The curriculum at WGPS is designed with pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development at its core. It provides children with the opportunity to broaden their ability to question/ debate/ discuss and challenge philosophical questions and develop their understanding of the world they live in. The curriculum ensures that academic success, through creativity and problem solving, growth mindset, well-being and mental health are the key elements that support the development of the whole child, improving cultural capital and promoting positive behaviours for learning. The curriculum celebrates diversity and utilises learning opportunities and events to promote and develop pupils’ cultural capital, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in Modern Britain.
At WGPS, our Topic curriculum has been meticulously designed and draws upon the philosophy of Johnathan Lear. We bring the curriculum to life for children of all backgrounds and academic abilities through a combination of exciting and authentic real-life experiences, coupled with teaching children the skills of peer critique, mastery, thinking for themselves and taking a huge amount of care and pride in their work.
The curriculum for each year group has been mapped out to ensure progression through a themed approach. This allows for depth of learning, impact and children to explore key questions and themes. Each teacher has been part of a process in which long-term plans were developed to allowed for a weekly teaching sequence to emerge and ensure coverage.
This allows our curriculum at WGPS to meet the NC and have a balance between knowledge and facts and experiences. SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) is at the heart of our curriculum and it’s designed in that way to allow for cultural experiences and a deeper understanding of the wider world.
Each term, every year group has a main philosophical topic question in which their learning is based around. This key question will link to a theme. For example, in the Autumn Term in Year 6, the main topic question is ‘Does adversity make us stronger?’ They aim to answer this question by learning about WW2.
Our Topic curriculum follows a process in order for our children to be able to answer these philosophical questions confidently. Each new unit starts with a ‘hook’ lesson to get the children excited about their learning. This could be a trip, workshop or experience such as digging up artefacts in the school grounds for example. The philosophical key question is then referred to throughout the unit of work to allow for depth of learning. These learning experiences culminate in the completion on an ‘authentic outcome’ at the end of the unit of work. In order to successfully complete this authentic outcome, children draw upon each vital learning experience throughout their topic lessons. Building towards the authentic outcome is what allows our children to apply their knowledge learnt, their authentic real-life experiences, oracy skills, independence and show an overall pride in their work.
Having these opportunities for a depth of learning, development of oracy skills and completing an authentic outcome, allows our children to be ready to progress onto their next steps in learning and life and be well rounded citizens.
Our well planned curriculum ensures staff feel confident in the teaching of Topic and take ownership over the learning journey. The hook lesson at the start of each unit, engages and inspires pupils in their topic.
Written work in learning books demonstrate the majority of pupils achieve age related expectations and more pupils are achieving greater depth as our questioning model enables the children to deepen their understanding of their topic.
Each unit of work within our Topic curriculum is based around a philosophical question. These key questions are asked at the beginning and end of each unit as an assessment tool. Within KS1, teachers are able to support children in recording their ideas to these questions within whole class, small group and one to one discussion both at the beginning and end of each unit. In KS2, there is the expectation that children are to reflect on their own thoughts and opinions and record these into their Topic books at the beginning and end of each unit. It is hoped through the unit of teaching that the children are then able to answer these questions in more depth, drawing upon what has been taught throughout the unit. Having children answer these questions at the beginning of a unit of work also supports the teacher in understanding the pitch and starting point for each unit. This way we are able to tailor the curriculum to the needs of the children within our school, to support them in achieving their authentic outcome and assess their understanding throughout each unit of work.