“Development can only take place when children are actively involved, when they are occupied with a high, non-stop degree of concentration, when they are interested, when they give themselves completely, when they use all their (mental) abilities to invent and make new things and when this gives them a high degree of satisfaction and pleasure.”
As a truly inclusive school community, we are committed to providing a creative, fun and nurturing environment where our children develop a life-long love for learning and are inspired to become the best that they can be. All of our children will engage with a curriculum that is meaningful to them, enriched by real life experiences and underpinned by a love of high quality books.
The Development of Our Curriculum
We came together as a whole teaching team to review what was already successful in our school and discussed overarching themes which would enhance our practice moving forward. We chose three for the first year of our developing curriculum.
The first was In the Forest which embraced the unique woodland nature of our school and inspired children’s awe and wonder of nature. The second was Oceans which took children on a journey from the surrounding rivers and seas of the Wirral Peninsula to the oceans of the wider world and allowed them time to reflect on the global environmental issues facing all of us on Planet Earth. The final one was Heroes, where children explored and became inspired by significant individuals in their own lives and locality, in Sport and throughout History. This became all the more relevant as the pandemic took us all by surprise in March 2020 and we realised the true impact heroes can have.
In the academic year 2020-21, we retained the Heroes topic to celebrate the heroes of the pandemic, locally and nationally with Captain Sir Tom Moore and our wonderful NHS. The children understood that they had been heroes too by staying safe and following the rules to protect others. We also introduced Explorers, where different year groups took on the roles of Animal Explorers, Local Area Explorers and even Space Explorers. Our third and final topic is Our Environment where children will see themselves as vehicles for change in an ever-changing and diverse world.
For the academic year 2021-22, we have decided to keep our three most successful topics. They will be:
Explorers – this topic opens up a world of possibilities and allows the children some freedom in choosing the type of explorers they wish to be.
Planet Protectors – this topic brings together the most relevant parts of the previous Oceans and Environment topics and empowers children to make decisions about how they can contribute to the protection of our planet.
Heroes – this topic remains successful because children are drawn to the determined, courageous and innovative heroes we study; they are truly engaged by their stories and this brings to life how they can develop character traits just like our own Overchurch Superheroes.
We evaluated the success of our English programme, where we use high quality texts and talk as a stimulus for writing and decided to develop this further by introducing high quality fiction and non-fiction books in all curriculum areas.
The Curriculum Leader has worked with Subject Leaders to create progression documents for each curriculum area from EYFS to Year Three. This enables staff to see where their children’s learning fits within a body of knowledge, skills and vocabulary. It also helps us to support or extend children’s learning as necessary.
We are proud of the curriculum we have created collaboratively and we look forward to celebrating our children’s successes this year whilst always striving to improve and develop further. We look forward to re-introducing real-life enrichment experiences when COVID19 restrictions allow.
‘Children’s brains privilege stories because there is an emotional and intellectual connection with them. Without painting the bigger picture, pupils will find it harder to make connections between the elements they are learning. The curriculum is full of stories and it is our job to find them’ (Mary Myatt)