The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential.
At Stow Heath Primary School, our intent is to provide a bespoke curriculum that offers exciting and meaningful learning opportunities that aims to engage and motivate all learners in a curriculum that embraces the community and recognises local history and heritage.
Our motto is ‘Shine like a Star’ and our mantra is:
Shine like a star, it’s the Stow Heath way
Shine like a star, from the beginning of the day
Shine like a star, it will put a smile on your face
Shine like a star, remember you are ace!
Shine like a star and your dreams will come true
Shine like a star and there’s nothing you can’t do.
We place strong emphasis on spiritual, moral, social and cultural development for all of our pupils. We have identified a clear set of values that underpin expectations for behaviour for all members of our school family. Our mantra incorporates some of our core values at Stow Heath; values like respect for all, pupils’ wellbeing and building resilient learners who have the ability to recognise that self-belief and a willingness to try new things will lead to goals being achieved.
We acknowledge that in order to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain, our pupils need a curriculum that not only focuses on the academic but also the necessary skills to develop the whole child in order for our pupils to become life-long learners. Staff use ‘skills stars’, which focus on a core set of life skills, throughout all curriculum areas so that when our pupils leave us to go onto their next phase of education, they leave as responsible, respectful, confident and resilient children who apply these skills well in a range of different contexts.
At Stow Heath Primary School, we pride ourselves on ensuring that all pupils engage in a broad and balanced curriculum that develops their knowledge, skills and understanding. Our curriculum offer ensures that pupils are provided with opportunities to develop core reading, writing and maths knowledge and skills in wider contexts, across other subject areas. We celebrate and welcome differences and ensure that every child is recognised as a unique individual so that we can cater their learning around their starting points as they progress through each phase of learning. Our curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. In recognition of the school’s community intake, we have incorporated a wide range of experiences that we believe all children should have exposure to as part of their Stow Heath curriculum.
Our children leave the school with a strong sense of belonging to its community, where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become life-long learners as a result of the schools curriculum offer.
Leaders, staff and pupils at all levels have contributed to the school’s curriculum provision and design. Every area of learning has clear expectations so that staff know the intent behind the subject, how it will be implemented and how successful implementation will be evidenced in pupils’ outcomes (Impact).
Our curriculum is designed with our children at the centre so that they engage with subject specific skills within themed topics and a wide range of enrichment activities that we feel all children should experience. The school has outlined the experiences we feel all children should have the right to experience and plan such activities to engage learners in our chosen planned topics.
The school uses a ‘Loop in Learning’ visual approach so that all children begin to make connections within the subjects they are taught and as a support mechanism to ensure that pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding as it builds over lesson sequences and to ensure that this is embedded this into their-long term memory as a result.
The school teaches PSHE/ RSHE through planned units of work. Whilst we follow progressively taught content, the importance of pupils’ mental and emotional wellbeing is considered to be a ‘golden thread’ throughout school day to day life and is dear to our hearts.
The school strives to build effective links between home and school as we recognise the importance of parental and community engagement. Throughout the year, families are provided with opportunities to come together to engage in learning activities for example, forest school workshops, Harvest afternoon, Mothers and Fathers day sessions and workshops where parents can improve their own subject knowledge on how to support their child’s learning at home. We also celebrate some of the outcomes from our themed days on open evenings and through open viewing sessions so that we can celebrate our successes with the community.
The Parent Group meet regularly to support school in a variety of ways; some of which include the planning and preparation of charity days, Christmas and Summer Fayres and school fundraisers. They have continued to develop the school’s link with local businesses so that the school becomes the focal point where the wider community can come together.
At Stow Heath Primary, the teaching of Reading begins with Phonics. The school has devised its own clearly structured phonics programme using some elements of Letters and Sounds or RWI resources.
Pre phonics starts in our Nursery using Phase 1 Letters and Sounds. Once in Reception pupils follow a clear structure to the teaching of phonics so that the quality of teaching remains consistent in its approach.
Pupils progress is closely monitored to ensure that any pupils who are behind the expected standard milestones at given points are provided with the necessary support to enable them to catch up. The school aims to ensure that all pupils reach the expected standard at the end of KS1 so they can access a breadth of curriculum at KS2 and comprehend and read fluently by the time they transition to their next stage of education.
As part of the school’s Literacy curriculum, pupils are exposed to high quality texts, across a range of genres which are appropriate for their year group. Although Leaders have initially planned which texts pupils will cover, teachers do have the autonomy to adapt these texts, for example: to increase pupils engagement, response to professional development or to reflect the needs of a cohort e.g data outcomes Pupil Premium, boys etc.
We teach reading skills in relation to reading domains and use VIPERS as our approach. so that pupils become confident in answering a range of questions that demonstrate deep levels of understanding of what they have read.
Pupils are heard read regularly, books that match their reading ability both at home and in school. Parents, particularly in EYFS and KS1 are encouraged to attend parental workshops and open sessions that provide them with the information they need in order to support their child at home.
We want all of our children to enjoying a love of reading. In order to do this, we provide opportunities where pupils can ‘Read for Pleasure’. We also ensure that pupils listen to adults read stories that are selected through pupil voice and books that have been selected by famous authors as books all children should read.
Reading across the curriculum enables pupils to transfer reading skills to other curriculum areas and in turn ensure that pupils acquire new knowledge.
Reading in school is further enhanced by additional planned days that are themed around reading engagement eg World Book Day, Roald Dahl Day and Nursery Rhyme Week.
Writing is taught through a range of exciting and engaging stimuli, which includes books, film clips, music videos, visitors and real-life experiences.
Our approach to the teaching of Writing is taught through skills-based lessons where pupils cover the non-negotiable skills for their year group. As part of these lessons pupils are taught through scaffolded models how to use these skills in sentences relevant to the genre pupils are focusing on. These skills build up to a ‘Wow Writing’ end of unit piece where pupils can showcase their writing ability evidencing the skills and vocabulary that they have been taught. Pupils learn how to edit and improve their work following specific feedback given by teachers and their peers.
Pupils are encouraged to use their age-related skills across all areas of the curriculum. ‘Wow Writing’ opportunities are also planned across foundation subjects so that pupils transfer their writing skills well across all subjects.
Our pupils are taught cursive handwriting from Year 1. Handwriting is adapted for those pupils who need further support to develop their handwriting. We provide regular opportunities for pupils to practise handwriting and their weekly spelling throughout the week as part of their Literacy learning.
At Stow Heath, the teaching of Maths follows White Rose in all phases of the school.
The school has developed a clear and consistent approach which incorporates specific lesson components. This includes the teaching of arithmetic skills, the teaching of a mathematical skill through the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract representations and then an opportunity to problem solve and reason mathematically.
The school uses a range of resources to support its teaching of White Rose. For example, Classroom Secrets and Mastering number from NCETM.
During registration, pupils participate in activities that allow them to recall, repeat and practise previously taught arithmetic skills.
In addition, in Early Years and KS1, pupils receive an additional 15 minutes mathematical teaching that follows the NCETM Mastering Number approach which will ensure pupils early mathematical understanding is systematically developed.
The school’s wider curriculum takes account of mathematical links where possible so that the skills pupils learn are transferrable to everyday situations and different contexts and is seen as an integral part of life.
Part of the school’s wider curriculum follows a topic approach. The teaching of History, Geography, Design & Technology, Art and some Science units are thematically linked so that pupils integrate new knowledge and skills into larger concepts through our ‘Loop in Learning’ approach.
The teaching of Computing, Music, PE, PHSE/RSHE and Languages are taught as stand-alone subjects and follow units of work that meet National Curriculum expectations.
The school implements Wolverhampton SACRE for its teaching of RE. The content of what is taught is shown as part of the curriculum overviews. It covers multi-faiths, which aims to promote spiritual, moral and cultural growth for all pupils. The children are encouraged to appreciate and value the contribution of others to our community and to support the creation of equality for all.
As part of the schools Health, Sex & Relationships Education children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way. Our curriculum puts in place the key building blocks of healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships, in all contexts, including online. This will sit alongside the essential understanding of how to be healthy.
The school meets the requirements for the teaching of PE. One PE session per week is delivered by Soccer 2000, which is aimed at developing and enhancing the teaching practice of teachers across school. The school regularly participates in a wide range of sporting events and celebrates pupils’ achievements.
At Stow Heath, we celebrate diversity through a calendar of events through assemblies, visits, visitors and themed days, which has embedded the school’s promotion of British values, social, moral, spiritual and cultural ethos.
Children with special needs
The curriculum in our school is designed to provide access and opportunity for all children who attend the school. Pupils with SEND are provided with the necessary support, scaffolds, resources and differentiated tasks they need in order for them to make progress. All staff are accountable for the progress and attainment of SEND pupils and additional support is provided through the schools graduated response.
Reflecting on our school motto, we want our pupils to leave Stow Heath with dreams and aspirations for the future. We want them to know that it is ok to make mistakes; what matters is that mistakes can be learnt from and an ability to be resilient, to persevere and to never give up will put in good stead going forward into their next phase of education.
The wellbeing, social, moral, spiritual and cultural values we instil in our pupils as part of our golden thread will ensure that pupils leave with a strong sense of what is right, what is wrong and an ability to make informed decisions in the best interests of their community.
As a result, of an effective curriculum, our pupils know more and are able to do more. The impact of the school’s intended and effectively implemented curriculum is evidenced in the progress that pupils make, in their end of year outcomes and results seen in National tests.
If you would like to know more about our Curriculum please contact us.
If you would like to know more about The National Curriculum please click here.