Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. - W.B. Yeats
At Stoneydown, we are determined that all our children will make excellent progress in developing the skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes needed for high quality learning.
We believe that we all learn best when we work together and when lessons are creative and fun. We have devised a curriculum map that is built on a 2-year cycle enabling classes to work together on half-termly topics.
This statement summarises the values, aims and objectives that Stoneydown’s curriculum seeks to embody. We also recognise that the curriculum experienced by the children does not just include the planned curriculum, but involves the so-called ‘hidden curriculum’ of relationships, ethos, informal learning and learning outside school hours.
This should be read alongside the following policies:
We are a vibrant community school. We want children to be happy, confident, life-long learners and to believe that:
We love being creative with our learning.
- We think independently and creatively
- We are all entitled to access to the creative and performing arts
We challenge ourselves – there are no limits to what we can achieve.
- We are ambitious for our futures and have a love of learning
- We want to constantly improve
We are at the heart of our community.
- We welcome and celebrate all our families and cultures
- We help our community
- We care for our environment
5 to Thrive: connect, take notice, be active, keep learning, give
The three over-arching aims of the curriculum at Stoneydown are:
- to provide exciting and varied opportunities for all pupils to learn successfully, whatever their current levels of attainment or particular needs;
- to promote learners’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
- to develop the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes needed for a positive response to the diverse opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
We believe the learning children engage in at Stoneydown should therefore:
- build children’s capacity to learn
- enable every child to develop the key skills of communication, thinking, social and emotional awareness, creativity, physical development and learning about learning;
- contribute to equality of opportunity for all, active local and global citizenship, economic awareness and commitment to sustainable development;
- reflect the principles of respect for ourselves, others and diversity within society;
- engender a commitment to truth, justice, honesty, trust and a sense of personal responsibility
In order to achieve these aims, we intend to provide:
- A learning environment that will encourage all children to become active learners with positive attitudes and the capacity to continue successful life-long learning
- A balanced curriculum that enables children to use, apply and develop knowledge and skills across the whole curriculum so that our pupils can make connections between different areas of learning
- A creative approach to learning that motivates and allows children to express their natural curiosity through stimulating, interconnected topics with investigations that engage their imagination in a context of active enquiry
- Opportunities for children to develop the capacity, motivation and skills for learning through activities that have a clear purpose and a high quality outcome.
- Opportunities for our children to collaborate, cooperate and reflect through talk.
- Regular enrichment activities to bring the curriculum alive including learning in and from our local environment, visiting museums, galleries and a myriad of places of interest in and around London and learning from special visitors to the school – including parents!
- The chance for children to apply their organisational skills, creativity and teamwork in new and challenging contexts – for example planning and running stalls for the Summer Fete which involves entrepreneurial skills amongst others.
- Praise and celebration of all children’s achievements and a showcase for excellent effort.
High quality learning
The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you. - BB King
High quality learning is founded on the capacity to learn, positive attitudes and the ability to apply key skills.
The 6 Rs - Capacity for Learning
We recognise the importance of building children’s capacity for learning by encouraging, developing and sustaining:
We emphasise the importance of positive attitudes to learning across the curriculum through promoting:
- Belief in the value of effort
Learning Tools – the skills that underpin our curriculum
We plan our teaching so that these key tools for learning are applied in many different contexts so that children can use these skills throughout their lives.
- Social and Emotional Learning
- Physical Learning
- Learning about Learning
Although not a subject on its own, SMSC threads throughout our curriculum. SMSC consists of:
Personal development relating to the spirit or soul and the intangible. N.B. It does not relate to physical nature or matter and is not synonymous with religious education - although religious education can be a major vehicle for the delivery of spiritual matters.
Personal development relating to human behaviour, especially the distinction between good and bad or right and wrong.
Personal development concerned with living in a community rather than alone.
Personal development concerned with the total of inherited ideas, beliefs, values and knowledge which constitute the shared basis for social action.
It is important to note that other policies directly influence, support and promote SMSC.
Our Behaviour Policy shows that SMSC values form an integral part of daily classroom practice. Our Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) scheme of work also contributes substantially to the promotion of SMSC awareness within school.
Pupils’ spiritual development may be shown by their:
- interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values
- sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
- use of imagination and creativity in their learning
- willingness to reflect on their experiences.
Pupils’ moral development may be shown by their:
- ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong
- understanding of the consequences of their actions
- interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues.
Pupils’ social development may be shown by their:
- range of social skills including working and socialising with other pupils
- cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
- interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.
Pupils’ cultural development may be shown by their:
- appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
- willingness to participate in cultural opportunities
- the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity
Through our provision for SMSC, we promote British values in order to:
- enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
- enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
- foster tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of, and respect for, their own and other cultures;
- encourage respect for other people; and
- encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes.
Click here to see how we teach British Values throughout the curriculum.
High quality teaching
We recognise that, in order for children to make excellent progress, teaching must be of a high standard (see Learning and Teaching Policy and Marking and Feedback Policy).
When implementing the planned curriculum, we:
- Present positive images of different religions, cultures and languages, particularly those within our local community
- Seek to address the needs of all our pupils, including those with special needs, English as an additional language and gifted and talented pupils (see inclusion policy)
- Use available resources effectively to meet the individual needs of all pupils
- Actively promote community cohesion
- Promote positive behaviour and kindness to others
- Assess the needs of individual learners to ensure appropriate provision in class and additional support where necessary
Enriching the curriculum
In order to extend learners’ horizons and widen experiences, we:
- plan a wide range of activities that enrich the curriculum
- use the local environment as a resource
- plan outings to museums, galleries, places of worships and other venues of historical, cultural or educational interest
- encourage children to take part in borough sports events and competitions
- stage special assemblies and other events to celebrate the skills and talents of our pupils
- invite visitors into the school to share their knowledge and expertise
- sometimes arrange special workshops on-site
- provide opportunities to see, and participate in, performing arts in school or elsewhere
- offer learning opportunities before and after school hours
- make links with neighbouring schools where possible; for example our closest secondary school, Willowfield
Building a learning community
We believe that our curriculum is also enhanced through working together as a learning community. Throughout the school, we seek to build a community of learners by fostering positive attitudes based on:
- respect for learners as individuals and mutual respect between learners
- a sense of shared purpose and teamwork
- willingness to give constructive feedback and to listen to the advice of others
- awareness of the school community (our responsibility to others as well as the support we receive)
- awareness of the local community
- awareness of the world
- willingness to listen to the advice of others and also to give constructive feedback
- positive behaviour and kindness to others