‘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 explicit curriculum follows the National Curriculum for all subjects, underpinned by a clear progression of skills that we have developed to ensure coverage and challenge. In addition, we have created specific vocabulary charts for each topic to ensure a depth of subject knowledge.
These explicit curriculum aims sit 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 is 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 4 day a week Family Liaison Officer and an experienced SENDCo. Termly drop in surgeries are held with the FLO, and SENDco for parents to chat to staff and a termly afternoon tea is 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 launching a second SRP for children with Speech and Language Needs.
The curriculum underwent a total review in 2019 and a steering group comprising of teachers across the school worked on the progression of skills, knowledge, vocabulary and topic overview documents. It was launched in September 2019. Details shared with parents via the website Easter 2020. Since then subject leaders have continued their subject monitoring and research into best practice, looking specifically on how they can tailor the curriculum to Bishops Down. They have shared findings and subsequent alterations with the Governing Body January 2022. The finalised curriculum will be published Easter 2022.
Feedback from secondary schools tells us that our children are well-rounded children and that they are conscientious young citizens. 97% of parents say 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 have been chosen to inspire and motivate different types of learners. Maths is mainly taught through the White Rose scheme and where appropriate, cross curricular links are exploited. Geography and History subject areas form the basis of the termly topics and other subjects such as Music and Art are woven in. See subject headings for more information.
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, personal provision plans are used. For other groups we plan interventions in Literacy and Maths to ‘gap fill’ 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 are planned in a 2 year cycle so year group teachers can 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 a parent showcase to end the topic ensuring most is made of the resources available.
Every 6 weeks at Staff Professional Development meetings we discuss how the new curriculum approach is working for us. In school tracking data is monitored by senior staff every seasonal term and subject leaders undertake regular book looks, learning walks 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.