Leaders at Village have constructed a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils and including pupils with SEND, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. The National Curriculum objectives are the foundation of our Village Curriculum which demonstrates breadth and ambition. Village Curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulating sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.
‘Mentors don’t allow us to succumb to self-doubt for too long or the notion that our dreams are too large for us. They stand by us to remind us of the skills we already possess and what we can achieve if we continue to work hard.’
(Sir Ken Robinson)
Village Curriculum is successfully designed to be ambitious and meet the needs of pupils with SEND, developing their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence. All pupils make progress; they know more, remember more and are able to do more.
All pupils study the full curriculum; a broad range of subjects are taught including English, Maths, Science, Physical Education, Computing, Design and Technology, Art, History, Religious Education, Geography and PSHE. Many of these subjects are delivered through a topic-based approach, where relevant, to make learning meaningful and to provide opportunities to transfer skills across the curriculum.
Village Curriculum is annually reviewed and refined; the local context and typical gaps are carefully considered to ensure high expectations for progress and attainment for all children. Relevant enrichment ensures learning is enjoyable, engaging and memorable. Some of our pupils may lack experiences out of the classroom, therefore Village Curriculum is tailored to provide these first hand understandings.
Leaders foster pride in our local area and children develop a strong sense of place and history through annual heritage celebrations; in fact heritage and future opportunities are weaved into all aspects of our curriculum. It is our aim that Village pupils are very proud of being members of the Thornaby and Teesside community. The River Tees was once the life blood of the area and the economy; breaking the cycle of unemployment and inspiring children to understand local, national and international career opportunities is our objective through teaching every subject.
Global Learning, Eco values and work towards the Rights Respecting School Award engenders a whole school culture of local and global responsibility. We instil confidence and provide regular opportunities to debate and discuss local, national and international issues through critical thinking and verbal reasoning. It is our aim to ensure children make informed, safe choices and lead healthy lifestyles.
Leaders promote ongoing engagement in physical activity and Growth Mindset; children challenge themselves physically and mentally everyday. We are determined to reduce levels of childhood obesity through daily physical activity. Research shows that there is a direct correlation between physical confidence and academic progress. Regular physical activity promotes growth and development and has multiple benefits for physical and mental health that undoubtedly contribute to learning; if children achieve well in physical education this will positively impact on their progress in other subjects.
‘Physical activity presents a physiological stress to the brain that, when balanced with recovery, promotes adaptation and growth, preserves brain function, and enables the brain to respond to future challenges.’
Really knowing each individual child is essential, tapping into interests and hobbies and really noticing the qualities and passions of our learning companion.
‘Being in your element is not only about aptitude, it’s about loving what you do. Passion is the driver of achievement in all fields.’
(Sir Ken Robinson)
Reading is prioritised at Village Primary School; it is key to accessing a broad and balanced curriculum and ensuring children are pursuing interests to read for information and pleasure. All staff are experts in early reading, higher order thinking and debate; they foster a love of reading and are reading role models. School leaders and a group of pupils,’ Village Reading Champions’, constantly raise the profile of reading across school. The content and sequence of our Village Phonics programme supports pupils’ progress. Reading books are matched to the sounds pupils know. Children are taught phonics from Nursery and pupils who fall behind are supported to catch up quickly.
Systematic, synthetic phonics work is the prime approach to decoding print. Pupils become fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of Key Stage 1. Discrete daily sessions which include a multi-sensory approach, progressing from simple to more complex phonics knowledge and skills, ensure rapid progress which is assessed regularly. Reading is not just phonics. Village curriculum offer ensures language comprehension, fluency and inference are developed thoroughly.
‘Reading is the one ability, that once set in motion, has the ability to feed itself, grow exponentially and provides a basis from which possibilities are limitless.’
Teachers have a sound knowledge of the subjects that they teach and leaders provide effective support and training. Village adopts a whole school approach for the majority of strategies used to teach English and Maths. Village is a Talk 4 Writing School; all staff have been trained to use Pie Corbett’s method of teaching writing from Nursery to Year 6.
Village Curriculum includes frequent bouts of physical activity throughout the day which yield short-term benefits for mental and cognitive health while also providing opportunities to practice skills and build confidence.
‘The most intelligent person will not achieve more than his/her confidence allows.’
Outdoor learning across the curriculum features regularly. Children have access to a vast range of resources and strategies to meet the needs of all learning styles including an array of technology. Many resources can be accessed at home and we really value the positive partnerships we develop with parents and carers through events such as Inspire sessions, consultation evenings and curriculum workshops.
Critical thinking and verbal reasoning has really improved across school. Children’s confidence to express their own opinions has increased and they have a greater awareness of current events locally, nationally and internationally. The core values of the school incorporate fundamental British Values: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith; our ethos encompasses the highest expectations and aspirations for behaviour and progress and staff work relentlessly to challenge all children to achieve ambitious standards. Children operate a culture of respect and kindness.
Pupils develop detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well. Pupils are ready for the next stage of their education. They have knowledge and skills they need to meet their interests and aspirations. They produce good quality work, read widely and often with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age. They are able to apply mathematical knowledge, concepts and procedures appropriately for their age.
In 2019 Village Primary School was awarded the Sports and PE Gold Mark and the Green Flag for their work on Eco initiatives in school. We are proud to foster values of health, fitness and global responsibility in our citizens for the future!