Our children have varying social, cultural and spiritual backgrounds. As a school it is really important that we give all children the opportunity to have common learning experiences – with high aspirations for all, creating and shaping their social consciousness.
You can read a full description of our curriculum intent, implementation and impact in the Whole-School Curriculum Vision Statement below.
Our Intent - A curriculum for the future
Our motto I see, I hear, I do and I learn is at the heart of everything we do. First hand, purposeful experiences are prioritised as well as exposing children to a range of learning opportunities and styles. We believe it to be our mission to equip children for the future as we understand it to be, recognising that we are already preparing young children for a world which is changing constantly. It is therefore imperative that we offer children a curriculum which is rich in knowledge, understanding (including vocabulary) and transferable skills. We believe that to be effective, the curriculum must be purposeful, engaging, active and connected.
The curriculum must:
- Have a starting point which builds on that which children already know, understand or are able to do.
- Enable children to know more than they did before as it progresses, giving them opportunities to make connections.
- Enable children to use their growing knowledge and understanding to develop skills for life.
- Allow all children to encounter first hand learning experiences (including those which build cultural capital).
- Take account of the growing body of knowledge which deepens our understanding of how children learn.
- Enable all children to take an active part in their learning.
- Enable all children to achieve, taking every possible step to overcome barriers to learning.
Our curriculum is delivered by bringing together a number of key components:
Through the National Curriculum’s Core and Foundation Subjects
- As well as teaching our Core subjects – Maths, English and Science, we enable children to experience a broad and balanced curriculum which also includes art and design, Design Technology, geography, history, outdoor learning, a modern foreign language – Mandarin (from Reception – Year 6) music and physical education.
- The curriculum is planned in a connection of objections to ensure we are always building on and building from previous knowledge with the understanding of where we want our children to get to by the time they leave us and move on to secondary school.
- Through monitoring, evaluation and formative assessment, we ensure that children’s learning is following the coherent learning sequences that we have planned, that children are retaining core knowledge and that children are applying skills learned in other aspects of life and learning.
- Through measuring (and moderation), we ensure that children make progress and attain at least as well as children in other schools including nationally in core subjects.
- Through discussions with children to evaluate their attitudes to learning, tolerance and respect for others etc.
Through experiential learning
- Children need to become active participants in their learning journey,
- Children are given every opportunity to experience learning outside the classroom. From continuous outdoor provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage to outdoor learning in Key Stage 1 and 2, children are given the opportunity to learn from and in our inspiring capital city of London and beyond.
- We create experiences that will remain with the children over the long term. School visits, visitors, unexpected events, responding to seasonal weather patterns.
Through PSHE (and the wider curriculum)
- We teach children important life skills – how to keep themselves safe and healthy (including digital literacy); all about positive relationships; and how they can grow as British citizens to uphold principles of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
- We also teach children the power of mindfulness –a deep understanding of their bodies and ‘mindful breathing’ in order to self regulate their bodies and emotions.
Implementation of the curriculum
At Abacus Belsize we have an individual approach to how we teach each foundation subject. Where we don't have the subject specialism, a scheme of work is used. These schemes are evaluated and adapted to ensure they match the requirements of the National Curriculum and meet the needs of our children.
We believe children learn better when the curriculum is design to allow children to revisit and build on knowledge or 'schemas'. These threads of knowledge are taught from Reception through to Year 6 and provide opportunities for children to expand and develop their skills in these areas in each unit or topic.
We offer enrichment opportunities every half-term by utilising school trips, virtual visits, parental talks and our local area. In addition, children that are entitled to the Pupil Premium Grant undertake pre-learning, where available, to support their knowledge of the curriculum as well as increasing their cultural capital.
In return, we provide opportunities for our staff to develop their subject knowledge in a range of ways:
- Dedicated curriculum planning days with a subject leader
- CTMM training (Cognitive theory, memory and metacognition) over the course of 2 years to embed strategies into daily lessons to enable children to retain information.
- Subject knowledge development as part of every staff meeting
- Specific webinars / pre-reading before the introduction of new learning in History and Geography
- Instructional Coaching. Each teacher has a dedicated coach who they meet with every fortnight to support their practise.
Please select a subject from the menu on the right to find out more about a particular subject.