Our Investigative Curriculum Cycle is based on a teaching sequence cycle that allows pupils to get to the heart of what they are learning whilst ensuring an interplay of substantive and disciplinary knowledge throughout teaching and learning. We use this cycle for science, history, geography, art and DT and each cycle is bespoke to the subject being studied. Pupils follow a sequenced journey that starts with questioning and enquiry around the area being studied. Pupils then become experts in an area through research, case study investigations and progressive skills and knowledge sessions. Finally, our pupils then tackle an independent reflection piece based on both embedded learning from previous years and newly acquired knowledge and skills from their current unit. Pre and post learning integrated tasks allow pupils’ starting points to be used to adapt planning to individuals, previous learning to be revisited and to ensure that learning is embedded before moving forward.
The remaining wider curriculum subjects are taught through high-quality schemes that are adapted for our school and our pupils: PE (REAL PE and Dance); Music (Charanga); Computing (Purple Mash); PHSE&RSE (PE Association, Happy Mind, Yasmin &Tom, Positive Footprints); RE (Understanding Christianity, RE Today); French (Salut!).
Our school values run deep within our wider curriculum in addition to reading being encouraged and nurtured throughout all cycles. To ensure that our curriculum fits the bespoke needs of our community, we have enhanced our curriculum in many ways.
Ambition is met by incorporating our aspirations program, Positive Footprints, into our curriculum. Throughout this entwined thread of our curriculum, pupils widen their knowledge of careers and aspirations available to them when they are older. Each unit of learning addresses how their learning can be applied to the wider world when they leave education; empowering pupils to be ready for new challenges but also building confidence in themselves as individuals with ‘I will’ attitude. Our curriculum develops the behaviours learners need to succeed such as concentration, perseverance, imagination, co-operation, the enjoyment of learning, self-improvement and curiosity. We are working closely with our link comprehensive school and the local university to develop opportunities Post-16 by embedding this knowledge and these experiences early on in our pupils’ education. Our pupils are encouraged to take part and compete in a wide range of sport, STEM and performing competitions.
Community is met by the many links we have with the supportive community surrounding Grange Park Primary School. In addition to our close link with parents and carers, we have built, and continue to build, links with the elderly in our community, religious groups, Sunderland University, local businesses and a wide-range of people who are as determined as we are to see our pupils thrive. We benefit from links with the Sir Tom Cowie Trust and the Beacon of Light. Our curriculum is full of opportunities for our pupils to explore the wider community themselves within high-quality school visits. Links are further widened by inviting visitors from a range of backgrounds and disciplines to come in to see our pupils and share their knowledge, perform, read, pass on skills and work with our pupils. Our Dojo communication system ensures that the school community is kept up to date and that curriculum experiences are shared and celebrated. A wide-range of After School Clubs, enable the pupils to extend their curriculum knowledge further and have experiences, both with school staff and external coaches/instructors, that they may not usually experience.
Mindfulness is met with the encouragement of a growth mind-set approach in all our pupils and staff. Our pupils learn to be independent thinkers, they ask questions, research answers and explore case studies to find links, explanations and reasons. Our PHSCE scheme and Happy Minds program supports our pupils to be physically healthy, make good choices, be ready for the world and to look after their own mental health. Additionally, our nurture provision provides initiatives such as the Friends Program and Helping Hands help support our pupils to be confident, prepare them to be ready for the world and gives opportunities for pupils to explore how to keep themselves safe. The many opportunities that we offer for pupils to access active time encourages our pupils to stay physically and mentally healthy. These include our ‘Active Breaks’, outdoor gym and MUGA. We also work with a range of sport coaches, including Quidditch and Futsal among many. Pupils are reminded to be mindful of how they take care of their body with a key thread of nutrition in our curriculum along with daily toothbrushing in KS1.
Inclusion is met with our school passion of creating a learning environment where everyone can succeed and bloom. Our curriculum has wide and varied experiences to engage all learners and our mindful, ambition and community links empower pupils to think outside the box, encourage pupils to reach for the stars and build confidence to work both as individuals and as a team. Our Nurture Provision in the afternoon offers an alternative setting where pupils still access our curriculum but in an environment suited to specific needs and learning styles. Recording in our curriculum is wide and varied, encouraging subject specific skills and knowledge to be developed and nurtured. Curriculum knowledge and skills are recorded in curriculum books, class floor books, display, film, photographs, final 2D and 3D pieces, quizzes and within direct observations of child voice to allow all learners to thrive, share their thoughts and ideas and be proud of what they have achieved. Pupils with specific academic needs are also supported in our thriving ‘Hive’ provision which is a low-stimulus, small group class run throughout the morning to enable pupils to make best progress.
The outcomes from our curriculum are displayed daily for parents and carers through Class Dojo and within different modes of recording by our pupils; are carefully nurtured and developed by subject leaders throughout the term; are qualified through ongoing assessment during three key assessment points during the year. Our curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils by creating instant opportunities for teaching and learning to be adapted to address misconceptions, gaps in learning and where further stretch and challenge could be applied.
The impact of the school’s curriculum can be seen in the work, projects and discussions they produce and the outcomes for all groups of pupils within the school. It can be seen in work books, class floor books, progression displays and the many varied ways in which the pupils present their work. It can be seen in the attitude of our pupils toward their learning and towards each other. It can be seen in the relationships between our staff and our pupils. It can be seen in the smiles and laughter in our happy, vibrant and bubbling atmosphere. It can be seen in the loyal and passionate support we receive from the community around us
Everything we do is fuelled by our school vision of ‘Putting Children First!’.
The impact of our curriculum, our school values and our school aims is none the more apparent that in the words of the pupils, parents, carers, visitors and staff: