At Urchfont we aim to provide a rich and broad curriculum to all of the children and endeavour to ensure that it is tailored to the children and the rural area they live in. We aim to provide a flexible curriculum that responds to the needs of the children or events that occur locally or nationally.
The curriculum provides opportunities our pupils to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. It is designed to help children develop a wide range of key and transferable skills. The curriculum aims for academic success as well as a love of learning which challenges curiosity, creativity and personal growth. Our curriculum reflects the Christian values that underpin our curriculum and as a result we are focusing on perseverance, courage, hope and wisdom as these reflect our aspirations for our children. The curriculum recognises the importance of the physical development, well-being and mental health as key elements that support the development of the whole child. We also highly value learning outside the classroom and are always looking for opportunities to take learning beyond the school through forest school experiences, educational visits, workshops and trips.
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and development needs of the children in our school. At Urchfont, we plan learning in a thematic approach to the curriculum with quality texts to inspire discussion, support the development of reading and provide writing opportunities within each theme. Themes have been organised across each year group to ensure that there are a variety of curriculum drivers that cover the content of the national curriculum. This thematic approach leads to a more flexible delivery of the curriculum. Dependent on the age and needs of the children with classes will determine the approach taken by teachers. We deliver core areas of the curriculum during morning time and activities such as phonics, grammar, punctuation, spellings, writing, reading and maths. In the afternoon, the curriculum has a focus on the foundation subjects and is delivered in a variety of ways. Some classes use a two-week timetable whilst others prefer to block approach. Both approaches ensure sufficient time given for coverage and progression across the curriculum. This approach enables themed based learning, fostering each child’s curiosity and interest throughout each theme and also enabling the achievements of depth in knowledge and skills.
Organising the learning in this way ensures teachers have the flexibility to deliver the curriculum in the way that they feel will have most impact for learners. R.E and PE are planned weekly and follow whole school progression frameworks.
Using the outdoors as a classroom is fundamental to our values and this can be school based or with enrichment visits to other locations. Trips/activities and experts are all vital to the enhancement of the learning opportunities we offer our children. We are also passionate on our Forest School work and each class is given the opportunity to take part in a series of lessons each academic year.
In addition, the school uses curriculum focus weeks to supplement the curriculum opportunities that are offered to the children. Focus weeks that have enriched our curriculum recently have included Sport, RE, Science, Art and Music. During these weeks, the children are immersed in these focus area with many activities and experiences which have been planned by curriculum leaders such as a visit by the Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra ensemble group.
A varied timetable for extra-curriculum activities is offered by the school, with clubs that support and/or supplement the core offer whilst extending the range of children’s experiences.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners are challenge to work hard and try their best irrelevant of attainment. We endeavour to help all children achieve their potential through differentiated activities and relevant support and intervention when needed.
The Foundation stage curriculum is based on the six areas of learning working towards achieving the Early Learning goals by the end of the Foundation Stage. The curriculum gives children the opportunity to explore experiment, plan and make decisions for themselves, thus enabling them to learn, develop and make good progress through well planned, structured play.
The areas of learning are:
• Personal, social and emotional development
• Communication and language
• Understanding the world
• Physical development
• Expressive Art and Design
This positive practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills indoors and out. Our curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching, supported by targeted interventions where appropriate. This has a very positive effect on the children’s outcomes. The curriculum promotes achievement, growing confidence and good behaviour through the school. This is reflected by the positive outcomes across the school in our published results where our outcomes have achieved beyond the national figures for Key Stage 2, Year 1 Phonics and reading and maths for Key Stage 1.
The following links shows a basic outline of our Curriculum, for each class, for the current school year.
Further information on the National Curriculum can be found on the Government's website: National Curriculum Information