Forest Skies Federation
School’s curriculum purpose – ‘Nurture Aspirations’
The schools purpose is present through the schools culture and values.
Non-negotiables – The Five Golden Threads
The golden threads are interwoven into school life and applied to all areas of the curriculum. The five golden threads help to set the environment for ‘nurturing aspirations’
This will be seen in the curriculum systems and structures created by leaders and staff members.
Dream Big Powers
The DREAM BIG powers are holistic lifelong powers all pupils leave with. All pupils get opportunities to strengthen these powers throughout their time at Forest Skies. The powers can be seen and heard in the pupil’s behaviours and outcomes.
Subject disciplinary lenses/skills
The disciplinary lenses are tools to enable pupils to become effective learners within each curriculum subject. They are transferable and life-long. The lenses will be evidenced in pupils work and the subject leader’s evidence bases
Our Golden Threads
- Inclusivity for all
- Every Child A reader (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-every-child-a-reader-ecar)
- Experiences for deep, sustained learning across the curriculum
- Mental, physical and emotional well being
- A Community Approach
A research based perspective
Collaboration is vital in delivering the best-equipped curriculum for our pupils. We provide numerous opportunities for staff development with many teachers holding MaST and NPQEL awards. Many staff members have been SCITT trainees and with support have developed their roles within school as examples of how Birchwood Juniors supports professional development. The school also works closely with the LTSA and St Georges SCITT programs providing outstanding maths training to trainee teachers. We are proud members of the Birchwood Federation working closely with the two infant schools. This has been vital in ensuring pupils and their families can have consistent pastoral support.
The Birchwood Federation has strong Governing body that provide challenge and play an active role in school life. Ofsted state: ‘Governors make frequent, focused visits and check how well pupils are learning. They monitor all aspects of safeguarding carefully and speak with pupils about feeling safe. Governors act on pupils’ comments to make improvements. Safeguarding is effective and remains a high priority within the school.’
In addition to this we hold annual staff training between the 8 Birchwood estate schools which ensure staff can network and share developments across the estate. This collaboration ends with the Birchwood Carnival a musical celebration that recognises the vast talent the children of Birchwood have. Finally, we are an active member of the KYRA teaching school alliance taking part in cross moderations, workshops and staff training. The Executive Head works as an LLE and the Deputy Head as an SLE for the alliance.
Staff annually review their medium-term planning to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs.
To meet the requirements of the National Curriculum, all classes in Key Stage 2 follow some set, pre-planned topics. The National Curriculum sets out the minimum content. At Birchwood Junior School, we make sure children learn a broad and balanced range of additional skills, knowledge and understanding.
▸ we offer a range of opportunities (*fee paying) to learn a musical instrument – these extra-curricular activities go beyond the statutory requirements.
▸ if a class or group show an interest in a particular subject, teachers will try to include this in the school year – a recent Year 6 class wanted to learn more about Climate Change .
▸ current local/national or international events can provide a great basis for learning – the Olympics or the reconstruction of the Magna Carta.
How We Deliver Our Curriculum
We prefer to set start and end dates for most of our topics, and we do this by planning topics with a specified length ('Big Topics' last for seven to eight weeks, for example). This is so that we can ensure a broad and balanced curriculum – often with a themed launch "Wow Factor" – and end at the same time – with some sort of reflective activity to share learning with others.
Learning from Others
Occasionally children learn with children from other classes or different members of staff. For example, older children might support younger children (under supervision) in reading or PE games. Not only does this help younger children to acquire new skills, but older children's social skills and self-esteem can improve, too. We also make use of many visitors to school who have particular skills or interests, especially in drama and PE. Children (and teachers!) enjoy drama within many topics, typically delivered by specialists in their field. It acts as a powerful, motivating vehicle for all learning and has a positive impact on standards in reading and writing as well as topic work. Our P.E leader, works hard to use PE money to invite lots of specialist coaches and teachers to enhance PE activities which can sometimes link with topics.
Curriculum Long Term Maps
Curriculum Trailers below: