The inclusive curriculum at Pratts Bottom Primary School is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. Based on the 2014 National Curriculum, it provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their local community and the wider society. We use CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) as a base curriculum for Science, History, Geography, DT and Art. Written by Alex Bedford, Unity SP’s Primary Adviser, CUSP is:
CUSP is underpinned by evidence, research and cognitive science. Modules are deliberately sequenced for robust progression and allows teachers to focus on the lesson.
There is an emphasis on oracy and vocabulary acquisition, retention and use to break down learning barriers and accelerate progress. A rich diet of language and vocabulary is deliberately planned for.
Specific skills are discreetly taught and practised so that they become transferrable. The sequenced modules activate prior learning, build on skills and deepen knowledge AND understanding. Learning, vocabulary and content is cumulative; content is learned, retrieved and built upon
Where relevant and meaningful, a cross curricular ‘topic’ approach is employed by teachers to make links between subjects and practical real life experiences are incorporated to inspire and motivate our children.
Our curriculum ensures that academic development, creativity and problem solving, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of our pupils and promote a positive attitude to learning. Our curriculum promotes an understanding and respect for our local Pratts Bottom community, of which we are proud, as well as the diversity outside of the local area. It utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in Modern Britain.
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school. The curriculum provides children with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills.
The children’s own community, its heritage and traditions are frequently used as a starting point for engaging interest to enrich children’s learning experiences.
The school’s curriculum is broad and balanced, using a 2 year rolling programme of topics to meet the requirements of mixed-year group classes. We regularly review the rolling programme as our class mixes change.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our children. The school grounds have been developed so that Forest School learning can be provided for all children. All learners have access to good quality educational experiences beyond the classroom walls, and for engaging in an ongoing process to ensure frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom opportunities are integrated into the curriculum.
A varied timetable for extra-curricular activities is offered by the school, with clubs that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as archery, whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences. A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, promote a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and most make good progress in subjects and areas of learning. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. They are challenged and supported through adaptive teaching methods which best suit their individual needs.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further. All subject leaders are given training and the opportunity to develop their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues.
Increasingly in education we are appreciating the importance of findings from Cognitive Science which are very relevant in building a better understanding of how children learn. In particular, theories of the mind such as Cognitive Load Theory and Generative Learning, and practice based research such as Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction have clear implications for the way that schools not only design and structure their curriculum, but the ways in which learning is planned for and lessons are delivered by teachers.
At PBPS it is our aim that both our curricular provision and day-to-day practice are shaped by recommendations in respect of these aspects of Cognitive Science. In taking account of the most important current and recent research, we ensure that the provision for learning at our schools has solid foundations upon which we aim to build lessons which evidence the key principles of high quality explicit instruction.