At Bilston CE Primary School, History, Geography, Art and Design Technology are taught through a creative, skills based curriculum which was originally inspired by the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). After four years of following IPC, the changes that were brought about by the new National Curriculum in 2014, led to the decision to leave the bought scheme and reinvent our own. Through this, we were able to draw upon the successes of our IPC work while amending and making themes more personal to our children and ensuring that all areas of the new National Curriculum are covered. Although we have moved away from IPC, our revised curriculum maintains a strong element of internationalism built into learning. At Bilston CE Primary, we recognise the high rate of mobility of our pupils and the percentage of children with English as an additional language and experience of a range of cultural and religious home lives. We realise how fortunate our children are to be part of such a diverse school community and consequently, many opportunities have been created to celebrate this through creative topics. Our key aims through the creative curriculum remain for our children to:-
Recognise their own culture and have a sense of identity
Be respectful of other cultures and beliefs (be sensitive to other cultures and beliefs)
Be aware of and be able to celebrate diversity and commonality
Have respect for and value other people and their ideas and opinions
Be able to communicate (have good interpersonal skills)
Be aware of and have an interest in global issues
Beliefs and Principles
Our creative curriculum is a practical tool for teachers to support and enable children to learn. Behind each of the topics which have been carefully outlined for staff, there is a strong belief that children should be taught in a way that allows them to develop not only academically but socially, spiritually, emotionally and physically. The medium term plans for each topic have been designed to nurture these aspects of children’s learning and therefore fulfil our primary purpose as a school. Through a relevant foundation curriculum, children’s learning will respond to their current and future personal needs, their future career needs and the needs of the varied societies and cultural groups in which they are likely to play a part. Learning is planned to be active, in the sense that children must engage with their own learning. Children share responsibility for their learning with their teachers, parents and carers. The proportion of responsibility each bears will depend on the age and characteristics of the children. Nevertheless, learning is constructed in such a way that, by the end of the primary years, children begin to see and experience the potential for taking responsibility for their own learning.
The purpose of teaching is to facilitate children’s learning in appropriate ways. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to adapt the topics covered to suit the learning styles and needs of the children. This will ensure that learning is taking place for all children. We must ensure that whilst topics are enjoyable and memorable, children are aware of what they are learning and their learning development is measurable. It is also important that viable links are made between creative curriculum work and core subject skills and objectives.
Organisation and Planning
The Creative Curriculum Co-ordinator has written long term and medium term plans for topics for year groups 1-6. The Early Years creative curriculum has been developed by the Early Years Co-ordinator. The long-term plan indicates what topics are to be taught in each term and to which year groups. Medium term plans map out learning opportunities linked to a set of key learning objectives which categorise a series of skills which are age appropriate according to the Milepost within which they fall. Consistency in the quality of teaching and learning across the school is a priority, therefore planning is monitored to ensure that lessons promote high standards, particularly within literacy, numeracy and science and also reflect the demands of the national curriculum. Lessons are appropriately differentiated to ensure that all children are learning and fulfilling their personal learning goals. Staff choose from a series of set learning objectives which make learning more defined and directly linked to skills which are differentiated according to the age and expectation of the children. The long-term plan is reviewed on an annual basis and amendments are made where necessary to ensure that teaching and learning is as effective as possible. Due to the specialist teaching that takes place within our school, Physical Education, Modern Foreign Languages and Music are currently being taught separately although links are made where possible.
As a church school, Religious Education is also taught as a separate unit and through the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014, science also follows an independent set of plans, although, as with other foundation subjects, links are made wherever viable.
We maintain the structure of ’Mileposts’ which were set out through IPC, this enables us to monitor and assess children against age appropriate expectations with a two year period during which skills are taught and developed.