The Intent, Implementation and Impact of our curriculum
At Westgate Primary School, all of our children receive a rich and ambitious curriculum where pupils are given meaningful, real-life experiences across core and foundation subjects. We plan our curriculum carefully in sequences with a focus on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and vocabulary required for future learning and the cultural capital that our pupils need to be successful in the wider world. Personal, social and emotional development is at the centre of all we do at Westgate and we work relentlessly to ensure that our pupils leave our school with the essential key skills. We track pupils rigorously and address any gaps in core skills quickly to avoid them falling behind. Reading is a particular focus for us and our curriculum is planned around providing as many opportunities to develop reading skills as possible across all curriculum areas. Our staff are passionate about fostering a love of reading in our pupils and a newly introduced reading reward scheme is intended to increase the amount that children read outside of school.
Adults in school foster a love of learning in our pupils with a relentless focus on children at all levels achieving their full potential. Our curriculum is adapted and personalised to meet the needs of our SEND pupils who receive the support necessary to develop fluency and independence. Our more able pupils are given the opportunity to expand their knowledge across the curriculum and through links with secondary schools who offer even greater challenge and raise aspiration.
Westgate School staff are passionate about providing a stimulating learning environment to enable all pupils to become life-long learners.
Emotional and social development is at the centre of all we do. Memorable experiences are provided for our pupils from which they can learn and develop new and transferable skills.
Skills, values and a positive attitude are promoted, encouraging children to be successful learners who are prepared for the next stage of their learning journey.
Trips, assemblies, workshops and special days provide learning experiences beyond the classroom. Community involvement is an integral part of our curriculum.
Graciousness, Responsibility and Respect for others are upheld as characteristics of effective learning and valuable life skills.
Achievement is central to our curriculum planning and we have high expectations of all learners to achieve their academic, social, creative and physical potential.
Tailored to children’s broader development with a focus on spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, our curriculum celebrates our pupils’ rich diversity, wide range of backgrounds and prior experiences.
Engagement with global issues and the exploration of the links between their own lives and people across the world is a key goal.
Our broad and balanced curriculum is regularly reviewed by SLT, subject leaders and governors against the criteria that it should enable children to develop the necessary knowledge and skills in all areas of their learning. We have used the National Curriculum alongside specific year group topics to enable our children to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed. In order to allow children to remember key skills, children revisit them over the course of a key stage. Wherever possible, reading, writing and mathematical activities are linked across lessons and reading is used continuously to discover and explore. The same quality of work is expected across all subjects which leads to higher standards and outcomes.
The teaching and acquisition of reading skills is prioritised at Westgate to allow pupils to access the full curriculum. We use the Read, Write Inc programme for the teaching of early reading skills, followed by the Accelerated Reader Programme to teach reading and vocabulary development once the pupils have acquired enough reading skills to be independently accessing texts. The aim is for all of our pupils to be on the Accelerated Reader Programme by the end of Year 2. Where a pupil has been identified as not on track to achieve this target, intervention is put in place through 1:1 reading support to enable them to catch up. Pupils that do not pass the phonics screening test in Year 1 are also supported in order to ensure that they pass by the end of Year 2. Once pupils have finished a text they undertake a comprehension ‘quiz’ and vocabulary test. This assessment is then analysed and a report produced which informs both the class teacher and parent of their child’s attainment in reading.
In Science, new knowledge and vocabulary is introduced in a logical, focused way, building on the prior knowledge of the children and using clear explanations and modelling. The content is sequenced and presented on a knowledge organiser/100% sheet. Regular opportunities are provided for the children to commit new concepts into memory. These activities also help to consolidate the knowledge of, and form links between, previously taught concepts and highlight any misconceptions. A key focus is for children having the ability to generate information from memory using their own words – instead of just restating learned information. Our aim is to make practical activities interesting, engaging and motivating in order to supplement and support instruction, rather than replace it. Having a detailed understanding of scientific concepts and vocabulary allows the children to make informed predictions; test hypotheses; make careful, focused observations; analyse relevant data; design comparative and fair tests; and communicate their findings and conclusions with accuracy.
Foundation subject learning is based around a half termly topic of a geography or history focus. Topic days are often used to launch a topic, but are also used to create excitement during a topic or to conclude a unit of work. We find that this is an effective way of allowing children to apply their learning to the experience. Children undertake a home learning project which is displayed in the entrance corridor. A high-quality trip or visit is planned around a topic each term to enhance and extend learning and provide the children with cultural capital. Knowledge organisers are increasingly used to ensure that knowledge and vocabulary are taught with clear progression across the school, whilst building on prior knowledge. Each subject leader develops a yearly action plan which contributes towards the design of our wider curriculum, along with feedback from pupil and parent questionnaires.
All our pupils receive a rich, diverse curriculum delivered by passionate teachers and supported by specialist provision, which includes visitors who deliver curriculum days, artists, musicians and sports coaches. We make the most of every part of our grounds and have a Forest School area where children can develop their learning in the wider curriculum.
By the time pupils leave Westgate Primary School, at the end of Year 6, we expect that they have achieved their potential – academically, socially, creatively and physically and are independent and respectful learners. We use rigorous triangulated monitoring throughout the year to gauge the impact of the curriculum design. Senior leaders and subject leaders carefully monitor individual subjects: reviewing learning, evaluating pupil voice, providing individual feedback to move practice forward, celebrating positives and highlighting areas for development. Teachers track academic pupil progress throughout the year against age related expectations. Regular internal and external moderation ensures quality assurance of teacher judgements.
At Westgate Primary School, pupils’ emotional and social development is as much a priority to us as their academic progress. We monitor pupil’s individual emotional needs and respond to COMPASS questionnaires which identify areas of concern. We work with Safeline to provide targeted counselling for individual children who have been identified for additional support.
In addition to quantitative data, we measure the impact of our curriculum through pupil and parent questionnaires. Our last parent questionnaire confirmed that 100% of our parents and carers felt that their child was well taught and a similar percentage felt that their child took part in a wide range of interesting and enjoyable activities at school.