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Curriculum

Our Curriculum

 

 

"Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it's produced the most extraordinary results in human culture."

 

Sir Ken Robinson

(British author, speaker and international advisor on education)

 

OUR CREATIVE CURRICULUM IS ALWAYS EVOLVING!

 

At Alston, we provide a broad and balanced curriculum and endeavor to enrich our children’s learning through a range of stimulating experiences. Our creative curriculum ensures full pupil entitlement to the National Curriculum. Children’s learning is enhanced through an enquiry-led model and frequent enrichment opportunities. Hence, our pupil engagement is high and there is a real buzz and positive attitudes to learning when walking into classrooms!

 

The focus on making learning relevant and meaningful incorporates practical experiences for all our children, using both the local environment and further afield. Our curriculum leader and our class teachers ensure there is clear progression of skills and opportunities for creativity, by planning from the National Curriculum Programmes of Study through the four stages of the Cornerstones Imaginative Learning Projects (ILP). Opportunities for depth of learning are planned by teachers and led by children’s prior knowledge through regular questioning and assessment.

 

Children start each ILP with an exciting, stimulating experience (Engage). This may be an educational visit, a visiting speaker or an immersion day where children discover and explore their new learning. Children are then challenged through a range of stimulating, exciting learning experiences to learn, develop, solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum (Develop). The third stage, Innovate, enables children to then apply their new skills and knowledge to another area of learning working independently, in small groups or as a class. At Alston, we believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Thus, our curriculum provides a variety of learning challenges throughout the year which enables them to express their learning, transfer their skills and knowledge to other areas of learning and develop their interpersonal, communication skills when they share their work to their parents and children in other year groups (Express stage).

 

We also have a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of each ILP expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age-related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs. Progress is monitored by year group leads and the curriculum leader.

 

We use our evaluations and assessments to continually update our curriculum maps, ensuring breadth and balance. Throughout the school year, we ensure that our children are kept up to date with current local and global news through special assemblies and whole school projects eg World War 1 centenary, Shakespeare Week, UNICEF Day for Change etc. In addition to this our values of the month programme ensures that we promote children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, enabling them to develop their own moral and ethical compass to guide what is right and what is wrong.

 

As a school, we value the foundation subjects and hence our curriculum for PE, French, Computing and Music are closely monitored and guided by subject leaders who apply their subject expertise to support the planning and ensure that high-quality experiences are being identified and delivered.

 

At Alston, we celebrate the diversity in our community and continually strive to ensure that our curriculum is culturally and socially inclusive to the children who make up our school community. Our Religious Education is broad and rich, aiming to develop the character of our children and society. We follow the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus and SACRE but also celebrate major religious events throughout the year through special themed days and assemblies. Our core aim in RE is to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural and mental development of pupils at the school and of society and prepare our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of adult life in the 21st century.

 

Our PSHE curriculum is tailored to the needs of our children and covers 3 core themes: Health & Wellbeing, Growing and Relationships and Living in the Wider World. We endeavor to create opportunities through our PSHE curriculum for enterprise and ingenuity to prepare children for the 21st century and we embrace opportunities to involve all members of our school community in these processes. We have successfully liaised with our PSCO, Fire Service, Standing Ovation Choir group, local hospital and local secondary school who regularly deliver workshops/lessons to children. In addition to this, we place a strong emphasis on Mental Health and deliver lessons, assemblies and special days to: recognise and understand how to deal with emotions and strong feelings; recognise risky and negative relationships and know who to ask for help. In addition to this, we have a senior leader, who is our Mental Health Lead and trained to support our children, staff and parents.

 

In addition to this, our curriculum is tailored to build our children’s self-esteem, resilience and confidence by promoting a school ethos which is underpinned by core values. The ethos of our school is built on a foundation of 22 core Values. Our Value of the Month is delivered over a 2-year rolling cycle, which are addressed directly through assemblies and across the whole curriculum. Through assemblies and our curriculum, we actively promote fundamental British Values of democracy, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those from all faiths, backgrounds and cultures and the Equality Act. Furthermore, our programme of assemblies, educates children on current events around the world and promote children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

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