Curriculum Intent and Rationale
Kells Lane Primary School is a large school located around a mile from the centre of Gateshead. There are currently 448 pupils on roll with two classes per year group. The school building is a traditional Victorian school built in 1895 and is laid out over three floors. The school benefits from two large halls and spacious classrooms and maximises the use of the outside space within its urban setting.
At Kells Lane Primary School, we want our curriculum to be diverse, engaging and inclusive for all pupils. We want our pupils to have seamless connections between their learning from Nursery all the way through to Year 6 where subjects are interleaved together. These connections will ensure our pupils use their prior knowledge and skills and apply them to learning both now and in the future. It is our intent that the curriculum implemented in school will inspire our pupils to take their learning further and allow them to explore cultures and communities beyond the classroom. For our teachers, we want our curriculum to have clarity and consistency so that all staff members are aware, involved and up to date with what is happening across the whole school. At Kells Lane, we recognise that ’Learning Means the World’ is a curriculum for human flourishing and that the importance of human creativity and achievement leads to the development of educated citizens. We truly feel that our curriculum will support our pupils in embedding our motto: “Find your remarkable”.
Rationale for Implementation
We use Dimensions ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum as the main approach for achieving our outlined curriculum intent.
The ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum is carefully mapped out with rigorous progression and integration across subjects, taught through highly relevant, engaging and contextualised thematic units. It is built on the foundations of current global issues (Communication, Conflict, Culture & Conservation) and encourages all children to to be outward-facing in applying their learning into everyday life.
The curriculum is broken down into Learning Pathways as follows:
- Explorers (Nursery & Reception)
- Pathfinders (Year 1 & Year 2)
- Adventurers (Year 3 & Year 4)
- Navigators ( Year 5 & Year 6)
Communication is a key part of our curriculum and ethos at Kells Lane Primary School. We want our pupils to be able to communicate their learning and understanding in a variety of ways including writing and drawing. We also want our pupils to recognise that effective communication of their work is not just shown in the final product or piece; the processes and steps along the learning journey are key to communicating their understanding.
Our pupils have a wide range of opportunities to communicate with each other and adults across the school through our School Council in active debates and council sessions, our ‘Rights Respecting Schools’ award and effective use of the ‘Bounce Together’ app where pupil voice surveys and feedback can be recorded and used to improve aspects of school life. Through our curriculum, we want our pupils to recognise that problems can arise when communication isn’t always clear, therefore learning that both good listening and being listened to, both in and outside school, is essential in avoiding conflict.
In our school, it is important that our pupils recognise that conflict occurs in everyday life, both on small and large scales, but we know that it is more important to support our pupils in recognising the strong role they can have in avoiding and stopping conflicts. This could be now, in the classroom, or inspiring them to see how world leaders deal with more global issues. We recognise the strong role communication has in creating and preventing conflict and it is vital that our pupils see that varied viewpoints can be helpful in building tolerance and acceptance of others. At Kells Lane, we want our curriculum to encourage pupils to debate and discuss ideas with one another so that they recognise that some conflict can be healthy and that it is ok to disagree with one another, providing that they listen and share their views in a balanced and open-minded way.
Gateshead is a diverse and culture rich borough and we ensure we celebrate this diversity throughout our curriculum. It is important that our curriculum must guide our pupils in breaking down pre-conceived stereotypes or perceptions of other cultural groups. Our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum will also support pupils in ensuring the most appropriate language is used when discussing culture and why context is important in understanding how language is used. It is our aim, through our curriculum, to develop stronger connections with the wide variety of cultural and ethnic groups in our community in a relevant and appropriate way.
We are proud of our community and the success achieved in our ‘Rights Respecting Schools’ award. It has encouraged our pupils to see that children’s rights are universal and there is a common culture worldwide in ensuring all children have happy and healthy lives.
In terms of opportunities for spending time in nature, our pupils may not have the same access as those in rural areas but we ensure, at Kells Lane, that we make the most of the space we have. Our pupils, with the support of staff and the Kells Lane Fundraising Group, are encouraged to build bird feeders, plant wildflowers and clear litter from the school ground and surrounding areas. Every child will have the opportunity to take part in Forest School where they develop the skills of team work, communication and problem solving through their work.
Through our curriculum, however, we want to make our contribution to conservation issues stronger and more meaningful for our pupils. Our pupils have a strong sense of conscience on conservation in school but it is our aim for this sense to continue into the wider world. We recognise that many people throughout society live in a ‘throw-away’ culture and that this is not conducive to supporting conservation locally or globally. It is important that, through our curriculum, our pupils recognise how their contribution to conservation, no matter how small, can make a big difference.
Our curriculum narrative begins with Communication, as we believe that this underpins and gives clarity to all the other world issues within the Learning Means the World curriculum. It is important that our pupils learn how to communicate with one another, their teachers and other people clearly to avoid conflict or misunderstanding. We also want our pupils to see that communication is more than just speaking. It is vital that they actively listen to what others have to say and accept that their views may be different from their own and this is perfectly acceptable. As poor communication often leads to disagreements and upset, it is logical that we will follow communication with Conflict. At Kells Lane Primary School, we want to teach our pupils that conflict occurs daily and that conflicts that involve them can often be resolved through good communication skills. We regularly encourage our pupils to debate and share their thoughts but teach them the appropriate skills to not allow these debates to become arguments or aggressive in nature. People have a wide range of opinions and views and often, these are because of their family, community or cultural background and should be, where appropriate, accepted. It is because of the importance of respecting the cultural or ethnic differences between people that we will next explore Culture. We want our curriculum to instil a sense of cultural equality for all groups of people and recognise that not one group ‘holds all the power’. It is important that we learn from others in terms of traditions and ways of life and these should be protected for further generations. This conservation of culture leads us to our final world issue of Conservation. By studying conservation and the related issues that affect people locally and globally, we want our pupils to start to see how small actions can have big consequences, both positively and negatively. We also want our pupils to see that conservation does not just link to the environment but also to culture and history. Kells Lane Primary School is over 100 years old and, just as generations before us have looked after our school, we need to ensure that we conserve and look after it for those who learn and teach here after us.
We also encourage our pupils to have high aspirations by teaching them about human creativity and achievement through additional Competency Units about famous figures and groups of people that focus on Creativity, Commitment, Courage and Community.