Curriculum Intent at the Wye Forest Federation
Our curriculum has been carefully designed to empower every child to ‘be the best that they can be’ and to prepare our children for life in modern Britain. Underpinned by our distinctive Christian vision and values, we adopt a broad and balanced enquiry-led curriculum aimed at developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that are building blocks for later life. Our curriculum is built around the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but goes beyond the experiences of the classroom to ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied learning experiences that we can provide. As small, semi-rural schools, the curriculum is reviewed and adapted regularly in response to the emerging needs of the children, by enhancing learning experiences and raising awareness from our locality to the national and global arenas. As a result, we will develop forward-thinking pupils who are able to engage in learning about themselves and have an understanding of the diverse wider world and its cultures.
The aims of our school curriculum are:
The implementation of our curriculum is underpinned by the federation’s Teaching and Learning policy, which outlines the principles and pedagogy we believe lends itself to highly effective learning across all areas of the curriculum. Each individual subject has it’s own intent statement, supported by the most research and pedagogies, which are closely aligned to this policy. Teachers refer to these when planning sequences of lessons for these subjects.
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school. Alongside the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, the wider curriculum is delivered through an enquiry-led approach in which meaningful, cross-curricular links are made between subjects as children work towards answering the enquiry question. This approach fosters each child’s curiosity and interest throughout each topic and also enabling the achievement of depth in knowledge and skills. Opportunities for child voice are planned at the beginning of each new enquiry and this is used to inform the planned sequence of learning to ensure relevance. Wherever possible, reading, writing and Maths activities are linked across lessons and reading is used continuously to discover and explore. The same quality of work is expected across all subjects, leading to higher standards and outcomes.
Each of the federation’s enquiries incorporates the ‘Journey of Inquiry’ developed by Kath Murdoch (2019).
Whilst the cycle isn’t linear, it does move forward. As an enquiry progresses, teachers carefully craft sequences of lessons to reveal the core knowledge that underpins the enquiry. Teachers skilfully move through the cycle, enabling their pupils to develop the skills and dispositions required to effectively learn the skills and knowledge they need. The core purpose of the enquiry cycle, is to encourage children to become active learners: asking questions, be curious about what they find out and establish their own personal pathways of interest to follow their own lines of enquiry.
Each enquiry has it’s own ‘big’ enquiry question, suitable to the age and stage of the pupils. Enquiry questions are open-ended and are purposely designed to generate discussion and encourage opposing points of view. As children progress through the school, our aim is they become increasingly more skilled at answering the enquiry question, moving beyond opinion into connecting claim, evidence and reasoning – synthesizing the knowledge they have gained through a range of subject disciplines.
Progression of knowledge, skills and understanding is carefully planned, reviewed and adapted annually to ensure that children’s learning builds effectively over time and ensuring that children are ready to meet the expectations of secondary school. For each foundation subject, the federation has developed progression documents to ensure pupils in both schools gain the cultural capital they need to succeed in modern society.
At the end of an enquiry, children are challenged to reflect on the enquiry question and act appropriately to answer it, showcasing the knowledge and skills they have acquired. The ‘challenge’ provides a valuable opportunity for pupils to publish, perform or communicate their deep understanding of the enquiry content.
Our curriculum impact is measured through ongoing assessment and through three key assessment points during the year. Work is planned to address misconceptions and gaps in learning identified through assessments to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils. The impact of the school’s curriculum can be seen through the outcomes of all groups of pupils and the work they produce.
We expect that: