The purpose our curriculum is to bring out the best in every child who joins us; to enable them to develop their skills and personal qualities, to identify their passions, and to develop self-awareness and an understanding of how they can make a positive difference to the world beyond the school gates. The curriculum encompasses everything we do at school, both formal and informal learning opportunities within and outside of the traditional classroom environment.
Running through our curriculum are two principles. Firstly, it is values led : we have a shared expectation that everybody in school will demonstrate the school’s six values of responsibility, excellence, passion, aspiration, determination and friendship. Secondly, that supports children to develop learning attributes that for children to ‘own’ their work and be effective and independent learners : managing their time and resources, develop their self-confidence, becoming reflective learnings and always striving to be the best version of themselves they can be.
Our curriculum is can be summarised through six ‘gateways to learning’, shown in detail on the diagram below. Learning under each of the gateways is delivered in and out of class through our learning journeys, through core subject skills and knowledge, through our PE and music specialisms, and through our character enrichment curriculum.
Each term, our children embark on ‘learning journeys’, combining the development of skills and knowledge in a specific subject (such as history, science, RE or art) with literacy skills developed as an integrated part of this experience. Focused on a specific question – such as ‘How can I showcase Shaldon through collage’, or ‘What would Jesus think of Christmas today?’, the children learn from experts and experiences, identify what skills and knowledge they need to answer the question, make choices about how they will do so, and then present their findings. Through their journey, the children to have develop their own expertise in the area examined, acquiring skills and knowledge that they will then be able to apply more widely in future learning.
Although our learning journeys encompass many aspects of the academic curriculum, there is additional teaching in the core subjects of maths, literacy and science to ensure that all children are secure on underpinning skills and knowledge in these areas that will enable them to succeed across the wider curriculum.
Physical education and music are further cornerstones of our curriculum. Children are taught by experienced, specialist PE and music teachers every week, and during their time at Shaldon pupils will learn a range of sports and instruments, and all children will represent the school at competitive sports and music performances.
The final – key – element of the Shaldon curriculum comes from the wider range of opportunities aimed at developing characteristics and qualities that will help them succeed and make a positive difference, such as confidence, empathy, determination, patience and global awareness. These are articulated through six Gateways to Learning (see below) include exploring about our local environment through our beach and forest school work, learning to speak in public, befriending an elderly member of our community through the Pen Pals project, developing their own commercial enterprise, volunteering for local causes, having a once in a lifetime experience on Tall Ships, campaigning on issues they are passionate about, learning to grow their own fruit and vegetables …….to name but a few. We are always looking for ways to enhance our curriculum, and many of the ideas come from the children themselves.