Faringdon Junior School Curriculum Approach
Faringdon Junior School Curriculum Intent - What we are trying to achieve with our curriculum?
We believe that if learners are to be successful they need to follow an ambitious and tailored curriculum that allows all pupils to embrace challenge and take risks as they strive for excellence.
Secure development and achievement
We are relentless in our drive for high expectations and quality outcomes across the broad and balanced curriculum. We instil
pride, celebrate achievements and nurture aspirations through our focus on the following:
Developing our head and body: What we learn
Developing our hearts and character: Who we are
Developing our actions and attitudes: How we live and learn
Developing our moral compass: Where we fit in the world.
Prepare pupils for “life beyond FJS”
We all demonstrate in our actions how to be the best that we can be and make Faringdon Junior School a happy place to
learn that challenges, motivates, inspires and leads to a lifelong interest in learning.
Promote active community involvement and citizenship
We ensure our pupils feel part of our local community and wider society through having many varied learning opportunities to
experience life beyond the classroom including global awareness.
Implementation of our curriculum - How is our curriculum being delivered?
Our carefully crafted curriculum balances the national expectations and an all-encompassing range of experiences allowing our children to flourish. Through clear strategic planning, the curriculum is able to be dynamic and adapted to the context of the school and the current children’s needs. Our planning is responsive to all children’s needs; incorporating holistic approaches to teaching and learning. Peer coaching supports all staff to further develop curriculum pedagogy and a consistent approach across the school.
The curriculum consists of many planned experiences both in and out of school to excite and ignite learning. Inviting classroom environments and exciting resources help to stimulate and engage quality thinking and reasoning.
We use age related expectations to combine the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills to create a purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child. We have high expectations that the curriculum will combine transferable skills, demonstrate a breadth of vocabulary and develop strong cross curricular links.
English and Maths are taught daily and, wherever possible, are linked to topic. Some lessons/subjects may be taught discretely if they do not fit in with the learning focus of the topic. To support effective teaching and learning, as a school, we may focus on a particular curriculum area for a few days. For example, rather than having one art lesson at a particular time every week, the children may have an extended period of time focusing on art to allow them to really become immersed in the subject and the learning.
Our holistic and cross curricular approach to learning exposes our children to rich real-life experiences, inside and outside of the classroom, developing a deep contextual understanding, a love of learning and commitment of knowledge to long term memory. Extended themes in integrated teaching, highlight relevance to ‘today’ ensuring children develop a rich vocabulary, alongside the essential knowledge, skills, attitudes and dispositions which enable social mobility and improved emotional and mental wellbeing.
We use the three-tiered model of vocabulary development by Beck, McKeown, and Kucan (2013) to classify words as follows:
Throughout English and all topic work Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary is strategically chosen and taught systematically to deepen understanding.
The Core Subjects
For our core subjects, we use a variety of planning resources as we believe that following one programme does not provide the bespoke teaching and learning experience that we want for our pupils. Using prior knowledge as a starting point for all future planning and teaching, we plan lessons which are required for all pupils to make progress. Our lessons follow a cycle of planning, to ensure that we can evidence progress over short and long periods of time.
Our mission is to teach every child to read and write, and to keep them reading and to have a love of reading. Phonic knowledge is used as intervention support across the school for those who need a longer time to grasp all the stages.
We teach reading as a whole class from Year 3 to Year 6 with a focus on understanding and applying reading skills and with an emphasis on developing fluency, stamina and inference. Reading across the curriculum and reading for pleasure is an integral part of our curriculum.
Writing has four purposes - to entertain, to inform, to discuss and to persuade. Our lessons follow our own school writing cycle through the processes of collect it, deconstruct it, construct it, plan it, write it and edit it. We place a great emphasis on teacher modelling and sharing what a 'good piece of writing' looks like.
Maths is taught primarily through the White Rose Maths programme across the school. The lessons are designed around a model that embeds a growth mindset approach to maths and focuses on helping all children to build a deep understanding of maths concepts. Skills are taught in small steps and consolidated and applied throughout the lesson. Problem solving and reasoning are integral components of our Maths lessons.
The role of the subject leader is pivotal in the successful implementation of our curriculum. We aim for all subject leaders to have the knowledge, expertise and practical skill to be able to lead their areas effectively. Each curriculum subject has a dedicated subject leader with clear roles and responsibilities. They are responsible for the curriculum design, delivery and impact in their own curriculum area. Subject leaders and leaders at all levels, including Governors regularly review and quality assure subject areas to ensure that they are being implemented well and coverage, breadth and balance is adequate.
Assessment at FJS is designed thoughtfully to shape future learning and includes both formative and summative assessment opportunities. It is not excessive or onerous as is part of the day to day working practices of the classroom and in most lessons teachers will complete 'live marking' in order for the children to make effective and swift progress. Teachers ensure that pupils embed key concepts in their long term memory. Key skills and objectives for curriculum areas are revisited throughout the year and applied in different contexts. Pupils revisit prior learning as an introduction to their new learning and this provides a context upon which pupils can integrate their ‘new knowledge’ into a wider context. Summative assessments are reliable and are moderated to ensure that expected outcomes are fully understood by all staff.
Impact of our curriculum - What difference is our curriculum making?
We measure the curriculum impact through the successful delivery of our four intentions:
1. Developing our head and body: What we learn
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their age related expectations when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering where they should be for how old they are. We intend that the impact is that children will be academically and physically prepared for the next phase of their education, in Britain and the world.
2. Developing our hearts and character: Who we are
The impact will be that our learners will have fully rounded characters with a clear understanding of our school values and others such
as: equality, friendship and trust. Only by really learning what these mean will our learners be able to develop a character that
prepares them for living in the community demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children
produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day in all learners on the playground, around the school and in the daily
interaction of all members of our school community.
3. Developing our actions and attitudes: How we live and learn
We develop behaviours and habits to ensure our pupils become effective learners which can be seen in how the children approach
challenges every day both in and out of the classroom. The impact should be that children are determined, resilient and highly motivated to achieve by equipping them with all the personal skills to succeed.
4. Developing our moral compass: Where we fit in the world
Our learners will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best
interests of their community. They will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong and will be resilient to the influence of others.
They will go out into the world and make a difference in their own life and to others. Our learners will be the owners of their own
Adapting the Curriculum for Children with SEND
We offer a broad and balanced curriculum for all children and young people including those with SEN. Please look at the school website for information on the broad and exciting curriculum the children enjoy. Teachers are responsible for the progress of all children and lessons are well differentiated to ensure success and progress for everyone. Resources such as word banks, coloured overlays, writing frames and talking tins are used to increase confidence and enable children to become independent learners. The school provides many intervention programmes which offer support in addition to the core curriculum to boost and support children’s learning. These are usually delivered by a trained TA and are monitored by the SENDCo. These interventions may support a particular aspect of learning such as reading and comprehension or numeracy but we also offer social/nurture groups to enable children to develop communication and social skills and increase their self-esteem.