Our Curriculum

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The Priory classroom day runs from 8.50am until 3.15pm. However, the school ‘curriculum’ means everything that the child experiences during his or her time at school and includes activities beyond the classroom.

Our Values

As a school we promote British Values throughout the curriculum and daily life: our ethos is one of respect, tolerance and fairness.

We teach our children about democracy through decisions that are made in class and across the school.  Our pupils have a prominent voice through the various councils they have, our ‘Rights Respecting School’ philosophy alongside the structure of our curriculum itself.  Every child is encouraged to grow on an individual basis as well as ‘together’ as a part of our school team: we believe that our school is the perfect environment for this.

Trust

Optimism

Gratitude

Enthusiasm

Thoughtfulness

Honesty

Enjoyment

Respect

Early Years

Our Early Years Foundation Stage classes may well be your child’s first experience of sustained contact with adults and children outside your close family and circle of friends. We hope to make the transition from home to school a positive and happy experience for children and their parents. We want children to go home bursting with stories of their exciting day at school.

Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2)

Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 & 6)

The basic classroom curriculum for all schools is comprised of two main elements: The National Curriculum and Religious Education (agreed locally).

Our curriculum has to take into account the principles of:

  • Breadth – It should introduce children to a wide range of knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • Balance – Each subject of the curriculum should have sufficient time to make its special contribution.
  • Relevance – Subjects should be taught so as to draw on, and show applications to, the child’s own life experience.
  • Differentiation – What we teach, and how it is taught, must be planned to extend each child’s ability

The Learning Challenge Curriculum

Priory CE Primary School aims to develop each and every pupil to ‘Be The Best That They Can Be.’ To do this, we teach a broad and balanced challenge based curriculum.

We have worked with education consultants from Focus Education to introduce the ‘Learning Challenge Curriculum’. This is not a list of specific topics to cover or knowledge to impart, as the National Curriculum provides the areas of study and skills to be taught. It is a way of organising a series of lessons, which captures the interests of the children and makes the learning relevant to them, whilst meeting the National Curriculum requirements.

The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work resulting in a meaningful curriculum which promotes high standards. (Focus Education)

 The key drivers of the Learning Challenge approach are: (Focus Education)

  • Planned around the distinctive needs your children
  • Enquiry based to promote curiosity
  • Outcomes driven to raise standards
  • Embeds the application of basic skills
  • Allows writing to be meaningfully embedded
  • Cross-curricular (where meaningful)
  • Interesting for the teacher as well as children
  • Integrates empowering learning (‘learn to learn’)
  • Underpinned by latest thinking about quality learning and brain-based learning

The Learning Challenge Curriculum requires teachers to actively think what their curriculum needs to include, in order to meet the needs of the children at this school – leading to high standards in all areas of the curriculum.

At Priory we have used a topic-based approach to the curriculum for many years. This involves linking some subject areas through a common topic or project designed to ensure the children are interested in purposeful learning. The Learning Challenge Curriculum is a natural development and improvement of this work.

This diagram below called ‘The Learning Journey’ shows how teachers plan a class topic. 

topic-overview-2016-17The Chart above shows the topics that the children will encounter within each year group.

Basic Skills

Alongside, as well as within, the class topic planning, the teachers will also focus on basic skills in the core subjects of Maths, English and Science.

English

English at Priory is based around the talk for writing approach. Talk for writing is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn. It is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.

English lessons focus on:

  • developing a life long love of reading, alongside reading skills and comprehension
  • giving pupils to chance to experience and appreciate texts that they may otherwise not access
  • gaining a secure grounding in phonics
  • deepening understanding with drama and speaking and listening activities
  • developing and mastering grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary skills
  • writing for a range of purposes and audiences
  • editing writing to allow publication of final piece

Pupils are supported in this process through individual next steps for learning that are: set from an analysed piece, taught, scaffolded and assessed for each genre of writing, keeping individual progress at the heart of the English curriculum.

Click for more information on our English curriculum.

Mathematics

Children learn ‘mathematics’ concepts gradually and the pace of learning is determined by the ability of the individual child. In any one class children may be working at different stages.  Mathematics includes work on mental arithmetic, number, measure, geometry, statistics, position, direction and movement as well problem solving. Children receive daily activities involving mental maths, learning different strategies, reasoning and applying them to solve problems.

Children have the opportunity to develop transferrable life-skills. Maths contributes to many subjects within our curriculum and opportunities are maximised to draw mathematical experience out of a wide range of activities. This allows children to begin to use and apply mathematics in real contexts. Our topic based curriculum creates opportunities for maths objectives to be taught in addition to the normal daily lessons.

Click for more information on our Maths curriculum.

Science

Priory uses the National Curriculum to structure each year group’s expectations. Using the different areas of the science curriculum to drive the children’s topics within each year group, then ensures full coverage and depth (main focus of topic).  The Rising-Stars assessment framework is then used to support.

We have also been chosen to be a StEP funded school (Stoke Engineering Project).  Staff have taken part in training and numerous events and activities will be implemented throughout the year.

The other National Curriculum subjects

Our year by year expectations in the other subjects of the National Curriculum from September 2014 are set out by the Focus Weaving Skills document. These are planned as part of the class Learning Challenge.

History and Geography

Like science, History and Geography are also used as topic drivers.  The subjects’ content is used to scaffold and support the rest of the curriculum areas to focus and ‘drive’ the children’s learning forward.

The Extended School

We offer lots of first-hand experience from Early Years classes right through to Year 6, with visits and visitors supporting work across the curriculum in all year groups. Our children have a residential visit during Year 6.

Extra – Curricular Activities & Music Lessons

In addition to the main curriculum, there are activities organised as a valuable extension to the school day.

Many of our staff give their time at lunchtime or after school to offer a range of activities which are free of charge. Other clubs from external providers are on offer.  We have a range of clubs including football, multi-sports, dance, art, maths amongst others.

Although our children have their planned curriculum music lessons, they are also offered the chance to learn a musical instrument. Children can learn the guitar, woodwind instruments, piano or drums.

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