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 - considering 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.
We also have a number whole school 'themed’ days, these give the children in all year groups the opportunity to share an experience, learn a skill together and apply previously taught.
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, Facebook, our website, assemblies and displays.
Outside learning is a key feature of the curriculum at Boundary. We are proud of our allotment garden, the outdoor area/access on each classroom, the Year 6 Pod and our wildlife and pond area. Children use these areas to further enhance their learning and teachers skilfully ensure outdoor learning is exciting and meaningful. This area is used to deliver Forest School sessions by our qualified 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.
Boundary Curriculum Model
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 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.
There is a high degree of repetition so that knowledge enters pupils' long-term memory
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?’
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
The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning. Progression maps are clear and teachers are skilled in ensuring they build on prior learning.
All of our lessons are based on the DR ICE approach. When planning learning experiences, teachers consider ‘Deepening Thinking, Role Modelling, Impact, Challenge and Engagement’. Within this a range of teaching strategies are used to secure knowledge in the children’s long-term memory and avoid overloading the working memory. We also understand the value of oracy and use a range of approaches to allow children to develop their language and communication skills across the curriculum.
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.
Our curriculum complies with the Equality Act 2019 and the Disability Regulations 2014 and does not discriminate against any protected characteristic - our children are taught about these, explicitly and subtlety, within a range of subjects.
We understand the principal of the act and the work needed to ensure that those with protected characteristics are not discriminated against and are given equality of opportunity, complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
A protected characteristic under the act covers the groups listed below:
- age (for employees not for service provision)
- sex (including issues of transgender)
- gender reassignment
- maternity and pregnancy
- religion and belief
- sexual orientation
- Marriage and Civil Partnership (for employees)
Through our curriculum, we build in opportunities to raise the children’s aspirations relating to future employment. Using ‘Primary Futures’ we host events where children interact with a range of people in many fields of work and also challenge stereotypes within professions. Year 5 complete a whole unit of work on careers and end this with a ‘Take Over Day’.
Throughout the year, the children have many opportunities to extend their learning and cultural capital. For more information regarding our extra-curricular offerings, please click here
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. This policy can be found here
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 or you can visit the page for each subject by clicking here.