At Farsley Springbank Primary School we provide an exciting, varied and well-constructed curriculum which takes into account the needs of all learners and is ambitious for every child. Our broad and balanced curriculum aims to inspire children to enjoy their education whilst developing the knowledge and skills required to succeed in life and apply their learning in new contexts. Through their experiences in the classroom and in the hugely varied wider offering, we aim for all children to become Successful Learners, Confident Individuals and Responsible Citizens. At Farsley Springbank we pride ourselves on teaching the core learning concepts really well, whilst also ensuring we offer a vast amount of further learning experiences for our children. Our interesting and well-planned formal learning experiences, along with our school trips, residentials, visitors, after school clubs, sporting events and wider school events really ensure our children have a wonderful variety of experiences during their time with us.
Underpinning our curriculum and our key principles are our key drivers: ‘Diversity’ and ‘Personal Growth’. These are directly linked to our context and the school community we are in. They encapsulate the ‘big ideas’ that we want our pupils to engage with deeply and are considered in all aspects of our curriculum.
We embrace diversity, celebrate differences and promote respect for all. Through our curriculum, our pupils are exposed to and given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of many different cultures and identities. This is especially important in our school community, where 92% of our children are White British, if we are to prepare our children for the world in which they live. We teach about all aspects of diversity and also are a No Outsiders school which encompasses a large part of this. Through our teaching, learning and behavioural expectations, pupils understand appropriate responses to discriminative and prejudiced behaviour, including the prevention of bullying. They also learn about a range of fantastic achievements from a diverse range of individuals in a variety of subjects and our new, developing Commando Joe curriculum links to this too. At Farsley Springbank we provide the environments and experiences in which all our pupils feel like they belong, have the opportunity to be fully engaged in their learning and can celebrate who they are. Our children also learn how to positively contribute to the community through the promotion of British Values: Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect, Democracy and the Rule of Law, knowing they have a voice and a part to play within it. We want our pupils to be good citizens who value and respect the place and the people they exist amongst and who experience positive relationships, develop a sense of justice and an ability to empathise.
At Farsley Springbank we want our children to leave us with the ability to lead safe, healthy and fulfilling lives. Opportunities to develop children’s personal growth are woven into our core curriculum and daily routines, in addition to being explicitly taught and discussed in both our PSHE and preventative curriculums. Through our many years of advocating a growth mindset, we encourage our children to be resilient and see mistakes as learning opportunities. We also, through identified needs of our context, encourage children to use their initiative and to take calculated risks in their play in order to develop their independence and sense of self. Our focus on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing also enables our children to lead healthy lifestyles, develop self-respect and value the thoughts and needs of others alongside their own. In the academic year 2022-2023 we are introducing the Commando Joe curriculum into our school to further our pupil’s personal growth. This covers all the aspects we value under the acronym of RESPECT: Resilience, Empathy, Self-Awareness, Positivity, Excellence, Communication and Teamwork.
Planning our curriculum around our key principles and drivers ensures that we focus on enabling our learners to have the ‘cultural capital’ they need to make aspirational choices and experience success beyond their time at primary school. We have also designed our curriculum based on pedagogical research around how children learn and remember. We recognise that progress means knowing more and remembering more and so we want our children to know more and remember more as a result of their time with us. The full range of core and foundation subjects have been carefully mapped out across school in clear progression frameworks, so that knowledge, understanding, skills and concepts build over time.
In some subjects Learning Journeys have been created for each unit which detail the unit’s place in the progression of knowledge and skills in that subject; a suggested sequence of lessons and clear ‘end points’ in relation to the key knowledge all children should remember and be able to apply to future learning experiences.
All planning and delivery of lessons also take into account Rosenshine’s principles of instruction and retrieval practice so we can ensure concepts are taught well and then continually revisited to ensure they are remembered well.
Our Early Years curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start, ensuring each individual can, ‘Be the best you can be’.
We also place great value on the development of children as individuals and providing them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the challenges in Key Stage One and beyond. Our subject leaders all have a good understanding of how the EY curriculum links to that of the National Currculum and how it prepares our children to achieve in every subject. Our aim in the EYFS is to build strong foundations so that ultimately our pupils can go on to be Successful Learners, Confident Individuals and Responsible Citizens.
We provide an engaging curriculum that maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences, as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking. We following children’s interests and ideas to foster a lifelong love of learning both in and outside of school.
Pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in English, maths and phonics every day. We also ensure regular sessions focused on Communication & Language (C&L), Personal, Social Emotional Development (PSED) and sessions linked to Understanding the World (UW) and Expressive Arts and Design (EAD). The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. The key pedagogical approach follows the Rosenshine Principles and is therefore in line with the rest of the school. In Early Years we are continually checking for understanding and responding to what each child needs next in their learning. We also regularly review previously taught material to ensure key concepts are embedded within the long-term memory of our children and can be called upon to assist further learning. Following the initial teaching and guided practice, children then apply their learning through independent practice and are given sufficient time in ‘Discovery’, to explore the carefully planned, engaging and challenging experiences. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.