The Seven Fields Curriculum
The Seven Fields Primary School Curriculum has been designed around our vision and with two main drivers. The first of these drivers links directly to our vision above and our ambition to ensure that our children leave Seven Fields Independent, Confident and Resilient. The second is our desire to give our children the wider opportunities they may not be able to experience otherwise. These experiences were developed and agreed by staff using the DfE’s Activity Passports. We endeavour to facilitate children experiencing these opportunities through our curriculum and where we cannot deliver them in this way, we will provide them as extra curricular activities. We will develop our children’s cultural capital! It is our aspiration that we use our curriculum to help us to prepare our children for the next step in their education and give them the foundations needed to be a successful citizen of the modern world.
We have ensured that our curriculum is right for the children in our school. At the heart of our curriculum is the National Curriculum. We have identified the Key Content and progression needed for each individual subject and have woven these together to create learning sequences that work towards a definitive end point, whether that be the end of a unit or transfer to the next key stage. The curriculum we have designed will be highly inclusive; catering for the needs of all learners. We will provide an environment where all learners enjoy their education and where children make very good progress in all subjects and areas of learning. Pupils at all levels will be helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able will be challenged through appropriate extension activities that widen and deepen their understanding of subject matter. Those who need extra help will be encouraged and given targeted support and scaffolds to embed learning; to develop at their pace or, simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
In Early Years, our intent is to provide a curriculum which values and promotes all areas of learning. In the early years of the Foundation Stage we focus on the prime areas and move on to the specific areas when the children are ready.
It is our aim that we create an environment of learning and discovery. Provide children with ‘awe and wonder’ moments whenever we can so as to stimulate exciting, engaging and enriched learning experiences that infect our school community with curiosity and the unending love of learning. As a school we demand nothing but the best for our children and, through our curriculum and its delivery, we will ensure our children get the best possible learning we can provide for them. They will want to learn. They will want to be curious and find out more. They will be Independent, Confident and Resilient young people who will strive to achieve their very best at all times!
Sequencing and Golden Threads
Subject leaders have developed documents that allow us to sequence learning in a way that shows how learning builds as children move through the school but also providing a basic structure upon which termly or unit learning can be expanded and developed. We call these documents our Key Content. Key Content has been identified for every subject in every year group including EYFS. In years 1-6, depending on the subject content, we have separated the ket content within years into either strands or domains of that given subject or into termly units. This has allowed us to demonstrate how learning builds across the school. Where a subject is also a discipline (eg. history or geography) we have identified the key knowledge of the subject discipline so that teachers can plan for the development of those subjects as disciplines.
We have identified two Golden Threads in our curriculum. We know we have to ensure our children get the experiences needed to help develop their SMSC aspects of learning and we do this through our “Enrichment” offer. Giving children experiences they are likely not to have any other opportunity to experience.We have also developed the key elements of language development again from EYFS to Year 6 and within each unit in each term we ensure we concentrate on one element of our language development so that over the course of a school year the children are exposed to the full range of language development opportunities and the key vocabulary needed to fully access learning.
In the core subjects of English and Maths we use a range of assessments to guide our teaching and allow us to evaluate learning; identifying gaps in understanding and adapting as necessary. These assessments include the use of standardised testing, diagnostic testing and teachers’ own professional judgement. We collect assessment information three times a year at the end of each term.
In the wider curriculum we use our key content in each subject to make evaluative judgements for every child in years 1-6. We assess how well the children have learnt the key content statements in the penultimate week of each unit. This allows us to reteach content that has not been learnt sufficiently or to broaden and extend the children’s experience with the subject matter. These judgements are made each half term and recorded to build up a holistic understanding of each child’s achievement in each subject. At the end of each year an assessment judgement is made based on our key content and yearly expectations to judge whether a child is reaching the expected standard. It also allows us to tailor learning in subsequent years to address the misconceptions or unlearnt content.
Any curriculum developments we make are backed by solid research. In recent times this has included training on Cognitive Science in the classroom. This led to a change in how we build learning sequences and how we ensure that children are learning as defined by a change in long term memory. We use retrieval practice in a variety of forms to help children remember and do more. We have embedded the use of low stakes testing to recap prior learning both as the children build upon that learning but also spaced so that we can help children overcome the ’forgetting curve’. We have adapted our delivery of the curriculum so that we are not overloading children in the moment but also so that we focus solely on the key knowledge needed for the children to understand more complex ideas and undertake more complex tasks.
Leadership of the Curriculum
Our curriculum is led by Subject Leaders. The subject leaders have responsibility for their subject. Each subject leader has been chosen as they either have a specialism in their subject or a passion to develop their subject. They are responsible for a many number of things but the most important of these is ensuring children and learning their subject securely. Subject leaders undertake monitoring activities as well as providing support to colleagues with their subject knowledge. We value the opportunity for teachers to talk together with subject leaders and as such provide opportunities every term for these conversations to take place.