Creative Curriculum Statement
Our curriculum is based on 3 guiding principles:
Removing Barriers to success
Raising the ceiling to achievement
Our aim at Tooting Primary School is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life. Our curriculum is designed to provide children with the core knowledge they need for success in education and later life, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person and the talents of the individual and to allow all children to become active, self-sufficient citizens. By drawing on the best that’s been thought, said and done in each subject, our curriculum at Tooting Primary School enables children to appreciate and participate in the full richness of the curriculum. Subjects leaders work together to identify knowledge, thematic and skills based links between their disciplines and exploiting those through careful joint planning which will enable students to make connections that will help them to understand the world around them and their place in it.
Tooting Primary School’s curriculum is founded on these key principles;
- Entitlement – We believe that all children have the right to learn regardless of their starting points. Tooting Primary School aims to ensure that all children are taught a broad Curriculum day to day with a clear progression planning and sequencing in every subject studied.
- Mastery – We expect all students to achieve a full understanding of the knowledge specified in the Curriculum for each year, and teaching should not move on until this is achieved. This stretches across all age ranges and abilities at Tooting Primary School. To help children to really investigate a concept we teach our curriculum subjects in blocks rather then single lessons over a number of weeks.
- Concepts not context – The Curriculum is intended as a concise specification of knowledge and content to be taught and learned. It is for teachers to decide how to teach a concept and bring it to life.
At Tooting Primary School we firmly believe that the foundations of learning are centred in the early years curriculum where children develop characteristics for effective learning; motivation, engagement and thinking. We build on these skills and knowledge every year as a child progresses through our school.
The curriculum in each subject is set out initially by subject leaders as a whole school overview for each subject and then in year group long term and medium term plans to ensure skills are both challenging and progressive.
In our lessons you will typically see all pupils learning through the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for pupils who need it. Rather than moving on to new content. Our higher attaining pupils will study skills in more depth, and are expected to produce work with greater depth and flair.
Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. We use Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2012) at Tooting Primary School to develop our teaching practice.
- Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning including vocabulary
- Present new material in small steps with student practice after each step
- Ask a large number of questions and check the responses of all students
- Provide models
- Guide student practice
- Check for student understanding
- Obtain a high success rate
- Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks
- Require and monitor independent practice
- Engage students in regular reviews of their learning
In order to allow our teaching approach to be effective, early catch up is essential: we aim to promptly identify and support pupils without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics so that they can access the full curriculum.
Everything from which children learn in school – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the team reward system and the ethos of our school – are to be seen as part of the school curriculum at Tooting Primary School. The principle of ‘Education with Character’ is delivered through the curriculum in this broadest sense. We are very proud of our music, PE and extracurricular provision that we offer which sit alongside a host of other enrichment activities such as cooking, debating, Spanish and our links with Graveney Secondary School.
Our formative assessments are designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject. This means that in lessons pupils are quizzed on prior knowledge in order to embed this knowledge in their long term memory. This frees up their working memory to attend to current learning. We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging vocabulary.
Knowledge quizzes provide students with key information in each subject, enabling them to memorise the key knowledge they require in order to be able to perform higher-level functions such as analysis and evaluation.
We believe that every student has an equal right to a challenging and enlightening curriculum. By teaching our curriculum to a high standard, and developing effective learning habits in our students, we bring out the best in every learner at Tooting Primary School.