At Harwood Meadows, our mission statement is ‘Giving children roots to grow and wings to fly’ – our curriculum must therefore provide the tools for children to be able to learn by allowing them to master essential skills such as reading, writing and understanding number. Our curriculum focuses on knowledge and skills; using the national curriculum as a starting point, we have designed our curriculum so that it is ambitious, coherently planned, well sequence and is bespoke to the needs of our children. In delivering the curriculum, we aim to remove any barriers in order that all children are able to make progress. Our curriculum drivers help to shape the learning at Harwood Meadows and these are used to ensure that children have ambitious curriculum opportunities. Learning is a change to long-term memory and we want our children to know more and remember more. We have therefore designed our curriculum so that there are opportunities for repetition and consolidation of key knowledge and skills in order that learning is embedded over time. Children learn best when they feel happy and safe and we have therefore developed an environment which reflects this.
We aim to ensure that all children are effective communicators and are able to acquire the vocabulary, language and communication skills that are required in life beyond primary school. We take a growth mind set approach to learning want all children to be resilient when challenged and have an ‘I can’ attitude - making mistakes is an important part of the journey to success. We want all of our children to have rich experiences and be ambitious and we therefore ensure that positive, cultural experiences are tied into our curriculum.
We aim to ensure that all children have a secure understanding of Fundamental British Values, gain an understanding of equal opportunity, are able to celebrate the richness and diversity of the society in which they live and are fully prepared for life as a global citizen.
Cognitive science tells us that children need lots of repetition in order to cement knowledge and skills into long-term memory; all children will have opportunities for repetition as they progress through the different key stages in order that key knowledge and skills move into the long-term memory rather than short term, working memory. Through frequent and regular retrieval of previously learned content, children have opportunities to embed knowledge into long-term memory - this is achieved through a number of strategies: recapping of previously learning at the start of lessons; repetition of key skills throughout each key stage; regular recapping of key knowledge; pre-teaching activities. We ensure children are able to read with fluency and understanding so they are able to access all subject areas - this takes high priority. Additional opportunities for experiential and practical learning, including educational visits, visitors and workshops are all linked to our curriculum. Cross-curricular opportunities are evident across the school and English and mathematical skills are effectively promoted across subjects.
Focussed action plans within the School Improvement and Development Plan drive the continual refinement of the curriculum to ensure it remains ‘fit for purpose’ and continues to meet the needs of the pupils at Harwood Meadows. Pupil progress tracking systems are in place to ensure that children can build on previous learning – all subject leaders have a hand in monitoring the curriculum. Learning is reviewed and monitored through learning walks, book scrutinies, pupil voice, evidence trails and pupil progress meetings. The outcomes of national assessments demonstrate that when children leave Harwood Meadows, they are well prepared for the next stage of their education.