At Ordsall Primary School excellence in teaching and enjoyment of learning is at the heart of what we do. It is our intent that our curriculum provides children with rich, vibrant and memorable experiences that promote the application of skills, knowledge and understanding across the whole curriculum. Our curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 alongside the PSHE Programme of Study developed by the PSHE Association, the Religious Education agreed syllabus of Southwell Diocese and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school.
At Ordsall Primary School the ancient proverb I hear things, and I forget them. I see things, and I remember them. I do things, and I understand them is the central pillar of what we do. This means that we implement our curriculum through the delivery of learning opportunities, in a contextualised and creative way, across the whole curriculum through first-hand experience. It is our mission that Ordsall children will not only understand and remember what they learn but they will learn how to learn, apply their knowledge and cement their learning and the strategies they develop for the future.
Our curriculum aim is to offer our children a rich and exciting curriculum and experiences so that they can develop a deep body of knowledge which they can apply creatively in their learning. In this way we are preparing our children for the next stages of their lives. The school delivers a series of programmes to support the development of children’s mental health and well-being. Metacognition is central to all of our learning with children encouraged and shown to be resilient and be unafraid of failure. This is supported through the use of Emotional Literacy Support Assistants who engage with children to support them to acquire techniques to manage their emotions.
Recent research by the Creative Industries Federation and the Department For Education indicates that by 2024 and beyond there will be an increase in creative and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) occupations and by 2030 Pearson predicts that interpersonal skills, cognitive skills and system skills will be in high demand. As a result of this research we are developing a curriculum which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, so that they can be the best that they can be. With this in mind the impact of what we aim to do is to encourage all of our children to develop through playing, learning and growing together in an environment where they are valued, supported and cared for and somewhere where their individuality is respected and celebrated and they are well equipped for the 21st century.
Developing children’s independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning. Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers, the community and other learners through school-based performances, competitions and events involving other schools and local exhibitions.
As our children enter Year 1 they consolidate the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Over the first half of the Autumn Term the majority of children progress to the National Curriculum. Throughout this period and beyond, all children are still developing their phonic knowledge through the Read Write Inc programme, developing their fluency in reading through the daily phonics lesson.
The National Curriculum is delivered through the school’s curriculum, which has been developed with support to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school. A phased approach linking to the assessment criteria means that there are Milestones within each year group. These ensure that children are meeting expectations in their learning. The more able are challenged further to deepen their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported by additional staff and resources so that they too are enabled to experience success. National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school and then individual year groups plan the curriculum for their children accordingly.
Our curriculum is underpinned by Fundamental British Values and the school’s code of conduct and these are embedded through many areas of the curriculum. Assemblies focus on issues such as tolerance, understanding, equality, resilience, diversity and democracy as well as cultural and annual events and celebrations. Music and the cultural significance of it is celebrated and explained through the celebration of different styles of music from different times written and performed by a range of composers and performers.
Visitors and role models come to the school. These have included sports men and women, members of religious denominations, theatre companies, the Chief Operating Officer of a large computer games design company, writers, artists, people from charitable organisations, motivational speakers and people with a range of backgrounds, jobs and roles. These visits not only contribute to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the children, which is woven into every aspect of school life, but they support the core values of our society and the children’s aspirations and dreams.
The English and mathematics curriculum have been developed internally and are supported through our links with the East Midlands Support Service, which is led by Education Improvement Advisers, the Trent Valley Teaching School Alliance and the Candlebury Lane Teaching School Alliance. English and maths are taught discretely but wherever and whenever possible learning is linked to foundation subjects and topics to demonstrate its application and purpose. These subjects are taught throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 with a flexible group approach. This is driven by pre assessment tasks that assess what children do and do not know within a new concept. More targeted ability grouping is introduced in Year 2 and Year 6 as children prepare for external assessments but not at the expense of our core values and principles. In all year groups there are small group interventions such as triage and pre-teach in order to support children in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians.
More specialist coaches and teachers support the teaching of physical education, Computing, Art and Music. Through their use, the teachers own subject knowledge in these areas is developed so that all of our staff can provide the very best education in these subjects. All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Theme days, weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school club, to support families, along with other events and a wide range of clubs provision extend these opportunities further.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an exciting opportunity for active learning for all our children. Through the use of the unique community and environment in which the school is situated the children are able to learn first-hand about the contribution this area has made to the culture and history of the area, country and internationally, for example the Mayflower and the development of the railway. The school grounds have been continually developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas and the children have the opportunity to participate in a full range of activities to enhance their experience such as sports or Outdoor Adventurous Activities provided by the school or outside providers. These experiences are then built on through residential activities for children to areas of our country that are contrasting or have played an integral role in significant events. These experiences allow the children to connect vividly with their learning back in the classroom.