The Carey Federation Curriculum Intent
The Carey Federation, comprising Halwill and Ashwater Primary Schools, is committed to ensuring the best possible provision for all of our pupils. We undertook a comprehensive review to ensure that our curriculum is meeting the needs of all our learners and will ensure the best possible outcomes for the children.
We recognise that we are very rural schools so we want children to learn about and have pride in their local agricultural heritage as well as learn about the wider world, diversity and multicultural Britain.
At the core of our school curriculum is the desire to ensure all of our pupils are well prepared both for the next stage of their learning journey and for their future adult life. To this end, we believe that it is essential that children develop a strong base of knowledge and skills to support them in the future.
At the core of this are good literacy and numeracy skills which will be gained through strong teaching of mathematics and English. Children will both learn the knowledge and skills needed to be confident in both disciplines but also the ability to apply these in different situations and contexts.
We want all children to be fluent and confident readers so that they can use this skill to read widely and access knowledge across the curriculum. Through this, they will be able to improve their vocabulary and give them confidence to extend themselves when writing or talking to others. We want children to have access to a wide range of books and authors. Where possible, our curriculum topics will be linked to a high quality text to engage the children.
However, the school does not want the curriculum to be narrowed so that mathematics and English dominate to the detriment of other subjects. We recognise that the other subjects within the national curriculum can inspire children in their thirst for knowledge and provide opportunities for children of different talents to excel.
We recognise that it is vital that children acquire a strong knowledge of scientific concepts and have the opportunity to hypothesis, experiment and learn how to draw a conclusion to support their findings. Similarly, we want the children to develop strong IT skills not least the ability to code effectively. We believe that children with a strong base of knowledge and skill in these STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) subjects will be well placed in the future job market. With the increased opportunity to work remotely, having strong coding skills (as an example) may allow our pupils to attain employment without the need to be displaced from their local Devon community.
We want children to be inspired by learning about the past, the world around them (both locally and further afield) and different faiths and cultures. We are mindful that both Halwill and Ashwater are quite remote to the rest of the country but we don’t want our children to be denied the opportunity to learn about 21st Century multi-cultural Britain, including how it was shaped in the past, the influence it has left in other parts of the world and what it may be like when they become adults. To this end, we try to use every opportunity including assemblies and pockets of time during the school day to teach the children about news and current affairs so they have an increasing knowledge in the world in which they live.
While we want the children to learn about the wider world, we also want them to understand and be proud of the local areas in which they live. Both Halwill and Ashwater are located in rural areas and while we want the children to appreciate that other places are very different to their home, we also want them to understand the contribution Devon makes to wider society, particularly through agriculture, both now and in the past. We want the children to understand and appreciate the local environment in which they live as well as knowing they have a contribution to make in protecting this and the wider environment in the future.
Promoting Wellbeing, both physical and mental, has a key place in our curriculum. The Federation wants all of our children to be mentally as well as physically healthy. We have incorporated a ‘Wellbeing’ programme, which includes yoga and mindfulness, Wild Tribe (outdoor learning), healthy lifestyle education, dance lessons as well as a before school ‘Fitness Club’ alongside traditional PE lessons. We want the children to enjoy playing sport both through their lessons and in after school clubs. Similarly, we want the children to have the chance to take part in competitive sport so they appreciate the enjoyment of winning but can also learn how to be gracious losers.
Similarly, we wish to fully embrace the new relationships education which has become a statutory part of the curriculum in September 2020.
We want the children to develop an appreciation of the arts and have the opportunity to create artwork, design products and make music. Likewise, we want the children to have the opportunity to learn about famous artists, designers and musicians as well as having the chance to do this in person through visits to galleries, concerts, theatres and museums. Indeed, the school will also strive to provide a range of enrichment visits and visitors to engage children in their learning. Likewise, we want the children in the Federation to have the chance to learn a foreign language and converse with others. All children receive lessons in French from the age of 4.
Part of the challenge will be ensuring that children are able to retain and use the knowledge which is imparted. The school will consider teaching styles and research on the most effective strategies taking in to account the theory of cognitive load. Children will revisit and reinforce their learning through quizzes and opportunities to share their learning through diagrams, on-line presentations and through verbal presentations to an audience. Indeed, confidence in public speaking is a high priority and many opportunities are provided in class and assemblies to help children develop this.
It is also vital that children learn how to keep themselves safe, both in the real and virtual worlds. On-line safety is to be taught discretely as well as being a reoccurring theme throughout the curriculum. Being able to navigate the dangers on the surrounding country roads will be a particular focus, through bike-ability sessions and reminders of how to walk safely in country lanes, many of which have no pavements. It is most important that children are taught who are ‘safe adults’ that they should go to if they feel unsafe, these will include school staff, family and the emergency services.
As well as the specific knowledge content, we also want our provision to support children in developing key life skills. We want children to leave us as kind and thoughtful young people who are confident in themselves and can show a high level of resilience when tackling any task. Above all else, we want children to have high expectations of themselves and aspire to do well in all they do. We reinforce this to children through our school motto:
Aim High; Be Resilient; Take Care of Each Other
As well as, through our Carey Qualities:
In the Carey Federation, we are aspirational learners who build
Relationships by being Resilient, Resourceful, Reflective and Respectful.