At Rack House Primary School our intention is that our knowledge and skills based curriculum is relevant, extends opportunity, raises aspiration, opens children’s eyes to the world beyond their immediate environment and encourages children to live happy, healthy and productive lives. It intends to inspire and motivate children to learn more and achieve academic excellence.
Our curriculum encourages our children to be:
- Respectful and resilient
- Happy, healthy and honest
- Proud and perseverant
- Safe, secure and successful
Rack House pupils will achieve academic excellence through a curriculum that teaches them essential skills for life, such as cooperation, team work, resilience and respect for others, their environment and themselves. They will leave our school well-prepared for the next stage in their education and life in the world, with the skills and knowledge to succeed.
We will provide a range of opportunities for pupils to move learning from the short to the long term memory, resulting in mastery of the subject taught. By the time our pupils leave, they will have mastered a range of skills and developed knowledge through careful planning for progression and depth.
We aim to build resilience and encourage a positive mind-set amongst our children as it is often through mistakes we learn the most. At our school, the curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of all pupils in order to prepare them fully for the future. We believe that the curriculum we offer should fire children’s imagination and be challenging yet enable all to experience success regardless of their ability. It promotes a self-belief which enables our children to reach their full potential.
True learning is defined as changes in the long-term memory. Therefore, our curriculum is focused on the development of children’s knowledge and skills across all primary subjects with the aim of ensuring pupils are ready for the next stage of their learning. We are a reflective school and continually strive to improve our teaching and learning in light of the latest research and this has included a focus on how to improve children’s long-term memory of the knowledge provided in school.
Lessons are broken down into specific skills and knowledge that will enable children to achieve the desired outcome. Children should be clear on what they are learning and how to achieve this through clear learning intentions and success criteria. These are shared at the start of the lesson and referred to throughout. Knowledge mats, which include key contextual factual information, are shared with children before the start of a unit of work and will be available to children during lessons. These are also shared with parents at the start of a new topic.
Modelling at Rack house is of a high standard with the teacher verbalising their thought process to the children, explaining how and why they are doing what they are doing. Models are displayed on working walls in every classroom, which allow the children to refer to them during the lesson or future lessons to support their understanding.
To ensure children have a full understanding of what they are learning, specific vocabulary is taught to enable children to access their learning fully. Regular vocabulary building is an integral part of our curriculum. Knowledge mats contain a glossary of key words that support the children during lessons. These key words are also displayed on working walls.
A range of different questions types are used to assess the knowledge of the key concepts taught and to extend the thinking of our children. Questioning within the lesson also assesses their understanding in order to check whether there are any misconceptions that will need to be addressed and inform future planning.
The curriculum consists of many planned experiences in school and out to boost children’s cultural capital such as: end of topic project days, where parents are invited to celebrate children’s learning; school council meetings; library visits and theatre trips; assemblies to celebrate British Values; a range of after school clubs to enhance children’s educational opportunities; sports tournaments; trips and visits at the start of each topic for every year group to hook children into new learning; workshops, residential camps and fund raising events. We aim to provide our children with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
We have four intentions when it comes to measuring the impact of our curriculum.
Develop our learner’s learning (Our head and body: what we learn)
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their age related expectations when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering where they should be for how old they are. The impact will be that the children will be academically and physically prepared for the next phase of their education, in Britain and the world.
Develop the character of our learners (Our heart and character: Who we are when we learn)
The impact will be that our learners will have fully rounded characters with a clear understanding of complex values like equality, friendship, trust and many others. Only by really learning what these mean will our learners be able to develop a character that prepares them for living in the community demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day in all learners on the playground, in the corridor, and in the many roles we give them. The impact of this intention is seen in the daily interaction of all members of our school community.
Develop behaviours and habits to become effective learners (Our actions and attitudes: How we act when we learn)
The impact will be seen by observing how the children approach challenges every day. This could be on the playground, in a game or disagreement, or in class in a complex learning challenge. The impact should be that children don’t give up, are highly motivated to succeed and achieve, and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this.
Develop the moral compass of our learners (Our place in the community and wider world: Who we are)
Our learners will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community. They will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others. They will go out into the world and make a difference in their own life and to others.