CURRICULUM

Here at Blackawton Primary School we have designed our curriculum in collaboration with our colleagues at other ESW primary schools and with designated curriculum design leads (CDLs) in order to ensure we provide the best opportunities for our pupils.  Careful thought has been put into their ability to build on skills and knowledge in each and every lesson.  Whilst doing this, we are instilling a sense of what it means to be, for example, a scientist, a historian or a geographer, and inspiring our pupils to be the best they can be. We have high aspirations for all pupils and through teaching our curriculum creatively, manage to embed the core values of the school alongside our Blackawton Way.

 

Our curriculum is designed to engage, excite and enable children to learn the core knowledge and key concepts which underpin it, whilst in addition, providing our children with many enrichment opportunities, as we firmly believe that both are essential in developing a life-long love of learning.  We actively encourage learning to take place both inside and outside the classroom and through an assortment of extra-curricular activities we have on offer.

Our day begins calmly with a purposeful opening, ​enabling children to enter quiet classrooms and read, speak to adults or prepare for the day ahead, and to participate in an early morning task. Each week, all classes have maths lessons regularly timetabled in the mornings with a real focus on developing mastery.  English is also strongly featured in morning sessions in the form of oracy development, reading, phonics/spellings and writing.  As part of building a literate school, rich and diverse texts are carefully chosen in order to inspire pupils to read and enjoy the written word.  Running closely alongside these two core subjects are a rich selection of further core and foundation subjects encompassing; French, religious education, physical education, geography, history, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE), design and technology, art, science, computing and music. All link to our current learning journey.  Termly themes/topics in each of these subjects are designed to provide opportunities to learn and build upon a huge variety of skills and knowledge.

 

We are also a school that looks out beyond the village to many local communities and areas, the sea, and links with a school in Ethiopia. All of these connections support our school ethos which places a high priority on an inspiring, flexible, relevant and creative curriculum for all children.

 

There is a strong ethos of using the outdoors to enrich learning. Children and staff at Blackawton are encouraged to ask the question, ‘why am I doing this indoors?’ To support this approach one of our fields has been turned into our sixth ‘classroom’. It features a poly tunnel, raised beds, an outdoor classroom, an amphitheatre and Forest School zone. We believe learning at Blackawton should have no boundaries.

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Knowledge and Skills based curriculum

We operate a two-year rolling programme, incorporating a carefully planned and exciting variety of themes/topics.  In order to ensure pupils are engaged and motivated, and in line with our Rights Respecting ‘Gold’ School status, we offer many opportunities for our pupils to have their voices heard in order to ensure they know that their opinion counts in any discussions about learning and life in school.  Our learning environments facilitate independent learning wherever possible, and there is encouragement within our ethos, that although pupils are all learning and moving on together, they push themselves outside their comfort zones and challenge themselves.

 

Whilst the topic headings have been given a particular subject focus, and follow the National Curriculum, links are made where possible to ensure that pupils can build a bigger picture in their minds as to how, when or why something happened, is happening or will happen.

  • Maths and English are taught discreetly on most days in KS1 and KS2

  • PE is taught twice weekly in each class through the PEWEB curriculum – KS1 and KS2

On days when PE is not taught, a mile-a-day is timetabled to ensure regular physical exercise

  • Science is taught discreetly, weekly in each class – KS1 and KS2

  • Geography and History are taught discreetly on an alternate week or term basis.  Where topics link, cross-curricular learning will take place – KS1 and KS2

  • Art is taught discreetly through topic themes – KS1 and KS2

  • Forest school encompasses science and DT knowledge and skills for each class weekly, alongside development of Forest school and outdoor learning skills 

  • Music is taught weekly for each class – KS1 and KS2

Whole school singing happens weekly. Children perform half-termly, in-line with festivals and annual events

  • MFL is taught weekly across KS2

  • Religious Education: taught in line with the Devon Syllabus – KS1 and KS2

Alternate weekly assemblies happen, whereby ‘Open the Book’ role-play of Bible stories, is balanced with stories from other world religions

  • Design Technology (including food technology) is taught each term through forest school – KS1 and KS2

  • Computing is taught weekly – KS1 and KS2

  • All children access a Forest School session each week

  • The Early Years Foundation Stage is the curriculum delivered in the Nursery and Reception classes.

Assemblies

These are used to bring the school community together and encourage our family ethos. Key messages around pupil safety and discussions around events in the wider world will be aired in these assemblies. On Mondays, we have whole school assemblies with an alternate weekly focus on significant and inspirational people.  On Fridays, we have a celebration assembly which celebrates children’s achievements in learning behaviours, work and attendance. We also hold class assemblies which enable classes to share their work with their peers as well as exploring Global Awareness Days, Sustainable Goals and Rights.  Every 2 weeks, members of the local Christian Church offer an ‘Open the Book’ assembly in which bible stories are shared. These assemblies are optional as we are a non-denominational school.

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