At Flora Gardens, we have combined the content of the DfE curriculum into an individualised values-led, creatively integrated approach for each year group. Our 6 values of Trust, Fulfilment, Respect, Personal Wellbeing, Choosing your Attitude and Adventure lead each creative topic whilst ensuring that all statutory content is 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.
- Adopting an Orang-utan in Year 2.
- 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 visit from the author/illustrator William Grill where he taught the children the painting techniques he used in his book-‘Shackleton’s Journey’ which was Year 6’s class text.
The following half term is then focused on that topic integrating many Foundation Subjects 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 6 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 have included:
- 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 animals habitats.
- Year 5’s to Sky Studios to create their own news reports.
- Year 6’s visit from the author/illustrator William Grill where he taught the children the painting techniques he used in his book-‘Shackleton’s Journey.’
Culminating events are also an integral part of each curriculum as an opportunity for children 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 have included:
- Year 2’s Medieval Banquet,
- Year 3’s ‘McFlora Café’ that sells healthy options
- Year 5’s Victorian-themed performance to parents from a workhouse.
- Year 6’s Enterprise Fayre where they are responsible for the budgeting, innovation of products and profit.
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.
Our 6 school values are at the core of our curriculum and are embedded in everything that we do here at Flora Gardens Primary School. The curriculum at Flora Gardens Primary School aims to prepare children in understanding the world around them and prepare them for the next stage of their education. We want our pupils to be both engaged in their learning and engaging future citizens. The design of our wider curriculum is based on the pupils’ interests and links learning to real life experiences through broader, extra-curricular opportunities and through expert, high quality teaching through the Subject Specialism approach. By the time pupils have left Flora Gardens Primary School, they will have developed a range of both skills and knowledge through half termly Topic quizzing; opportunities to deliberately practise and skillful planning for progression and depth.
Each half term teachers plan and deliver the curriculum through a consistent approach. As part of this process, staff plan for and implement the following:
- A curriculum overview map that incorporates the National Curriculum objectives for that year group into the Topic
- Comprehensive Medium Term and long term plans that include progression statements for the Foundation Subjects taught within that Topic that half term and prior learning to build upon;
- A series of lessons that build on the prior ones and careful consideration for revisiting knowledge, progression and depth;
- High Quality Texts chosen in conjunction with an External Literacy Advisor for the Borough, leading to an integrated Pie Corbett approach to English lessons immersing pupils in a language-rich environment;
- A ‘Hook’ to launch the Topic to ensure it is purposeful and substantive for the pupils;
- A low-stakes Topic quiz that encourages children to assimilate learning into their long-term memory, where gains are celebrated with misconceptions planned for and addressed;
- A Workshop or Educational Visit each half term that develops significant learning within that Topic (Covid dependant);
- A ‘Culminating Event’ to conclude each Topic where all learning is recapped and summarised, and where parents are invited to share their views and inform future curriculum design along with the children (Covid dependant);
- Home Learning tasks for each Topic which encourage and invite collaborative learning involving parents/carers and the pupils;
- A curriculum overview for parents/carers so pupils can be supported in their learning at home.
We measure the impact of our Topic-values-based curriculum each half term through the following:
- Pupil, Parent and Teacher evaluations of each half-termly Topic that are used to inform future curriculum design, evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum and inclusive of the impact of values incorporated into the Topics (Covid dependant);
- Tracking of the gains in the Topic quizzes and a final End of Term Subject specific quiz that informs subject assessments;
- A celebration of work, knowledge and skills achieved on Topic displays across the school;
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes through informal tracking of subject progressions;
- Termly Foundation-Subject Assessments using the age-appropriate Subject Progressions;
- A Portfolio of ‘wider curriculum’ opportunities within the Curriculum Scrapbooks, ensuring Cultural Capital, PSHE and British Values are at the core of these;
- Termly Core-Subject Assessments used to inform future Interventions, Topics and address misconceptions.
- Termly celebrating and awarding of value badges for children who consistently demonstrate the values of the school.
Our longer-term vision for our curriculum is to fully embed cultural capital and develop the experiences we offer throughout each half term by the following –
- Multiple educational visits or workshops each half term for EYFS – Year 6 that link with either the overall topic or individual subjects;
- Exposure to cultural capital opportunities within Foundation lessons across the curriculum;
- Offering highly skilled and experienced subject specialist teaching of various foundation subjects - including PE, Spanish, Music & the Arts, Science, Geography, History, RE, Computing and Curriculum PE;
- Working alongside other local Primary schools to share expertise within staff to further develop the learning opportunities for children and to share resources;
- To work alongside local feeder Secondary schools for all subjects to help develop UKS2 curriculum for transition to KS3;
- To improve the critical thinking of children through different learning opportunities such as debating;
- To continue to offer off-curriculum House Days across the year engaging all children with a focus on personal wellbeing.