Here at Abacus Primary School, we are very proud of our curriculum. Click on the video below to view our curriculum showcase.
We are very proud of our curriculum here at Abacus Primary School. Our teaching staff carefully plan engaging and interesting lessons to capture our pupils' attention and support them to be confident learners and active participants in their learning. We teach a broad and balanced curriculum through topics that spark imaginative thought with the aim of enabling children to access their learning in a variety of ways and to retain the knowledge they have been taught.
Our key curriculum goals are based around four areas - or drivers - that we believe will best support our pupils as they move into the next stage of their academic career and, indeed, life. These four drivers are what we believe to be the most important factors that influence our planning and curriculum development, and are the vehicles for delivering our curriculum. Our drivers are 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 influencing our school day. We promote these drivers in our classrooms so that our children are aware of their impact and importance.
Our curriculum drivers are as follows:
We work extremely 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. We also have a school wellbeing mentor who holds intervention groups and before school sessions to support our pupils' wellbeing during school and before the school day starts.
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 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, have historically lacked 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 plan for a creative curriculum, which means that we weave the requirements of the National Curriculum into exciting, current and relevant topics, such as Super Heroes (Y1), Pirates (Y2), Stone Age to Iron Age (Y3) and Rainforests (Y4).
We try to include exciting theme days to enthuse our children about their learning, and our school trips aim to build on what we have been learning in class. As well as being a creative curriculum, we really believe that teaching our children skills is the key to being successful beyond Primary School, so the teaching of the skills is just as exciting to us as the content.
Please click the links below to take a look at our long term planning. This will show you the learning that will take place in each year group throughout the year, although as it is a new school year, some of these are currently under construction!
At Abacus, we are very proud of our curriculum and we welcome regular feedback from our most important stakeholders… our pupils! Each class has their very own Curriculum Ambassador, a child who has been recognised by their teachers as enthusiastic and passionate about our curriculum. Here are our Ambassadors for this academic year:
We know that our children are our most important stakeholders, so we asked for their feedback on topics, lessons, learning and their dream jobs, particularly how what we learn at school today will help all children to reach their goals in the future. Here's what they think:
Each class maintains their own Curriculum Journal – we introduced these in the last two years to remember and promote all of the amazing work that we do that is not recorded in exercise books. We share so many wonderful experiences in school and we love celebrating the hands-on lessons and opportunities in in our journals. On the left and below are some examples of what you might find in our Curriculum Journals.
NOW PRESS PLAY
Another new addition to our curriculum enhancement is the NOW PRESS PLAY immersive story experiences.
We received our kit ready for the Spring Term and the shocking pink headphones and exciting stories were an instant hit with our children (and staff!).
Teachers can select an appropriate story to begin our topics to ‘hook’ our children’s attention or to enhance our classroom learning. Here are some photos of Yellow Class having a whale of a time with a pirate themed story experience!
COMING SOON.. DRUM FIT!
Enhancing our PE offer with a fun, heart-pumping activity that we know our children will love!
OUR SCHOOL TRIPS
We absolutely love a school trip and we are so glad that we can FINALLY get back on the road and expand our children's curriculum knowledge beyond the classroom. Here are some of the trips we have been on this year:
Year 6 - PGL
Whole School Projects
Since 2020, we have started each school year with a whole school project, based around a thought-provoking book with a reflective theme. This supports our children in settling back in to our school environment after the summer holidays and gives us a reflective, purposeful and thoughtful focus for our first week of the school year. The younger children love working on the same text as the older children, and it gives friends and siblings something slightly different to talk about on the playground or at home.
We have previously enjoyed using Oliver Jeffers' Here We Are and What We'll Build. This year we have used a text called Your Fantastic, Elastic Brain, which teaches children what the brain does, which parts of the brain work (or struggle to work) in different situations, and how we can develop ourselves to be better learners. This has enabled us to introduce the idea of a growth mindset to our younger learners and to consolidate the messages of resilience and personal development further up the school.
The children loved the idea of the brain being like a stretchy elastic band - constantly stretching with every new piece of information that we learn, skill that we develop or emotion that we feel. We are all now aware of the importance of learning and not giving up, and children are able to share what they have learnt about their brains.
Click on the images below to view subject curriculums:
From September 2020 the National Curriculum is changing. All primary age children will be taught Health and Relationships Education and all Secondary age children will be taught Health, Relationships and Sex Education.
Understanding Relationships, Sex and Health Education
RSE at home with parents Essex
Values at Abacus