Our curriculum is driven by the need to develop well-rounded, life long learners who are prepared for the challenges and adventures that await them. We believe that all children have a right to a broad, balanced, relevant and enriching education that provides continuity and progression. Attitudes, dispositions and values underpin every aspect of the curriculum; whilst equipping children with the personal characteristics to become motivated and committed learners, we expose all our learners to enriching experiences, immersing them in progressive knowledge and skills required to succeed in future learning and beyond.
Our thematic based curriculum draws on the 2014 National Curriculum and its Programmes of Study. We teach our curriculum creatively, understanding that all children learn in different ways. We have agreed six whole-school ‘umbrella topics’, which are: Good to be Me, Great Britain, Significant Individuals, Our Wonderful World, Communities and Creativity and Performing. Each base will undertake the same ‘umbrella’ topic at the same point during the year, enabling a clear pathway for the children during their time with us. Each base will vary the focus of the learning under each ‘umbrella topic’ so that there is progression. Please see our ‘progression of skills documents’ on the school website. Subject leaders have taken the objectives from the National Curriculum and have ensured that these are covered during the appropriate key stage. The breakdown of these objectives can be seen in our ‘curriculum overview’ documents.
It is our aim to promote a love of learning by helping children understand what makes a successful learner and to develop learning dispositions which will enable them to have a growth mindset and be successful learners in life. The aims of our curriculum are encompassed within our curriculum drivers;
‘A person credited with profound moral and spiritual insight or knowledge’
Emotional and social awareness
We believe that a child’s spiritual development is integral to them understanding not only who they are, but more importantly, who they want to be. It is associated with a dimension of life which is not necessarily experienced through the physical senses, but has much to do with feelings and emotions, and attitudes and beliefs. The term ‘spiritual’ need not be synonymous with ‘religious’. We nurture and celebrate the unique value and self-worth of each member of our school family. Here at Verwood CE First spirituality is woven like a thread through the fabric of our school enriching who we are. Spirituality is about creating precious moments to transform thoughts, actions and our senses. It is the capacity to be still and reflect with awe and wonder on the beauty and possibilities of the human and natural world … and beyond. At Verwood CE First School we seek to develop spirituality by planning for the possibility of spiritual moments across the curriculum. These are easily found in RE or Collective Worship but can be experienced through other areas such as Science e.g. looking at the beauty of plants or the wonder of outer space. We have worked hard to develop a vision for the school that is owned and understood by all of us. This is the vision we have come up with;
The fruit of the Spirit …is not a banana! What we value is more than healthy eating, it is healthy being, just as God shows us how to ‘be’ in the bible. Love / Joy / Peace / Patience / Kindness / Goodness / Gentleness/ Faithfulness / Self-control. Now that’s wellbeing for all!
Emotional and social awareness
Verwood CE First School and Nursery provides opportunities for children to learn, respect and appreciate the diversity of an ever-changing society. We aim to nurture confident, independent children who are able to make responsible choices, understand and maintain positive relationships and have the ability to show empathy and compassion towards others. The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through daily collective worship and whole school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful school council. We also actively promote British Values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. As a school we aim to promote opportunities that will enable pupils to develop an understanding of their individual and group identity and learn about service in the school and wider community. We believe our children need to know about and understand the world that is beyond their immediate doorstep. They need opportunities to experience the richness of its diversity and show they care about its management and sustainability.
We want our children to ‘learn through doing’ by being actively involved and engaged in their learning through the investigation of key questions to deepen knowledge. Children are given the opportunity to develop their curiosity and ask questions about their learning and the wider world around them. Through providing opportunities to collaborate with other pupils, with staff or work independently, we aim to develop their understanding that different responses and solutions are possible. Our curriculum is often presented as questions to investigate, rather than answers or knowledge. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions, generate lines of enquiry and they are then given the time and space to explore them. Children are encouraged to plan, monitor and evaluate their thinking throughout their learning process and use strategies to help understand their own learning behaviours and thoughts.
“Since we can't know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned”.
This quote resonates with us at Verwood First as we recognise the ever changing society that young people are growing up in today. We look to develop and nurture this ‘love of learning’ through the 6Rs which are embedded in every aspect of our school culture. These can be broken down into 4 learning Rs, being Resilient, Reciprocal, Resourceful, Reflective and 2 behaviour Rs, being Respectful and Responsible. Focusing on the 6Rs enables children to become well-rounded individuals and develop the characteristics of effective learners. We celebrate and reward children for demonstrating these dispositions. Each half term has a particular R focus and uses a progression of skills to introduce a new capacity.