Taddington EPIC Curriculum design
Enterprise, Possibilities, Inquiry, Community
At Taddington and Priestcliffe we strive to provide a tailor made, thematic creative curriculum that engages and inspires our children whilst ensuring National Curriculum coverage. Each year, our curriculum is divided into six themes through which a selection of National Curriculum subjects will be taught. Research tells us that from the earliest age, learners should be involved in decisions about how they learn best. Principles of inquiry; children leading the direction their learning tasks, asking and seeking the answers to their questions are integral practices to support this aim. In addition we have carefully considered the overarching curriculum drivers Enterprise, Possibilities Inquiry ,and Community which enable us to create an EPIC curriculum that is unique and relevant to our learners. We are deeply aware that children only get one chance at their primary education and our Ethos and Values reflect our commitment to ensuring that all children reach for the highest levels of personal achievement and development.
Knowledge and Skills
At Taddington we are focused on ensuring that children acquire and retain key knowledge in subject areas. In view of this, our robust planning process involves the construction of knowledge organiser documents. These focus teacher and learner attention on the key non-negotiables for the unit of work/theme including key concepts, vocabulary and where appropriate facts and figure, dates and timelines. Knowledge organisers are shared half termly with parents along with an idea of how we will assess the extent to which knowledge has been learnt. Underpinning the entire curriculum are the basic skills of Literacy, Mathematics and ICT. The children at our school are given every opportunity to use and apply their skills in these areas when studying a theme. Personal goals underpin the individual qualities and dispositions we believe children will find essential in the 21st century. Enquiry, resilience, morality, communication, thoughtfulness, cooperation, respect and adaptability. Opportunities to experience and practice these are built into the learning tasks within each unit of work.
For our children, learning beyond the village is essential. As such global learning goals help our young children begin the move towards an increasingly sophisticated national, international and intercultural perspective. Each thematic unit includes an international aspect to help develop a sense of ‘international mindedness’.
Enlivening learning through authentic & relevant experiences
Each half termly theme begins with a motivating Entry point, often a visit or experience to immerse the children in the topic. To celebrate learning at the end of a topic, we like to invite parents to come into school to share some of our learning. We take an innovative approach to learning and are responsive to needs and opportunities that arise, so every term we will adapt and update our curriculum plans. Wherever possible, we also link English learning to these topics to give writing a genuine purpose and real-life audience. Real-life math’s opportunities are also implemented e.g. data collection or planning an event with a given budget.
The topics are enhanced by home learning projects which are fun and practical for families to do together e.g. build a volcano or construct a medieval castle. All topics culminate in a landing which pulls together all of the learning. Once a term, there is a real-world outcome which has an impact beyond our immediate school community of pupils, staff and parents. Examples of a real world outcome may be the screening of a film in the cinema to the public, a museum in a pop-up shop which is open to the public, the creating of an electronic nature trail for the public to use or a workshop and puppet show/presentation to pre-school children.
In school we have worked hard to promote a growth mindset which underpins our approach to teaching and learning. Growth mindset is based on the belief that everyone can change and grow through application and experience. This links with our curriculum driver 'Possibilities' We teach pupils that changes occur in the structure of the brain as they learn to do new things. When they first start to challenge themselves it may seem hard but if they keep persevering then challenges become easier. Praise is focused on the effort children have given, rather than their achievement. Feedback, even if critical, is seen as an opportunity for learning and children respond positively accepting the fact that their first try isn’t always the best. Children are given opportunities to continuously review and improve their work with purple polishing pens. Rather than being seen as a failure, mistakes are seen as an opportunity for learning. We have tried to embed that there is no such thing as “I can’t do it.” Instead we say that “I can’t do it …yet”.
Cycle A Thematic overview including English