The Principles of Our Curriculum Offer
Our curriculum aims to develop successful learners who:
- Develop a willingness to solve problems and accept challenges as an opportunity, helping them develop new knowledge, skills and to experience new models for thinking and learning that enable them to approach life with enthusiasm both now and in the future.
- Critically analyse their own learning, and set challenging goals for themselves to achieve in the future
- Understand the process of learning, the relationship between effort and progress and how to further develop their own talents through a wide range of learning approaches.
- Are able to meet the expectations for learning agreed as a national expectation.
Our curriculum aims to develop confident individuals who:
- Understand that they set goals for themselves in order to plan a route to achieve positive outcomes, recognising that they have the skills necessary to overcome challenges and face up to difficulties.
- Value themselves as individuals, and value the contributions of other people around them developing their knowledge, skills and understanding of the world in which they live.
- Recognise that they have knowledge, skills and understanding that are transferable to a wide range of contexts in learning and life.
Our curriculum aims to develop Responsible Citizens who:
- Develop a wider understanding of the world around them and develop tolerance of, and a celebration of differences between themselves and other citizens both locally and globally.
- Recognise that through upholding a set of shared values and beliefs that they contribute significantly to the community that they live in and the wider global community.
We do this through a Curriculum that:
- Develops learning that is rooted in meaningful contexts that have a clear purpose for the learner, and are enjoyable and memorable.
- Develops learning that provides opportunities for learners to experience new learning through practical first hand contexts wherever possible.
- Develops an understanding of the principles of effective learning.
- Develops a sense of personal wellbeing and personal development.
The Connected and Core Skills Curriculum at Binley Woods Primary School
What it Looks Like and How it Works
Our curriculum is a connected curriculum because links are made between the concepts and ideas children are developing within subjects, and the key skills of maths and English that children need to make good progress in education as well as throughout their adult lives. Identifying, applying and connecting ideas enables children to tackle new and more complex problems. To be successful learners children also need to develop fundamental core skills so that they have the right attitudes to accept challenge and embrace new experiences. Our core skills curriculum underpins our connected curriculum and is central to our philosophy at Binley Woods.
At Binley Woods we have created a curriculum which is meaningful, interesting and inspiring. We want our children to learn more about the world around them, building on what they already know and understand so that it prepares them for their next steps.
Themes for Learning
Using a stimulus as a starting point for each term’s theme, we aim to foster a ‘hook’ into their learning which will not only engage the children’s interest but also foster the development of their ‘pupil voice’. Children are encouraged to share their ideas and bring items into school from home which we use in our learning. Themes are used as a context within which the children are challenged to develop new ideas and concepts and also to solve problems. Through the themes we are able to make meaningful links for our children living in Binley Woods and also between subjects using a range of approaches to learning. We encourage the children to value each other’s ideas and contributions and believe that taking this thematic approach is the most effective way to build social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning into every child’s education.
A list of the themes is given below together with the subject focus.
- All About Me
- Light and Dark
- Traditional Tales
- Aliens are Coming
- Starry Night
- Why Is Water So Precious?
- Food Glorious Food
- Fire Fire
- Mrs Armitage’s Wheels
- The Owl & The Pussy Cat
- How Are We Like Animals?
- The Seaside,
- Bright Sparks (Science focus)
- Ancient Egyptians (History)
- Lets Go On An Adventure (Geography)
- The Games Children Play (Dance, Art and Music)
- A Bugs Life (Science)
- How can we make living here better for everyone? (Geography)
- I Wonder (Science)
- Invader and Settlers (History and Geography)
- Should We Stop Eating Chocolate? (Science)
- From A Railway Carriage (Art, Music and Dance)
- What Happens Inside Us? (Science),
- European Regional Study (Geography)
- Mysterious materials (Science)
- War and Peace (History)
- Fairgrounds (DT and Science)
- The Highwayman (Art and Dance)
- Our Place (science)
- Us Vs USA (Geography)
- Out of This World (Science)
- Has there ever been a better time to live here? (History)
- Why do some creatures no longer exist? (Science and Geography)
- The Lady of Shalott (Art and Dance)
- The Great UK Geography Challenge (Geography)
- Mini-Enterprise (DT)
At Binley Woods we aim to create a language rich environment in which children are confident to express themselves. We encourage them to develop a love of books, literature and reading. In writing we help them to develop their writing skills, vocabulary and creativity in a variety of contexts and genres. To support with helping the children learn to spell we use the Read Write Inc scheme from Years 2-6.
Reading is taught through guided reading lessons, individual reading, comprehension and a range of reading activities to enhance children’s confidence and skills. Children are able to select books from our library and parents are able to support their child not only in reading at home but selecting the right book to suit their interest and needs. In Reception children use the Phonics Bugs (Pearson) books initially to help them to decode words containing new sounds. As children become more confident and fluent in their reading they can choose from a wide range of Oxford Reading Tree books and other good quality texts which may not belong to a scheme. In Guided Reading the children have access to a wide range of books such as Oxford Reading Tree Code and Project X as well as good quality texts written by many different authors. In school we are training to begin using the Accelerated Reader programme which means children will be able to choose from a wide range of good quality texts in Key Stage 2.
Phonics is taught from pre-school and throughout Reception KS1. Children are initially helped to ‘tune into sounds’ through listening walks and musical activities in the Early Years, and then by learning individual sounds and how they work together to form the English Language. Daily phonics lessons play a key role in the teaching of reading. We use Jolly Phonics songs and base our teaching on the Letters and Sounds scheme.
When writing is taught links are made to high quality texts which encourage a rich use of language and vocabulary. Lessons also use other subjects as a context for the written work. Writing skills are taught in a variety of ways, focusing the children on the good use of grammar and punctuation, features of different genres and helping them to develop their writing style. Children critically evaluate their writing so that they are able to identify with support what can be improved through editing and what their next steps are. Lessons are organised in a variety of formats according to the aims of the lesson and the needs of the children, enabling children to approach the writing process effectively and with confidence. We want our children to see themselves as writers.
Speaking and Listening - Our children love to share their ideas. We help them to think about how they communicate with others, and how to express themselves effectively. Listening to others and developing ideas through the spoken word is a key part of effective learning. Children need to be able to articulate their thoughts using a wide range of vocabulary, in order to write well. Reading is a key part of this as well as the knowledge they acquire across the curriculum. Parents play a hugely important role in the development of their child’s spoken word. Reading and conversation at home, as well as talking about experiences can really enhance a child’s vocabulary and confidence.
We are a Maths Mastery School and now teach Maths Mastery from Reception to Year 5. We will be rolling out this curriculum to Year 6 from September 2020.
Every child is able to enjoy and succeed in mathematics through appropriate learning opportunities which supports the development of a growth mindset and a ‘can do’ attitude to mathematical challenges. Maths lessons enable our children to solve new problems in unfamiliar contexts which secures their understanding to a deeper level. We focus on the development of children’s mathematical language which strengthens conceptual understanding by enabling children to explain and reason.
This important subject is taught weekly in practical, hands on lessons. Children are encouraged to develop an enquiring mindset and are taught through flexible lessons that relate to real life. Science activities are interactive and engaging, developing the key scientific skills set out in the National Curriculum. Science is also represented within the curriculum through specific science based themes allowing scientific thinking to be explored and broadened in different contexts, for example in Year 5’s theme ‘Mysterious Materials’ children explore the origins of certain materials, who discovered them and how we use them in the world today.
This important subject is taught specifically as part of our curriculum, but ICT is also used to support learning in other subjects. Children are taught specific skills such as programming and coding as well as word processing and editing and producing work. Online safety is also taught directly each half term. At the start of each half term teachers explore with children what they are engaging in online at home so that our online safety teaching is meaningful to children, supportive to families and covers the online safety agenda.
Children are taught the foundations subject listed below:
- French (KS2)
- Art and Design
- Design and Technology
- RE (Warwickshire and Coventry Agreed Syllabus)
We also teach Philosophy for Children at Binley Woods which develops children’s thinking skills, perceptions and opinions and supports speaking and listening as well as SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development).
At our school we believe the teaching of these subjects is a vital part of children’s education and we seek to enrich our teaching with a range of opportunities that encourage our children’s different interests and talents. For example:
- Visits from archaeologists and historians
- Orienteering at Coombe Abbey Park
- Use of the local environment (post office, local shops, allotments)
- Environment visits to Bandon March
- Sporting competitions away and hosted at our school
- Visits to Compton Verney Art and the Herbert Art Gallery
- Visits to Coventry Cathedral
- Trips to The Big Bang UK Scientists and Engineering Fair, The Birmingham Think Tank, Leicester Space Centre
- Participation in the K’Nex Challenge
- Participation in Music Concerts at the Butterworth Hall (Warwick University) and Rugby’s Temple Speech Rooms
- Participation in national celebration days such as Sing Up Day, World Book Day, World Maths Day, European Day of Languages, Science Week etc.
We plan our themes to start with a stimulus (WOW in) and end them with meaningful exits (WOW outs) which enable children to use the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout the theme, often sharing them with parents.
Early Years Foundation Stage
At Binley Woods our Reception class works alongside our Pre-school to create a continuous early provision for our children. Woodlands pre-school provides experiences to support our youngest children in Communication, Physical Development and Social and Emotional Development. In Reception children take part in a broad and stimulating curriculum which builds on their early experiences and develops their language, early reading and writing skills and mathematical understanding. It also helps them to develop their learning through creative and problem solving activities. We place great importance on the development of the Characteristics of Effective Learning which are a pre requisite of learning and understanding and underpins our Core Skills Curriculum across the rest of the school.
We are currently in the process of becoming a Forest School. We are, after all, Binley WOODS Primary School! Currently our Early Years children go to the woods weekly to undertake woodland learning but we are going to roll this out across the school as we believe that understanding and engaging with the environment is part of every child’s entitlement. We also believe that it is part of our school’s identity. Forest School helps build children’s confidence and self-esteem and is supported by our school values.
Core Learning Skills
These skills are fundamental to learning and performance in education, work and life. This element of the Binley Woods curriculum supports children in developing these key skills through a series of units which each last for half a term and underpin all our work at school. The whole school focuses on the same unit at any one time and this is built on annually.
Core learning skills covered are:
- Learning with Others
- Developing Independence and Responsibility
- Improving Own Learning and Performance
- Knowing Me, Knowing You (Developing a Sense of Self Worth)
- Thinking Skills
- Speaking and Listening
Parents receive curriculum information weekly which informs them of what will be taught in the week ahead and how they can support their child at home.
If you would like any further information about our curriculum please see our individual class pages.