The development of the whole child is at the centre of our curriculum at Greenfields Federation. A ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum is not limited to the subjects taught in class. It also encompasses the ‘hidden curriculum’ and all the work that goes on throughout the school day, such as: extra-curricular activities, trips, visits, understanding of our role in a community, tolerance, resilience and the building of good mental and physical health. ‘Cultural capital’ experiences, where children gain a better understanding of the world and people around them, add to the fullness of our curriculum.
Our curriculum at both Littlehaven Infants and Northolmes Junior schools is underpinned by our shared core values of Reflection, Perseverance, Independence, Respect and Working Together. These values are woven through our curriculum and our school way of life ensuring a broad and balanced focus to our learning that centres on the development of the whole child.
Learning is achieved through a series of carefully planned and sequenced learning journeys which bring together different subjects and curriculum areas and aim to make learning exciting, memorable and ultimately lead to the acquisition and retention of knowledge and skills.
Within our curriculum we ensure that children have time to try new things, problem solve and evaluate as well as being creative and healthy. Our curriculum is designed to allow children to build upon and extend previous learning ensuring that all children are challenged.
Beyond the academic and technical aspects, our curriculum is designed to nurture and to support children to be the ‘Best of Me’ allowing them to develop personally and preparing them for their next stage of learning.
Littlehaven Infants and Northolmes Juniors work closely together, sharing subject co-ordinators and senior managers, ensuring that the delivery and progression of the curriculum works smoothly from Early Years to the end of Key Stage 2. Our Core Values underpin our curriculum planning as well as being taught explicitly.
As children enter the Federation in our Reception classes, staff work from every child’s starting point. The curriculum is led by the children’s needs and interests and both structured and self-initiated learning is built around this aim. This vision continues to drive curriculum planning across the rest of the Federation.
Pupils consolidate the Early Learning Goals of the EYFS curriculum as they enter Key Stage 1 and the Autumn term is a period of transition where independent learning, both inside and outside, is at the heart of the curriculum. The use of ‘Song of Sounds’ continues to develop and build the phonic knowledge and focus is put on ensuring all children become fluent readers.
Learning is organised across a two-year curriculum cycle. Learning is built around central topic themes which are led by a history, science or geography focus. However, our skills ladders and long term plans ensure that there is sufficient focus on learning and embedding core skills and knowledge in each subject.
Our English and Maths curriculums have been developed internally. English is taught discretely but where possible writing is linked to the current topic theme. Our Maths curriculum is supported by the WRMaths resources and schemes of learning. Both subjects are taught in mixed ability classes with a flexible group approach ensuring all children are challenged and stretched. Pre and post assessments are regularly used to tailor learning to the needs of the children in the class. Individual, group and whole class verbal feedback is used effectively to push on children’s knowledge and understanding as well as picking up misconceptions. In all year groups, small interventions are used to support classroom learning in order to support all pupils to gain the key skills necessary to become successful learners.
PE, Music and French (in KS2) are taught by subject specialists. Theme days and weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside the school all enrich and develop our children’s learning. Clubs are run before and after school, as well as at lunchtime, to extend learning opportunities further.
The outdoor environment at both sites is an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. The school grounds continue to be developed so that they can enrich and extend learning in different curriculum areas.
The Jigsaw PSHE scheme of learning have been aligned with our Core Values and the British Values so that each half term there is a focus on a different value. These values are discussed and used within class lessons, provide the theme for assemblies as well as being taught discretely through weekly PSHE lessons. Children who have demonstrated the core value are celebrated in our weekly celebration assembly. Learning Mentors provide interventions though 1:1 and nurture groups to support particular children in gaining the key skills needed in these areas. Change 4 Life programmes support our belief that children learn best when they have good mental and physical health.
Pupils have opportunities throughout the school year to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers though assemblies, performances and events. We encourage parents to become part of the school community and regularly hold ‘stay and play’ sessions in Reception and ‘Stay and Learn’ sessions in Key Stage 1 and 2 where parents get a chance to learn about an aspect of the curriculum and how they can support it as well as getting to see the classrooms in action.
Rigorous monitoring throughout the school year allows senior leaders and subject leads to gauge the impact of our curriculum. Monitoring allows our practice to continually move forward and we ensure that subject coverage is not confused with progress and attainment. Learning is assessed termly and careful analysis of all available data, books and other monitoring provides the basis of discussions with class teachers about groups and individual learners.
We are focused on ensuring that all our children achieve their potential both academically and in extra-curricular areas. We are diverse schools at the heart of our communities. We believe our children possess unique talents, skills and qualities. As such, they have the right to succeed, the right to recognise their own achievements and those of others and the right to develop the ‘Best of Me’ in a respectful and nurturing environment. We truly are ‘Growing Together, Aiming High’.