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Our Curriculum

EYFS Early Learning Goals

Below is an introduction to how we organise our curriculum and teaching at Kendall Church of England Primary school.

At Kendall we believe our exciting curriculum is broad and balanced and gives children many additional entitlements beyond the national curriculum, for example in Forest School (see our ‘Forest School’ webpage) and in our celebration of events such as Parliament Week and LGBT history month. Where relevant, we like to take as much learning outside the classroom as we possibly can. We make the most of our 2.6 hectares of woodland and outdoor space during lessons as we believe that giving children a holistic learning experience benefits children in multiple ways. (See our ‘LOTC’ webpage).

Our Curriculum is arranged over four quarters (See the ‘What are we Learning This Quarter?’ webpage).:

Q 1 – 10 weeks

Q2 – 10 weeks

Q3 – 10 weeks

Q 4 – 9 weeks

From EYFS to Year 6, we have organised our curriculum topics into these quarters to give the children a balanced curriculum that also meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. (See our ‘Curriculum Map’ webpage). We have maths sessions daily and our Quarters allow us to give equal depth of coverage to each of the non-core subject areas. We teach English, most notably writing, through all of our different topic areas and cover each genre while linking content back to what the children are already learning across the curriculum. This means that the children are learning in context, they can make meaning and apply learned skills across multiple subject areas. The children have opportunities to read with the class teacher each week, either individually, or usually in small groups, where they work on phonics or decoding skills, discussing new vocabulary and comprehension skills. The texts the children use are often linked to the topics being studied.

At Kendall we do not believe that different subjects should be taught in isolation to others. Other than French, (which is taught discretely due to the nature of the subject), coding and PE (which have obvious timetabling restraints) and maths, (which is taught both discretely and wherever possible in a cross-curricular way to re-enforce concepts) the curriculum is taught in ‘blocks’.

This means that a class may study the whole science topic for the quarter every day over the course of one or two weeks. Their ‘Learning Journey’ will then link to other subject areas and the class teacher may then choose to teach a week of geography, followed by a few days of art, or design technology, etc. By teaching in this way the children can learn about a subject at great depth and their classroom can become an immersive space for that learning – materials, equipment and tools can be on hand for the whole block of study. When teaching to a restrictive timetable, once you have got all the resources for the lesson out, time is often short and before you know it, it is time to put them all away again! By teaching in blocks, we avoid this, while steering the learning towards what the children are really enjoying and interested in learning about.

An example of the way block teaching works particular well as a ‘Learning Journey’ can be seen for a Year 5 example of Q1 below:

Science Topic > Human Body & the Circulatory System

Sparkling Start > Writing inspired by Rembrandt’s ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp’ (Art history) studying characterisation and setting the scene by acting out the scene (Drama) and writing about what is happening from the characters in the painting’s point of view (English fictional writing) > Introduce the concept of medicine and medical advance over time and introduce a timeline of key events (theme in British history) > Use of Bill Nye The Science Guy’s episode on the heart and circulatory system (visual Literacy) to learn to take notes effectively (English writing) and about the circulatory system (Science) > write an information text about the circulatory system (non-fictional writing) > Plan and carry out an investigation on heart rates and the effect of exercise (science investigation, cross curricular maths data handling) > Design and make a revision t-shirt about this topic (Art, Science, DT) write the advert for this product (persuasive writing) > Health and the human body – the effect of drugs and alcohol on the body (Science , PD) healthy eating (Science, PD) > design two healthy eating dishes (Food technology) > send home with a survey for parents to complete > use survey results to conclude which is better (maths data handling) and design packaging for best product and advert using design software (Design technology, art and computing) > Darwinism, evolution and inheritance of humans (science) and the different moral and religious viewpoints of Christian and Hindu creation stories >  compare parts of musical composition to the circulatory system (music, science) e.g. Beat of drum & heartbeat, exercise & tempo compose own music inspired by all that has been learnt (the circulatory system or creation stories for example, and perform to parents - fabulous finish!

By teaching all of these subjects in a fragmented way - an hour here and 30 minutes there - the learning would be disjointed and creativity and enjoyment restricted. By spending time moving from the ‘sparkling’ starting point to the ‘fabulous’ finishing point through a learning journey, supports children to understand key knowledge and practise key skills at length and depth across the range of subject areas. Not all subjects within each quarter on our curriculum map link as well as this example, but wherever possible, teachers will plan to make meaningful links and complete one subject block before moving pupils onto the next.

Our pupils record the majority of their learning in one ‘Learning Journey’ book. This is so that they can look back at previous work to make meaning, see what they have achieved before and what next steps they need to make progress, improve their attainment and celebrate their achievements (for example where learning targets have been met). It is a valuable learning tool to have the learning journey in one place, rather than spread across several unrelated books that do not get looked at one week to the next.

All the pupils at Kendall have a Forest School entitlement. While one half of the class are at Forest School, the rest of the class are taught by the class teacher who focuses in on this opportunity for small group teaching to move the children on in their learning. Meanwhile, the children at Forest School have access to activities that build their resilience, self-control, confidence and self-esteem. In all they do they are encouraged to take part as a team, which improves their collaborative learning skills and to be active outdoors, which promotes both physical and mental wellbeing.

So as you can see, we have designed our curriculum to give the children exciting opportunities to study at depth across the curriculum while developing a love of learning that will see them ready for secondary school and prepare them for a bright and wonderful future!