Willow Brook Primary School Curriculum Statement September 2022-2023
At Willow Brook Primary School we are dedicated to growing bright young minds and inspiring lifelong learners. It is of importance to us that within our school community we develop children’s confidence and encourage commitment to becoming the best they can be in all areas of their learning and life at school. In doing this we aim to prepare children for life in modern Britain through our broad, balanced curriculum and a strong ethos that underpins all that we do.
As well as having a focus on the core requirements of the English and mathematics syllabuses, curriculum leaders at Willow Brook have a clear vision for what they want our children to learn. In a way that goes beyond ‘topic webs’, our 2022/2023 creative programme builds a systematic and sequenced learning journey where horizontal links are made between subject areas in a half term plan, and vertical links are made within a subject year on year. The structure is such that children have the opportunity to build on prior knowledge and deepen their understanding of key primary concepts. By posing key ideas and ambitious areas for investigation, our pupils meet a range of learning styles that comprehensively cover the Primary National Curriculum. Every other half term the school works collaboratively on whole school topics that also promote a creative approach to teaching and learning. These topics inspire and immerse children in learning opportunities whilst providing a well-balanced experience that meets the individual development of all children from EYFS to Year 6. Siblings share areas of interest which, in turn, leads to family engagement. Tailor-made subject content captures time relevant skills and global events, promoting understanding that the children need to fulfil their role as citizens of the world. We plan many adventures out of the classroom to build social learning and broaden horizons. Our goal is to make sure that residential experiences as well as regular day trips and walking out into our community are highlights of each term. Staff share in the design process – annual updates keep teachers and TA’s involved and invested, as well as deepening their knowledge of core objectives and aims.
Confidence in the right measure is such an asset to a young child. At Willow Brook we provide opportunities beyond the classroom to nurture social skills and build resilience. Opportunities to debate and perform stand alongside competition and extra-curricular experiences. Our annual productions are a highlight of the year and communicate what can be achieved when everyone works together towards a high quality outcome!
Willow Brook children are unique and their journey through their primary years must reflect their current culture and capitalise on their future potential. The staff team are committed to putting this thought at the heart of our endeavour. When children leave Willow Brook, we expect them to have gained the knowledge and skills they need to underpin strong progress at secondary school. From children with the ability to achieve greater depth to those who work with different aspects of special educational needs, everyone who attends our school should have accessed a curriculum that will empower all who have the ambition and potential to achieve.
Our terms are divided into two. A unique year group cross-curricular half term is followed by a whole-school theme. This allows for a blend of in-depth, age-related learning and community projects.
Our current whole school overview of the year is:
Whole School Overview of themes 2022
Our spring term whole school topic was:
This half term’s Creative Curriculum plans all revolve around science:
Summer 1 – Curriculum Plan Year 6 Alive and Kicking
Summer 1 – Curriculum Plan Year 5 Cosmic
Summer 1 – Curriculum Plan Year 4 Do Androids Dream
Summer 1 – Curriculum Plan Year 3 Fields of Gold complete
Summer 1 – Curriculum Plan Year 2 Born to be Wild
Summer 1 – Curriculum Plan Year 1 Ocean Waves
Summer 1 – EYFS Curriculum Plan All creatures great and small
Our last whole school Creative Curriculum topic in the autumn term matched our performance of ‘Porridge’:
Creative curriculum planning whole school Porridge
And last summer, we all enjoyed celebrating together:
Jubilee! – A celebration of London, British Culture and the Arts
Within these plans, all areas of the Primary National Curriculum are covered. As a school, we carefully consider how each subject builds in terms of content and skills so that progress across the school is clear. The Willow Brook ethos runs through the intent and implementation of each subject area so that the impact of all that we plan and deliver promotes our high standard and creative approach.
Assessing Impact (How do we know our curriculum is effective)
The teachers at Willow Brook formally assess the children in their cohort at the end of each term. ‘Low stakes’ assessment techniques regularly feed into the process. Internal tracking follows individual learners from EYFS to Year 6. Most importantly, staff know the children well. Daily dialogue, marking and intervention work combine to enable us to understand the impact of our work and regularly adjust curriculum content.
The school benefits from a team of experienced and able teaching assistants who know the children just as well. Together there is expertise, enthusiasm and a collegiate approach that strengthens the curriculum that we deliver.
We are proud of the Willow Brook curriculum. Our planning is unique… it responds to the needs and interests of our children. Being tailor made, it fits! This means that we do not have to compromise or lower our standard to make generic plans work. The good progress that each individual makes across the board supports our intent. When children leave Willow Brook they move on as confident, caring, committed members of their learning communities. As our local secondary school once said, ‘You can always spot a Willow Brook child’!
Our Year Group Plans and core subject expectations for 2021 are as follows:
End of Year Expectations for Y1
End of Year Expectations for Y2
End of Year Expectations for Y3
End of Year Expectations for Y4
End of Year Expectations for Y5
End of Year Expectations for Y6
Whilst our Reception children have their own Early Years Curriculum, they follow the same topic plan and often work collaboratively with Year 1.
Our phonics scheme is based on the Oxford Reading Tree’s ‘Floppy’s Phonics Scheme’.
End of Year Expectations for YR
National Curriculum: Early Years Foundation Stage Framework:
National Curriculum: Primary Curriculum:
Religious Education at Willow Brook
As a school in the County of Nottinghamshire we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, “RE for All”. Through the use of the Syllabus we use RE to enable our pupils to gain insights and knowledge to equip them as responsible members in our society. The Syllabus we follow encourages pupils to discover more about religion and world views on a range of topics. They are encouraged to express ideas and insights into key questions which face all human beings as we travel through life. The three fold aims of RE in Nottinghamshire will ensure that our pupils:
- know and understand a range of religions and world views which will allow them to recognise diversity which exists in our society.
- can express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and the impact of religions and world views as they develop their own personal views on a range of issues
- develop and use skills which will assist them to engage seriously with religions and world views
By following the Agreed Syllabus, RE will contribute to a whole range of school priorities. Their study will promote spiritual, cultural, social and moral development, as well as enabling them to consider British Values such as tolerance and respect for other who hold different world views.
Although RE is statutory, as in all schools, parents do have the right to withdraw their child from lessons or collective worship (see our collective worship policy). Please speak to the Head Teacher should you wish to discuss this.
If you would like to know more about the Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus a copy is available for you to read in the school.
Extra Curricular learning is an essential addition to the school day. Our school staff and friends add to the skills of peripatetic teachers to offer a varied range of clubs to support the curriculum. Whilst music and sport has always been a mainstay of the calendar, we add bursts of other interests so that children can experience something new. Currently, the local bridge club provide a Tuesday lunchtime game, alongside Monday’s Fantasy Football! Sewing, reading, chess, art, science and Reporters’ Club – the list is endless!