The Curriculum Policy can be found here – Teaching and learning policy 2019
Our Christian Values
The Christian Value of LOVE underpins all we do and, with the Values of COURAGE, TRUTH and RESPECT supporting our Christian foundation, this ensures we have a strong, inclusive community, welcoming to all who join us regardless of faith and background.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” – John 10:14
Our curriculum has been carefully designed and is effectively delivered, to ensure that our children are equipped to be the Good shepherd in all areas of their life. We see each child as unique with the potential to achieve in all areas of learning. We help them to fulfil this by nurturing them in a secure and positive environment where they feel confident to take risks and explore knowing they are safe. At Rollright, children take a knowledge-rich learning journey through a school which has Christian values at its heart.
Good shepherd as a learner
We believe that a Good Shepherd will have a deep understanding of the subjects of the National Curriculum; this knowledge will equip them with the necessary firm foundations to continue their life-long education. Our exciting and broad curriculum – developed with our learner’s needs and interests at the centre – alongside our strong provision for co-curricular activities and experiences, ensures this intention is successful.
Good shepherd as a friend
We believe that a Good Shepherd will love and take care of others; they will build a strong sense of shared identity and belonging with respect for every individual. This will be nurtured in an inclusive environment which promotes and celebrates diversity. As a valued member of our school community, each child is enabled to build strong and lasting relationships in a loving, trusting atmosphere.
Good shepherd as a guide
We believe that a Good Shepherd, guided by a strong moral compass, will be a role model for others both in and beyond the school community. Our spiral curriculum is designed to allow children to develop as academic guides through shared learning experiences. High expectations of behaviour support children in becoming exemplars for each other as they become successful, resilient young people.
Good shepherd as a protector
We believe that a Good Shepherd must tend to the land with a keen awareness of our impact on the environment, a respect for the world in all its glory and a vision for a sustainable future for all. Our curriculum and our eco-work in school, promotes an appreciation of the planet, guiding children to recognise and embrace their responsibility.
Good shepherd as an enabler
We believe that a Good Shepherd will acknowledge the importance of well-being. Our curriculum will equip them with the courage to persevere and a growth mindset to succeed. Through our varied teaching styles, collective worship opportunities and wide-ranging extra-curricular experiences, we give pupils the space to reflect on their values, behaviours and motivations, building their social confidence, self-regulation and intrinsic motivation to go out and achieve their best in the world.
The curriculum we follow is bespoke to Great Rollright. It has been developed to allow us to take advantage of the mixed age group arrangement of our school. We are following a spiral curriculum based around topic themes which children revisit throughout their learning journey from EYFS to Y6. This has allowed us to meet not only the requirements of the National Curriculum, but to interleave them to ensure progression and retention of knowledge. Our curriculum has also been personalised to maximise the enrichment opportunities and skills in our local community.
Learning is most effective with spaced repetition; interleaving enables pupils to make connections between topics and supports moving learning from the short-term memory to long-term memory. This allows us to develop vocabulary as well as subject knowledge a key tool for the progression of all pupils at Great Rollright.
A part of Rosenshine’s Principles, the retrieval of previously learned content is frequent, which increases learning capacity and aids the process of the moving learning to the long-term memory. Our curriculum arrangement allows this through the overarching topic areas which are revisited biennially, but also through the careful positioning of topics to allow for this to happen within the year as well. Term 6 has been left topic free to allow for teacher’s to decide the best use of this time to ensure that knowledge and understanding has been successfully embedded by revisiting and extending topic learning as required.
In addition to our exciting and stimulating themes, we also provide further opportunities to enhance children’s learning wherever possible. These include:
Whole School Theme Days and Weeks
Throughout the year, themed days/weeks are woven into the curriculum to extend the breadth and balance of opportunities we offer our pupils. These include – Anti-bullying Week, Book Week, Science Week, Mental Health Week, Worship Week.
Forest Schools is a Scandinavian initiative designed to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment. At Rollright, we have designed our own version of Forest Schools and this experience is now offered to our Foundation and Key Stage One children. We are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by countryside and woodland to enable this programme to run throughout the year. Sessions are designed around the needs of the group to ensure that they are learner-led. Sessions are designed around a theme, themes are sometimes subtle such as evolving or exploring the site or more obvious such as butterflies, spies, fairies or nature investigators. Many areas of the National Curriculum are intrinsically covered through this experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art, the list is endless. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.
School trips and visits are an integral part of the education of children at Great Rollright Primary School. We value the opportunities such visits offer our pupils and the commitment of staff and adults undertaking them. Trips include class visits aimed at bringing learning alive and providing first-hand experience; extra-curricular outings such as activities with the school choir or sporting events; and attending or taking part in performances or competitions.
Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 have the opportunity to take part in residential visits. These are planned to provide new and exciting experiences. Pupils in Years 3 & 4 build teamwork and extend their forest school learning during KS1 by visiting Bush Craft Centre on the Cornbury estate; and our Year 5 and 6 young people take part in a multi-activity week at Hooke Court, Dorset, where they experience orienteering, low ropes, rocket launching, archery and lots more. Finally, in Year 6 children are giving the extraordinary opportunity for a fundraising funded trip to Finland where children are able to appreciate a different culture through first hand experience as well as making new friends and becoming part of another school family.
Visitors into School
Visitors have a valuable role to play and can contribute to many aspects of the life and work of the school. They deliver talks, workshops and full day activities across a wide range of subjects, giving pupils access to outside experiences and expertise. Visitors provide a link with the wider community – children have the opportunity to work alongside artists, musicians, authors, health professions and others.
As a school we offer pupils opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities after school. We offer Drama, Computing, Singing, Football, Arts and Crafts, Sewing, Hockey and Gymnastics clubs over the school year. These are provided for a small charge by school staff, volunteers and professional coaches.
PE & Sport Provision
As a school we have invested in the quality scheme ‘Real PE’ which reflects our commitment to developing physical literacy and the emotional and thinking skills needed to achieve in PE, Sport and Life. This is a child-centred approach which aims to challenge and support every child and focuses on the development of agility, balance and coordination, healthy competition and cooperative learning.
We begin swimming lessons in Year 2 where children are assessed and grouped to ensure that those who need most practise get the opportunity for further swimming throughout key stage 2. We aim for every child to leave Great Rollright as a competent swimmer.
Great Rollright Primary School provides opportunities for children to take part in a wide range of musical activities and performances where they are encouraged to sing, compose and work creatively with sound. Children in Years 3&4 benefit from music lessons each week where they learn the recorder. This is built on in Years 5 and 6 where children learn a Brass instrument with lessons delivered by a Specialist Music Teacher. A range of opportunities are provided within and beyond the curriculum for children to showcase their musical skills and talents, for example every two years our older pupils take part in Young Voices where school choirs across the Midlands region come together to performance at the Genting Arena in Birmingham.
Opportunities to Volunteer
Volunteering is an activity that everyone can get involved in and benefit from. At Great Rollright we promote and encourage pupils’ active citizenship and positive contribution to the school and wider community. We offer lots of opportunities for pupils to take on new responsibilities and be involved in successfully supporting the life and work of the school. These include elected representatives on our School Council and Eco Committee and as trained peer mediators on the playground.
Older pupils can also apply and be interviewed for positions such as Playground Leaders and Librarians, and within classes children can volunteer to take on various responsibilities ranging from lunch duties, to collecting and distributing registers, to helping with the organisation of equipment in assemblies. Pupils tell us that they enjoy the opportunity to volunteer to help make their school an even better place to be and rising to the challenge that additional responsibility brings.
Assemblies and Acts of Collective Worship
A rounded programme of daily Acts of Collective Worship and Assemblies help to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and provide clear guidance on what is right and what is wrong. Once a week Worship is led by a member of our local clergy, and at least once a term children take part in a service in the village church. There is a weekly Celebration Assembly where teachers and children reward one another for excellent work, effort or acts which fulfil our value stars. We also encourage children to bring in achievements from outside of school to celebrate achievement beyond the academic world. There is a special award for outstanding homework and a governor attends assembly to make this award extra special.
Homework can make an important contribution to a child’s progress at school. As well as reinforcing learning in the classroom, homework helps children to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful independent lifelong learning. Homework is set in-line with the school’s policy, with tasks planned to appropriately challenge all pupils. Weekly activities focus on literacy and numeracy to reinforce and consolidate skills taught.
In addition, children have a termly ‘jig-saw’ of activities linked to their current theme, from which to choose one activity each week. This provides an opportunity for children to think creatively and produce their own form of response for example a model or piece of art work, a project, an IT presentation, a recount following a family visit.
We are working towards becoming an Eco school and value the benefits of outdoor learning. Children are stimulated by the outdoors where they can undertake a range of practical activities to support and enhance learning across the curriculum. Our Foundation Stage and Key Stage One pupils benefit from Forest School activities and tending growing beds to produce fruit and vegetables to use in cooking activities. Further up the school, opportunities are built into the curriculum for children to continue learning beyond the classroom including undertaking fieldwork and enquiry based-work in the local area.
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering age related expectations. Our aim is to ensure that children will be academically and socially prepared for life in high school and in modern Britain and the world.
The curriculum is assessed and evaluated through the following:
Formative Assessment – teacher’s strong subject knowledge and understanding of pupils means that the main method of curriculum assessment we employ is formative assessment.
Pop Quizzes – taken regularly and often repeated to ensure understanding of concepts and that learning is stored in the long-term memory.
Pupil voice – discussions with pupils about learning, and their spiritual and moral development. Pupils will demonstrate compassion to their peers, community and the natural environment.
Pupil Behaviour – children will show that they are developing kindness, tolerance and compassion through their interactions with each other and adults in the school environment and as they mature through the school they will extend this beyond the school community.
Work in books – children will use exercise or sketch books to record written work. This should be a record of pupils ongoing learning. Pupils are encouraged to take pride in their written work, and teachers will give feedback orally and occasionally in writing. Work in books will show progression over a topic or unit of work.
Summative Assessment – Pupils will sit NFER or SAT assessment papers over the course of a school year. These are used to monitor pupil progress and are reviewed by all school staff and Governors. Children’s progress is reported to parents.
Some year groups sit National summative Assessments. In Foundation Stage, pupils are monitored against curriculum statements. In Year 1, pupils take the Phonics Assessment. In Year 2, pupils take KS1 SAT’s which inform their outcomes alongside Teacher Assessment. In Year 4, pupils sit a Multiplication Test. In Year 6, Pupils sit KS2 SAT tests.