Velmead Junior School: Curriculum Policy
1.1 Our school's 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 various extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the children's experience. It also includes the 'hidden curriculum' – what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We want children to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and cooperate with others while at the same time developing their knowledge and skills, in order to achieve their true potential.
1.2 We endorse the aspirations concerning the curriculum that were set out in the DfES document Excellence and Enjoyment 2003, and we seek the highest standards of attainment for all our children. We also value the breadth of the curriculum that we provide. We aim to foster creativity in our children, and to help them become independent learners. We believe in making learning fun too.
2.1 Our school curriculum is underpinned by the values that we hold dear at our school. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.
At Velmead we celebrate our values and incorporate them into our everyday life. They are:
Throughout their time, learning and developing as a member of TEAM Velmead, the children will be supported in developing these values. This will be through our taught curriculum and through the way that the children are treated and expected to behave. All adult members of TEAM Velmead are expected to provide positive role models of these values.
2.2 Through our ‘broad and balanced’ ‘whole child’ curriculum we will provide every child with the support needed to achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes:
· Be healthy
· Stay safe
· Enjoy and achieve
· Make a positive contribution
· Achieve economic well-being
3 Aims and objectives
3.1 The aims of our school curriculum are:
· to enable all children to learn, and develop their skills, to the best of their ability;
· to promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school, and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
· to teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT;
· to enable children to be creative and to develop their own thinking;
· to teach children about the developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time;
· to help children understand Britain's cultural heritage;
· to appreciate and value the contribution made by all ethnic groups in our multi-cultural society;
· to enable children to be positive citizens;
· to fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Locally Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education;
· to teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to distinguish right from wrong;
· to help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all;
· to enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to live and work cooperatively with others.
4 Organisation and planning
4.1 We plan our curriculum in three phases. We have agreed a long-term plan for each of the four year groups at the school. This planning stage indicates what topics are to be taught in each term.
4.2 Through our medium-term plans, we give clear guidance on the objectives and teaching strategies for each topic. As we have adopted the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies for our school, we use them to guide our medium-term planning. We also use the national schemes of work for much of our medium-term planning in the foundation subjects.
4.3 Our short-term plans are those that our teachers write on a weekly or daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each session, and to identify what resources and activities we are going to use in the lesson.
4.5 Through our teaching of the foundations subjects we reinforce skills, knowledge and understanding of the core areas. On occasions we teach the foundation subjects separately. This means that, for example, a child may concentrate in one term on a history topic, then switch to a greater emphasis on geography in the next term. Thus, in due course, each child has the opportunity to experience the full range of National Curriculum subjects.
5 The curriculum and inclusion
5.1 The curriculum in our school is designed to be accessed by all children who attend the school. If we think it necessary to modify some children's access to the curriculum, in order to meet their needs, then we do this.
5.2 If children have special needs, our school does all it can to meet the individual needs, and we comply with the requirements set out in the SEN Code of Practice. If a child displays signs of having special needs, then his/her teacher makes an assessment of this need. In most instances, the teacher is able to provide the resources and educational opportunities that meet the child's needs, within normal class organisation. If a child's need is more severe, we consider the child for a statement of special needs, and we involve the appropriate external agencies in making an assessment. We always provide additional resources and support for children with special needs.
5.3 The school provides an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) for each of the children who are on the special needs register. This sets out the nature of the special need, and outlines how the school will aim to address it. The IEP also sets out targets for improvement, so that we can review and monitor the progress of each child at regular intervals.
5.4 Some children in our school have disabilities. We are committed to meeting the needs of these children, as we are to meeting the needs of all groups of children within our school. The school complies fully with the requirements of the prevailing Disability Discrimination legislation. All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that these children are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled children. Teaching and learning are appropriately modified for children with disabilities. For example, they may be given additional time to complete certain activities, or the teaching materials may be adapted.
5.5 The school has implemented the recommendations of The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: Macpherson Report (1999). Our schemes of work address the diversity of our society, and reflect the National Curriculum programmes of study.
6 Key skills
6.1 The following skills have been deemed 'key skills' in the revised National Curriculum:
· application of number;
· information technology;
· working with others;
· improving one's own learning and performance;
6.2 In our curriculum planning, we emphasise these skills, so that the children's progress in all of these areas can be identified and monitored. Teachers in all subject areas seek to contribute to a child's progress in these skills, because we believe that all children need to make (at least) ‘good’ progress in these areas if they are to develop their true potential.
7 The role of the subject leader
7.1 The role of the subject leader is to:
· provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject;
· support and advise colleagues on issues related to the subject;
· monitor pupils' progress in that subject area;
· provide efficient resource management for the subject.
7.2 The school gives subject leaders non-contact time each term, so that they can carry out their duties. It is the role of each subject leader to keep up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local levels. They review the way in which the subject is taught in the school, and plan for improvement. This development planning links to whole-school objectives. Each subject leader reviews the curriculum plans for the subject, ensures that there is full coverage of the National Curriculum, and sees that progression is planned into schemes of work.
8 Monitoring and review
8.1 Our governing body's curriculum committee is responsible for monitoring the way in which the school curriculum is implemented. This committee reviews the impact of the school’s curriculum on pupil performance. The curriculum committee monitors and evaluates a large part of the ‘School Integrated Development Plan.’
8.2 There is a named governor assigned to special needs, who liaises with the SEN coordinator, and monitors the ways in which special needs are addressed.
8.3 The headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the curriculum. Teachers’ planning for Literacy and Numeracy is monitored each week by the headteacher / deputy headteacher.
8.4 Subject leaders monitor the way in which their subject is taught throughout the school. They examine long-term and medium-term planning, and ensure that appropriate teaching strategies are used. Subject leaders also have responsibility for monitoring the way in which resources are stored and managed.
8.5 This policy is monitored by the governing body and will be reviewed every two years, or before if necessary.
Approved by Governors: Spring 2011
Reviewed by Governors: Spring 2013
Next review: During / before Spring 2015
Signed: …………………………………………………….. John Landeryou (Chair of Governors)