At Bewcastle Primary School, we have designed a curriculum which is built upon our mission statement, ‘Successful learning in a happy environment’, to provide our children with the best educational start in life. Our curriculum considers the needs of a child and is strives to provide our children with the knowledge, skills and positive learning behaviours to become successful life-long learners.
At the heart of our school are a set of core values that underpin our curriculum and the ethos of the school:
We want all children to realise their full potential and to make excellent progress from their starting point and to develop as determined and adaptable learners.
We want to maintain our strong sense of community. We want to maintain positive relationships within school and to be involved fully with the local community and church. We want to understand our place within the local community and to build links with the wider world.
We want to inspire all children to achieve their best.
We want everyone in school to feel valued as individuals and to be mutually respectful. We want everyone to behave appropriately with compassion, trust and forgiveness towards others.
We want to be an inclusive school where all children from all backgrounds, faiths and abilities are treated as individuals and have equal opportunity to develop as independent, lifelong learners in a safe and caring environment.
We place great importance on a curriculum that develops the whole child. Through our core values, we foster an environment where the emotional, physical, academic, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of each child is considered. We firmly believe that everyone is entitled to an ambitious curriculum and our curriculum design is accessible for all, including children with SEND and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Our curriculum has been designed to be broad and balanced covering all areas of the Foundation Stage and National Curriculum. The curriculum is now planned over a 4-year cycle of topics rather than the previous 2-year cycle, which allows the acquisition of both skills [progression] and knowledge across all subject areas. Core subjects are usually taught discretely.
Outdoor learning is an integral part of our curriculum, which enables children to develop personally as well as academically and to develop a life-long love of learning.
Implementation describes the way in which the school delivers our intent consistently each day. To do this, we have begun to design our knowledge-based curriculum, planned in blocks, to enable learners to acquire relevant subject knowledge that underpins the application of skills. Skills are progressively mapped across each key stage and subject area.
Knowledge is consolidated and built upon to support retention and recall. This ensures that by the time children leave our school they have learned, and are able to recall and apply the key information that is important in order for them to be successful in the future.
English and maths skills are the core focus of morning sessions. Reading underpins all we do. Children in FS/KS1 have daily structured phonics sessions based on the Letters and Sounds. All children read to adults regularly. Spelling and reading comprehension are also given focus in KS2. Maths is based on the White Rose Maths schemes of learning and we use their maths workbooks and teaching videos/slides as well. This was a huge support during remote learning.
Other subjects are taught in a cross-curricular topic-based approach (plans on website) usually in separate classes e.g. Juniors and FS/infants but sometimes the whole school is taught together. Our teachers/ teaching assistant are highly adept at doing this and ensuring children learn at the appropriate level.
Pupils leave Bewcastle Primary School with a sound understanding of the academic content; with the understanding of how to be socially, morally, spiritually and culturally responsible and aware; how to make positive contributions to the local community and how to endeavour to be the best that they can be.
It is not just the academic achievement of children which is formally assessed/recorded each term and discussed at Pupils’ Committee, but is their personal development too. Outdoor learning impacts hugely on this and children are ‘assessed’ on development of a range of personal development skills (the acquisition of which then contribute to their academic achievement too). We aim for all of our children to leave our school respectful, skillful, ambitious and with a thirst for learning and all it has to offer. One of our key aims is to prepare children for the next stage in their education and future lives in an ever-changing and developing world.