Curriculum Overview and Statement

Our curriculum is centred around the aims and values of our school and has been deigned to respond to the particular needs of our community - taking into account the knowledge and skills to be taught, as well as the levels of ability of the children, our teachers create exciting, engaging and motivating learning journeys.

Our curriculum goals are:

  • To give pupils appropriate experiences to develop as confident, resilient, responsible citizens
  • To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’
  • To provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.

By ensuring that our curriculum and all subsequent learning is based on evidence from cognitive science, we know that:

  • learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
  • Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.

This approach ensures the lessons planned and delivered by our teaching staff are tailored to the needs and development of all children at Boundary.

Each half-term starts with a 'WOW' - an exciting start to really motivate, engage and challenge the children, allowing them to get a taste of the learning journies to come - and where possible will include a visit and/or visitor at an appropriate point in the half-term. We also have a number whole school 'themed’ days, these give the children in all year groups the opportunity to share an experience or learn a skill together.

All of the Boundary team are committed to creating an engaging, inspiring and purposeful curriculum, which motivates our children and develops them into life-long learners. Teachers present the children’s learning at the end of the half-term in a variety of forms which include: floor-books, year group pages, assemblies and displays.

Outside learning remains a key feature of the curriculum at Boundary. We are developing an allotment garden, outdoor area/access on each classroom, a Year 6 Pod and a wildlife and pond area. Children use these areas to further enhance their learning and teachers skillfully ensure outdoor learning is exciting and meaningful. This area is used to deliver Forest School sessions by our qualfied instructors.

Boundary provides teaching of religious education for all children in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus and provides a daily act of collective worship (parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from this).

School offers lots of computing equipment, custom built children’s kitchen and a large hall for PE. Children also use the library facilities at the '@thegrange centre’, which is a short distance from our site.

If you require more information about any aspect of our School’s Curriculum, please contact the school office, who will be happy to put you in touch with the appropriate Subject Leader (01253) 287250.

Boundary Curriculum Model

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Intent

The breadth of our curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:

1) To give pupils appropriate experiences to develop as confident, resilient, responsible citizens;

2) To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’;

3) To provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.

Appropriate experiences and character education

There are four main curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community:

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural – providing a broad balanced curriculum

Possibilities – which helps pupils to build aspirations and know available possibilities for their future lives

Character – which helps our pupils develop the characteristics needed to become successful citizens. Active, responsible members of our school, the locality, our country and the world.

Communication – helping our pupils become excellent communicators

Cultural capital

Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read.  It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way. It also includes experiences. At Boundary we work hard to provide all this.

A coherently planned academic curriculum underpinned by our drivers, sets out:
a) a clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered;
b) the ‘threshold concepts’ pupils should understand;
c) criteria for progression within the threshold. concepts;
d) criteria for depth of understanding.
 

The diagram below shows model of our curriculum structure:

a) The curriculum breadth for each year group ensures each teacher has clarity as to what to cover. As well as providing the key knowledge within subjects it also provides for pupils’ growing cultural capital. This is taken directly from the National Curriculum.
b) Threshold concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated many times in each topic.
c) Milestones define the standards for the threshold concepts.
d) Depth: we expect pupils in year 1 of the milestone to develop a Basic (B) understanding of the concepts and an Advancing (A) or Deep (D) understanding in Year 2 of the milestone. Phase one (Years 1, 3 and 5) in a Milestone is the knowledge building phase that provides the fundamental foundations for later application. LEARNING AT THIS STAGE WILL NOT BE RUSHED and will involve a high degree of repetition so that knowledge enters pupils’ long-term memory. If all of the core knowledge is acquired quickly, teachers create extended knowledge.
 

Sustained mastery

Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memories.  This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term. Assessment, therefore answers two main questions: ‘How well are pupils coping with curriculum content?' and ‘How well are they retaining previously taught content?’

Implementation

Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; two main principles underpin it:

1) learning is most effective with spaced repetition.

2) Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.

In addition to these principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.

Some of our content is subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross-curricular approach.  Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practise for previously learned content e.g Time

Impact

The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each Milestone, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it; some pupils have a greater depth of understanding.  We track carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum.

Phonics

The teaching of phonics is crucial to children’s early reading development.  As a school we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised as a scheme of work. The programme focuses on securing word recognition skills, which are essential for children to decode and encode word accurately.

At Boundary we follow the programme from phase one to phase five. Phase one focuses on promoting speaking and listening, phonological awareness and oral segmenting and blending. Phase two to phase five focus on high quality phonic work to help children develop fluent word reading and spelling skills.

Phonics sessions are taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons from Nursery to Year One. It is taught in differentiated groups according to the children’s phonological awareness and development. These sessions follow the teaching sequences of ‘ revisit and review, teach, practise and apply' where teachers use a variety of interactive teaching methods to support the children’s learning. These include use of the interactive whiteboard, songs, letter rhymes, flash cards, small groups activities, games and whiteboard work.

The children’s progress of phonics knowledge, reading and spelling of words is formally assessed every half term, as well as ia baseline at the beginning of each academic year. Daily assessments during phonics sessions enable our phonics groups to be fluid.  These assessments ensure that teachers have a clear understanding of any gaps in knowledge, which can then be addressed within other teaching sessions. 

To support the children in the application of phonic knowledge children are provided with home reading books that focus on the sounds they have been working on in school. This provides the children with an opportunity to apply the skills they have learnt at school and be successful in reading at home.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Throughout the year, the children have many opportunities to extend their learning.

Clubs include:

  • A variety of sports activities
  • Schools alive (dance, singing and drama)
  • Choir
  • Art and design
  • Board games
  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Computing

Before and After-school Club

For a small charge, our before and after school clubs offers a range of opportunities to further our children’s learning. Activities include; Art & Design, ICT, Drama, Team-Building Games, Cooking, Baking & Sports. The children are given the opportunity to complete their homework and read with an adult.

Boundary Learning Together (Homework)

At Boundary, homework is called 'Boundary Learning Together' as we believe that learning should not end when children leave the classroom and that it is a collaborative process between the school, the child and their family. Therefore, BLT is project based alongside weekly spellings and times-tables practice. For further information, please speak to your child's Teacher.

Remote Learning Policy

For details relating to our Remote Learning policy, please follow this link.

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