Curriculum Intent & Rationale
We are a much larger than average primary school situated in the coastal town of South Shields, South Tyneside. With a working-class demographic, we are located in an area of high deprivation and unemployment and our children generally start school with low entry points and low aspirations.
As a result of this, we believe our curriculum should look to raise children’s aspirations, by providing them with a wide range of practical learning experiences, developing their cultural capital, as well as teaching them about what is possible in terms of human creativity and achievement.
At Westoe Crown we have a bespoke curriculum, underpinned by academic research, that promotes positive attitudes to learning for all pupils. It is a topic led, contextual, child focused curriculum encompassing progressive skills throughout all areas. The curriculum seamlessly merges statutory knowledge and understanding with a wider ‘real – life’ context to deliver consistently high outcomes throughout. The topics / themes are relevant, purposeful and enjoyable and are developed through the interests of the children. The topics are practical and dynamic as well as holistic in their approach. The thread of Enterprise, Engineering and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is interwoven within the application of basic skills as well as the importing and exporting of English and Mathematics understanding. The curriculum manifests itself through the learning environments. These environments display the ‘bigger picture’ of learning. They show both a breadth and balance of learning while offering clear evidence of continuity and progression. The environments are also attractive and engaging as well as displaying a clear meaning and relevance. Throughout our curriculum we support the view that respecting the faith, beliefs and opinions of others fosters a culture of tolerance and freedom for all views to be expressed. We value and promote the principles of a democracy where each person is valued for their contribution to our community.
The framework (long term plan) of the curriculum is the Primary Curriculum 2014. The core subjects of English and Maths then follow prescriptive medium term plans which track statutory and non statutory guidelines. Teachers then use these medium term plans to produce detailed and personalised weekly plans that are specific to the needs of the children in their classes. Science is planned following the new South Tyneside Agreed Syllabus, created by a working party led by our Science Leader of Learning. It also follows a prescriptive medium term plan that follows statutory guidelines which the teachers use to create individual lesson plans. Foundation subjects are covered within the thematic / topic approach. All year groups have an overview of all foundation subjects as well as a comprehensive progressive skills list and a breakdown of the curriculum knowledge that needs to be covered. From this medium term plans are produced as well as specific topic webs which then feed into weekly short term planning.
Lessons are evaluated and assessed with teachers recording assessments for the core subjects, English, Maths and Science, on the schools own tracking system. Foundation subject assessments are also recorded and all assessments infer future planning. The curriculum is stringently monitored through lesson observations, book / work scrutinies, whole school moderation, pupil voice, environment inspections and learning walks. This rigour ensures that the curriculum we deliver to the children is bespoke and unique to them while allowing the opportunity for all children to progress and enjoy as they learn.
By the end of the primary phase we aim to have made a difference. Our children will leave us having developed the skills to break the cycle of of high levels of unemployment and low aspirations. They will leave us with ‘open doors of opportunity and ambition’, helping them to recognise the potential they have to make a positive contribution, not only within their own community, but on a global scale, as they achieve amazing things.
Learning at Westoe Crown Primary School is exciting and imaginative, stimulating and challenging. We believe that young children learn best when they are motivated by what they are learning and are actively involved. Children are encouraged to question and discover, care and understand, imagine and believe. Our teachers are highly skilled in employing a range of teaching styles and strategies which enables the curriculum to come alive. This is further enhanced through visits, visitors and workshops. We believe every child has the right to a rich and varied curriculum, that challenges, inspires and promotes very high standards of achievement for all.
Supported at every step…
To ensure all children have the best possible opportunities they are supported by a team of highly skilled teachers, teaching assistants and support staff who endeavour to provide a creative, motivating, enriching and caring first school for our young children. We place a high value on personal and social skills and explicitly teach core values so that children become confident and happy learners. Engaging and communicating effectively with our community enables us to involve families and parents in supporting their children to achieve their best.
At Westoe Crown there really is something for every child to excel in, whether it be reading, writing, maths, knitting, aircraft design or dance and drama… we have it all!