Education 
  • Each subject discipline has a separate exercise book. For foundation subjects, these follow children up to the next year group. Children are not expected to record a written outcome in every lesson.  
  • With the exception of timetabled lessons in shared spaces, for example computing, teachers have autonomy in deciding their weekly timetable. An outline of lessons to be covered each week is provided to teachers however they are expected to use their professional judgement and a flexible approach to ensure the needs of their individual class are met 
Big Pictures 

Every half term, year group leaders produce an overview of learning for parents, referred to as a Big Picture. This outlines what is being taught in the coming half term and includes: 

  • suggestions of how parents can support children at home, including useful websites 
  • suggestions of places to visit which supports classroom learning whilst expanding cultural capital  
  • a reminder of the daily expectation to read at home 
Ensuring the Transfer of Knowledge to Long Term Memory  

Learning can be defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned (Ofsted School Inspection Handbook – Nov 2019).  At Mayespark Primary School, curriculum design and lesson structure are predicated on the importance of the transfer of knowledge to long-term memory. Teaching practices are deployed to ensure that knowledge is revisited, applied in unfamiliar contexts and thereby retained, and extended. This is achieved through:   

  • Progression mapping, identifying opportunities for knowledge reinforcement, both within and across subjects.  
  • Use of formative assessment practices 
  • Use of the learning environment  
  • Timetabled consolidation sessions, involving the application of previously taught content and school-wide initiatives such as inter-class competitions and quizzes  
  • Integrated home learning  
Educational Visits 

Educational visits are inspiring and positive experiences which serve to enhance learning and understanding. They provide opportunities for pupils to immerse themselves in new, different and exciting environments where learning is less formal, but sometimes more powerful.  

At Mayespark, teachers organise educational visits at least termly. This may involve visitors coming to our school as well as pupils travelling to off-site venues.  When organising visits, teachers consider the progression within a unit of work and when each visit would have the maximum learning impact.  

Inclusion  

At Mayespark Primary School, every pupil has the right to a broad and balanced curriculum which meets their needs. For a limited number of children working significantly below the national expected level of attainment, it may at times be necessary for some pupils to attend intervention groups instead of accessing the full range of the curriculum subjects.  

Equality Mission Statement: 

At Mayespark Primary we are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers irrespective of race, gender, disability, belief, sexual orientation, age or socio-economic background. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and ability to participate fully in school life. 

We tackle discrimination through the positive promotion of equality, by challenging bullying and stereotypes and by creating an environment which champions respect for all. 

We believe that our diversity is a strength which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit us 

Diversity 

At Mayespark Primary we believe that diversity is not a bolt-on but instead should be an integral part of our curriculum.  We seek to ensure there is meaningful and balanced representation of people and cultures, highlighting the contribution of BAME communities to the fabric of our society. We believe that a powerfully diverse curriculum educates our pupils regarding how they fit into and are connected to our society.  The school has a long tradition of celebrating many of the religions represented at school through class assemblies and visiting different places of worship. 

 

Assessment and Monitoring  

The Role of Assessment  

Every pupil is entitled to be assessed and the outcomes analysed to inform teaching and improve learning. Provision for such assessment includes both ongoing formative assessment and summative assessment.  

Formative assessment at Mayespark is characterised by: planning which builds on prior assessment; effective questioning and dialogue; observation and listening by staff; and pupils knowing what to do independently when challenged. Staff respond to their formative assessments through varying the lesson pace or the level of modelling, through teaching a guided group or individual, through giving instant feedback to individuals, groups, or the class, and through adapting resources.   

The outcomes of in-school tests are used by class teachers and leaders to identify gaps and misunderstandings, to monitor the performance of pupil cohorts, to identify where interventions may be required ensuring pupils are supported to achieve good progress and attainment. Assessments are completed twice a year for foundation subjects and more frequently for other subjects. Parents are informed of their child’s attainment and next steps in reports twice a year.  

Monitoring the Curriculum  

The quality of teaching and learning at Mayespark Primary School is routinely monitored by the Senior Leadership Team. Subject Leaders systematically review the quality of the outcomes produced by pupils, in relation to expected national standards and the knowledge outcomes intended. Where required, learning intentions will be added to or removed from topics to ensure that outcomes are achieved.  

 

Roles and Responsibilities 

Subject Leadership 

Each curriculum subject is led by a member of staff. A subject leader's role is to analyse and build the appropriate provision in their subject, then cultivate the staff's pedagogical content knowledge to maximise learning across their school. At the beginning of each academic year they are required to write an action plan. This outlines priorities for the year and details how these will be implemented. Each year, subject leaders report to our school governors. These reports outline actions undertaken throughout the previous year and the impact of these. Throughout the year subject leaders monitor outcomes, gather pupil voice and where possible conduct drops ins.  

Subject Leaders are responsible for: 

  • Monitoring and improving the standard of provision and outcomes in their subject. 
  • Ensuring that learning with their subject(s) is coherent, developmental and progressive.
  • Reviewing resources regularly to ensure that they are contemporary, accessible, relevant, representative of our school community and that they are in good condition.   

Governors are responsible for:   

  • Attending Curriculum Committee meetings 
  • Being familiar with expectations in relation to schools’ curricula  
  • Attending training in order to work with school leaders to develop the curriculum  

Headteacher & SLT are responsible for:  

  • Ensuring that policies are adhered to  
  • Articulating the curriculum vision to all stakeholders 
  • Monitoring and improving the effectiveness of the curriculum in response to pupil outcomes and feedback from all stakeholders 

Teachers are responsible for:   

  • Following the curriculum procedures outlined in this policy 
  • Articulating the curriculum vision to pupils
  • Feeding backto SLTon the effectiveness of the curriculum