At Burlington Infant School we carefully design, plan and implement a curriculum which provides breadth, balance and depth of learning for every pupil. We personalise this for our children and call it ‘The Head, The Heart and the Mind.’
Breadth of learning – the ‘Head’
Careful analysis and discussion about our pupils’ backgrounds, life experiences and culture has helped us to design a curriculum with three key priorities underpinning every subject area. We believe that by focusing on the following key priorities our children will be ready to meet successfully the challenges of the next stage of their education and their lives.
Our curriculum priorities are:
- Initiative – we aim to offer lots of first hand, practical experiences which help them become independent and resourceful learners.
- Environment – we aim to provide experiences which help our pupils to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the world and which help them to value and care for their environment.
- Aspirations – we aim to provide experiences which show children the wide range of possibilities available for their future.
We have designed and planned our curriculum to offer a range of experiences, both indoors and outdoors, which contribute to every child receiving a full and rich curriculum. The range of experiences we offer support and champion our culture and ensures that our children benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities. These activities enrich their lives and those of our whole school community and make them proud of their British values and diverse society to which they belong and play an active part. We are proud that our curriculum gives our children the skills, confidence and self-belief to lead a happy and fulfilled life. We encourage each child to aim high and tell them to ‘always do your best and be your best.’
Balance of learning – the ‘Heart’
It is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. We believe that through the curriculum we can impact on how the children feel about themselves and raise their self-esteem so that they feel clever, confident and ready to tackle any challenge they may face.
We have designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure every child receives an appropriate mix of academic and personal development which means that, in practice, our curriculum places equal importance on every area of learning in both core and foundation subjects. As many opportunities as possible are provided to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs and interests of our children, so that they feel valued and that they have a ‘voice’ in their learning.
At Burlington Infant School, we place high priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental needs are met. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure, settled and happy at school. We therefore carefully design our curriculum and adopt a flexible approach to timetabling to ensure that we can meet and respond to any issues which may arise. Children’s physical and mental well-being are as valued and important as academic development.
We carefully monitor children’s progress with their personal development and our well planned and thoughtful approach to social, moral, spiritual and cultural development helps to ensure that every child is well cared for, nurtured and supported.
Our balanced approach to the curriculum is not at the expense of high standards in core subject areas. High standards and enabling children to reach national expectations and above is of vital importance if they are to succeed at the next stage of their education and go on to achieve full and happy lives and careers.
Our full and rich curriculum, with its excellent range of experiences, ensures that every pupil at Burlington Infant School makes excellent progress both academically and personally. Our unique curriculum ensures that every child is given the opportunity to shine and flourish and to be the best that they can be.
Depth of learning – the ‘Mind’
Our definition of progress is; the widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours. We design, organise and plan our curriculum to ensure that children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth and mastery to their learning which enables them to use their skills and understanding in all areas of the curriculum.
Our careful curriculum design and planning means that we build in many opportunities for repetition and practice of essential knowledge, skills and understanding in every subject. This ensures that children are able to revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding and mastery of the skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.
Our curriculum is meticulously designed and planned to ensure progression and move the nature of children’s thinking to a deeper level of understanding rather than just acquiring new facts and knowledge.
Skills for Learning
Research shows that by helping pupils to think about ‘how’ they learn, and by explicitly teaching meta-cognitive strategies, schools can have a powerful impact on the progress made by pupils.
In order to do this, we teach the children that the skills of :
are important skills that we all need to be good learners. These skills run alongside and are integral to the delivery of our curriculum.
We call these the ‘5 R’s’ and we introduce them to the children, through the following ‘child friendly’ age appropriate characters.