Forster Park’s curriculum is purposeful, opportunity-rich and well balanced which is motivating and personalised to the needs of our children. Centered on our children and community, the curriculum is built upon the school’s core belief that children’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social (SMSC) development is the starting point of all learning. Exploring children’s rights and responsibilities through their own valued voices, our fundamental aim as a school is to develop our pupils to be happy, confident and productive global citizens making positive contributions to society in the future.
The school has adopted LORICA characters to drive the importance of key personal qualities and skills throughout the curriculum.
Our inclusive curriculum is set with high expectations for all, ensuring all children make progress from their individual starting points. Subjects are purposefully linked in a thematic way, fostering connections in children’s learning and understanding, aiding the commitment of knowledge to their long term memory and building on each child’s cultural capital. The interwoven knowledge and skills based curriculum, develops responsible and reflective learners, placing great emphasis upon deepening understanding and forcing children to think. Reading across the curriculum is prioritised ensuring all children are exposed to a wide range of high-quality texts and increasingly challenging vocabulary. Knowledge and skills are taught progressively through each year of a pupil’s career at Forster Park, building on understanding and mastering skills year on year.
All staff members at Forster Park have an understanding that children cannot learn unless their well-being needs are being addressed. Our core values (the four Rs: Respect, Right Choice, Responsibility and Reflection), the LORICA family, UNCIEF Children’s rights teach and guide our children how to be global citizens of the future and prepare them for life beyond Forster Park. Thus, when planning it is these considerations that are taken into account first.
SMSC underpins the entire curriculum. Children are able to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive caring attitude towards others, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of our community and other cultures. Strong relationships are continually built with our local community through visits, celebration weeks and community days.
Teachers plan according to their class’ needs taking into account their children’s SMSC needs, individual starting points, their interests and learning styles. Each half term is driven with a LORICA life skill and is thoughtfully planned thematically using the National Curriculum objectives or the Early Years Framework utilising meaningful and purposeful connections between subjects. Teachers use high quality texts to create links and drive the learning forward. Lessons are planned to meet the needs of all children. They are ‘forced to think’ through high level questioning and application of knowledge. Lessons are designed to help pupils engage their long-term memory, enabling the content they have been taught to be recalled and integrated with new knowledge, creating a greater understanding of concepts, events and skills.
Teachers consider what they want their children to have accomplished through their learning. What knowledge will they have learnt; the skills they will have developed; how are they going to present their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Teachers check children’s understanding systematically identifying any misconceptions and providing clear, direct feedback (please refer to our Teaching and Learning Policy and our Marking and Feedback Policy). Children reflect on their learning by creating individual, or class, learning journeys mapping out the key learning taught and providing the opportunity for reflection on the skills and knowledge acquired. These individual knowledge organisers give the opportunity to reflect on the progression in skills and knowledge, take greater ownership of their learning and present the ‘big picture’ across the topic.
Meaningful opportunities are provided to enrich the curriculum. Teachers plan launches, finales, visitors, school trips and local community visits to create links, drive learning forward and develop memorable ‘hooks’ to aid both learning and long-term memory.
Subject leads carefully monitor their subject ensuring coverage, progression and no mismatch between the planned and delivered curriculum. Leaders champion their subjects through PDMs and organising whole school events. Resources are thoughtfully selected and used well. Subject leaders use their curriculum maps to ensure that progression in their subject is clear and that there is sufficient depth and knowledge.