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Our Curriculum

Swanmore Church of England Primary School’s curriculum is designed to meet our Christian values of Honesty, Charity and Respect and to develop children in to caring, reflective and proactive individuals; aspiring for the greatest achievement in all they do, seeking to improve themselves and the world around them.

Through high quality inclusive teaching, we place emphasis on the basic skills of reading, writing and maths, providing children with the knowledge, skills and understanding they require to access the creative, broad and balanced curriculum we offer. We use the acronym MAGIC (Motivation, Attitude, Gumption, Individuality and Communication) to foster Learning Habits with the children that can be applied in any phase of their education and lives.  Children develop positive behaviours through our school rules of Ready, Respect, Safe. 

Our curriculum reaches wider than that of the National Curriculum, as we want to develop and support the character and personality of our children, so they are best placed to become active, caring members of the community.

We structure learning through exciting, enjoyable and motivating projects, which set out engaging learning to motivate the children, spark their interest and inspire our children to want to find out more.  We do this through the process of ‘Hook, Ownership and Audience’.  All projects begin with an experience (the hook) to lead them into their learning.  Within their learning we look for them to pursue their own interests (ownership), so they enjoy and engage in it fully. Finally, they are given opportunities to share their learning with others (the audience), who can critique and advise on how they could develop it further, as well as celebrating all that has been learnt.  Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is an important aspect of our teaching and learning.

Most lessons are taught within projects across the year whilst aspects of the curriculum are taught discretely. This has been implemented to ensure coverage and progression in a number of curriculum areas. This approach enables topic-based learning, fostering children’s curiosity and interest throughout each topic.  It enables the achievement of knowledge and skills, which are transferable to other aspects of their learning. The curriculum is planned, reviewed and developed to engage all children in exciting ways. It is built around our curriculum design principles of: Experiential, Curiosity, Independence, Resilience, Rich Language and community to help children acquire a balance between knowledge acquisition and learning relevant skills.  The curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure coverage and progression.  This will enable our children to learn, develop a range of transferrable skills, build on prior learning and make connections to embed their learning. We aim to provide learning experiences that the children will remember beyond their school days.  

As a school we value the importance of developing a love for reading because this ‘opens the world’ them enabling them to access the wider curriculum, seeing the potential in the wider world. We strive for children to become fluent readers, ready to progress on to their next stage of their education. Our library and librarian ensure the children meet a range of experiences.  This includes visits from authors, playtime story sessions, reading activities and access to the outside library. Phonics and spelling is taught systematically through Read Write Inc. and we use a range of reading scheme books.  Early readers have a book, which is focused on the application of learnt phonemes, as well as a book for challenge and to learn new skills.

We believe the outside environment is a fantastic stimulus for the children and embed this from Year R to Year 6.  This enriches our school curriculum and can include Welly Walks, den building and fires in the copse.  We are also fortunate to have access to woodlands which the children visit regularly throughout their time at Swanmore.  This broadens their curriculum by learning about the outdoors as well as developing their respect and appreciation of the natural environment, whilst promoting the importance of quiet reflection.  We have a comprehensive residential programme from Year 3 to Year 6 including camping on the field and in the woods, nights in Minstead Study Centre, walks around Swanage and a week exploring the Welsh hills at the Hampshire Mountain Centre.  Together, our outside learning ensures children develop self confidence, spirituality team work.  They develop independence, resilience and responsibility, and it enables them to make healthy lifestyle choices, giving them the best opportunity for their future learning. 

We teach Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and follow the Hampshire ‘Living Difference’ Scheme for RE, incorporating the Understanding Christianity resource.  This combination supports a broader understanding of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam.  Worship is a central part of the school day, aiming to develop children’s knowledge, awareness and understanding of the Christian faith, encourage understanding and respect for other faiths and help them to become reflective individuals.  The curriculum celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. This ensures that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain and have experiences rooted in British values. The school is incorporating the ‘Global Neighbours’ scheme through Christian Aid and has fostered links with a church and school in Ghana to support our international education. 

The curriculum is designed to ensure our children build cultural capital and have wider world experiences. It includes a wide range of experiences, including performances, gardening and cooking. We look for opportunities to work with the community and build links with different groups.  Our local area and community is frequently embedded in learning, and engagement to enrich their learning experiences; whether visiting the local church, woods, library or conducting surveys and research within the village. We offer day trips to identified families, so they and their children can experience wider opportunities beyond their local area.

Our curriculum is further enriched through a range of educational trips, external workshops for children, visiting performing arts companies and other professionals. Our ‘Enterprise’ programme offers the opportunity for children to gain first-hand experiences of budgeting and marketing.  A varied timetable of extra-curricular activities is also offered, with clubs that support the core curriculum, as well as those which develop specialist skills.  This further extends the range of children’s experiences.  High quality visits and visitors to the school enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for purposeful learning. 

Finally, we value providing opportunities for children to work alongside others in different year groups.  Each year we pair classes from year groups to enable them to read together and develop positive relationships. We also pair children across years to support a specific aspect of their learning, for example through times tables champions.  We see children play with friends and look after each other in other years.

Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things and are not fearful of making mistakes.  They leave the school as caring, reflective and proactive individuals, equipped with the skills for lifelong learning.