Here at Salmestone we have reflected upon, ‘What do our children need to be successful?’ Therefore, our curriculum is designed to take the children on an exciting journey of discovery; exploring new horizons in all corners of the world, learning how the events of the past have shaped the present, and uncover how today we are contributing to the lives of tomorrow to prepare them for the future.
Through a thematic approach, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum that nurtures curiosity and enthusiasm to take on new challenges and experiences which immerse the children in new worlds, cultures, beliefs, and influential moments of history; to enable them to develop an appreciation of the world around them.
By equipping the children with the skills and knowledge needed to be responsible and respectful citizens, we believe that our teaching and learning experience allows the children opportunities to remember, revisit and transfer skills and knowledge to other contexts.
Subjects are intrinsically woven into the fabric of our curriculum where reading, writing, and maths skills are utilised to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the world around us alongside igniting the passion to always want to learn more.
Subjects are planned so that knowledge and skills are transferable between subjects and are carefully sequenced to build upon prior knowledge, to stretch and extend each individual pupil. The key knowledge and skills are taught through the ‘Big question’ which interlinks subjects being taught each term.
We believe that our curriculum should be broad and balanced. Our children’s backgrounds, our culture, and our climate for learning provide the following drivers that underpin all areas of our curriculum:
- provide a safe, stimulating learning environment for all children and teachers;
- enable children to achieve their full potential by learning in a variety of ways and through challenging learning experiences;
- provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum that will motivate, engage and challenge children whilst also equipping them with the skills required on leaving school;
- develop inquisitive minds, a spirit of curiosity, and a passion for learning;
- physical well-being and mental well-being are both valued and prioritised by our careful consideration of curriculum design;
- SMSC development, along with a well planned and structured program of personal development underpins all our work;
- set high expectations for all children to raise their aspirations; and
- raise standards of both teaching and learning.
We want children to love to learn and through their engagement in learning they develop their confidence, resilience, and independence. We do this through an evolving, engaging curriculum. At the heart of our thematic curriculum is an emphasis on English, independent enquiry, reflective thinking, and collaboration. The thematic curriculum provides accessible opportunities for personal enrichment through a very wide range of visits and visitors; special days and themed weeks.
In order to ensure that learning in every subject is accurately sequenced, with both skills and knowledge revisited, we have developed both skills and knowledge progression documents for all areas of learning. This ensures that learning is staged and builds upon prior knowledge. By providing the children with the opportunity to revisit and apply vital skills and knowledge regularly, we allow the children to become masters of the subject and demonstrate expertise in a range of areas.
The thematic curriculum allows the children to transfer both knowledge and skills between subjects and fully demonstrate their growing expertise intrinsically across all subjects. The key knowledge and skills are assessed through the ‘Big question’ which is provided to the children at the start of every theme and draws upon a number of subjects where the children must demonstrate recall of ‘sticky knowledge’ and respond to the ‘Big Question’ utilising the skills learned along their learning pathway.
We recognise the importance of promoting learners who are attentive, engaged and curious. We believe, alongside educational research, that children who are able to sustain their concentration and curiosity are able to build the knowledge to ensure success.
The Gradual release, pedagogical model:
Within lessons, teachers provide a ‘do now’ task in the opening minutes of the lesson. Research shows that to interrupt the process of the ‘forgetting curve’, which hypothesizes the decline of memory retention over time, is a powerful tool to strengthen memories; at Salmestone, we interrupt the forgetting phase of previously taught knowledge and skills by re-visiting at intervals across the school day.
The ‘I do’ phase of the gradual release model is a vital part of teacher instruction. Teachers use a variety of modelling techniques and promote the importance of watching and listening in order to begin the first steps of new learning. As the learning responsibility gradually shifts from teacher to child, lessons enter the ‘we do’ phase which ensures that children are guided to rehearse new knowledge and skills before moving to the guided ‘you do’ phase where paired activities and scaffolded tasks are used.
Once children are confident and ready to apply and practise new skills and knowledge, they work independently to complete learning tasks matched directly to the learning objective. We believe that the gradual release of new information encourages the children to build the stamina for learning which will see them succeed in life.
Should you require further information about the curriculum offered at Salmestone Primary School, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Main School Office.