Primary curriculum overview
At Bank View, we pride ourselves on offering all of our pupils a safe, calm, happy and nurturing learning environment so children can learn effectively, enabling them to access the full breadth of our curriculum offer and ultimately reach their full potential. Therefore, the fundamental principle behind our curriculum design is personalisation, which aims to give the children an excellent mix of academic and personal development.
All children benefit from quality first teaching in the classroom, which caters for their individual needs and supports all children to make good progress. Work is adapted for different groups and individuals. Each day we encourage our children to work hard, have a positive mindset, be confident enough to make mistakes, persevere and not give up, to succeed and feel good about themselves.
We ensure our curriculum is:
- Broad: so that it provides a wide range of knowledge, skills and experiences.
- Balanced: so that each element has sufficient time to contribute effectively to learning.
- Inclusive: it provides opportunities for all pupils regardless of any differences, which might exist.
To meet its intent our curriculum is:
- Relevant: so that it is directly related to the learner’s experience.
- Coherent: so that each element is linked where possible to make the learning experience more meaningful.
- Progressive: so that teaching builds upon what has gone before, to develop skills, knowledge and concepts systematically.
- Adaptive: so that learning is scaffolded to meet a wide range of needs presented by learners.
As part of our unique curriculum offer and to meet our curriculum aims, children access a wider curriculum offer which includes the following additions to the national curriculum:
- Mental health and well-being
- Forest School
- Growth Mindset
- Sensory support
- Personal Development
‘At Bank View, the overall intent is for each pupil to engage, achieve, and make the most personal progress they can over time to enable them to have the most fulfilling, enjoyable, and independent life possible.’
To do this we have mapped out the curriculum into three sections:
- Pre-formal learners
- National Curriculum learners
The curriculum in the Foundation Stage (EYFS) is taught through the Early Learning Goals. Our EYFS area is a carefully planned and well-resourced environment that caters for the various needs of a young child. We offer a broad range of experiences for the early years, both indoors and outdoors. Our Early Years team plan a range of purposeful activities which inspire and engage children as well as match their different levels of need.
Seven areas of learning shape our EYFS educational programme of study.
The 3 prime areas are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, social and emotional development
Children are also supported within the 4 specific areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Our pre-formal learners (pupils working below pre-key stage standards) follow a ‘multi-sensory’ approach without the need for discrete subject teaching. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of children through a personalised approach.
The curriculum is delivered primarily through a thematic-based approach, which provides a holistic, integrated teaching method that promotes coverage of the curriculum through interconnected activities, where concepts are connected to and reinforced through a common theme, allowing pupils to make real-life connections resulting in a richer understanding. It is a curriculum for pupils and students who learn best when learning is related to their own experiences.
The children will have the opportunity throughout their day to engage in play-based activities indoors and outdoors. Play-based learning provides opportunities for children to actively and imaginatively engage with people, objects and the environment. Children are naturally motivated to play. Our play-based curriculum builds on this motivation, using play as a context for learning. In this context, children can explore, experiment, discover and solve problems imaginatively.
Pupils will receive an adaptation of the National Curriculum closely linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework with a focus on:
- English (reading comprehension, decoding and writing skills)
- Maths (numbers and patterns)
- Communication and Language (Listening, Attention and Understanding Speaking)
- Personal social and emotional development (PSHE, Self-Regulation Managing Self Building Relationships)
- Physical development (PE, fine and gross motor skills)
- Understanding the world (history, geography, science and RE)
- Expressive Art and Design (art, music and design technology)
National Curriculum Learners
National Curriculum learners have a thematic approach to the curriculum. Themes have been organised across each year group to ensure that there are a variety of curriculum drivers that cover the content of the national curriculum. The content of the curriculum is taken directly from the children’s corresponding year group and adapted to meet the individual needs of each student. Which we use as a guide to provide direction, context and programmes of study.
This thematic approach leads to a more flexible delivery of the curriculum, allowing us to have key drivers for each learning theme across each year:
- Discover– This has a history focus, we learn about the past and children develop a sense of chronology, piecing together their knowledge as they progress through year groups.
- Explore– This has a geography focus and gives children an opportunity to discover a bigger, wider world. We encourage children to adopt a caring, responsible to people and to appreciate diversity.
- Create– This focus has the arts take the lead. Knowledge and skills are developed using a range of media. Children will further develop their skills in all creative subjects such as art, DT, drama and music.
Organising the learning in this way ensures teachers have the flexibility to deliver the curriculum in the way that they feel will have the most impact on our children. Our theme-based curriculum allows children to get fully absorbed in their learning and make links between subjects, topics and themes.
We have mixed-age classes therefore, we operate a two-year curriculum cycle (Cycle 1 and Cycle 2) which you will see across our curriculum documents.
We work hard to find ways to ‘bring learning alive’ so you might find us exploring the outdoors, working with a real-life author, taking part in drama workshops, having lunch with a Roman soldier or even setting up a restaurant in our classroom. Using the outdoors as a classroom is fundamental to our values and this can be school-based or with enrichment visits to other locations. We enhance our school curriculum with a wide range of special events (WOW events). These include educational visits, visitors to the school, using local expertise/facilities, special learning days or weeks and charity events.
The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development. We provide a stimulating, well-resourced and accessible environment that encourages development. Being outdoors offers the children opportunities to explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant. We are always developing our learning environments to reflect the needs and interests of the children.
We constantly review our curriculum, to ensure learning programmes are bespoke and child-centred. Allowing it to be relevant and of interest to the children, providing them with the knowledge and skills they need for the next stages of their lives after primary school.
At Bank View Primary, the key purpose of our assessment, recording and reporting is to improve the quality of pupil outcomes. Our teachers assess the children’s progress in line with the Bank View curriculum. Our focus is very much on identifying the next steps in children’s learning and using this to plan a personalised curriculum which enables all children to achieve. We want assessment to be an integral part of our teaching and learning and so to play a vital role in informing teaching, learning and interventions across the department.
‘Intelligent assessment’ takes place to ensure that the most appropriate form of assessment is used to evidence the impact of learning taking place across every area of the curriculum. Assessments are not excessive or onerous. Assessment continues to be reviewed to ensure formative and summative use is effective in all areas of the curriculum; that it is fit for purpose, manageable and relevant in moving the children’s learning forward.
From very different starting points, children are supported to make the best progress they can academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. The impact of what we do and what the children achieve cannot always be measured in data sets and numbers, so we always try to look holistically at the whole child. First and foremost, we want to instil in our children a love of learning and an understanding that learning is part of a journey they are on. We want them to feel safe and happy in school and express and celebrate their learning achievements while recognising their own personal and academic growth.