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The Curriculum

We aim to ensure that the curriculum taught at Plymtree C of E Primary School is not only broad and balanced, but most importantly engages and inspires our children to learn too.   We aim to provide our children with the essential skills and knowledge they need to become educated and ethical citizens.  We are a small school with big dreams!

Our children follow a mixed age curriculum where learning within each topic is differentiated to meet the needs of the different aged children in each class. We plan a series of thematic units or topics which cover all of the programmes of study from the National Curriculum (September 2014). The development of these units or topics is carefully monitored to ensure that the curriculum suits all learners needs and is ambitious, enabling the majority of children to meet age-related expectation.

Where possible we use these topics as natural links to our English and Science coverage where we will use them to promote children’s learning and enable them to use and apply knowledge and skills.

Our five main curriculum drivers run through the whole curriculum:

* A love of reading

* Rapid recall of maths facts and mental strategies

* An enquiry based curriculum

* Being I.T. literate

* Support for mental health and wellbeing

Curriculum Intent

Through teamwork, the curriculum at Plymtree C of E Primary School is designed to support children to achieve and succeed in all areas of school life within a welcoming, safe and caring environment. We aim to raise our pupil’s aspirations and prepare them as confident, unique, hardworking, trustworthy and happy citizens, through developing a sense of community and respect for one another regardless of individual backgrounds.

Being part of the Christian family, our curriculum is also designed to help develop our school’s Christian mission statement and values, which are all linked to a key Bible story, and to fulfil the Church of England’s vision for education, including the recognition of Jesus’ promise of ‘life in all its fullness’. Moreover, our church school vision and curriculum develops our children spiritually. For example, through our Bible studies and learning, we reflect on how we can develop individually in order to become better neighbours, who treat others the way we would like to be treated ourselves and take care of our environment.

We believe that following Jesus’ example, helps us feed our children with wisdom, knowledge and skills because these strong morals, helps prepare our children to achieve the highest academic standards at the end of Key Stage 2 whilst also preparing them to be world citizens of the 21st century. We build children’s aspirations, demonstrating possibilities for their future lives. We recognise RE as a core subject and we follow The Devon and Torbay Agreed Syllabus which teaches the children about Christianity and other faiths to ensure a broad Multi-Faith curriculum. Our school’s charitable work and fundraising seizes every opportunity for our children to be courageous advocates.

Plymtree’s bespoke curriculum is broad and balanced, taking into account our school’s unique characteristics and setting. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive school, where each member of the class is able to access the lesson and reach their potential. High expectations in speech, language and communication as well as the presentation, quantity and quality of work, strengthens our children’s ability to learn at a deeper level, allowing them to articulate their learning through the development of rich and challenging vocabulary.

Teachers adopt a ‘creative’ approach to the delivery of the curriculum throughout the school, which: enhances cross-curricular links; encourages the enjoyment of learning; and provides practical, meaningful, creative and interactive real-life experiences both indoors and outdoors. We start with what an individual child already understands to ambitiously build on their prior knowledge and interests. On-going assessments enable us to carefully plan sequences of lessons with high expectations for all learners. Final outcomes are considered to enhance our children’s learning experiences too.

Curriculum Implementation

The Plymtree C of E Primary School curriculum has high expectations, consisting of many planned experiences in school and out: lessons, topic days, themed events, collective worship, clubs, sports, competitions, trips, residential camps, performances, fund raising and community work. Clear planning allows the curriculum to be dynamic and adapt to the context of the school and our unique local environment. Outcomes may be designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and national age-related expectations, but also to develop the skills needed for learning and for life. The Head of School, alongside the individual curriculum leaders, including those from other schools in The Culm Valley Federation, provide support, training or coaching where needed for those teaching outside their main area of expertise.

Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills wherever possible are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or topic each term. In order to ensure that progression and balance are maintained, these thematic units or topics have been mapped out across the school to create a rolling programme with key learning identified of what we want the children to know by the time they leave us. Our Teachers use this to flexibly create medium term planning (Curriculum Mapping) that: highlights subject cross curricular links; SMSC opportunities, British values links, PSHE learning and additional reading opportunities; and where possible, incorporates the children’s interests too. This feeds into the Teacher’s individual lesson plans, which differentiates, monitors and assesses learning to suitably challenge and support all learners to achieve and succeed.

 Our classroom environments stimulate and engage quality thinking and learning. Resources and equipment are well organised and clearly labelled to ensure that all learners are given ownership, maximising their opportunities for choice and decision making. We support our children’s physical well-being through providing expert sports teaching and coaching, taking part in numerous competitions and sports festivals. Our work within PSHE ensures that all our children receive the mental health and well-being support they need when faced with difficult circumstances and have strategies to use when things go wrong. We also have our School Listener who is there for when things do go wrong for our children and they need some extra support. In addition, we pride ourselves on providing a range of creative musical and art opportunities for our pupils both in and out of class. 

Curriculum Impact

Plymtree C of E Primary School uses rigorous data analysis, termly point-in-time assessments (to track progress and attainment against national age-related expectation) and monitoring throughout the year to gauge the impact of curriculum design. The Head of School and individual subject leaders monitor planning, classroom environments, books, lessons and moderate the accuracy of assessments, providing individual feedback to: move practice forward; celebrating positives; and highlighting areas for development that through support, training or coaching. The use of pupil conferencing enables us to evaluate pupil voice too.

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