The Curriculum at Morley Primary School
We are delighted to be welcoming all our pupils back to school on 8th March. We know that it has been a difficult time for everyone (staff included!), and we need to ensure that everyone is supported to our best ability when they return. We have adapted our curriculum in 3 phases:
Phase 1 - from 8th March to Easter
Phase 2 - from Easter to September
Phase 3 - from September 2021
This will enable us to meet immediate need, assess what our pupils need, and plan to return as quickly as possible to the full curriculum and the Morley Experience. Our plan is available below.
A Curriculum for Our Children
Our children are the leaders of the future. They have the capacity and potential to go forward and achieve their dreams. Our role is to inspire them to dream and aspire, and to give them the skills, knowledge, resilience and determination to reach their goals.
The curriculum at Morley Primary is designed to provide children with the knowledge and skill-set to succeed in their primary education, prepare them for their future educational steps and to fully equip them for life’s unknown adventures.
However, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. (The Peter Parker Principle)
Our Curriculum Intent
To foster children who are aware of the world and their position within it by knowing how privileged they are and how others are far less fortunate. To actively be able to look out for, support and show kindness and empathy towards others, so they become citizens of the world whose aim is the betterment of society. To know and to be proud of where they are from and to fluently use a wide range of appropriate vocabulary when discussing and writing across our wide curriculum.
We want our children to know about their local area, and how it fits into the world; to understand the effect we have on our planet, and how we interact with each other; and to have a wide range of creative skills. Our children have high academic standards, but we aim to give them aspirations and possibilities well beyond the classroom. We aim to excite them into learning by providing a rich and varied curriculum which enables them to see beyond their horizons. As they follow in the footsteps of Howard Carter or Mary Anning, they discover how our understanding of ancient worlds grew, and they develop a love of finding out more about past cultures and civilisations; work on space and technology shows how we have been able to hypothesise, test and refine over time, and develops children's ability to think scientifically and creatively. These themes are enriched by a series of visits and visitors. We measure the length of the Titanic in a neighbouring field, put Scrooge on trial in the Courts of Justice, take part in an archaeological dig at the Bagshaw Museum, hunt for gruffalos in a neighbouring wood, work with the RSPB, and spend a day learning circus skills.
Many of these themes incorporate a book study for example Holes by Louis Sachar, The Firemaker's Daughter by Philip Pullman, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo and Secrets of the Sun King by Emma Carroll.
Our pupils are taught in mixed age classes. The staff plan exciting themes which incorporate all aspects of the National Curriculum within a programme of cross-curricular activities, as well as discrete teaching where appropriate. OfSTED (2012) said that our curriculum was incredibly rich and that children had a ‘magical experience’ in lessons where ‘the atmosphere is electric’.
Within our curriculum, alongside key National Curriculum Objectives, we organise children's exploration of a curriculum focus around six key areas. These areas are covered in all year groups which provide children with a well-rounded and developed understanding linked closely to our Curriculum Intent. The six key areas are below:
|Prior Knowledge||Significant People||Key Events|
Our personalised curriculum provides a significant focus upon the children's local area which links with our Curriculum Intent. The following provides an example of how Derby is featured in our curriculum plans:
Pre and Post Assessment:
All of our topics begin with a prior knowledge activity. Children use an open-ended activity on Seesaw to express their current knowledge and understanding of the new curriculum theme based on these key areas. Rather than providing children with a 'test', children are able to express their knowledge by using a range of creative tools: speech recording, video, diagrams, text, drawing or pictures. This supports all children in showing their understanding in a method which is personalised and preferable to each child.
At the end of the curriculum theme, children undertake the assessment again to show their knowledge and understanding. These assessment opportunities allow children to show their full understanding of the topic.
Our curriculum is set out to clearly show progression within all subjects in the National Curriculum subdivided into class group progression due to our mixed aged classes. Knowledge and skill progression is further broken down into individual sections within a curriculum subject. The documents below are an example of our subject progression. *A full range of progression documents are available - please contact the school office if you would like to view these documents.
In addition, all pupils in Class 2 take part in the Wider Opportunities in music scheme, so far learning violin, flute, samba, clarinet, steel drum and singing. All pupils in Class 3 learn ukulele, and Key Stage 2 pupils also have opportunities to learn drumming and handbells. All pupils in school have weekly French lessons where we benefit greatly from the support of Mrs Cloherty who comes in to work with the children (and staff).
All children in school have daily access to ipads and laptops, and these are used seamlessly in most lessons. Older pupils take part in a monthly photography competition, and correspond with our sister school in Western Australia.
As we have no school hall, we hire a local sports centre for one day each week during the Spring term so that the children can have specific teaching in dance and gymnastics. All pupils in Years 3-5 have weekly swimming lessons.
PSHE utilises the Derbyshire PSHE Matters scheme, with additional material included where necessary. School has always taught SRE within PSHE, and staff have undertaken CPD to ensure that the new requirements are covered - Mrs Taylor is the PSHE/RSE lead and has been trained on the latest government expectations.
Approach to phonics and reading schemes
From the Early Years, phonics is taught to all pupils, and may continue into Key Stage 2 where appropriate. We use the Letters and Sounds programme, incorporating oral, written and interactive elements each day. Phonics is taught every morning.
Our main reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree, which runs throughout school. During this unprecedented time of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are also using Oxford owls and Rising Stars as these enable us to continue reading activities remotely. The main reading scheme is supplemented by a wide range of other reading material, both fiction and non-fiction. The reading scheme is organised into colour bands through which children progress at their own speed. School staff will move children through the bands when both their decoding and comprehension skills show they are ready.
For further information on how we developed our reading provision, see the link below.