We define curriculum as the totality of a child’s experience at Sythwood Primary and Nursery School. It is the values that they learn, the experiences they enjoy, the relationships they develop, the knowledge and skills they learn.
Our school motto of Be Ready, Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Your Best is a core thread that runs through our curriculum; it is the language we use, the behaviours we model and expect and the aspirations we hold. We believe that an effective curriculum offers the knowledge and cultural capital to succeed in life; our children leave Sythwood suitably equipped to become interested and interesting adults, able to contribute positively to the well-being of their community and to wider society.
Our curriculum is designed with these principles in mind:
- Personalised and language rich, reflecting the background, experiences and needs of our children in our community
- fewer things in greater depth
- well thought through sequencing enables children to connect their learning
- it is outward facing, setting learning in local, national and global contexts wherever possible
We have woven storytelling throughout our language rich curriculum to improve the quality of pupils talk and writing. Enormous value is placed on the power of stories to not only ‘provoke curiosity’ in the content being taught but also as a vehicle to pre learn or revisit key content that the children need to know. We have carefully selected stories that come from around the world and reflect different cultures and times. Our stories have both male and female protagonists. We also make use of our rich local heritage too as well as leaving space for important current events too.
We strive for children to learn skills alongside knowledge, ensuring that both are explicitly developed. We set out in our progression documents clarity on when, what and how content is taught. Using the Early Years Foundation Stage Strategy and National Curriculum as a basis, subject curriculum teams work to plan a coherent, well sequenced curriculum that highlights the underlying knowledge that children need to learn so that they can access the subject in later years. Every lesson, teachers provide clarity of why we are teaching what we are to help children make connections.
We continue to refine and improve our curriculum, looking for new ways to work together across the school and to keep learning current and open to fresh ideas and approaches.
Journey and next steps
Since 2017, Sythwood has reviewed the curriculum and evaluated the impact of all elements. There has been a focus on ‘back to basics’ in reading, writing and maths to drive standards in the core areas. Standards at KS2 have successfully been raised to above National Average.
Our curriculum is delivered and taught in the following way (see individual subject areas for more detail):
- Writing – Talk 4 Writing
- International Primary Curriculum – with a main emphasis on History and Geography
Our approach to curriculum leadership takes the form of curriculum teams and individual subject leadership.
Curriculum teams are used to add capacity and drive improvement for core subjects and foundation subjects which are a current priority. Curriculum teams meet on a half termly basis and have a clear action plan driving their team. Teams are comprised of an overall leader who facilitates the sessions and measures impact across the school and then one teacher from each year group sits on the team. This teacher is responsible for the progression, delivery and evaluation of this curriculum area in their year group.
We believe passionately at Sythwood School that children are given a wide range of opportunities to offer a broad and balanced curriculum.
We are fortunate at Sythwood that we have a large enrichment team, who are able to offer these experiences outside of our broad curriculum. These include a forest school leader, music teacher, French teacher and P.E. specialist team.
At Sythwood School we also know how important first-hand engaging opportunities are to our children so provide a wide range of trips, visits and workshops.