The Curriculum at Broadfields...
National Curriculum - Government
Broadfields Primary School offers an extended primary curriculum which is well organised, imaginative and effectively contributes to the learning and experiences of the pupils in our care.
The curriculum is planned systematically through curriculum maps for each year group thereby ensuring the whole range of the National Curriculum is delivered appropriately. Over the course of this academic year the provision maps have been under revision in both Key Stage 1 and 2 to make sure that the is based on children’s interests and enhancing cross curricular links. A good example of this is the Autumn Term of Year 1, which we call the Transition term for the children leaving the EYFS and entering into KS1. In this term the curriculum is adapted in many ways to ensure that the children still working on the EYFS goals have their needs met. The teachers have worked on using such themes as “Chinese New Year” or “Plant life” as a vehicle to teach many areas of the curriculum. The school plans a Creative Curriculum within both KS1 and KS2. However English and Maths are taught as distinct subjects. Jolly Phonics is used to teach early reading skills.
However, we recognise, as a school, that English and Maths skills form an integral part of all learning, therefore it is our aim to develop literacy and numeracy skills throughout the curriculum, making the most of any opportunities for writing that arise. For example, in PE, KS2 pupils have to measure an athletics track as part of their work based on athletics; the history work undertaken by the Yr 3 children on Ancient Egyptians and the work on Ancient Greeks in Yr 5 have allowed the children to expand upon the information learnt in class and develop not only their own lines of enquiry, but has increased the amount of written work, as well as a wider range of writing scenarios. This is also true in Science in KS2 where the children are frequently given a literacy genre, such as letter writing; to demonstrate their scientific findings from their area of study e.g. Yr4 wrote to their class teacher describing which material would keep her tea warm over a break time duty as part of their investigations in to materials. As a result, our writing standards have improved.
The school has a systematic long, medium and short term planning system which is IT based. Teachers use their assessments to plan collaboratively (within year group teams) to ensure that the topic is meeting the needs of the children, challenging the children and remains motivating and engaging for the children. Scrutiny of planning shows that teachers plan to ensure that learning is built upon prior knowledge and is focused on ensuring that pupils make progress in lessons.
The national ‘Pupil Premium’ agenda is particularly appropriate for Broadfields Primary School and has lead to significant curriculum adaptation for our vulnerable children. As a school we have implemented key interventions which fit the specific needs of our children such as 15 minutes a day reading, Better Reading Partners, Hi Five (writing intervention), One to One Tutoring, Springboard Maths and First Class at Number. We have changed the school timetable to incorporate these interventions to ensure that identified children have the opportunity to read every afternoon with a dedicated member of staff or trained parent.
The timetable is organised in such a way that children involved in these interventions, do not consistently miss the same part of the lesson. The Year Heads carefully match children to the intervention and the adult leading their support in order to create the best climate for the programmes to work. In addition, Broadfields has a Reading Recovery Specialist Teacher and an Every Number Counts teacher. These teachers provide specialist tuition as well as support other teachers with expert diagnoses and teaching ideas in order to overcome learning issues. We know the impact of all interventions through pupil level data and therefore can judge the effectiveness of these strategies effectively. It is our judgement that this level of care, support and guidance for our more vulnerable children is exemplary.
Our Broadening Minds programme aims to widening our children’s understanding of the world. This programme focuses on off-site learning opportunities using the wonderful resources available across London. We have developed a programme of visits focusing on cultural, artistic, historical and scientific learning for interested pupils throughout the year. The children who are chosen to take part have shown a particular interest in the subject and will be across age and ability ranges. The groups will generally visit in small parties of 15 so that the adults are able to support the learning on these visits. There is no cost for these outings. It is in rich opportunities such as these which separate the curriculum from the norm and truly enhance the children’s learning by providing memorable experiences.
The curriculum is further enriched by the use of themed learning weeks. The weeks that have been covered in the past year are, Black History Week, Disability Awareness Week, Science Week, Feeling Good Week and Sports Relief Week.
All of which provide opportunities for the children to take part in activities which are fun, develop learning and meet a range of needs for the children.
We recognise that our pupils have a range of different strengths and abilities and therefore it is necessary to provide a curriculum which offers them a broad spectrum of experiences.
Academically gifted and talented pupils have the opportunity to take part in Star Class which is aimed at boosting their ability in English, Maths and problem solving. Pupils in Year 5 all have the opportunity to take English Speaking Board exams. All pupils have the opportunity to attend at least one free extended day (until 4:30) each week for extra studies in music, sport, art, dance or basic skills.
The school has a dedicated teacher of music who ensures that provision in this subject is very good. For instance, as part of the music provision in Key Stage 2 all children are taught to play the recorder and the clarinet. The school choir perform within the school, across Barnet and at venues such as The Regents Hall and The Royal Albert Hall. Children also are offered the opportunity to learn a wide range of instruments individually. We have also hosted travelling opera companies to work with the children which has been very well received by the children and teachers alike.
We have a Forest School! This provides the opportunity for all children to learn more about the natural world around them. Forest School activities are based around the school wigwam where children practically learn about animals, plants, environmentalism and bush skills. The school has recently developed an eco garden in which children get the opportunity to plant, grow and harvest edible plants, fruits and vegetables. We built two greenhouses using recycled 2l drinks bottles to help more vulnerable plants to flourish. The children feel proud of their accomplishments at harvest time.
The school has PE department led by a teacher who is an international athlete. She works closely with our coaching team and the local school sports partnership to ensure that a wide range of sporting opportunities such as tennis, football, athletics, netball, tag rugby, basketball and Frisbee coaching happen within curriculum time and after school. As a school we have recognised that our children tend to lead sedentary lives outside school and have adapted our curriculum to allow the children to have a whole afternoon of Sporting Choices which raises the profile of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and promotes the learning of wider personal skills.
Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 all get the opportunities to take part in a residential visit. These trips provide memorable experiences alongside rich opportunities for high quality learning in a situation other than a classroom and allow for wider personal development and well being. The trips involve staying on a light ship in Essex and outdoor adventurous activities in the Peak District and Hertfordshire. These trips are carefully costed to allow access to all our pupils.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education overall is an outstanding feature of the school. Broadfields has specialness. The relationship between children and adults is close but appropriate allowing a sense of human warmth within the community. All children know they are valued as individuals. The school is a great example of unity in diversity. In fact, we believe the children of Broadfields are an example to the world in this regard. It is within this positive context that SMSC learning flourishes.
It is our judgement that the curriculum at Broadfields provides our pupils with a coherent and relevant curriculum which allows them to be fully engaged and to learn in a way that interests them and meets their needs.