Curriculum Policy

Date last review adopted by governing body: 7th July 2022

Our Vision

At Writtle Infant School, we are committed to providing our children with a curriculum that has a clear intention and impacts positively upon their social and emotional needs. 

Our vision is for the school to be:

A very special place, where learning has no limits.

Core Values

  • All children want to come to school and are safe and enjoy learning;
  • Learning is real, immersive and purposeful for all children;
  • Teaching is excellent and all children thrive and make good progress or better;
  • Our HIPIP values are embedded at all levels with a culture of continual improvement;
  • Well-being and mental health has a high priority with all staff and pupils feeling valued, included and engaged;
  • The school makes a real difference to the local community and we involve ourselves in partnerships that make a real difference to our children;
  • We have a tolerance and celebration of difference in our school community;
  • We have Healthy School status, Attachment Aware status and are trained in Trauma Perceptive Practice.

Core Experiences

The following 10 core experiences are provided each year as a ‘minimum entitlement’:

  1. To perform in a concert to their parents and/or other relatives;
  2. To have opportunities for well-being consistently, including days every half term;
  3. To take part in a class assembly, shared with parents and visitors;
  4. To have well-planned transition to the next year group/school;
  5. To go on an educational visit in the local area or further afield;
  6. To watch a live performance undertaken by visiting professionals e.g. storytellers, musicians, actors or other performers;
  7. To access at least 2 hours of high quality, organised physical activity each week;
  8. To have access to extended provision in the form of after-school clubs in KS1;
  9. To have access to Forest Schools and other quality outside learning;
  10. To have opportunities to work with the local community, for example the church, local council, village groups, Junior school.

Curriculum Overview

Our pupils’ needs, their backgrounds and our values for learning underpin all areas of our curriculum:

At Writtle Infant School we want all of our pupils to enjoy school – whilst also becoming resilient, ambitious, independent learners who are prepared for a changing, global society - learning for life.

We offer a designed range of experiences and provision which support a full spectrum of academic, physical, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities that enrich pupils’ lives and provide them with the confidence, skills and knowledge to progress to the next stage of their education.

We believe that our pupils should experience a rich curriculum which balances academic and personal development. We recognise the importance of all National Curriculum subjects. Physical and mental well-being are valued and prioritised through our consideration of curriculum design. We teach all subjects in the National Curriculum, as well as following the agreed local syllabus for Religious Education, along with a well-planned and structured program of personal development. Our aim is for our pupils to thrive and achieve well.

We plan our curriculum for security and depth of learning. To do this, we ensure that pupils don’t just cover the curriculum but return to the key concepts, knowledge and skills over and over – each time gaining a deeper and more secure understanding, so that application of ideas and knowledge across different subjects is possible.

We define progress as the widening and deepening of the essential knowledge, skills, concepts and behaviours in each subject through a key stage. We aim for our pupils to become resilient, curious learners who find pleasure in tackling challenging work.

If pupils make good or outstanding progress then they achieve the age-related expectations (Expected Standard) in a subject at the end of a key stage and may work at a more advanced standard (Greater Depth Standard), depending on their relative starting points or prior attainment.

We assess a pupil’s depth of understanding at regular intervals, and use this as a forecast as to whether they are on track to meet our curriculum expectations. One of the roles of the subject leader is to monitor pupil progress and outcomes and to audit teachers’ assessment judgments.

We use the Ofsted inspection framework and associated educational research as a helpful starting point for making curriculum decisions. The framework enables us to plan our curriculum work around three key ways of thinking: Intent, Implementation and Impact.

Intent

We intend to create a curriculum:

  • That challenges pupils but is accessible to all.
  • That is coherently planned and sequenced.
  • That is successfully adapted, designed and developed for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
  • That is broad and balanced for all pupils.
  • Given our diverse intake, in terms of different areas children live in Chelmsford, how we bring our stakeholders together as a community, for example local history and events.
  • To ensure that all children, including our children who we classify as disadvantaged, have access to free clubs and events.
  • That it prepares children for their next key stage/year group both in terms of curriculum and readiness for a new environment.

Implementation

We aim to ensure the curriculum is implemented so that:

  • All groups of pupils are able to enjoy and achieve well.
  • Pupils secure the necessary knowledge and understanding of important concepts across all subjects in the curriculum.
  • Teaching is responsive to the needs of our learners and steps are taken to address pupils’ gaps, misconceptions and difficulties.
  • Teaching materials, strategies and work given to pupils is ambitious, coherent and matches the school’s curriculum intent.
  • Teachers develop strong subject knowledge and feel confident to teach all subjects within the curriculum.
  • Our curriculum embraces social and emotional need, well-being and mental health support  and speech and language acquisition.
  •  The curriculum is continually adapted for our children with SEND, for example the introduction of interventions such as musical communication and Lego therapy.

Impact

The impact of our work will be reflected in:

  • Our pupils’ achievements, including in results from national tests
  • Pupils’ work is of a good quality
  • Our pupils are prepared for the next stage of their education
  • Pupils can read confidently and competently and are numerate
  • Pupils enjoy their experiences and engage in learning activities beyond the curriculum, including extra-curricular activities and home learning

Curriculum Organisation

  •  The curriculum is taught through discrete subjects, with cross-curricular links where relevant.  
  • Each year group has a long term plan, highlighting the units of study for each subject area. This is reviewed on a regular basis.
  • A medium term plan for each year group provides more detail for each subject area.
  • Short term planning takes place on a weekly basis.
  • Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), English as an Additional Language (EAL) or those noted to be particularly talented are identified and, where appropriate, differentiated activities and support are provided. 
  • A range of teaching methods are used and delivered to the whole class, groups, pairs and individuals as appropriate. 
  •  Teachers are aware of the different learning styles of children and endeavour to use a variety of methods in the day to day delivery of our curriculum. 

Educational visits

School excursions, special arts events such as music festivals and visitors to school enrich the curriculum for our children and broaden their experience. We usually organise trips for each year group once a year, e.g. to museums, outside learning venues or galleries, or the zoo. We normally ask parents to contribute to the cost of these trips, but all children will be given the opportunity to attend, regardless of a parent’s ability to contribute. Local outings, for example to the village church, the War Memorial or the Link Club, form part of our normal curriculum. We also invite visitors to school such as authors, speakers from different religions, artists, music workshops and theatre groups.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The Senior Leadership Team has responsibility for the leadership of the whole  curriculum, in conjunction with subject leaders. 
  • The SENCo is responsible for the development of provision maps and supporting the year group teams to achieve the best possible outcomes for individual pupils.
  • Class teachers ensure that the curriculum is well-planned and delivered and that its aims are achieved by each class. Class teachers regularly review and if necessary, update curriculum planning. 
  •  The Governing Body regularly monitors the curriculum, through meetings with the subject leaders and school visits.

Equality Statement

The governors and staff are committed to providing the full range of opportunities for all pupils regardless of gender, disability, and ethnicity, social, cultural or religious background. All pupils have access to the curriculum and the right to a learning environment which dispels ignorance, prejudice or stereotyping.