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Curriculum

The Government have released a New National Curriculum which is to be implemented from September 2014. The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

In addition to the national curriculum, pupils also have lessons in philosophy and chess for some of the year in order to help develop their thinking skills.

At Eastcote, we understand that the best education involves not just learning but learning how to learn. Because of this we use an approach called “Building Learning Power” which means that in lessons, as well as focusing on the content, we also talk to the pupils about how they can improve their learning by using certain learning “muscles” such as collaboration, planning and imagination. As well as this we have a whole-school focus on a different learning muscle every few weeks in which we help pupils understand how that particular muscle works.

If you would like to view a class Year Plan please look in the Learning Zone and click on the link but if you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

 

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This expresses what we want for every child in the school.

Knowledgeable

The idea that children should acquire knowledge has become rather unfashionable over the past forty years and the emphasis has often been placed on “transferrable skills” such as creativity, problem solving, communicating, collaboration, flexibility etc. However, important as all these skills are, the idea that they can be taught apart from subject specific knowledge is a bit of myth. Knowledge is the ground out of which these skills can grow, so our priority at the primary level must be to ensure that our children’s lives are enriched with subject knowledge.

Virtuous

Virtues are good moral qualities; to be virtuous means to live according to those morals commonly understood to be good.
Few would dispute that children need to learn to be good for their own and for society’s benefit and primary school is one of the best places to develop virtues through learning about them and practising them.

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This is our motto and provides a short, memorable summary of our ethos.
Aspire – We aspire to be the best people we can be and to do the best we can do.
Learn – We learn both intellectually and morally.
Love – We seek to love one-another as a community and extend love beyond.

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We are very ambitious for our children. Whilst recognising that there are a very small number of children for whom it is not possible to meet age appropriate levels, for the overwhelming majority, this is the intent and we will do all we possibly can do in order to attain it. This is true in the first place for reading, writing and maths, but includes all the foundation subjects.
We also intend that every child makes expected progress or better in each subject. We will always set a challenging target as to the numbers of children who could make better than expected progress.

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The basis for the planning of lessons in KS1 and KS2 is the National Curriculum and in Early Years Foundation Stage, the appropriate curriculum for those children.

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We are ambitious for all our children and determined that they will be challenged to achieve as highly as possible. Hence in our teaching of core subjects we will teach to mastery level, that is, to the level at which children will be able to apply their learning confidently, for example, in reading and writing across the curriculum and in maths problem solving.

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As well as teaching the National Curriculum, we will include other elements into our curriculum that we believe will have long term benefit for children, for example, Philosophy and Chess. Within the foundation subjects we will always seek to enrich children’s experience, for example through visits to relevant sights and museums and through themed days such as “Tudor Day”.

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We have chosen to focus on a list of virtues within which we believe “being good” can be taught:

  • Wisdom
  • Courage
  • Humanity
  • Justice
  • Temperance
  • Transcendence

Children are taught that behaviour in school and beyond needs to conform to these virtues. For each virtue, we recognise and will teach different facets:

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  • Studiousness
  • Creativity
  • Love of Learning
  • Curiosity
  • Resilience
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Collaboration
  • Humility
  • Focus
  • Perspective

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  • Determination
  • Persistence
  • Vitality
  • Integrity
  • Bravery
  • Humility
  • Perception

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  • Understanding
  • Forgiveness
  • Peace-Making
  • Selflessness
  • Compassion
  • Charity
  • Sympathy/Empathy
  • Kindness

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  • Fairness
  • Determination
  • Resilience
  • Vision

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  • Self-Control
  • Discipline
  • Carefulness
  • Patience

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  • Love of Excellence
  • Gratitude
  • Spirituality
  • Humour

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We believe that for learning to flourish, behaviour in class and in school generally must be exemplary. Children need to be helped to understand the importance of good behaviour and although with younger children the link between rewards and good behaviour is emphasised, as children mature we will help them to realise that good behaviour is the expected norm and that it carries intrinsic rewards for learners. Behaviour policy outlines how we will deal with poor behaviour and we will apply this consistently across the school.

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We will explain to children and help them understand that they are not limited in their capacity to learn and that by working hard, with an appropriate attitude, they can expand their capacity. Rather than talking in terms of children “fulfilling their potential” we will work on the principle that we all have huge, but unknown potential and that expectations of what anyone can achieve should constantly be expanded.

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We will work on the basis that we all learn better if we know something about how learning actually works and what we need to do to maximise our own learning. For example, we will teach children about their long and short term memories and that we need to move knowledge and skills to long term memory in order to free up short term or “working” memory.

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There are well-proven principals for teaching that each teacher can adapt to suit their own teaching style. We will help one-another develop these principles and so become more effective practitioners.

  • Challenge – so pupils have high expectations of what they can achieve.
  • Explanation – so that pupils acquire new knowledge and skills.
  • Modelling – so that pupils know how to apply the knowledge and skills.
  • Practice
  • Questioning – so that pupils are made to think hard with breadth, depth and accuracy.
  • Feedback – so that pupils think about and further develop their knowledge and skills.