Curriculum

Curriculum Statement

Intent

  • Our core values, Aspire, Learn, Laugh, Love linked to the IB learner profile attributes are at the heart of our curriculum. These values and attributes enable our pupils to leave Eastcote as confident, caring, internationally-minded citizens.
  • The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) is the framework used for teaching our curriculum which is informed by the National Curriculum. All staff at Eastcote are committed to providing pupils with an exciting and flexible curriculum which is developed around our pupils interests and needs. Everyone is involved in it’s development with the shared aim of ensuring pupils at Eastcote are independent inquirers,who are curious and excited about learning.
  • The PYP Framework is guided by six transdisciplinary themes. These themes provide opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum and allow pupils to make real connections in their learning and go beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
  • As part of our yearly curriculum planning and evaluation cycle we have ensured our curriculum maintains clear progression in knowledge and skills, and progresses coherently both vertically and horizontally.
  • Targeted interventions and adaptations are used (both educational and pastoral) to support pupils in developing their basic skills, and enabling them to access our curriculum to achieve their full potential.
  • Eastcote’s ‘Curriculum for Life’ teaches all aspects of RSHE in an age-appropriate and sequential order to meet the needs of our learners
  • Our curriculum reflects the school’s local context by ensuring pupils develop understanding of otherlands, religions and cultures and their own and others’ race, challenging prejudicial views, stereotyping and derogatory language and promoting positive attitudes towards diversity and equality.

Implementation

  • Lessons are well-planned and appropriately sequenced with a mixture of different teaching styles from high quality direct instruction to pupil-led inquiry based learning.
  • Units of inquiry are planned by the class teacher in collaboration with pupils.
  • Knowledge, skills, understanding and inquiry are embedded. Teachers ensure challenge for all and support those pupils who may be falling behind enabling them to catch up. Teachers regularly assess pupils’ understanding and progress in lessons and reshape activities accordingly. For example, they push some pupils quickly on to more challenging tasks and, for others, revisit earlier learning points. Consequently, pupils make rapid progress in their learning.
  • Teachers use questioning very effectively to make pupils think hard and explain their answers. They quickly identify common misconceptions and correct these to avoid valuable learning time being wasted. Pupils whose work shows they have not understood the learning objective well enough are identified by teachers each day. Teachers then tailor activities in the morning the following day to address pupils’ misconceptions and to provide additional challenge.
  • Teachers have high expectations for all pupils and are ambitious that all achieve as well as they are able.
  • Teachers mark pupils’ written work regularly and give them feedback on their progress, often including the ‘next steps’ needed to progress.
  • Pupils’ books demonstrate their progress and responsiveness to feedback.
  • Assessment for learning includes well directed questioning, pupil conferencing, manageable marking and feedback in books, low-stakes testing and appropriate formal testing. Assessment informs planning.
  • At the end of each IB theme, teachers will plan a short task (practical/collaborative) to assess their children’s understanding of the wider curriculum which has been taught that term.
  • Teachers are held to account for their work and how well pupils are doing regularly through pupil progress meetings, monitoring and appraisal.
  • Teachers keep their knowledge up to date, for example through CPD in staff meetings.

Impact

  • Children leave Eastcote for secondary school ready to embrace life confidently, and flourish in our diverse world as caring internationally minded citizens.
  • Pupils are independent inquirers, who are curious and excited about learning.
  • Eastcote learners are able to make real connections in their learning and go beyond the confines of learning within subject areas
  • All pupils can access our curriculum and are challenged to achieve their full potential.
  • PYP books demonstrate learning across a transdisciplinary curriculum and evidences progress made in skills, knowledge and inquiry over time.
  • Results at the end of Key Stage are above national figures and government expectations.

International Mindedness

At Eastcote pupils appreciate and celebrate the diversity of cultures in our school, and the world as a whole. They are interested and curious to learn more about them. Eastcote welcomes the local community into the school to share their culture. For example: families have brought in religious artefacts to discuss, parents have taught children how to cook their traditional foods, Grandparents have painted Mehndi designs on pupils’ hands, and members of a local church organising a world reflection morning. Pupils are very proud of their heritage and are keen to share. Regular assemblies are led by pupils sharing their culture and beliefs. Last year these ranged from assemblies about Israel, to Poland to Pakistan. It is evident that pupils have a real pride in not only their backgrounds, but also their peers.

Pupils at Eastcote are aware of the long-term consequences of human behaviour on the environment and on global society. They feel they can make a difference and are empowered to act. Pupils believe they can influence the world around them. After inspiration from assemblies and units of inquiry pupils have used their initiative to try and make a difference to the world. Examples include: pupils independently organising their own environmental group who encourage pupils to be responsible with their waste, a pupil delivering a whole school assembly on how she is developing her own invention for her disabled grandad to enable him to communicate with others, and a group of pupils adopting an animal. Teaching pupils through units of inquiry has strengthened their ability to understand issues on a personal, local, national and world level. For example: the pupils after their inquiry into ‘The efforts to maintain peace and resolve conflict can help humans live harmoniously’ could discuss peace on all four levels. They could talk about their own inner peace and how they enjoyed meditation. They then made links to Remembrance Day and the Christmas Truce, the Peace Wall in Northern Ireland, and Buddhist beliefs around the world.

At Eastcote we believe that language learning is a tool to overcome cultural barriers. We are beginning to expose pupils to multiple languages. With over 25 languages being spoken by our families we encourage children to share their languages with the class. Every pupil enjoys their weekly Spanish lessons. These are building their confidence in communicating in different languages.

Co-Curriculum

Part of the curriculum that particularly distinguishes Eastcote is its Co-Curriculum which promotes pupil voice and social responsibility. Every year we review and adapt it. Key to our curriculum is our focus on developing the whole person. One way we facilitate this is through our enrichment activities, such as enterprise week, book days, school trips, visitors, moral debate assemblies and reflection days which we evaluate yearly.
Pupil responsibility through for example our house system; peer mentoring and playground buddies develops principled, caring children who can share their opinions confidently and articulately.

Our Co-Curriculum includes:

  • Drama productions,
  • Before school, lunchtime and afterschool clubs,
  • Sports teams such as football and netball,
  • Competitions – such as talent, art, spelling, maths, football, poetry,
  • Visits for example Toy Museum, Oxleas Woods, Cardwell Gurdwara, St Mary’s Church Experience Days such as Ancient civilisation, Seaside, African drumming, Bee keeping,
  • Visitors such as Batafon arts, Wildlife photographer Roger Hooper, charity workers, religious leaders, local business people.
  • Shows- Virtual space show, Alice in Wonderland, Jungle Book
  • Pupi-led assemblies.

Homework

At Eastcote we are keen to encourage children to enjoy learning and develop a commitment to it. We have long felt that homework does not contribute much to children’s learning and recent research backs this up, showing that the effectiveness of homework depends upon the reasons it is given, the nature of it and the age of the children involved. Surprisingly, there is evidence that for primary aged children some kinds of homework may actually be damaging to their education.

There are reasons suggested for this, the most persuasive of which are:

  • Being compelled to “do” homework fosters negative attitudes to learning.
  • Children need rest and relaxation.
  • Children benefit from learning in a variety of ways and “more of the same” simply doesn’t work.
  • Children of primary school age have not reached the stage of development required to focus on study in the home environment in which there are competing distractions.
  • Children of primary school age have not developed the necessary study skills.
  • Homework can be damaging to parent/child relationships.

Now there is good evidence that some activities pursued at home are beneficial, nothing more so than reading, which could potentially boost children’s educational progress significantly. So this is what we would like to encourage you to keep on doing (and all the following applies to all children at primary school):

  • Regularly read stories to your child
  • Listen to your child read
  • Talk to your child about what they are reading
  • Ask questions such as, “What do you think that means?”, “What do you think of that character?”, “Why do you think she did that?”, “What might happen next?”
  • Listen to stories together
  • Explore a range of texts together including non-fiction
  • Tell your child what you are reading and share bits with them (obviously suitable material)
  • Always have books around the home
  • All of this will help strengthen children’s fluency, develop their comprehension and foster a love of reading, hence we are giving this the highest priority.

Other things are worthwhile, particularly helping children learn their multiplication tables and spelling patterns and following up learning in school where a child’s interest has been sparked.

Beyond this we would recommend:

  • Everyday maths – i.e. through playing games, shopping, budgeting pocket money, cooking from recipes etc.
  • Worthwhile visits – museums, zoos and aquaria, planetarium, theatre, parks and open spaces etc.
  • Television – there are many suitable programmes to be found that could build on children’s interests.
  • Good use of the internet – children need to learn how to use it to find things out – doing this at home with a parent will reinforce the good teaching about internet use they get in school, including e-safety. We will continue to signpost you to sites via our website.

The policy we are planning to adopt, which we believe will be of great benefit to the children, will emphasise the importance of learning, and so we will call it “Home Learning” rather than homework.

Reading will be at the heart of it together with the learning of multiplication tables and half termly spelling lists.

As an example of what else we may give to children, in Years 5 and 6, they will be given a home learning choice, one piece to be chosen from a list of possibilities once or twice every half term. This will be linked to learning going on in the classroom and will give children the opportunity to pursue learning according of their own choice and present it in ways that they feel appropriate. This will not be formally marked, rather, at the end of every two weeks, children will have the opportunity to share their learning with the class.