At Chesterton Primary School, our vision for the curriculum is to ‘challenge’ each child to reach their full intellectual, creative, physical and emotional potential through a fully integrated curriculum. We encourage ALL children to become independent, life-long learners by developing intellectual curiosity, a thirst for discovery and achievement, a sense of understanding and compassion for others and the courage to act on their beliefs. We strive to create a diverse community that fosters mutual respect and social responsibility, enhanced by a strong partnership between home and school.
The curriculum at Chesterton Primary School has been written to incorporate the STATUTORY requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. However, while the National Curriculum encourages a discrete disciplinary approach to teaching and learning, the curriculum at Chesterton Primary School, removes the barriers between discrete disciplines and provides opportunities for children to use and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills accumulated through meaningful, exciting and enjoyable contexts.
The curriculum is organised as follows:
- Communication, Language & Literacy (including Speaking & Listening, Drama, Phonics, Reading, Writing, MFL – French);
- Science & Technology (Including Science, Design Technology & Computing);
- Humanities (including History, Geography and PSHCE – Social);
- Creative Arts & Design (including Art & Design, Music and Performing Arts);
- Physical Health & Well-Being (including PE & Games, PSHCE - Individual – and SRE);
- Religious & Spiritual Education (Including RE and PSHCE – beliefs).
In order to maintain a robust curriculum that develops a broad and balanced range of skills, Mathematics, MFL (French), Computing, Religious Education and PE & Games may continue to be taught as discrete subjects/disciplines. Links will be made with cross-curricular themes and topics where they add value to the learning experience and lead to progressive outcomes for the children.
The Collaborative Curriculum
The ‘Collaborative Curriculum’ at Chesterton Primary School is a trans-disciplinary approach that has been designed to foster the development of the whole child. Based on a number of key documents, including the ‘National Curriculum,’ Unicef’s ‘Rights Respecting Schools’ agenda, ‘Philosophy 4 Children’ and Kagan’s ‘Co-operative Learning Structures,’ the curriculum scaffolds intellectual development and academic attainment; encourages physical awareness and promotes healthy lifestyles; stimulates a sense of self and self-confidence to enhance emotional well-being; explores cultural similarities and differences on a local, national and international scale to promote social cohesion, and it equips children with the communication skills needed to interact with others in a rapidly narrowing global environment.
At Chesterton, the curriculum enables ALL children to become balanced, caring, open-minded, principled, knowledgeable, inquisitive, thoughtful, reflective, risk-takers and communicators.
The curriculum teaches ALL children to understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance in order to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others. It encourages them to show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. The curriculum provides ‘real’ opportunities for children to individually and collectively act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and the environment. Through our curriculum, children learn to understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. It fosters the need for children to become accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view and a willingness to grow from the experiences encountered. It enables ALL children to act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. The curriculum encourages children to take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Chesterton’s Collaborative Curriculum Vision
Learning is purposeful and explores concepts, ideas and issues that have local, national and global significance. As a result, children acquire an in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Teaching encourages children to develop their natural curiosity through considered research, investigation and inquiry. Multi-sensory experiences provide children with opportunities to acquire focused and progressive subject-specific skills, knowledge and understanding that can be applied and ‘mastered’ by making creative comparisons between disciplines.
The curriculum enables them to exercise initiative and independence in applying conceptual skills critically and creatively to recognise and approach complex problems based on considered alternatives, organised planning, informed risk-taking, and reflective and refined evaluations.
It scaffolds children to be brave and articulate when defending their beliefs. It supports ALL children to give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience.
It provides opportunities for children to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to monitor and support their learning and personal development in order to achieve success throughout their diverse futures.
It facilitates the ability to express, explain and communicate their ideas, knowledge, understanding and skills confidently and creatively in their first language, and in a developing second language (French), and in a variety of modes of communication.
The curriculum encourages ALL children to work effectively and in collaboration with others.
The ‘Story Topic’ Curriculum?
The ‘Story Topic’ curriculum is a skills based curriculum that has the development of literacy skills at its heart. We believe that developing key skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing is crucial to children’s attainment in all curriculum areas. Our planning is based around an exciting and challenging novel or story. This is the vehicle for developing purposeful skills across all curriculum areas in an exciting context with a particular emphasis on securing and embedding literacy skills. Although the ‘Story Topic’ curriculum is intended to be a cross-curricular approach tenuous links with subjects are avoided and as a result we often teach Mathematics, Science, Computing skills, RE, PSHCE, and PE discretely in order to ensure that our curriculum remains broad and balanced, and more importantly, so that our children acquire the necessary skills required for their next stage of learning and development.
Here are some examples of what our children say about our curriculum:
"Books are helping us to find out and learn more about new things."
"I enjoy Story Topic because everything is linked to one story, which makes things more interesting to learn."
"I love being able to use the internet to do my own story topic research about World War Two."
"The stories are inspiring me!"
Why do we teach using the ‘Story Topic’ curriculum?
We believe that using high-quality children’s literature as a springboard for all learning will nurture a lifelong love of books and reading as well as ensuring the effective teaching of literacy skills, essential for learning across the curriculum. Curriculum provision delivered in this way offers deeper learning opportunities across many subject areas, as well as focusing on the development of basic skills. The ‘Story Topic’ curriculum not only motivates Chesterton’s pupils but it has a notable impact on the children’s writing skills.
- To develop skills in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing;
- To develop a love of literature and stories in our children;
- To enhance pupils’ motivation and engagement in their own learning;
- To provide children with experiences and opportunities to engage in practical, purposeful learning;
- To provide opportunities for ‘deeper learning’ in different curriculum areas, by enabling a more flexible approach to the curriculum;
- To raise children’s self-esteem through enthusiastic engagement in their learning, and greater pride in their work.
Planning a Broad and Balanced Curriculum
Children are actively encouraged to participate in the development of curriculum themes and prior learning is established through rigorous baseline assessments. Children communicate and collaborate with their teachers to establish what they would like to learn and how they would like to learn. It is the teacher’s responsibility to plan authentic, purposeful and child-centred activities and learning opportunities that meet the statutory coverage provided in the National Curriculum.
Please click on the following links to see our curriculum overview: