Our approach to the curriculum
As a Trust, we believe that learning is like overlapping waves: A gradual ebbing and flowing of the frequencies of alternative ways of thinking, with new approaches being added and old ones being eliminated as well. New rules / strategies / theories and ways of thinking wash through our minds like waves sometimes obliterating what was there before, sometimes pushing suddenly forward in great surges.
At Charlestown Primary School we plan a curriculum that is based on first-hand experience, which excites the pupils and engages them in learning. The curriculum includes all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal curriculum but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible citizens, who value and can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential. This statement is directed towards all members of the school community to ensure that all are aware of the fundamental principles underpinning the work of our school.
The uniqueness of every child is valued. Our curriculum is designed to promote respect for the views of each individual child and for people of all cultures and races. We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
The main principles on which we base our curriculum are:
- The importance of each person in our community. We organise our curriculum to promote co-operation and understanding between all members of our community.
- The rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We aim to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all the children in our school.
- The quality of our environment. We aim to teach respect for our world, now and in the future.
- The qualities of truth, justice, honesty, trust and responsibility.
- The children are encouraged to contribute to the planning of the curriculum. They are asked to suggest topics they would like to study and where possible the staff incorporate the children’s ideas in the topic plans. At the beginning of a topic the staff find out what the children know, what they want to find out about and then plan topics to match the children’s interests as much as possible.
The school curriculum is designed to achieve the two broad aims of the National Curriculum:
- to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and achieve;
- to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and to begin to prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
These two aims reinforce each other. The personal development of pupils spiritually, morally, socially and culturally plays a significant part in the ability to learn and achieve. Development in both areas is essential to raising standards of attainment for all pupils.
Statement of Content
The school will provide a broad, balanced, relevant and coherent curriculum.
- The curriculum will be designed to allow pupils to begin to develop the knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes necessary for their own development and to enable them to play a full part in society.
- The curriculum will be designed to begin to prepare pupils to participate effectively in a changing, complex civilisation and culture.
- The school will promote global awareness and understanding.
- All pupils will have equal right of access to the curriculum which may be modified to meet the needs of individuals.
- The children will be encouraged to have ‘a spirit of enquiry’ and take responsibility for their learning.
- The children will be proactive in shaping the curriculum through implementation of their ideas where appropriate.