The curriculum at The Laurels Primary School is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society.
The curriculum ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, reflection, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning.
The curriculum celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
We recognise the importance of knowledge acquisition as a key driver in raising attainment for all pupils, especially pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Therefore, we have designed a curriculum that identifies the knowledge pupils should acquire in each year, whilst also recognising the importance of developing pupils’ skills, understanding and attitudes.
“Breadth of knowledge is the single factor within human control that contributes most to academic achievement and general cognitive competence. Breadth of knowledge is a far greater factor in achievement than socioeconomic status. Imparting broad knowledge to all children is the single most effective way to narrow the gap between demographic groups through schooling.” E.D. Hirsh
Knowledge helps develop well-rounded, empowered citizens and widens opportunities and life chances.
With discrete teaching of subjects, especially in KS2. The importance lies in the subject as a discipline. Children are provided with subject specific vocabulary and knowledge that allows them to build links and enhance other subjects.
Our knowledge-led curriculum:
Through our school values, children at the Laurels will be Responsible, Resilient and Reflective individuals using skill for life.
As a school, we place importance on children developing the skills they need to succeed in life along with all children achieving their potential academically.
Along with the subject based curriculum, we have also developed a life skill curriculum and a behaviour curriculum which allows children the opportunity to develop and support the learning of these valuable skills.
Life skills curriculum – Whether it be learning to use a knife and fork or tying shoe laces, or learning to sew on a button or making a cup of tea the children will be given the opportunity to learn and develop these lifelong skills.
Behaviour curriculum – Our behaviour curriculum recognises the importance of supporting children’s personal and emotional development and we understand that building relationships, routines and rules ensure children are safe – physically and emotionally. Being well-behaved is a combination of skills, aptitudes, habits, inclinations, values and knowledge. These can (and should) be taught; children are products of their circumstances (good and bad) and as a result it is up to us to teach them.
The National Curriculum is used as the foundation for the teaching of subjects, but we recognise that other opportunities children experience have a significant impact on their development. At The Laurels, we take great pride in developing citizens of the future. Ways in which we support our pupils to achieve are wide ranging. Here are a few examples:
To allow new knowledge to build on prior knowledge, we need to be able to retrieve prior knowledge to build upon it.
High yield concepts deliberately constructed within a subject. In geography, Year 1 focus on four compass points, simple maps, four countries of the United Kingdom and the continents of the world. In year 3, eight points of the compass are introduced through retrieving the prior knowledge in year 1, 4 point grid referencing, capital cities, counties and countries within different continents are explored (Africa and Brazil) and by year 6, learners focus on mapping to 6 grid reference.
Horizontal links – Links between subjects.
Subjects are taught discreetly but opportunities for cross curricular learning are high priority.
When exploring The Greeks in Year 3, children will locate the country on an atlas, look at the temperature and weather patterns, language and size compared to England. Year 6 explore the world at war focusing on Invasion. Year 4 also study The Romans, Science explores microbes invading the body and all year groups learn about invasion games in PE.
Diagonal links – Links between subjects and across year groups.
Concepts connected across both year groups and across subjects.
In year 2, children learn about animals and their habitats in science, they explore animals of the rainforest in Geography in year 4 and understand the concept of extinction and inheritance in year 6 science.