The Government released a New National Curriculum which was implemented in September 2014. The curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens.
Meadowfield curriculum statement- reviewed January 2019
Today we create, tomorrow we achieve, forever we learn.
All curriculum areas - The curriculum at Meadowfield is a constantly developing thing that seeks to give our children the experiences needed to make sense of the world. The development of curiosity, creativity and enjoyment are to our children becoming lifelong learners. We start with the National Curriculum and then we make it our own.
The Healthy Schools agenda – underpinned by SMSC. This curriculum has been designed to be meaningful to the children of Meadowfield Primary School. It has been created to address issues and concerns raised by staff that PSHE were not being taught in an engaging, relevant or systematic way. We have taken onboard thoughts and ideas expressed in staff feedback and have created an exciting and inspirational curriculum which is tailored to the needs of our children. It incorporates Mindmate, PE, Teeth cleaning daily and is focused on building bridges, broadening horizons and stretching minds.
The Humanities curriculum - When our pupils leave Meadowfield, we want them to know about the world beyond Halton Moor and understand the natural and human factors that shape it. We want all pupils to enjoy and engage with their History and Geography curricula, and as they progress through school begin to take the initiative to direct their own learning through child-led projects. We want them to be curious about people and places, now and in the past, and have the skills and confidence to search for answers. We arrange for many enhancements in the forms of trips, visitors, experiences and residentials.
The Arts curriculum - To develop a curriculum that equips our children with specific skills also helps them to develop a love of the arts through meaningful first hand experiences. The help and partnership of skilled and knowledgeable artists and musicians will be essential in developing this curriculum. We include ‘Take One Picture’ and ‘Take One Book’ within this along with partnerships such as our current one with Leeds Grand Theatre.
STEM- science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This overarching theme uses logic with investigations, risk taking with outdoor learning. It is designed to teach practical skills, questioning skills and raise aspirations. These key attributes thread throughout the school day and into play and lunch times with specially designed activities to challenge the thinking and promote reasoning.
The hidden curriculum – To develop a set of experiences ‘outside’ of the national curriculum to engage and enrich the education we offer at Meadowfield. We choose ‘big’ experiences, at least one per year group, and a series of other ‘smaller’ ones. These are experiences which our children would not usually be able to access- 11 before 11, FUDGE day (Friends, Uncles, Dads, Grandads, Everyone), Life Skills, Chickens, Nurture, after school enhancements) and permeating throughout all of school life is the thread of Restorative Practice which underpins our relationships and our positive behaviour policy.
All curriculum areas – we began our curriculum implementation in 2015 and now look to implement a three year strategic development from Janaury 2019. This allows us to review our existing practice with the benefit of three years’ experience and mould and adapt it further. We will challenge timetabling, the starting point of thematic learning and make the curriculum and subject leadership key parts of our school improvement plan for September 2019. We need to identify and train leaders and ensure accountability of the implementation programme for maximum success. All overarching areas will now be driven by a named teacher and supplemented by a team comprising of other teachers and members of support staff.
The SMSC curriculum - This was written and agreed by governors in summer 2015. 2015-16 saw the curriculum delivered for the first time. Monitoring took place over the year and improvements made. 2016-17 has seen some further additions and again in 2018-19.
The Humanities curriculum - The initial work on the Humanities curriculum began in summer 2016. Staff consulted and a Meadowfield Humanities curriculum written in Spring 2017. The curriculum was trialled and monitored in Summer 2017 for full implementation in 2017-18 and embedding in 2018-19.
The Arts curriculum - Autumn 2016 and Spring 2017 saw the Art subject leader working closely with Artemis, Artforms and professionals from the Art Galleries to develop a framework of the essential skills that need to be taught. Art and artefacts have been used by teaching staff. Summer 2017 introduced the first stage of the Meadowfield Arts curriculum being written focusing on Art. Autumn 2017 saw the beginning of the work to integrate music into the art curriculum, using the same ethos and commitment to developing key skills. This was further embedded with changes to music provision in school in 2018-19 which will be evaluated in due course.
The hidden curriculum- Autumn 2018 saw the start of staff consultation on what the experiences should be for which year groups. Teaching staff and support staff have been involved. Spring 2019 will see parents/carers and children asked to contribute ideas before a working party is formed to decide on a draft offer to be presented to governors in Summer 2019.
Teacher assessments were submitted in Summer 2018 for the above curriculum areas.
SMSC – on average, 63% of children were judged to be at ARE. The year group with the highest percentage at ARE was Year 4 at 74% and the lowest at ARE was Year 2 at 56%.
Humanities – generally speaking there is not much difference between the performance of children in history and geography. On average 51% of children were judged to be at ARE in history and 58% of children in geography. In history, the year group with the highest percentage at ARE was Year 4 at 62% and the lowest at ARE was Year 3 at 41%. In geography, the year group with the highest percentage at ARE was Year 6 at 62% and the lowest at ARE was Year 3 at 34%.
Arts – music and art were assessed by teachers. On average 58% of children were judged to be at ARE for Art and 66% for music.
For art the year group with the highest percentage of children at ARE was Year 3 at 77% and the lowest ARE was Year 2 with 38%.
For music the year group with the highest percentage of children at ARE was Year 1 at 78% and the lowest ARE was Year 5 with 51%.
Teachers report that children are confident at talking in SMSC. Restorative practice, Active Listening and Skilled Speaking all contribute to allowing class and group discussion to be thoughtful, purposeful and respectful.
Humanities learning is often interactive, utilising technology and real life artefacts, which increases the relevance of lessons to children. Visit and residentials are used effectively to engage children with history and geography objectives, giving many children new and unique life experiences in addition to putting their learning into context.
Professional music teachers and artists inspire children and give them expert teaching throughout school. Children in both KS1 and KS2 respond well to being given the regular opportunity to learn tuned instruments. Children also have opportunities to participate in musical performances both in and out of school, raising their self esteem by giving them something tangible to be proud of. Carefully coordinated whole school art weeks enable children from different years to collaborate and be creative together. Regular key stage performances and class assemblies are planned in throughout the year for children to share their learning with the rest of the school as well as parents and carers using music and drama as the primary vehicle.
Going forwards we will look at a curriculum review through pupil interviews, ROLOS (records of learning outcomes), parental engagements, attitudes to learning and a quality assurance of the Meadowfield curriculum. We will also need to assess quality of teaching and learning along with subject knowledge, process these findings into our SEF and reflect on this as a group of practitioners to ensure successful implementation.
Educational Visits and Enrichments
Trips and visits away from school provide unique and valuable experiences for children to explore and learn beyond the classroom. The broad range of trips that we arrange provides all our pupils with opportunities that engage and inspire them. We also encourage children to experience inspiration days within school.
Our youngest children, in the foundation stage and KS1, enjoy farm visits and a trip to the zoo. Many of these trips encourage our pupils to explore the natural world. We also plan trips to inspire and motivate such as a visit to Manchester Airport where the children can role-play being pilots and explore a real aeroplane. Each year, talented theatre groups visit the children in class to capture their imagination and creativitiy. One of the highlights of reception is their visit to the seaside!
Older pupils, in Years 3 and 4 continue to visit theatres, places of worship, museums etc., such as the National Coal Mining Museum near Huddersfield. Pupils also develop their appreciation of local artists by visiting the Yorshire Sculpture Park. In Year 4, pupils have an exciting opportunity to participate in a week long residential to a farm retreat centre, where the children experience animal husbandry, outdoor activities, arts and crafts and team building skills.
Our oldest pupils, in Years 5 and 6, have experiences which deepen their knowledge of environmental issues. Year 5 have a residential visit to Whitby to investigate coast and the human impact on the environment. They are encouraged to undertake challenges in an exciting and safe environment. They explore their own potential and strengthen their ability to work as a team when solving problems.
Our children have opportunities to demonstrate citizenship by being involved with the Christmas Festival Concert at Leeds Town Hall, visiting the Central Library and using its archives to find out about the history of Leeds and the Halton Moor area as well as fund raising for charities.
The National Curriculum Documents can be found by following this link.