Quality stories and texts
Wider curriculum &
Woodingdean 11 before 11
Our curriculum is planned so that our children have a rich experience at primary school that enables them to learn about the wonderful world – both past and present, so they are ready for the future. We plan our curriculum so children leave us ready with the skills, knowledge and vocabulary that they need for the next stage in their life.
We recognise the uniqueness of the primary phase of education and celebrate the awe and wonder that children feel when learning new information and developing skills. Our curriculum is beyond that of lessons in the classroom; it is about the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our children at Woodingdean. Throughout their time with us, we support and nurture all children to Be The Best You which can look very different for each unique child at our school. We embrace each child's personality and individualism.
We have carefully planned our curriculum so that the children’s knowledge builds up over their time. We also recognise that the job of curriculum planning is never done – there will always be ways to improve and develop.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating.” Kofi Anan*
Our curriculum is built on building up knowledge over time so our children can understand the world around them. We recognise that skills do not stand alone from knowledge. Children need to know information (declarative knowledge) to be able to do things (procedural knowledge). That is why our curriculum is based on learning new knowledge so that we can apply it. We link to previous learning when introducing new knowledge to children so that they can begin to make connections and see wider and broader concepts in the different subject areas. As teachers, we also have to develop our subject knowledge so that our source material is strong. As a result, we are members of subject associations and always look for CPD to deepen our understanding.
Please click on any of the links to find out more about each subject.
If you would like more information on the Primary National curriculum, please check the Government website.
“Deliberately building vocabulary is one of the most important things we do as teachers. It is important for several reasons. The first is that of we are serious about closing the gap between those pupils who come from language rich backgrounds and those who do not, then we need to pay careful attention to the building of vocabulary. The second is that deepening and extension of knowledge. And finally, there is the sheer joy of words well-used.” Mary Myatt*
Understanding and growing our vocabulary is a key part of our curriculum. Research tells us the absolute importance of vocabulary, including in reading comprehension. We know that it is not just exposure to the vocabulary but also the explicit teaching that supports developing our vocabulary. From reading to maths and throughout our foundation subjects, we have been developing the key vocabulary we want our children to learn. In some subjects, we are using knowledge organisers which have our essential vocabulary on. We recognise that all our children are entitled to understand and use this vocabulary, not just a select few.
Quality stories and books
There is a whole lot more to a book than just reading. Reading is a gateway into unfamiliar places, other people and alternative experiences.” Mary Myatt*
At Woodingdean Primary School, we are all committed to giving children equality of opportunity. We want all children at Woodingdean Primary School to love books and experience the joy of reading. The Literature Spine allows all children that go through this school to be exposed to the highest quality children’s literature, the absolute ‘must-reads’, regardless of their social and environmental circumstances. This would create a living library of classics in every child’s mind.
We also use other quality books and stories across the curriculum so that children can explore new vocabulary and find out about new topics and themes. We know that stories and books can bring a subject or topic to light or to help us explain our feelings and emotions. We now have dedicated story time (DEAR reading) at the end of each day in all classes. Our library contains books we recommend to children to read for pleasure. These are reviewed yearly so that they are representative of our wider community and world. We organise visits from authors to inspire children to become avid readers and writers.
Wider curriculum and Woodingdean 11 before 11
“The purpose of visits and visitors is to cement the curriculum…Both visits and visitors can enhance and deepen knowledge…” Mary Myatt*
Our curriculum has planned visits and/or visitors as part of the children’s curriculum entitlement. This enables us to breathe life into the curriculum and to let children experience the awe and wonder of seeing history on our doorstep or how the light reflects on the sea as part of a unit of work in art. As part of our pupil voice, we talked to children about their life experiences outside of school and what they have done. As a result of this, we developed our Woodingdean 11 before 11.
This booklet sets out the different experiences that children can have as part of their time at Woodingdean. It also recognises that not all of our children will have visited a zoo, been to the theatre or experienced a disco. This forms, alongside the taught curriculum, the cultural capital our children can expect at Woodingdean.
*Reference – The Curriculum: Gallimaufry to Coherence by Mary Myatt