At Ball Green Primary School we offer a curriculum that is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each year group and each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the new National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities that best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. The aim of our curriculum is for all pupils to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education.
The Early Years
In April 2021, we introduced an offer of fully-funded, ‘Rising 3’ provision in the school Nursery in order to maximise engagement with the Early Years curriculum and to potentially offer children up to two terms additional education. The Early Years, – Nursery and Reception classes – implement the
, sensitively assessing our youngest pupil’s emotional well-being with ‘The Leuven Scales’ so that they are fully supported to engage in multi-sensory experiences and develop the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning.’
Pupils may still working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they initially enter Year 1 and there is a fluid period in the Autumn Term where the majority of children progress to the National Curriculum, depending on their individual needs. Throughout this period and beyond, all children continue to develop their phonological knowledge through the ‘Little Wandle – Letters and Sounds’ programme [Revised] to develop their fluency in reading.
The National Curriculum
Through the implementation of a text-based curriculum across KS1 and KS2, every child at Ball Green Primary School has access to a ‘mastered,’ multi-disciplinary curriculum that not only fulfils the statutory requirements of the national curriculum but also deepens knowledge, skills and Tier 3 vocabulary through a progressive approach.
The text-based curriculum is embedded across all year groups and ensures the development of subject specific knowledge, the applied skills associated with this and progressive core vocabulary that will become cumulative (year-on-year), with children securing ‘Age Related Expectations.’
Every subject, both core and foundation, has its own set of ‘required’ knowledge which is defined by end of year expectations. However, in order to deepen this knowledge a set of essential skills have been formulated to ensure that all learning is purposeful and more importantly, progressive. Subject specific vocabulary will support teachers in their planning, delivery and assessment of the national curriculum.
Opportunities for cross-curricular links are fully exploited in order to create a broader context of understanding and an environment where skills and knowledge can be ‘applied’ and/or ‘mastered,’ in particular those of ‘Speaking & Listening,’ ‘Reading,’ ‘Writing,’ ‘Mathematics’ and ‘Computing.’ Outdoor learning opportunities and educational visits/visitors are embraced to excite and engage all learners. The use of new and emerging technologies are integrated across the curriculum so that children are fully prepared for their diverse and as of yet unknown futures from 2026 and beyond.
Where National Curriculum subjects cannot be blended into the ‘text-based’ curriculum they are delivered using various schemes of work (for example, Jigsaw PSHE, Stoke on Trent Local Authority RE Syllabus, etc.) as a basis to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school while avoiding tenuous links.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. The school grounds have been developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
Assessments ensure that children are meeting expectations in their learning. The more able, gifted and talented pupils are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience increasing independence and success.
Baseline assessments take place at the beginning of each academic year, – September – and targets are discussed and set with children, parents, teachers and senior leaders each October. Pupils are formatively assessed through their contributions to lessons and their group/individual work on a daily basis. More formal assessments take place in December, before Easter and in July each year using a range of tools including Phonics Screens, PiRA, PUMA, etc. and termly progress and attainment is reviewed to ensure that children are on track to fulfil their potential.
Statutory tests are undertaken as follows:
Reception Baseline – September
Year 1 Phonics Screen – June
Year 2 Phonics Resit – June
Year 2 SATs – June
Year 4 Multiplication Check – June
Year 6 SATs – July
All subject leaders are given training and the opportunity to continuously develop their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding through regular, collaborative, network meetings so that they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Theme weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. Additional whole school programmes and approaches support quality teaching and learning and the school is well resourced in terms of learning materials, books and technology.