Burford CofE Primary School: Curriculum Vision
At Burford, we are ‘Rooted in love, growing in trust and blossoming with courage, prepared to flourish in God’s world.’
The importance of understanding that each of us is rooted in love is not under-estimated at Burford:
‘Love always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’
Trusting in love gives us the courage to be ourselves. Courage is from the Latin ‘coeur’ which means ‘To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart’. Our intention is for our pupils to leave Burford prepared for ‘Life in all its fullness’ and ready to tell their own stories.
Our Christian vision has driven us to create a bespoke curriculum for our pupils that pursues the acquisition of wisdom, knowledge and skills alongside educating for aspiration, dignity, and respect. It is also our intention to nurture a sense of community, so that all members of our school develop a deep sense of belonging, both locally and within the wider world. We believe that these attributes will support our pupils to live well together and flourish, as they move on to High School and beyond.
Our curriculum offer is therefore divided into three focus areas: ‘Head, Heart and Hands’:
Head – Rigorous academic study. Enabling pupils to learn more and remember more, creating a change in long-term memory.
Heart – Living wholeheartedly. Choosing our own path, free from stereotyping; being curious, aspirational, confident and resilient.
Hands – Courageous advocacy. Developing a greater awareness of the challenge’s others face in life and how we can make a difference in our school community, local community and further afield.
At Burford CofE Primary School we believe that a carefully sequenced curriculum can empower our pupils and reduce social inequality, whilst providing the knowledge they need for the next stage of their education. We view our curriculum as a progression model: the mapped-out journey of concept building leading to a change in long term memory and an increase in knowledge. Through interleaving concepts throughout the curriculum, the children will develop a deep and rich understanding, meaning that the knowledge that is acquired is more likely to be remembered.
Our curriculum sets out WHAT will be learned and WHEN it will be learned. Within our curriculum, we use the following definitions:
Learning: an alteration in long term memory. If nothing has altered in long term memory, nothing has been learned.
Progress: knowing more and remembering more.
For each subject, our curriculum sets out: the significant and key knowledge that pupils should know and remember as well as the skills that the children will develop and build on; the key concepts that children will return to in different contexts and year groups; the prior learning that the children can build on; the vocabulary that will be introduced as well as the sequencing and progression of the units to be taught.
Our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils, regardless of their starting point. We aim for our classrooms to be places of ‘high demand – low threat’. We provide support through modelling, paired talk, scaffolding and worked examples rather than highly differentiated activities or sheets. We aim to offer all children the opportunity for stretch and extension, through offering challenging tasks that build on the core learning.
Opportunities to use high quality texts are identified in all curriculum areas. Reading is not only an important skill in its own right, but can expose children to new vocabulary as well as provide a richer understanding of a topic which can underpin their new knowledge.
New vocabulary is prioritised frequently, and is recorded on our working walls in order to support pupils to become familiar with it and use it in their own work and talk.
We support pupils to know more and remember more through offering frequent opportunities for retrieval practice.
The impact of children’s progress and their ability to know more and remember more will be visible through a range of methods. These may include end of unit assessments or quizzes, hot and cold tasks, spoken responses, progress over time in pupils books, extended writing or even an end of unit project or ‘double page spread’.
Heart and Hands
In order to support our pupils to live whole-heartedly and develop courageous advocacy, our curriculum provides deliberate opportunities for children to develop specific skills and attributes. These attributes are the ‘flourishes’ to our academic curriculum and have been organised under four broad headings: Social Skills and Language; Global Identity; Aspirations, Resilience and Growth Mindset and Physical and Mental Health and Well-Being. We enrich these opportunities further with a half termly focus on the British Values and the Global Goals.