Curriculum Vision Statement
The aim of our curriculum is to equip our pupils with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be ready for the next key stage of their learning journey and to participate as successful members of our current and future community. We will provide a wide range of engaging and exciting learning experiences for our pupils that will build their skills of thinking, memory and determination. These experiences will shape their love of learning, curiosity and ambition and will prepare them for the next step of their education in secondary school and beyond that into adulthood.
The Elson Junior curriculum is planned with our children at the very centre. Our Elson Values underpin all that we do and guide us in our vision to provide the very best learning experiences for the children in our fantastic community.
The curriculum includes the breadth of the Department for Education National Curriculum with a specific focus on mathematics and writing, with reading having an increased focus in learning throughout all foundation subjects. We aim to promote high expectations through our curriculum that is organised to give children a broad and balanced education.
We want every child to have a chance to shine. Our subjects and learning journeys are carefully planned to provide children with special experiences that will engage and excite them and help them to develop the necessary skills for effective learning and remembering.
Our learning environment promotes effort, independence and curiosity with awards and recognition for pupils showing excellent progress, attainment and determination.
The Elson Junior learner can also expect:
- Motivational hooks and outcomes for learning.
- PSHE lessons are prioritised, especially at the start of the school year, to enable pupils to settle into new routines. We are passionate about the need for PSHE and circle time lessons to support the mental and emotional well-being of our pupils.
- Enrichment events including visitors to support history learning, day trips and residentials.
- Sport and PE is highly valued at Elson Junior with a competitive football team, netball team and opportunities for all children to be involved with inter-schools competition during the school day.
- ELSA led clubs for the most vulnerable groups.
- Extra-curricular events like our after school clubs with various sports clubs, choir, drama and eco-club.
- Assemblies that enable children to reflect on key aspects of our school values, curriculum and issues and events of local, national and global interest.
- Outdoor Learning – we have fantastic grounds with a forest area, a pond, allotment, outdoor classroom, an amphitheatre and two large fields.
- Home learning that embeds children’s learning.
- Remote Learning provision that reflects the breadth of the Elson Curriculum
- Teaching that will be adapted to meet their individual needs to support their success.
- Pastoral support that enables them to be ready to learn and flourish.
Post-Covid Curriculum Statement Autumn 2020
Government Guidance for re-starting school in September 2020
Teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term, but make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content. Up to and including key stage 3, prioritisation within subjects of the most important components for progression is likely to be more effective than removing subjects, which pupils may struggle to pick up again later. In particular, schools may consider how all subjects can contribute to the filling of gaps in core knowledge, for example through an emphasis on reading.
Aim to return to the school’s normal curriculum in all subjects by summer term 2021. Substantial modification to the curriculum may be needed at the start of the year, so teaching time should be prioritised to address significant gaps in pupils’ knowledge with the aim of returning to the school’s normal curriculum content by no later than summer term 2021.
Plan on the basis of the educational needs of pupils. Curriculum planning should be informed by an assessment of pupils’ starting points and addressing the gaps in their knowledge and skills, in particular making effective use of regular formative assessment (for example, quizzes, observing pupils in class, talking to pupils to assess understanding, scrutiny of pupils’ work) while avoiding the introduction of unnecessary tracking systems.
Curriculum Priorities Autumn term 2020
Two of our key priorities for the start of the autumn term were hygiene and PSHE. Teachers settled children quickly into regular hand washing routines to reduce the spread of infection. PSHE had a settling in focus along with circle time routines focused on friendship and ‘fitting together.’
Another priority for the start of the term is reading, with teachers including reading across as many subject areas as possible. The whole school participated in a book study during the first two weeks of term ‘After the Fall.’
Curriculum planning for autumn term
Teachers have planned a wide range of subject coverage for the autumn term. There has been a great deal of thought to plan lessons that are highly engaging; for example the Y6 topic on Ancient Greece and Y4 topic on Dragons. PSHE lessons will continue throughout the autumn term to address on-going issues surrounding Covid-19. Geography is being taught across the school along with music and drama during PPA time. Other examples of coverage planned:
Year 3 – Spanish has been planned as it is not covered in KS1 and the Y3 team knew it would be exciting and engaging for the pupils. ICT has also been prioritised to enable the children to access and be familiar with the school on-line learning provision for home learning.
Year 4 – The dragon topic was chosen as it always produces a high level of engagement and interest in pupils. In autumn 2 the team has prioritised science and RE with a topic about Light.
Year 5 – A specific focus on art and science has been planned for Y5 along with ICT and Spanish.
Year 6 – The teaching team has focused on PSHE and mental well-being lessons and this will continue. The Ancient Greece topic will also allow for opportunities for Art.
Starting points and addressing gaps
Our key priority for Teachers PDM this term has been the six strategies for effective learning and remembering:
Lesson drop-ins have observed targeted questioning (cold calling) with deeper probing, quizzes to check understanding and morning tasks revisiting previous learning.
The next steps will be to develop the use of a range of formative assessment practice with PDM meetings focusing on key ideas along with sharing best practice.
The Elson Lesson
Flexible grouping is important and should be based on feedback and assessment from the previous session. Daily AfL Marking sheets will identify grouping in the next lesson. Successful flexible grouping should:
- move learners on from last time they met the unit (starting point);
- identify the precise gap for that child linked to the National Curriculum;
- show where a child needs a rapid start; and
- consider the most appropriate lesson structure for that day.
How will you cater for the needs of different groups in the current classroom environment?
- Expect and encourage children to work with positive attitudes.
- Plan and teach a clear, focused, child friendly learning objective, which is learning based; the meaning and purpose is discussed with the children and its place in the learning journey is made clear.
- Be clear about the main skill that is being taught.
- Include strategies to support the children to remember what they have been taught previously e.g. spaced learning.
- Before the lesson consider :
- what could the misconceptions be and prepare for them.
- what methods, visual images, models and scaffolds will be used and how you will use them.
Enjoyable Challenge and Varied Tasks
- Provide enjoyable challenge throughout the lesson. How will you challenge and support each learner?
- Plan varied tasks that are suited to the individual needs of the children and enable learners to meet the learning objective.
- Provide clear opportunities for all children to apply learning independently.
- Provide and demonstrate models and prompts linked to the learning objective.
- Provide opportunities for the children to talk about the learning. How will you support this so it is meaningful?
Explanation, Modelling and Assessment – ‘I do, we do, you do’.
- Models are prepared before the lesson.
- Modelling IS teaching. Model the task, using metacognition. No ‘guess what’s in my head’.
- Teach children how to use the resources and model presentation expectations.
- Make links to previous learning explicit.
- Plan opportunities to check the children have understood. Have an assessment opportunity in the input and then use it to re-shape the teaching if needed.
- Identify opportunities in the lesson to question children to identify if further support or if a different task is needed.
Live feedback in the lesson
- Plan how you will gather and give feedback in the lessons e.g. individual, group, peer or class.
- Consider the classroom environment and how you will use your seating plan or lesson structure to provide feedback or support to groups.
- Speak to the children. What is it that you want to check they have understood? How will you find out?
- Plan and prepare for effective questioning in the lesson. Be clear about what it is you want to know they have understood.
- Expect children to communicate in full sentences.
- Use Daily AfL Marking Sheets to be clear about who you will target for feedback and for what. Who do you want to test and check for understanding and who do you want to move on further?
- Have the confidence to stop the lesson or gather groups if needed, even if it isn’t in the lesson plan.
- At the end of every lesson, provide the opportunity for learners to reflect on the learning that has taken place and consider their next steps. (What have we learnt? What if…? How could we…? Next time we will…)
- Capture feedback as appropriate.
- Consider: How did the children show you they have achieved the planned objective?
- Annotate the Daily Assessment for Learning Tracker.
- Plan the groups for the next session.
- Identify any errors or misconceptions and plan how this will be addressed.