The Curriculum at Morley Primary School
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)
We aim to foster children who are aware of the world and their position within it by knowing how lucky they are and how others are far less fortunate; to actively be able to look out for, support and show kindness to 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 master a range of key skills which will provide them with the keys for unlocking the world.
Key government curricula-knowledge is learnt to an in-depth understanding, alongside a fundamental set of core skills that are taught with the aim of mastering these skills for our twenty-first century learners. 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.
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’.
Our curriculum themes
Staff base the learning around half term, or termly, themes. Our themes are chosen to give children a wide view of our world and its past, and to give them new interests and possibilities. 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, early Islamic medicine or technological inventions shows how we have been able to hypothesise, test and create over time, and develops children's ability to think scientifically and creatively. These themes are enriched by a range of external visits and visitors, for example Class 2 visit the Bagshaw Museum for their Egyptians theme, Class 3 put Scrooge on trial in the Courts of Justice, and Class 1 enjoy a day at Warwick Castle. We have had owls in school, and a variety of rainforest creepy crawlies. Class 3 take part in the Spires project as part of their design and technology work, and we have welcomed several authors and illustrators. We have worked with the RSPB and spend a day learning circus skills. We measure the length of the Titanic in a neighbouring farmer’s field, and create our own varieties of chocolate bar, which we then learn how to advertise. Many of these themes incorporate a book study which links a quality text to the term's theme, for example Holes by Louis Sachar, The Firemaker’s daughter by Philip Pullman, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, Handa’s Surpise by Eileen Browne, The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo and Secrets of the Sun King by Emma Carroll.
The learning is based on a two year cycle, due to our mixed age classes. Each term starts with a week's work looking in depth at our local area. Here is a flavour of what we learn.
|Term 1||Term 2||Term 3|
|Autumn 1||Autumn 2||Spring 1||Spring 2||Summer 1||Summer 2|
|All About Me||The Polar Regions||Space is Ace!||Dinosaurs||Fairytales and Superheroes||Where I live|
Kings, Queens, Castles and
|Julia Donaldson||Under the Sea||Ahoy There!||Food, Glorious Food||Rainforests|
|Inventions Light and Dark||Stone Age v Egyptians||Greece and the Olympics|
|Rotation 2||What did the Romans do For Us?||Climate and Rivers||Morley, Derby, Derbyshire, the World|
|Trip Round the World||Significant Moments of the Twentieth Century||This is England!|
|Rotation 2||Are We Looking After Our World?||Do We Take Care of Our Health in the Right Way?||Who are the Greatest Artists?|
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.
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 from 9.10 - 9.30.
Phonics within the Gigantic Triathlon
Our main reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree, which runs throughout school. 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.