Reculver Primary School Curriculum Statement
Aims of Teaching
We want our pupils to feel excited, enthusiastic and motivated about learning. Lessons are engaging, varied and ambitious and consideration is always given to the diverse needs of our pupils so that all may achieve and succeed.
At the heart of our academic curriculum is reading, the gateway to learning and success across the wider curriculum. We celebrate reading through inspiring displays around the school and further promote a love of books and literature during our annual Book Week and dressing up days. A wide range of powerful texts are selected as models for writing across the school and we constantly seek to inspire pupils to develop a life-long love of reading. We use Accelerated Reader to help pupils to develop positive habits: they very much enjoy monitoring their own progress and the system allows us to celebrate their success and to guide them on their reading journey.
In the wider curriculum, our teaching team have created exciting programmes of study that satisfy the mandatory requirements of the National Curriculum and the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage whilst being appropriate and relevant to our school community and locality. Progressive learning of key substantive and disciplinary knowledge has been planned in all subjects. Metacognitive and retrieval practice pedagogies underpin the strategies used to enable pupils to learn more and remember more as well as to make meaningful links across subjects and with real life events or current affairs. We also enable pupils to connect their learning to their lives in the community and to make sense of their geographic locality, empowering them to develop their identity as national, European and global citizens.
Metacognition is defined in simplest terms as “thinking about your own thinking.” The root “meta” means “beyond,” so the term refers to “beyond thinking.” Specifically, this means that it encompasses the processes of planning, tracking, and assessing your own understanding or performance. (John H Flavell 1985)
Acquiring knowledge that helps pupils to makes sense of the world in which we live is only part of the learning journey here at Reculver. Our curriculum also facilitates personal growth so that pupils are equipped with the necessary skills to navigate their future lives as successfully as possible. We have adapted the Early Years Characteristics of Effective Learning to develop meta-cognitive competence across the school, with displays and our reward system being used to promote flexible thinking, creativity and the ability to reason, reflect, analyse and explain. This is further supported by our on-site Forest School, where pupils have the opportunity to develop, apply and strengthen these skills in a natural environment.
Our pupils have further opportunities to develop a range of essential life and learning skills every day through our Outdoor Play and Learning Programme. We offer sixteen different types of play including creative, fantasy, physical and exploratory play that empower pupils to make decisions, develop their communication skills, deepen relationships, develop independence, foster resilience and build self-esteem. We want our pupils to have the confidence and flexibility required to cope with the ever-changing world around them and to have the capacity to challenge unhealthy thinking and influences where necessary.
Our Pupil Council is another vehicle for promoting feelings of agency and self-worth, as elected representatives from each class attend regular meetings to discuss matters of interest to the students and the school. They give feedback to their classes and invite discussion and debate which leads to real and positive change. We also have an active Ethos Team, who gather to discuss matters linked to our identity as a Church School and to plan initiatives. The Ethos Team’s activities include regular participation in worship, organising lunch-time activities during Opal Play and identifying and celebrating our values in action.
VISION AND VALUES
As a Christian school, we make every effort to embed our values of Love, Perseverance, Compassion, Hope and Forgiveness into the fabric of our curriculum. Our values provide a framework for the full and holistic development of our pupils on their journey through the school, which encompasses academic, social, spiritual, emotional and physical growth.
We have high hopes and expectations for every single one of our pupils and encourage them to foster ambitious personal and academic goals. We empower pupils to believe in themselves and encourage them to develop a growth mind-set so that life’s challenges can be viewed as opportunities rather than obstacles.
We provide opportunities for our pupils to understand the importance of perseverance in achieving personal, social and academic growth. We celebrate the children’s successes and help them to link their achievements to their effort so that they are encouraged to persevere when work or life becomes challenging.
As a nurture school, we promote well-being and encourage pupils to know themselves so that they may understand others. We enable pupils to develop their personal and interpersonal skills by applying the principles of love and compassion in social situations. We further support our pupils in developing empathy, respect and tolerance and to value and celebrate diversity in our school, our community and the wider world. We provide opportunities for our pupils to develop self-regulation so that they can make positive choices and avoid conflict whenever possible.
We encourage and expect positive behaviour from our pupils. Adults take every opportunity to model these expectations in our daily school life. When difficulties do arise, we equip pupils with the necessary skills to overcome them. Pupils learn to reflect on their feelings and actions and to understand that actions have consequences. They are supported in resolving conflicts by understanding the perspective of others and are encouraged to employ forgiveness where necessary in order to restore inter-personal relationships