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Sandcross Primary School

Inspiring Lifelong Success

Curriculum

Curriculum 

 

Our world exists on a delicate balance of eco systems

We believe every child has the right to be a successful and confident citizen who is able to understand and contribute to the world they live in. We want our children to be passionate about learning and to understand the wonders of the world around them as they journey through life.

 

 

 At its core, our curriculum is about enabling a better understanding of how life works interdependently and how everything interconnects in a complex web of relationships that work in ever changing, awe-inspiring ways

 

Our curriculum is designed to challenge, develop and nurture the “Whole Child‟ with a mission of “Inspiring Lifelong Success‟.

 

 

 

Through each topic, our curriculum aims (in green above) will be at its core and every half term, children’s will have a driver where all content will flow throughout the half term. Through these drivers, children will develop a deeper knowledge about the world around them and what their responsibility is within it.

 

Our curriculum is delivered through values-based learning enquiries with the six principles at the heart of each: 

 

Focus driver each half term 

The Principle of Diversity – Diversity is a strength and is celebrated 

The Principle of the Cycle – Nature works in cycles 

The Principle of Adaptation – Adaptation is essential for us to survive and thrive 

The Principle of Health – We all need to be healthy 

The Principle of Oneness – Wellbeing is vital for reconnecting and growing 

The Principle of Interdependence – Everything in our world is connected 

Achievement teams

 

Language and Communication (English including reading, writing and phonics; Oracy; and French);

 

Understanding the World (Geography, History, Eco and Religious Education);

 

Health and Wellbeing (Personal, Social and Health Education; Physical Education; and Relationships and Sex Education);

 

STEM (Science, Design Technology, Computing, Economics and Mathematics);

 

The Arts (Art, Music and Drama).

 

 

 

Principles / drivers for our Curriculum  

  

Nature’s principles provide the context for all our learning enquiries.  We link each enquiry to a principle and both during and at the end of each enquiry, we ask our children to evaluate both what they learnt through the enquiry and what the principle means to them. 

  

  

At its core, our pnciples are about enabling a better understanding of how life works interdependently and how everything interconnects in a complex web of relationships that work in ever changing, awe-inspiring ways. 

The Principle of the Cycle – Nature works in cycles 

 

 

We need all our systems to reflect Nature’s cycles and create no waste. We need to get our children into the cyclical habit.

 We can do this in many ways. We can get them to close the loop on food, growing it, harvesting it, preparing and eating it, and then composting any food waste back into the soil. We can ask them to review packaging so that the only materials we use are both sustainably sourced and able to be recycled. In our plastic dominated culture this is not easy, but it is a great challenge for them. We can work with them to learn about and enrich our local biodiversity, be it planting in avenues of native trees or banks of wildflowers. We can get them to manage our energy so that we consume less and save more. We know that reducing CO2 emissions is critical to a stable climate into the future. Without a stable climate, the cycles that we depend upon will be de-stabilised and increasingly unpredictable. Perhaps most importantly of all, we can help them to understand that cycles have limits and that if we live beyond these limits we undermine the capacity of the world to sustain us

The Principle of Interdependence – Everything is connected 

 

 

The principle of interdependence helps us to understand that everything is connected.  We see these inter-relationships at work through ecosystems where every element of the system has a value and a role to play, and also in our own communities when they work well.  So, when we plan out learning, the starting point is to see how we can link learning together to give it greater meaning, rather than teaching through separate subjects with little or no connection from one subject to another.  We can still teach subject specific skills and knowledge, but the application is to something much more joined up.  The principle of interdependence also reminds us of the importance of good relationships if we are to work well together and the values culture we need to create to enable a collaborative approach to learning to be successful.

The Principle of Diversity – Diversity is a strength 

 

 

The richness and strength in our world lies in its diversity. Life would certainly be poorer without it, but how much are we asking our young to learn about and become experts in the amazing diversity that exists in the world?

In school we place great importance to this principle of diversity. We want our children to grow up understanding that diversity is a good thing and to give our children a role in promoting it. Ultimately we want them to become authorities in diversity and to realise that we need to promote diversity in all things, including how we teach and learn, as much as how we plant and grow. This richness is what makes our world well.

Valuing the uniqueness of each of them is of course the starting point for this principle.

The Principle of Adaptation – Adaptation is essential for us to survive and thrive 

 

 

 

The principle of adaptation teaches us that just as nature has been brilliantly adapted to its place through millions of years of refinement, so it makes sense to adapt our learning or at least key elements of our learning to our place. Through this idea of adaptation, we can find ways to connect learning more fully to the idea of local and the communities in which we live, to learn more about their history and traditions, what it is that we value about them and what we might want to change. It opens up opportunities for our young people to be designers, to consider how our place might be adapted into the future to make it a better place to live. Importantly, it provides opportunities to connect to those in our communities who have wisdom, knowledge and expertise to share with our young people. When this approach works well, it builds a real sense of belonging.

The Principle of Health – We all need to be healthy 

 

 

Nature teaches us health.  It is inherently healthy.  We all need to learn what it means to live healthy lives.  It therefore makes sense to put health at the heart of all that we do.  We can learn about health in our play, in our relationships, in the food that we eat.  We can also learn about health in terms of the air, water and soil and what that means in terms of how we run our school.  If we believe health is fundamental to a good life, we need to find ways to teach health and practise health as much as possible.

The Principle of Oneness – We are Nature 

 

 

As well as the physical well-being, there is the mental well-being that comes from stimulating, challenging learning. This is an area that education has to get right if we want our children to grow up with a real love and passion for learning. This doesn’t happen when the teacher talks too much. It does happen however when children and young people are engaged in relevant projects of learning and when the teacher’s role in turn informs and questions what they do. This requires the teacher to have a constant awareness of where the children are in their learning and what needs to provoke that learning to the next stage. But is this what we are training our teachers to do? When we get this balance right, the children really do thrive. It is a huge part of what makes them healthy.

Alongside that, our children must learn the value of reflection times and stillness to refocus or clear their minds. As they grow, they begin to realise that moments of deep quiet can lead to moments of great revelation. This practice is gaining in popularity in schools across the world and it is having a beneficial impact on many young people. It is essential to their future well-being. We must keep encouraging it.

The culture within which this health initiative is set is a values culture where values are explicitly taught so that the children grow up with a foundation of values that underpin how they live their lives. These values need to be lived out, too. Children need opportunities to lead projects of change based on what they think is important. They need time to plan out and prepare for their projects and they need time to make them happen.

 

Nature teaches us that we are all one. The patterns we see around us in Nature exist in us, too. When we notice that the Fibonacci spiral of our curled index finger is the same shape as that of a snail shell or an unfurled fern or the galaxy’s swirling spiral across the night sky, we understand this.

With this understanding, we also realise that when we damage, degrade or pollute Nature, we do it to ourselves as well because we are wholly dependent on the health and well-being of the world around us. Our starting point therefore is to value the natural world and to treat it with the greatest respect because it sustains us. With such demands on natural resources, we must educate our young people to understand how to value and respect these resources and live within the carrying capacity of the world.

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