At Owler Brook Primary School, careful analysis and discussion about our pupils backgrounds, life experiences and culture has helped us to design a curriculum with three key priorities underpinning every subject area ensuring that we provide a broad and balanced curriculum for our children.
We firmly believe that focusing on the following key priorities, our children will be ready to successfully meet the challenges of the next stage of their education and their lives.
Our curriculum priorities are:
Aspirations – we aim to provide experiences which show children the wide range of possibilities available for their future
Equality – we aim to provide experiences to enable our children to reach their full potential without prejudice or discrimination
Global Citizenship – we aim to provide experiences which teach our children to be responsible citizens both locally and globally in the 21st century
We have designed and planned our curriculum to offer a range of experiences which contribute to every child receiving a broad, well balanced, and rich curriculum. The range of experiences we offer support and champion our school values and ensure that our children benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities during their time at Owler Brook. These activities enrich their lives and those of our whole school community, encouraging children to show pride in themselves as individuals. Our children are able to demonstrate their British values and are proud of the diverse society to which they belong and play an active part.
We are determined to ensure that our curriculum gives our children the skills of resilience, reciprocity, reflection and resourcefulness and able to lead a happy and fulfilled life by encouraging them to aim high and work hard towards their goals and aspirations.
Our Core Values
At Owler Brook, we teach children valuable life skills through our six core values. These are a main focus of our weekly assemblies and classroom learning is also linked to these values.
Our Core values are:
- Aim high
- Be enthusiastic
- Be safe
- Respect all
- Be team players
- Have your say
Our curriculum provides appropriate balance
At Owler Brook Primary School, it is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. We believe that through the curriculum, we can impact on how children feel about themselves and the world around them, so that they can feel confident and prepared to tackle any challenge they may face.
We have designed, organised, and planned our curriculum to ensure that every child receives an appropriate mix of academic learning and personal development enhancements, which result in our curriculum demonstrating the equal importance of core and foundation subjects.
At Owler Brook, we place high priority on ensuring that children’s needs linked to their physical and mental wellbeing are met. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure. Therefore, we carefully design the curriculum and adopt a flexible approach to timetabling to ensure that we can meet and respond to any issues that may arise. Children’s physical and mental wellbeing are as valued and as important as academic development.
We carefully monitor children’s progress with their personal development and our well planned and thoughtful approach to SMSC helps to ensure that every child is well cared for and supported.
Our balanced approach to the curriculum is not at the expense of high standards in core subject areas. High standards and enabling children to reach national expectations and above is of vital importance if they are to succeed in the next stage of their education.
Our broad and rich curriculum with its excellent range of experiences, ensures that every pupil at our school makes excellent progress both academically and personally.
Our curriculum is organised for depth of learning
At Owler Brook Primary School, our definition of progress is: ‘The widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours’.
We design, organise and plan our curriculum to ensure our children are not merely covering content, but are achieving a depth to their learning which enables them to use their skills and understanding in all areas of the curriculum.
Our careful curriculum design and planning means that we build in many opportunities for the repetition, practise and application of knowledge and skills in every subject. This ensures that children are able to revisit prior learning and make links in their learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects.
Our curriculum is meticulously designed and planned to move the nature of children’s thinking to a higher order, deeper level of understanding, rather than just acquiring new facts and knowledge.
Our curriculum organisation
Since the introduction of the New Primary National Curriculum 2014, we have worked tirelessly to design, create and develop a curriculum that meets the needs of our children. Our Senior Leadership Team have worked in collaboration with middle leaders, teachers and support staff to secure improvements in provision. Practitioners at Owler Brook are incredibly reflective, and each year evaluate impact, review and improve the curriculum.
Learning is organised into three themes for each year group, each lasting a full school term, with the exception of Foundation Stage, which has six half termly themes. Each theme is introduced through a broad philosophical question that enables children to see links between the different areas of the curriculum whilst developing a wider understanding of their place in the world. Learning builds towards a final outcome at the end of each term, in which children have a chance to showcase their learning in as authentic a way as possible.
Through each theme, children have many enrichment opportunities such as half termly visits and visitors to school that provide excitement and a real sense of purpose for their learning. Children then learn and develop the necessary skills and knowledge relevant to them in order to answer the big question and prepare their outcome. This enables children to lead their own learning, experience the wider world and develop skills needed in later life.
Each term has one or more ‘driver subject’ to ensure that coverage of all subjects across the year is well balanced. Our current subject drivers are: Geography and Art (Autumn term), History (Spring term) and Science (Summer term). Most of the coverage for these subjects is taught during these terms, with the exception of Science and Art, which are taught throughout the year. Other foundation subjects which are not theme drivers are also taught throughout the year and are linked to the theme where appropriate.
Each subject has the following documentation which are used to explain and clarify our curriculum intent:
- an intent statement which explains what we intend for our pupils to learn in each year group and how learning progresses over time
- a knowledge and skills progression document which includes the coverage from the National Curriculum, the knowledge, skills and vocabulary that we teach in each year group
We use the curriculum documents to create theme specific overviews which detail the knowledge and skills that will be taught within each theme and knowledge organisers, which set out the key knowledge and vocabulary that we intend for pupils to learn by the end of each theme.
For some subjects, we use a good quality, comprehensive scheme to ensure that knowledge and skills are well planned and organised, and we choose these carefully to ensure that they meet the needs of our children, making appropriate adaptations where necessary. The following subjects use schemes to support high quality teaching: Computing (Sheffield Computing Scheme), R.E (Sheffield Agreed Syllabus), Music (Charanga), P.E (Val Sabin) and PSHE (Jigsaw Curriculum).
Core subjects (English, Maths and Science) are linked to our themes where appropriate to allow children to make links in different areas of their learning and to give opportunities to apply their skills in different contexts.