Townlands Curriculum Rationale
At Townlands C of E primary Academy, we have designed our curriculum to enable children to know more and remember more. We want our children to develop their knowledge, questioning, thinking and skills across all curriculum subjects. We carefully design, plan and implement a full and rich curriculum which provides breadth for every child.
We believe that children learn best when they are encouraged and appropriately challenged. We take pride in the fact that our curriculum gives children the confidence and self-belief to aim high and work towards their goals and aspirations and develop a life-long love for learning. We teach our children how to keep themselves safe in both the real and virtual worlds in which they live. Reading is a key priority as we believe it is the key to unlocking the whole primary curriculum for children.
As a church school, our curriculum builds on our core Christian vision and our Christian values. This means that we aim for our children to show high levels of spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness. We teach our children to appreciate diversity, to show respect to others and have a role and responsibility as global citizens. We want to ensure that our children leave Townlands well-prepared for the next stage of their education and life in modern Britain.
Townlands Curriculum Vision and Ethos
At Townlands, our curriculum is underpinned by:
Townlands Christian vision and values
Townlands curriculum drivers
Subject key skills and progression
Townlands Christian Values
Our school vision ‘A journey of learning in the light of God’s love’ is underpinned by our Christian values, which are woven into all areas of learning within the curriculum. Christian values and the love of God are at the heart of our teaching and learning.
Faith – To have faith in God to support all the parts that make the school whole; every child and adult is special to God.
Honesty – To be the best versions of ourselves in everything we do; to be honest and to learn from our mistakes.
Love – Promote a love for ourselves and each other in a nurturing, caring environment.
Friendship – To be a nurturing community where we can flourish and grow together.
Forgiveness – To embrace every new day and recognise and celebrate the good in everybody and everything.
Hope – Hope gives us faith that God supports us on our journey especially when we face life’s challenges and gives us the strength to accomplish our goals in order to make the world a better place.
Respect – To learn to respect ourselves and to ensure a culture where every child and adult is respected and valued.
Townlands Curriculum Drivers
At the heart of our curriculum are our curriculum drivers which are threaded through every subject area across the school. Our drivers are central to our school vision and ethos as they help to drive and shape our curriculum. We believe that by focusing on these drivers our children will be ready to succeed when they meet future challenges in the next stage of their education and beyond. These drivers ensure that children benefit from a varied range of spiritual, moral, social, academic and cultural activities.
Curriculum Driver: Healthy Lifestyles/Resilience
At Townlands, we recognise the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles in school and we want our pupils to develop an increasing understanding of the many different factors that contribute to keeping healthy. Our curriculum provides opportunities for our pupils to learn about both their physical and mental health. We know that children who have a positive attitude to learning will continue to progress and be successful and therefore all children are taught that they can achieve through perseverance and resilience. We encourage our children to improve through challenge and viewing mistakes as a learning opportunity, as well as taking risks in lessons with the understanding that success can come from overcoming a challenge. Through support, our children will develop the security needed to become resilient individuals with the confidence to ‘have a go’, though every stage of their learning journey.
Curriculum Driver: Curiosity and Enquiry
At Townlands, we want children to feel inspired, excited and curious by the events, individuals and stories that they hear during their learning. Teachers act as facilitators to help children answer questions and discover things for themselves. Within lessons, open-ended questions are presented to children, in order to engage and motivate them as learners. These questions are designed to provide the context for learning, enabling children to further develop and deepen their knowledge and understanding.
Curriculum Driver: Our place in our community and world
At Townlands, we want our pupils to grow up with an understanding of their local community, our national context and the wider world. Through a growing appreciation of different cultures and traditions, we want our children to develop respect and tolerance. We want our children to embrace and celebrate diversity and know what it takes to be a good citizen, whilst also knowing that they have a contribution to make. We also want our pupils to have an awareness of global and environmental issues. Through links with the church, different faith groups, local and national organisations, care homes and charities we want our children to broaden their horizons and have experiences they may otherwise not have. We recognise that trips and visiting speakers significantly enhance this aspect of the curriculum. We also strengthen and develop relationships with our parents, through workshops such as Family Learning, coffee mornings, online safety awareness and throughout the Covid pandemic our on-line learning platform.
Curriculum Driver: Independence and Collaboration
At Townlands, our curriculum provides opportunities for our children to learn in different ways and to have a wide variety of learning experiences. It enables our pupils to develop as independent learners as well as being able to work collaboratively in all aspects of school life. We want children to be able to reflect on their learning and be able to improve their own work. We give our pupils opportunities to organise themselves and support others, to show personal responsibility, initiative and creativity. We will give our pupils opportunities to problem solve, to engage in activities with increasing independence and collaboration and to develop the skills and attitudes needed to stay safe. We will nurture our pupils’ confidence and self-esteem.
Curriculum Driver: Effective Communicators
At Townlands, we provide opportunities for pupils to communicate their learning through speaking and listening, writing, collective worship and through the use of technology. We know that having a broad vocabulary aids both understanding of language, self-expression and supports the writing process. Therefore, our curriculum is language-rich, involves the use of high quality texts, promotes an inquisitive approach to language and provides opportunities to practise new vocabulary. We promote the development of oracy in the classroom to support speaking and listening skills. We know that communication skills are vital for both success and confidence in many areas of life and therefore we want our pupils to develop the ability to express themselves clearly and effectively. We also want our pupils to be able to offer their opinions and reason whilst also being able to debate a topic or viewpoint and disagree respectfully.
Key Skills and Progression
At Townlands, we also develop crucial overarching key skills within the curriculum. These skills are applied in all subjects. For example, the skills of reasoning and explaining, proving and justifying an opinion are equally relevant across all subject areas as they can be applied in many different contexts. In each subject area of the curriculum, there are a range of subject specific skills. These include calculation methods in maths, conducting a fair test experiment in science, using tools safely and effectively in design technology and coding in computing. These skills are developed and practised alongside knowledge acquisition in each subject. At Townlands, we aim to deepen, develop and strengthen skills in each year group.
At Townlands, our curriculum is sequenced and designed to help our pupils remember what they are taught. We are clear on what we want our children to know and we make this clear in our teaching. Our children gain explicit knowledge within a topic, as well as a broad overview. We understand that for knowledge to be stored in the children’s long-term memory, this will need to be built upon and retrieved. This is achieved in a variety of ways including knowledge organisers, quizzes and practise. We want our children to understand the considerable value of knowledge and apply it to all aspects of their learning.
Curriculum Themes are designed to support children in their understanding of what is taught and when. Whilst themes may differ across different year groups, they do provide a vehicle to enable children to build upon their knowledge, skills and understanding during a lesson, term on term and year on year.
In addition to specific themes, there are also occasions when children learn and are involved with specific projects such as, supporting charity events, involvement with the local Rotary Club, plastic pollution week, Anti-Bullying week, Harvest, Christmas and Easter celebrations. External factors, such as trips and visitors are also encouraged.
At Townlands we are proud to offer a range of high-quality experiences to enhance and enrich a child’s journey of learning. At different points, children across EYFS, KS1 and KS2 will experience a range of different opportunities. We also encourage our pupils to access some form of extra-curricular activity either during, or after the traditional 'school day'. We believe that these valuable opportunities should enrich the pupils' learning experiences - developing skills, providing a sense of belonging, and providing fun and enjoyment. Pupils can participate in a variety of creative activities as well as sport, dance, music etc.