A Curriculum ambitious in scope and rigour
Our curriculum is designed to ensure children grow in knowledge, skills and character with communication, aspiration and wellbeing at the heart of all our learning. To that end we can say we are voracious devourers of words, with reading and rich explicit teaching of vocabulary a cornerstone for all other learning. Our work as a Voice 21 School means that all pupils throughout school are encouraged to use their voice in a range of contexts, to speak up for their interests, concerns and values and be heard.
The rationale for the programmes of study we use is to support the acquisition of language and literacy in all subjects, recognising the lower starting points of pupils arriving in school but also ensuring rich vocabulary is developed for every child regardless of starting points.
Our programmes of study build sequences of learning which are easy to access but contain challenging and rigorous content, because we think carefully about the pedagogy of cognition. Our choices are informed by the evidence base from research to build expert professional practice and in ensuring that what we want the children to know, they can rehearse and recall and secure for future learning.
Development of our humanities curriculum
We are currently transitioning our Humanities programme of study to the Opening Worlds curriculum within KS2, a project to strengthen our current humanities curriculum using the theories from cognitive science to inform our pedagogy. We are creating a cohesive and exciting curriculum map, working with the Opening Worlds team to carefully consider our local context both of our exceptional locality and heritage, and of a rural school with mixed age classes. Over the next 3 years this programme roll out will to provide our children with a learning experience which takes all of them onto their future stages of education with excellent knowledge, skills and understanding.
In 2023 we will review our KS1 humanities provision in light of the Opening Worlds Lower KS2 programme to consider what adjustments we might make to the sequence of content that is helpfully antecedent to the KS2 programme.
The aspirational content and balanced range of approaches to learning are designed to help children learn the joy of pursuing interests which will shape their future. That, as children here grow in confidence and character, they discover the courage to take up challenges and the curiosity to explore.
Partnerships in rich curriculum delivery
Robert Arkenstall works in collaboration with partnerships of educators in Cambridgeshire and further afield. We lead the East Cambs and Fenland Evidence Network, providing system leadership for evidence lead practice within our area. We are founding partners of the Cambridgeshire Education Partnership for whom we have delivered training on Powerful words and with whom we participate in enterprise days, sporting events and DT enrichment. We work with The Fitzwilliam Museum CU and Access Arts; The Cambridgeshire Music Hub and Maths Hub. We are a School 21 partner. The Farmington Trust funded scholarships which supported our humanities curriculum work. We make regular and frequent use of heritage and history providers locally in Gripping History, Ely Cathedral and Ely Museum. as well as our near neighbours with Witchford Area Schools Partnership. We share expertise and professional development with our partners and value the impact they make for pupils here by enriching the learning we can offer.
In every aspect of our school curriculum we place a high value on communication. Explicit teaching through projects like Voice 21, Powerful Words and Talk Tigers ensure all children know their voice is valued in every subject and project. Add in our Reading Army of parents and volunteers and we are creating word conscious pupils who are able to express themselves confidently, clearly and imaginatively with exceptional language skills from our rich culture of words.
Enrichment within our curriculum
We encourage children to explore subjects, both of interest to them and completely new experiences, with the same motivation to learn and resilience to learning. We design carefully enriched experiences and challenges from History days with Gripping History or local museums to PE circus skills, Art with Inspire 2020, Stem and Innovation days with CEP, to Latin, Science with Astra Zeneca to entrepreneur club.
EYFS Curriculum for new intake parents
Key Stage One Curriculum information for transition