At Lowfield Primary School we have developed a new broad and balanced curriculum which is appropriate for and meets the needs of our pupils. Documents, one for each curriculum subject area, outline the knowledge and skills that have to be covered during Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Teacher consider how they can best deliver the required knowledge and skills for their year group in ways which are stimulating, engaging and relevant to their pupils; making best use of links between curriculum areas wherever possible.
At Lowfield Primary School many pupils join us with little, if any, experience of school. Our pupils come from Sheffield and from throughout the UK as well as from countries across the world; we have over 35 different languages spoken in school and over 80% of our pupils have English as an additional language (EAL). Pupils join us throughout the year, in every year group, every year. Given our diverse and ever changing population one of the key aims of our curriculum is to ensure that all our pupils acquire the basic skills they need in order to succeed. Alongside this we also aim to provide them with a diverse range of learning experiences so when they leave us they are well prepared for life at secondary school and beyond.
Our curriculum is therefore effectively everything that we do in school. It consists of our aims, schemes of work and programmes of study as well as learning opportunities, routines and events that take place beyond the classrooms. Our curriculum is based on the key subject knowledge and the essential skills pupils need to develop in each subject in each year group. In particular, as a consequence of our pupils’ wide range of needs and our high level of turbulence, we focus on core English and maths skills.
Our curriculum has been developed by our staff. In F2 we focus on giving our pupils opportunities to explore and experience the world around them. This consist of carefully thought out play based activities and short, more focused, staff led sessions. In addition we take our pupils on trips around the local area and arrange visits from organisations to further stimulate and enrich pupils’ learning
In key stages 1 and 2 subject documents lay out the progression of learning and skills in each subject area so staff and pupils are aware of how their learning links into the subject as a whole across the school. Staff use these curriculum documents to map out the areas of learning for each academic year, in a Year Overview, developing learning experiences that are appropriate, relevant and engaging for our pupils. Our curriculum documents set out exactly what skills and knowledge need to be addressed within each subject, in each year group, to ensure complete coverage. In creating their Year Overviews staff develop links between different subject areas to produce a more thematic and holistic approach to their delivery of the curriculum as we believe that this better supports children’s learning.
Each half term staff further refine this overview into Half Term Plans that give more detail to the learning and show the learning sequence within each subject area. Finally these plans are translated into the teachers' lesson designs, which incorporate additional support and differentiation to meet individual needs as necessary. Planning is monitored and staff receive feedback as required to ensure plans are appropriate and adapted in light of pupil outcomes.
Our curriculum is kept under review so that it is responsive to the needs of our pupils and to developments in education thinking. We are continuing to embed a mastery approach to the teaching of maths across the school and we will shortly begin to consult regarding our Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education curriculum.