Here at Abacus Primary School, we are very proud of our curriculum.
Following a strange and unexpected end to the previous academic year, we looked carefully at our curriculum and decided that we needed to change the way we welcome children back to school. For the first few weeks of this Autumn Term, we are welcoming our children back to school life with a whole school project, based on a wonderful book called Here We Are, by Oliver Jeffers. This will support our children in re-settling in to our school environment, being mindful of the social and emotional challenges that we face, whilst getting used to what is now our 'new normal.' We are so excited to see all of our pupils again and we will share some of their wonderful work here on this page.
Whilst getting back to school and supporting children's (and adults') mental health is our immediate priority, our curriculum planning is continuing in the background!
Following new government guidance, we worked hard to develop our curriculum drivers. These four drivers are what we believe to be the most pertinent issues to our school - the most important factors that influence our planning and curriculum development. These drivers will be the vehicles for delivering our curriculum, and will be woven throughout our curriculum. Our intent is for these drivers to be clear and impactful for all stakeholders; we want our children to be aware of these drivers and to be able to recognise when these are being used throughout the school day. We will therefore be promoting these drivers in our classrooms so that our children are aware of their impact and importance.
We believe that communication in all forms is a life skill that we want our children to learn and to be able to use confidently; after all, the very first step of everything we teach starts with the ability to communicate - to speak and to listen – effectively. We will promote this through emphasising subject specific vocabulary, encouraging the importance of verbalising ideas before putting them onto paper, active learning (e.g. active maths and Kagan structures) and making the most of opportunities for discussion and talk.
Our children, whilst eager to learn, lack confidence in making decisions for themselves without adult reassurance. We want our children to leave primary school with skills for life, such as problem solving and managing their own learning and individual needs. Our curriculum is designed around learning to learn skills, which provide children with opportunities to develop skills such as independence and resilience, and our subject leaders are developing our curriculum with this in mind.
We are passionate about increasing our children’s engagement in all curriculum areas, so we have designed our curriculum around topics that aim to excite and inspire our children. We strive to offer many exciting learning opportunities in each year group to capture their interest and spark their imaginations, through opportunities such as topic weeks, theme days, trips, ‘hooks’ and hands-on experiences. We use Kagan structures in all year groups to engage reluctant learners and to provide active learning opportunities for all. We also have class ‘curriculum journals’ that are used to record those “wow!” lessons and learning outside the classroom.
We work so hard to support our children's wellbeing - we offer an extensive range of nurturing opportunities and emotional support for our learners, both in the classroom environment and as interventions. Developing self-esteem, confidence and independence are so important, so we ensure that these are valued and celebrated throughout the school year. Our SENCO provides a wealth of knowledge and experience in these areas and all staff are fully trained in safeguarding procedures.