At Flora Gardens, we have combined the content of the new DfE curriculum into an individualised values-led, creatively integrated approach for each year group. Our 5 values of trust, fulfilment, respect, choosing your attitude and adventure lead each creative curriculum whilst ensuring that all statutory content is adequately covered for depth and engagement. Underlying all topics are the four fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, respecting others and individual liberty.
Each values-based curriculum starts with a ‘hook’ to engage the children and excite them in their new topic. Some examples of these hooks are:
- A fairy visit in Year 1.
- A letter from the Queen inviting Year 2 to the Tower of London.
- A ‘technology takeover’ in Year 3.
- A ‘mummy’ visiting the Year 4 classroom in the middle of the night and leaving clues.
- A visitor to Year 5 from the Thames Waterworks project asking the children to research how best to save water.
- A video from an entrepreneur in Year 6 inviting the class to design a toy to sell and market.
The following half term is then focused on that topic integrating every subject through a meaningful, creative approach. Each class has focus English texts that relate to the curriculum and all home learning is relevant to the topic. Each learning opportunity has the 5 values at the heart of it, ensuring that the children have opportunities to extend these values and build on their skills and personal development within them (see progression of values).
During the half term, each class has the opportunity to extend their learning outside of the classroom with an educational visit. Such visits include:
* Year 1’s trip to Fulham Palace Toy Exhibition as part of the Toys and Games topic.
* Year 2’s visit to St Paul’s Cathedral as part of the ‘Fire! Fire!’ topic.
* Year 3’s trip to the British Museum to look at Stone Age and Iron Age artefacts.
* Year 4’s trip to Barnes Wetland Centre to look at local animal habitats.
* Year 5 and 6 trip to Sky Studios to create their own product.
Culminating events are also an integral part of each curriculum as an opportunity for pupils to share their learning with parents and to communicate with a purpose e.g. having an audience. Some such events that close each values-led curriculum are Year 2’s Medieval Banquet, Year 3’s ‘McFlora Café’ that sells healthy options and Year 5’s Victorian-themed performance to parents from a workhouse.
We aim for each child to leave Flora Gardens Primary School with the experiences, skills, knowledge and personal achievements that make a holistic learner. Academic results matter, but equally so do the attributes and qualities that make each child an individual; and our personalised curriculum develops all of these in unison.