The Curriculum @ CHIS
At Chalkwell Hall Infant school, our curriculum is shaped by our key drivers. These drivers were developed over time by considering the needs of the children in our school and the community that we serve. The drivers steer the focus of what is important to us and our learners, and shape the depth and breadth of our provision:
Our Values – the REACH vision
To prepare today’s learners for tomorrow’s world
Our motto is ‘reach for the stars’ linked to our REACH vision and values. These values can be seen, heard and felt within everything we do in school.
Preparing Today’s Learners for Tomorrow’s World
It is important to us that we prepare our children for the next steps in their learning in the short, medium and long term. We have a strong focus on developing the children’s basic skills in Maths and English in order to build a strong learning foundation, be it tomorrow, next week, or next year. We know that many factors of future life, including technologies and potential careers don’t yet exist, and therefore we see it as our responsibility to prepare our pupils with wider skills and dispositions that may help them in their future lives.
We believe that engaging children into learning is a priority. This means that we put the children's wellbeing to the fore so that our children are secure and ready to learn. We can then interest and excite the children into wanting to learn, and we offer a stimulating and challenging curriculum which inspires and motivates them. We believe in a curriculum approach where pupils’ key skills and knowledge are developed across different subjects, themes and opportunities, and that their character and knowledge of the world is developed beyond the National Curriculum. We believe that through rich experiences we are able to inspire rich minds and pave the way for future learning and development.
Throughout the year we explore deep concepts about important life values as a planned approach, rather than ad hoc. We do this by asking ‘BIG questions’, and by exploring each question in different ways we encourage deep thinking at an early age. Diversity, inclusion, social justice, equity and our global community are the concepts behind our BIG Questions which are explored through a range of key texts, activities and opportunities, e.g. a peaceful protest. If appropriate the concepts are linked to other curriculum learning, for example by exploring significant female figures in history.
The Knowledge Curriculum
Our curriculum coverage and themes provide us with ‘hooks’ to motivate and entice our pupils into engaging in the learning process. Our aim is to give the children a variety of opportunities in order to bring their learning to life, broaden their experiences of the world and to make their learning experiences enjoyable and memorable.
We recognise and promote the key importance of the core subjects and developing the pupils’ expertise in reading, writing and maths. Our focus on developing these basic skills is not to the detriment of the wider curriculum and our other priorities. It is more that we see these skills as central to accessing the wider curriculum, and we structure our learning time so that the most can be made of each moment of the day.
Children are taught individual subjects discretely to ensure they develop skills and knowledge within each subject discipline. Where it makes sense, our learning is linked across subjects and the BIG question. Other subjects might get taught in isolation, e.g. RE and PE. Our coverage is carefully plotted across the programme of topics so that the National Curriculum is covered in different ways, but is not the extent of the children’s learning.
Opportunities to recall and retrieve learning are built into lessons so that knowledge can be committed to the long term memory. Other opportunities, such as ‘where in the world is…? sessions are planned in order to revisit learning around continents, oceans and seas etc over and over again.
The Character Curriculum
The BIG Questions are used to develop the character of the child and give them an insight, at an early age, into global and social issues in a planned and deliberate way ensuring that these concepts are taught and that issues aren’t covered in an isolated or tokenistic way.
Reaching for the Stars and our Curriculum - Here’s how our Values relate to our curriculum offer:
We learn to take responsibility for ourselves, and for each other
We build strong relationships and learn in a secure and safe learning environment
We seek to understand and accept similarities and differences
We value partnerships with families and the community and take every available opportunity to celebrate and share our learning together
We promote equality of opportunity, respect for ourselves, each other and our local and global community
We are positive, we smile and have fun
We inspire in order to motivate
We encourage, challenge and take risks
We sing, we laugh and we play
We have high expectations of ourselves, and each other
We believe that we can, so we do
We foster persistence, determination, resilience and humour
We celebrate our efforts
We are lifelong learners
We develop our skills independently and collaboratively
We sometimes fail so we can learn from our mistakes
We care about ourselves, and each other
We develop hope, empathy and compassion
We care about what happens, both in school and beyond
-We build strong relationships
We foster a nurturing, secure and safe learning environment
We are a ‘Healthy School’
We learn about being healthy both physically and mentally
We focus on the wellbeing of children and adults in the school community
We promote healthy lifestyles