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Denmead Junior School

Denmead Junior School

Building Success, Inspiring Curiosity

Our Learning

DJS CURRICULUM INTENTIONS, IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT

Since launching our new strapline - Building Success, Inspiring Curiosity - in November 2018 we have been working on tweaking and improving our curriculum at DJS so that we do just that.                         

                                                        

OUR CURRICULUM INTENTIONS

Our Mission Statement, formed in collaboration with all staff, Governors and parents in the autumn of 2014, and tweaked in 2016 remains the foundation of our curriculum intentions, as it includes our ethos, aims and values.

We have identified 6 curriculum intentions which will drive the development and evolution of our curriculum provision.  These are that our curriculum should:

  • Provide challenge for all, alongside quality outcomes for all
  • Create memorable and relevant connections
  • Be enquiry based to inspire curiosity
  • Plan for progression from shallow to deep learning
  • Support personal development and making sense of the world
  • Be responsive to change

The school is currently preparing a Curriculum Development Plan which will set out how all the subjects in the current curriculum are being reviewed against each of these drivers over a 2 year plan. This work began in November 2018 with a review of key subjects against our first two focus drivers which are to:

  • Be enquiry based to inspire curiosity
  • Provide challenge for all, alongside quality outcomes for all

Please see the chart below for an overview of how our intentions are linked to our implementation and how we evaluate their impact.  It shows how all the elements of school life at DJS underpin our school mission. If you would like further information on our curriculum work please contact the Curriculum Leader, Mr Duncan Proctor via the school office.

 

 

CURRICULUM DESIGN

In 2017 the school moved to mixed age classes throughout the school, creating a lower school with 5 classes of mixed year 3 and 4 and an upper school with 5 classes of mixed year 5 and 6.  We therefore moved our foundation subject curriculum plans to a two year rolling programme. The link below gives you the two yearly overview of topics and subjects throughout the school.

 

 

In order to teach our children to gain this knowledge, skills and understanding we have developed an integrated curriculum that takes the National Curriculum and delivers it to our children through stimulating topics so that children have rich and meaningful learning experiences.  Examples of these topics include Tomb Raiders; Power; Los Mysterios de Mexico and Out of this World.

The learning journey through the topic usually comprises the following parts:

The Hook – something that grabs the children’s attention and interest e.g. an off-site visit, or a mystery clue that leads on to more.  E.g. in the topic of Tomb Raiders the children discover a ‘lost suitcase’ in school that contact many artefacts and clues about this ancient civilisation and who it belongs to – Howard Carter.

Question Generation and Knowledge Harvest – children are encouraged to ask questions and to gather knowledge and information quickly around the topic so that they can begin to understand some key concepts.

Immersion – Analysis, sorting and comparison work enables children to deepen their understanding as they work towards applying this to a final outcome.

An outcome – A purposeful event – e.g. an assembly or exhibition where children share their learning with others.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Usually a topic covers a term, sometimes half a term.  There is a two year cycle of topics so that children in mixed age classes do not repeat topics. 

Each national curriculum subject has a leader responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the national curriculum are covered within each year group, so that as a child moves through the school they build their subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding. Each subject leader has worked on a progression of skills and knowledge and there are key assessment statements to be considered each term linked to the 2 year rolling programme for their subject.  Teachers assess against these statements and this is reported to parents in the child’s end of year report and fed into our bespoke foundation curriculum tracking system. 

 

EVALUATION

Evaluation of our curriculum is through whole school analysis, led by the Curriculum Leader and involving all subject leaders, governors, parents/carers and the children.  Evaluation will be of the following curriculum drivers:

  • Are there secure learning pathways?
  • Does the pathway and task design allow for progression from shallow to deep thinking?
  • Is curriculum content responsive and relevant to today’s world?
  • Does it inspire curiosity by being enquiry based?
  • Are their high quality outcomes with equal challenges for all?
  • Does it create memorable moments and enough opportunities for awe and wonder?
  • Are children’s personal identities and their relationship with the world sufficiently explored?

Evaluation is conducted at the end of each term with the children giving their feedback on each topic.  Subject leaders also review outcomes in books and displays and analyse assessment data.

In addition in May 2019 all leaders met with the same subject leaders at Denmead Infant school to evaluate the learning journey in their subject for a child starting in Early Years through to year 6.  We are also planning to work with our School Partnership Programme schools to share best practice and to learn from each other with regards to specific subject knowledge specialisms within the group.

 

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