Curriculum Statement 2019 – July 2022
‘Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow’
The aim at Bishops Down Primary and Nursery School is to provide opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident, successful learners with high aspirations who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. Bishops Down strives to grow leaders of the future who have a strong moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding.
Achievement in personal goals and academic attainment
Self-belief, to be confident in different situations
Perseverance, to be resilient in times of change
Independence, to be a life- long learner
Respect for each other and the world around them
Equality for all
Our current curriculum follows the National Curriculum for all subjects, underpinned by a clear progression of skills that we developed to ensure coverage and challenge. In addition, vocabulary charts for each topic ensure a depth of subject knowledge.
These explicit curriculum aims sat within our wider ethos of encouraging children to develop as independent, confident, successful learners with high aspirations. Our wider ethos is clearly evidenced through our Woodland Explorers and Forest School provision, alongside our School Council, Young Interpreters and Digital Leaders. Cultural capital is of high importance and remains a key feature of our Pupil Premium strategy.
Children are well prepared for their secondary stage of education be it a special school, comprehensive school or Grammar school. We pride ourselves on assisting parents find the most fitting secondary provider for their child’s personal needs and academic abilities, so they are able to reach their full potential.
British values are promoted through our cross curricular planning, collective acts of worship and our PSHE curriculum (SCARF). Throughout their time at Bishops Down there is a high focus on developing the ‘whole child’ through their moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding. We ensure that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
The school has an HLTA who supports children and parents with EAL. Bishops Down also has a 3 day a week Family Support Worker and an experienced SENDCo. Regular drop in surgeries are held with the FSW, and SENDco for parents to chat to staff and a termly afternoon tea held for parents with EAL to discuss any concerns or queries that are specific to them. We have Specialist Resource Provision (SRP) for pupils with Physical Disabilities and Complex Medical Needs and are in the process of preparing for a second SRP for children with Speech and Language Needs.
Feedback from secondary schools tells us that our children are well-rounded children and that they are conscientious young citizens. 97% of parents have said that their children are happy and safe at school. Children adore their Forest School and Woodland Explorer sessions using these times to build team working and leadership skills to utilise back in the classroom.
Our English curriculum is taught through the topics ensuring a real life application of skills. Topics were chosen to inspire and motivate different types of learners. Maths is taught through the White Rose scheme and cross curricular links are exploited where appropriate. Geography and History subject areas form the basis of the termly topics and other subjects such as Music and Art are woven in to these topics.
The subject skills progression charts and vocabulary charts are references documents for all teachers to use as guidance. ‘In school’ and across school moderation is used.
For children with significant SEND, personalised provision plans are used. For other groups we plan interventions in Literacy and Maths to keep up and to catch up with peers. In cross-curricular lessons, the mastery approach is used with open-ended questioning and challenges, all the time ensuring the basics are covered.
Topics were planned in a 2 year cycle so year group teachers could plan together, therefore making best use of time, skills and resources (years 1 & 2, 3 & 4and 5 & 6). Topics always have a stunning start, a marvellous middle and where possible, a parent showcase to end the topic ensuring most is made of the resources available.
At Staff Professional Development meetings we have regularly reviewed how the new curriculum approach is working. In school tracking data is monitored by senior staff every seasonal term and subject leaders undertake in-school monitoring, keep up to date with research and exploit local training opportunities throughout the year.
Governors, alongside the Leadership team, monitor vulnerable groups in the school, checking on progress and attainment.
Pupils learning, lesson by lesson, is recorded in teacher’s feedback books and this is used to inform next steps for groups and individuals.
Pupil questionnaires are undertaken annually and the results are used to evaluate our provision.
Curriculum September 2022 onwards
Through regular reviews of our curriculum, we have recognised that the 2-year curriculum could be improved so that the sequence of skills, vocabulary, knowledge and understanding could be more explicit enabling greater rates of progress.
From September 2021 the school has been working hard to develop a revised one year curriculum cycle and this content and implementation is being supported by the The Amelia Education Team (Tunbridge Wells cultural hub and museum). It will be launched September 2022.
The new curriculum will be underpinned by the school’s curriculum intent as well as our school values (Achievement, Self-Belief, Perseverance, Independence, Resilience and Equality – ASPIRE).
The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our community are woven into every aspect of school life and this is strengthened by working with The Amelia, who’s vision is ‘Enrich Lives, Inspire Learning’. Through the embodiment of our values, all children at Bishops Down will develop the necessary skills and knowledge, and experience a wide range of opportunities.