Courthouse Green Primary School
‘Doing our best to be our best’
Curriculum Report - Jan 2013
Our Curriculum is Good because:
- It is focused on ensuring that all pupils make good progress in reading, writing and mathematics through the introduction of our Key Skills and Literacy curriculum and our new Maths Curriculum.
- It links the learning across all subject areas that ensure it motivates the children to want to learn, it is broad, balanced and progressive.
- It promotes high levels of achievement and good behaviour and ensures the effective development of pupils spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.
- It provides all pupils with a rich range of experiences as part of the school’s entitlement model
At Courthouse Green we provide a broad and balanced curriculum that ensures pupils develop positive attitudes towards their learning whilst developing a wealth of knowledge and a diverse range of skills which will enable them to fulfil their potential, give them the best possible start to their secondary education and will empower them to succeed as individuals in our society.
Our curriculum is based on the Edison thematic approach which gives children the opportunity to make links across a variety of subjects, encouraging learning skills to be transferable while maintaining the specific learning necessary for each discrete subject.
The curriculum ensures good progression through the different subjects. Since its introduction nearly 3 years ago, the curriculum has developed to ensure a more personalised response to the needs of the pupils at Courthouse Green. Thematic units have been adapted and modified to ensure even better progress and coverage and recently, new schemes of work for literacy, maths, PSCHE and music have driven standards, expectations and behaviour for learning upwards, as well as encouraging a love of learning and creativity and a desire to succeed. This is evidenced by improved attendance levels, good progress across all year groups and the high quality work in the children’s books.
Courthouse Green Entitlement
We believe that at the heart of a truly effective curriculum is the responsibility to provide learning opportunities that takes a child beyond the classroom. The provision of a rich and varied learning milieu providing experiences that are challenging both in terms of breadth and depth will help pupils to improve their achievement (knowledge, skills and understanding) and their personal development (dispositions, attitudes, values and motivation). Helping pupils raise their self-esteem, and develop their self-awareness, is central to this entitlement. By the time our children leave Courthouse Green they will have:
- Been on a residential visit
- Visited London
- Visited a Museum, art gallery and theatre
- Visited a range of places of worship
- Experienced a range of musical performances
A successful curriculum
The impact of our inclusive and engaging curriculum is evident in promoting:
- improved attendance levels (95%);
- good behaviour for learning reflecting the children's engagement with their learning;
- good parental and pupil engagement with the new home learning policy and system (80% lessons judged as Good);
- parental engagement through parent learning sessions, parents' evenings (97%), curriculum newsletters and website updates; good attendance in a range of extra curricular clubs (e.g. Football, basketball, cookery, art).
Evidence from lesson observations and book and planning scrutinies shows that provision across the curriculum is good..
Our curriculum is inclusive, meeting the needs of all abilities of pupils. It caters for a wide range of learning styles and interests, always striving to engage and motivate children. Pupils with Special Educational needs achieve well at our school and this is testament to the personalised and effective curriculum we have created. The children who are taught in our Enhanced Resource Provision (Speech and Language base) benefit from a curriculum that is exciting, capturing their enthusiasm whilst promoting learning through a very engaging starting point. SMSC education is effectively woven through the curriculum and assemblies, with the result that behaviour and behaviour for learning is securely good at Courthouse Green.
Literacy and maths
The new key literacy skills curriculum is ensuring that teachers and pupils have discrete sessions built into the timetable to focus on key grammar, spelling and handwriting skills. The learning from these sessions is then applied across the curriculum to show children have a good grasp of these key skills. As a result of this, progression is clearer throughout the year groups and in the large majority of classes, writing progress in the autumn term has been good. When interviewed, pupils are very positive about the new key skills sessions.
To encourage a love of reading and to drive standards in reading upwards, a literary spine has been created which recommends key texts for each year group, giving teachers and children time and support in exploring stimulating and exciting books. The school library has been updated and better resourced and children are enjoying regular use of the library to widen their reading experience. The importance of accessing a variety of texts and using and applying reading skills is emphasised throughout the curriculum. Again, as in writing, progress in reading in the large majority of classes last term was good. Pupil interviews show that children enjoy reading and are making good progress.
In maths, a new scheme of work has been created to respond to the need to increase rates of progress. The new scheme has greater expectations than before and therefore, in this period of adjustment, maths progress in some classes was only 1.3pts+ last term. We are confident that for the remainder of the year maths progress will be good in the large majority of classes as the children respond to the increased expectations.
The Arts at Courthouse Green have been revitalised over the last few years so that arts provision is an embedded aspect of the curriculum, ensuring that the children receive good learning opportunities. The Arts Leader has rewritten the art policy and scheme so that a broad and progressive coverage of the different elements of art is ensured, with visiting specialist teachers providing expert teaching with certain media such as textiles and print. There is a clear progression in art skills through the years and sketchbooks reflect some of the good work that children are doing. Several classes have visited art galleries to enhance their art entitlement this year and extra-curricular art clubs are provided for most year groups, which are well attended.
A new music curriculum has been created by a school Arts team to ensure a scheme that has clear progression in musical skills and good teaching in all areas of music. Working with specialist music teachers, children experience playing a variety of instruments such as the cornet and steel pans and reflect on their own appreciation of musical styles in lessons and assemblies. Different classes will be expected to perform in front of the school and parents throughout the year, ensuring that pupils understand the importance of the final performance. There are a variety of extra curricular clubs on offer for music such as Drumestra and choir.
To create an effective and balanced art curriculum, we are currently working on improving our dance provision. A specialist teacher is working with 2 year groups this term to demonstrate exemplary dance teaching with a view to creating new dance schemes for the school with a team of staff. Lunchtime dance clubs in the new studio are popular and an after school street dance club has culminated in a performance in an Arts Evening at school.
The school is applying for the Artsmark award this year, which should validate the school's good arts provision.
The science curriculum is being monitored and developed by the subject leader to ensure good progression, coverage and breadth of experience. New overviews of science across school have been created with a view to ensuring Science 1 has a higher focus. New objectives have built in and the way science is currently being assessed is under review. By the end of the spring term this updated science curriculum will be in place with staff trained and supported appropriately. The subject leader will then monitor the impact of this revitalised science curriculum in the summer term, showing that children are making good progress in science, based on their achievement across all aspects of the subject.