Curriculum Intent and Rationale
At Gillamoor CE (VC) Primary School, we aim to offer all pupils an education that has our core Christian values at its heart. One which nurtures and develops the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills they need to flourish and make a positive impact in our community and the wider world. We aim to provide our pupils with engaging learning experiences that will inspire them to want to ask questions and want to learn more.
With this in mind, we have implemented an ambitious and aspirational curriculum that is challenging, promotes active learning and enables pupils to be more ‘outward facing’ and step away from their comfort zone. This, in turn, should lead to them becoming well-rounded individuals.
We also want to foster in them the school values of love and care, honesty and respect. In particular, providing opportunities for learning which enable our children to become more open minded and to grow in resilience and independence.
We aim to empower our pupils in developing their identity, not only as part of the rural community but as respectful, responsible global citizens.
Rationale for Implementation
We use Dimensions ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum as the main vehicle for achieving our outlined intent, with a view to providing an ambitious, highly visible curriculum offer. Our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum follows the National Curriculum 2014.
This curriculum is underpinned by four highly relevant world issues, known as the four Cs:-
We believe that communication is the key to unlocking their learning and enriching their future opportunities in life, including opening doors to travel and what may be, as yet unknown careers.
We recognise the need to focus on oracy; developing pupils’ vocabulary is a priority, in order to help them to express their thoughts, opinions and ideas with confidence. We have highlighted being given the opportunity to explore different ways of communicating, both verbal and non-verbal, as a priority in school and within the community. We recognise our pupils need to understand their feelings and become emotionally literate and be able to communicate effectively, confidently and appropriately. This focus on communication will be a touchpoint throughout the year.
As a school that is located in a very rural setting, which is not culturally diverse and predominantly represents a White British demographic, our children have little exposure to other people groups. Through our curriculum, we want them to fully appreciate and embrace diversity by learning about and developing an understanding of a range of cultural heritages and challenges. We want them to avoid stereotypes, celebrate differences, value the importance of cultural identity and behave in a respectful and tolerant way towards others, regardless of faith, ethnicity or background.
We also want them to grow within our own culture in school, based on our values of love, care, honesty and respect.
We believe conflict is very closely linked with communication and, as most conflicts result from poor communication, we want our pupils to reflect on history and see what we can learn. We want children to develop a deeper understanding that there are different viewpoints, including grey areas, which should be respected and valued. Through our curriculum experiences we want them to understand that conflict is a driving force for change.
Once they begin to understand what conflict is in today’s world at all levels, globally and personally and can recognise catalysts for conflict, school should be a safe place to explore how to debate conflicts and resolve disagreements.
Conservation is a real strength within our community and our pupils are knowledgeable and passionate about local issues. We want to build on this and provide opportunities for our pupils to understand wider challenges and care passionately about our world as global citizens. We feel they will do this best through a curriculum that puts sustainability at the heart, employing a more structured approach to developing environmental awareness and appreciation. We need our children to play their part in future thinking and problem-solving, as both advocates and activists for positive change.
Our curriculum narrative begins with Communication, as this underpins and links to the three other areas and can be built on throughout the year. We have followed this with Culture, because we believe that broadening horizons and understanding identity is so important. Next, Conservation, building on local challenges and looking at the future and a better, sustainable world. Finally, Conflict, to build upon the understanding of the previous themes and how conflict good and bad can arise from this understanding.
We also encourage our pupils to have high aspirations by teaching them about human creativity and achievement through additional Competency Units about famous figures that focus on Creativity, Commitment, Courage and Community.