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Curriculum

Our Curriculum Aims

 

As our children journey through Paxcroft, they will develop the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to be independent, inquisitive and successful learners, with their passion for learning ignited and their academic, physical and mental wellbeing nurtured. Every child will have the chance to shine and will leave our school prepared for a future as a confident citizen able to make a valued contribution to society.

We believe that our curriculum is broad and balanced and ambitious for all children. It is exciting, relevant and meaningful to our children, placing development of the whole child at its centre, enabling each child to shine academically and flourish socially, emotionally, morally and culturally.

At Paxcroft, we believe that our curriculum should be thought of in its widest sense: it is the entire planned learning experience that a child will experience on their journey through our school, from formal learning opportunities to meaningful experiences that shape academic, physical and mental wellbeing. It is coherently planned and well sequenced to allow learning of knowledge and skills to be built upon and confidence developed. The development and awareness of the attributes needed to become well-rounded citizens who are prepared for the challenges of the 21st Century permeates our curriculum at all levels.

Underpinning our curriculum design are four key themes. These shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and respond to the needs of the school community.
 

  1. Passion for learning

Our children will have a thirst for learning, both in school and beyond our gates. They will be curious learners, well-educated citizens and they will gain the knowledge, skills, understanding and vocabulary to give them the confidence and empower them to contribute positively to society.  

 

  1. Character (attributes)

Our children will be kind. They will show empathy, tolerance and compassion and above all they will have the integrity to make a positive contribution to the world around them. Our children will have healthy minds, showing they are emotionally happy and resilient learners and they will stay true to themselves, valuing their own identity.

 

  1. Ambition & aspiration

Our children will have ambition and high aspirations for their futures. Each child’s capacity to see possibilities in the world will be developed—their horizons broadened. Children will know that their aspirations will be reached through hard work and determination.

 

  1. Community

Our children will understand their local community and feel proud of where they live. Our curriculum will help them to see their place in increasingly widening circles, from citizens of our school through to being conscientious, aware global citizens who can make a positive impact and who are tolerant and compassionate towards others. They will understand that the world they live in needs looking after.

Learning in the Early Years

Many children attend a pre-school before coming to school, which is known as Foundation Stage One (FS1).  Children who have their 4th birthday before 31st August begin school in Foundation Stage Two (FS2) during the following September, which we call Reception Year.  Children and parents are invited to visit the school for three sessions during the previous summer term to meet their teachers, visit the classrooms and take part in activities.  Early Years’ teachers have regular contact with the feeder playgroups.

 

We work towards the Foundation Stage Goals for the under-fives.  Opportunities for personal, social and physical development are essential as children develop at different rates physically, socially and intellectually.  They are encouraged in their creative development through a wide range of art and craft activities.  Music, singing, games and dance are also an important part of the curriculum.  FS2 pupils gain knowledge and understanding of the world through observation of the environment, undertaking simple scientific tests, cooking, role-play and visits. They are encouraged in language to listen carefully, talk clearly, ask and answer questions and follow directions.

 

Synthetic Phonics is explicitly taught in school using the Sounds-Write Programme - this ensures children quickly build up their knowledge for the sounds that make up English and, alongside this, the letters that represent the sounds.  We aim to foster a love of books so that reading becomes a pleasurable experience.  Children develop a mathematical vocabulary e.g. big, bigger, biggest, long, short, tall etc. and count, sort and group objects, add and subtract numbers and recognise simple shapes.

 

The first year in school provides a firm basis for the National Curriculum and gives children a secure and happy beginning to their school years.  Parents are encouraged to attend a range of Foundation Stage Workshops during their child’s first year at school.

 

 

The 1989 Education Act requires that all state maintained schools follow the National Curriculum, consisting of core subjects: English, Mathematics and Science and foundation subjects: Computing (ICT), History, Geography, Physical Education including dance, swimming, outdoor education and games (PE), Art, Design Technology (DT), Music and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), which includes the teaching of Sex Education. Religious Education (RE) is a statutory requirement as is a daily act of worship.  Also, at Paxcroft, all of our Key Stage 2 pupils now have the experience of learning French or German, as two of our teachers have previous experience as language teachers.

 

School Visits and Residential Visits

We believe that first hand experiences are an essential enrichment to the children’s educational experience and that they enhance the learning environment.  With this aim, teachers arrange field visits to places that will bring alive the classroom work in which the children are  involved.  However, because of the constraints on the school budget, it is not possible to pay for the cost of such visits from school funds.  Therefore we ask for voluntary contributions from parents to cover the cost of the outings.  Unfortunately, unless parents are willing to make such contributions, the visit may not take place.  No child will be excluded from a school visit if his or her parents have felt unable to make a contribution.

 

Residential visits have long been part of the Paxcroft tradition.  The National Curriculum has emphasised a need for the study of areas outside the locality of the school, in both the history and geography programmes of study.  In addition, the social development fostered by such activities is of great benefit to pupils. These journeys are educational visits but are optional extras so are subject to the governors’ charging policy.  The trips depend on the willingness of parents to provide the necessary funds.  The Headteacher is willing to discuss, in confidence, financial matters relating to the cost of such visits.