Curriculum Intent 2022-23
“The continued commitment to innovation is founded on a clear understanding of meeting the needs of the school community in order to benefit pupils and improve their well-being and academic outcomes.”
Curriculum Review (M. Lowe Learn Sheffield school improvement partner, D Connor- consultant , B Webb- National Leader of Education and CEO Five Rivers Trust ).
Our Curriculum Intent
The aim of our curriculum is to provide opportunities for children to fulfil their potential and develop as independent, confident, successful learners with high aspirations who want to make a positive contribution to their community and wider society and gain jobs in industries for which they have been well prepared (see Maker curriculum tab). This is in line with our core values which are at the heart of our school. High quality teaching allows for a strong focus on developing children’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding. The curriculum ensures that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain and have an understanding of the wider world and we use technology to bring the world to the doorsteps of our children as we raise their knowledge of being part of a larger global community. We aim to secure the highest outcomes for all learners from their wide and varied starting points and a bespoke and tailored approach is encouraged to maintain interest, enthusiasm and the development of knowledge and understanding. If a child has a question or a line of interest we endeavour to follow this and encourage a level of independence in thinking and research.
Our Learning challenge curriculum progressively maps out the skills and knowledge in the National Curriculum and places emphasis on including first hand visits to acquire understanding, good use of IT to bring the world closer to children who spend the majority of life in the local area, and a strong values driven content to rehearse team skills, positive social interaction and making direct links relevance to the future.
The focus on curriculum development is carefully designed to ensure progressive coverage. It provides pupils with rich and memorable experiences, in addition to diverse opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills to enable them to better meet the demands of their future and the world of work. Crucial life skills which secure future wellbeing are woven throughout lessons to ensure children can develop positive learning behaviours and collaborate well. The children's own community, its heritage and traditions are often used as a starting point for engaging interest. A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide purpose and relevance for learning.
We place great emphasis on developing new vocabulary, learning facts and key knowledge that can be built on in future teaching sequences and develop children’s ability to use their voice, listen to the opinion of others, articulate their thinking clearly and present their learning with regularity to an audience. Oracy frameworks, P4C, Kagan structures, Bloom’s taxonomy and TASC structures scaffold learning and collaboration.
Subject leaders play a vital role in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. The innovative practice in school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to work in teams and develop social skills both indoors and out. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children are met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching, supported by targeted, research-based interventions. Developing language and oracy sit at the heart of our approach.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, self belief and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things.
In a consistently highly inclusive environment where all learners enjoy their education, ensuring that pupils make very good progress in all areas of learning underpins our curriculum. Robust assessments of pupils ensures gaps in learning are identified and pupils are supported to progress, catch up and accelerate their progress. Those who are most able are challenged by opportunities to think deeply; greater depth is explored across the curriculum. Pupils study Latin to expand their understanding of language, compete in contests city wide for example the Sheffield Hallam University maths POP quiz and attend Christmas Lectures in science at Sheffield University. Pupils at all levels are nurtured to achieve their potential. The innovative practice in school provides a strong foundation for children to work in teams and develop social skills both indoors and out.
High quality, memorable experiences and celebrations enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for writing for a purpose and reflection.
We are a ‘Power of Reading’ school, raising attainment in reading and writing by combining the use of carefully selected books with teaching approaches that are creative, engaging for teachers and children and continue to support a whole school and community love of reading and writing. Interweaving the teaching oracy, reading and writing into purposeful learning opportunities based on relevant, high quality texts ensures pupils are engaged with literacy learning that engenders a love for reading and an ability to apply their emotional understanding to a range of readers through their writing.
We provide pupils with rich and memorable experiences from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills to enable them to better meet the demands of their future and the world of work. Our Life Skills house - ‘Red Robin House’ - enables all children and families to learn ‘life skills’ such as budgeting for food, puncture repair, making a bed, discussion groups for families, gardening projects and opportunities for other schools in our locality to access our facilities. Parents and members of the community volunteer their time to support our families in reaching their full potential.
Our pupils embrace many opportunities to develop and showcase excellence in citizenship; with daily opportunities to earn ‘Gold Hearts’ with pro-social teamwork, be noticed displaying our 8 Core Values, becoming a ‘Big Brother or Sister’, ‘Peer Mediator’, School Councillor or represent our school by competing as a member of a sports, coding, climbing, debating or maths team. Parents and families celebrate pupil achievements at award evenings, via video links, weekly Sparkle and Shine assemblies and by wearing earnt Core Value badges with pride.
Collaboration across our locality of schools, with schools recognised for curricular excellence and with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Girls’ High are frequently enjoyed by pupils and colleagues and have helped us learn, share and shape our curriculum over time.. Partnerships and friendships are built as our children regularly collaborate with peers from other settings across the city. We have led an eight year partnership for locality schools called the ‘Cool to be Clever’ club, collaborating with Sheffield Girls High School and the University of Sheffield to offer taught sessions at the university.. The project aims to raise the aspirations and ambitions of gifted and talented primary school children and their parents. Working in partnership with The University of Exeter, Sheffield Hallam University, the Centre for Voluntary Action, and cross school opportunities through Sheffield South East Learning Partnership raises aspiration and ambition by exposing pupils to wider opportunities beyond our school setting.
Sports, art, music and languages have a high profile in school, with dedicated ‘Sports Leaders’, ‘Artist in Residence’ and language teachers. Our ‘Sports Leaders’ provide the full core offer of extended school provision. Our Artist in Residence has been employed at the school for thirteen years and Jayne works from her studio and more recently on line with each class and their family developing language and literacy through the arts; family literacy art projects such as ‘little books of chatter’ are popular and leave a legacy with our families as well as raise expectations and standards. Parents learn to communicate with their children and develop their repertoire of language and this in turn impacts in the child’s rapid language acquisition and social skills. Jayne’s focus is on establishing independence and creative thinking and providing a vehicle for pupils to explore their current learning challenge curriculum in a language rich context. Children explore galleries and art works and deepen their knowledge of the importance of culture and the arts generally during these sessions. Art lessons are used to sharpen the focus on observation and provide a natural opportunity to practice mindfulness and refocus concentration in a calm setting. Musical opportunities are wide. Children have opportunities to learn to play instruments, sing in choirs, listen to orchestras and explore music production. Our children have the opportunity to learn French and Latin in both KS1 and 2 enabling children to grasp languages from an early age. We celebrate a ‘Language of the Month’ promoting the diversity of our communities, learning from each other.
The school has received significant funding to develop An Even Better Arbourthorne initiative with a variety of partners including the University of Sheffield, CIVA and social entrepreneurs and the skills of our children and families are then developed and enhanced from within the wider local and National community.
This has had a significant impact on our ambition to put the school as a hub at the centre of the community.
Children and their parents are encouraged to become social entrepreneurs, volunteer to help others in their school, develop small businesses and activities with a grant which are for the betterment of others and and to see that they are part of a wider Arbourthorne community where they can have a voice and transform outcomes for themselves and others. This has secured strong parental and community engagement.
This year the school is developing its environmental curriculum and has received a grant to expand its growing opportunities so that we can build on our successful curriculum to expand our sustainability strand further. We have a new large scale poly tunnel, have employed a part time environmentalist and are working with the tree council to develop our orchard. This has had a positive impact on our children and parents wellbeing.
Our PSHE curriculum is a blended planned programme of Jigsaw and National Online Learning materials through which children and young people acquire the most up to date knowledge, understanding and skills they need to successfully manage their lives – now and in the future. As part of a whole-school approach, PSHE Education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. Our 8 Core Values sit at the heart of the learning of personal, social, emotional and health education. Pupils well-being is paramount; strong and warm relationships between all pupils and colleagues supports the development of understanding of emotional well-being and self-care.