At Broomhill First School, we offer a language rich curriculum that is inclusive, ambitious, purposeful, and responsive to children’s needs and interests. We have worked across our Broomhill family to think carefully about our curriculum. What should the children learn? Who should they meet? Which books should they have read? What experiences should they have had? Where should they have been? Which poems should they have learnt? Why do we prioritise this and not that? How does the language of maths feed into science? We used our answers to these questions, and more, to design a bespoke curriculum that it is ambitious, exciting and enriching for all of our pupils.
'Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.' W. B. Yeats
We believe that the purpose of the curriculum is to gradually build up pupils’ level of knowledge and understanding across all subject disciplines and then be able to apply this in a thoughtful and considered manner to suit the demands of any task. Our curriculum breathes life into our school’s philosophy of education; it is purpose enacted.
At Broomhill, our curriculum is designed to nurture, excite, enthuse and develop within our pupils a love of learning that encourages them to pursue their learning away from school. It is our intent to equip all children in our care with the knowledge they will need to be successful citizens as well as ensure they are ready for Middle School.
For us, nurture is key.
In nature, the Ancient Greeks believed that there were four essential elements: fire, earth, air and water; each one vital for sustaining and nurturing growth. At Broomhill, we are a living organisation, with nurture at the heart and we draw on this concept as part of our school development process.
- Fire: Light is our vision. It is our guiding light. It is the passion that burns within us to make a difference for every child. When we act, we ask if those actions align to our vision.
- Earth: Our values ground us; they are the earth beneath our feet and our foundation. We have 4 core values that we live on a daily basis: Connection, Curiosity, Creativity and Courage. Each value links to one of the 5 pillars of wellbeing. By living these values, we bring our vision to life.
- Air: Like air, our ethos is all around us; it is our school culture.
- Water: Our strategy is like water; it is vital for success, but it moves, it changes as we change and is guided by our community. We set out key milestones and goals in our journey towards our guiding light.
No one element can sustain us. To truly nurture our school community, we ensure they work together in unison.
Our Curriculum Design Principles
Deep discussions were a precursor to our curriculum development, with the alignment of a philosophy of education, curriculum design and enactment (pedagogy) being our goal.
During this process, we drew on seven principles, taken from Dylan Wiliam’s (2013) Principled Curriculum Design booklet.
We recognise that the curriculum at Broomhill First School needs to allow the children to have as wide an understanding of the world as possible, as well as a depth of knowledge to ensure critical thinking. We want all children to consistently demonstrate the school’s values and therefore these are embedded throughout our curriculum and the children’s daily lives. We also consider local contextual safeguarding issues, and ensure these are addressed throughout every year of school, nursery to KS2. You can find out more about these by navigating to our page on Contextual Safeguarding.
We believe learning is a continual and cumulative process and therefore give children opportunities to revisit knowledge and deepen their understanding of critical areas. High standards are best secured when essential knowledge is learned through, direct high-quality subject teaching and is then applied to real-life contexts. Knowledge will be taught and developed through the curriculum content and revisited to ensure that it has been learnt (i.e. stored in the child’s long-term memory). The curriculum must be rigorous enough to guarantee progress for all children in the academic subjects as well as personal and social development.
The staff are committed to communicating the high value we place on reading and to create an environment that promotes reading as a socially engaging activity. High quality and engaging books are visible all-around school and used throughout the curriculum so that children experience a full and rich range of reading. Regular time is planned in for storytelling and for children to share and enjoy the texts available to them. Each weekly whole-school assembly is also built around high-quality text. We also believe that reading will support us in enabling the children to learn, understand and come to live by our vision and core values.
We believe that by engaging children in books that reflect the wonder and diversity of the world around them, they will develop a life-long love of learning and gain a deeper understanding of the curriculum and the world around them.
Our curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that we plan for our pupils. The children in Nursery and Reception (Early Years Foundation Stage / EYFS) follow the Early Years Curriculum. This comprises of seven key areas of learning and development which are; Personal, social and emotional, physical, language, literacy, maths, understanding of the world and expressive arts and design.
The National Curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum. We are legally required to follow the statutory National Curriculum which sets out, in Programmes of Study, the basis of key stages, subject content for those subjects taught to all pupils.
Our pupils are taught in mixed ability classes and groups and our approach to learning is based upon meeting the needs of the individual child.
The intent of our curriculum is founded in delivering the National Curriculum and tailoring it our children and our community through our vision and values.
Science and the Foundation Subjects
The purpose of science is to provide the foundations for understanding the world through biology, chemistry and physics. Children are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. We aim to ensure that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science and that they are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. At Broomhill First School, the relevant programmes of study are taught for each key stage. Where possible, science is linked directly to the current topic being taught; for example, as part of their topic about Romans the children may investigate which materials are best for making Roman tools or use electrical circuits to make lighthouses during a topic about the coast. Some cross curricular topics may actually be based around a particular science programme of study. By using a topic based approach we aim to deepen pupils’ understanding of how science is linked to the real world as well as providing more opportunities for writing across the curriculum.
The Foundation subjects include Design and Technology, Art and Design, Geography, History, Computing, Music and French (at KS2). These subjects, along with Science, are taught over a 2 yearly cycle to accommodate the needs of our mixed age classes. Much of the curriculum relating to these subjects is taught through termly or half termly topics in KS1 and KS2 (see separate section for an overview of topics planned for this academic year). Specialist music teachers are engaged to enhance the curriculum, such as the teaching of skills in playing drums and singing.
PE is also a Foundation Subject and your child will have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities including dance, gymnastics, games and athletics. Because of the area in which our pupils live, we believe that swimming is also an essential part of our curriculum and therefore pupils from Years 3 and 4 attend a local swimming pool for lessons for part of the year.
The school follows the County syllabus for the teaching of Religious Education which has been organised into a two-year programme of study at each Key Stage.
As well as studying Christianity, your child will also learn about other religions such as Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.
All areas of the curriculum are available to pupils regardless of any disability. If an activity cannot be made accessible or would be inappropriate then an alternative activity will be made available. Planning to improve access to the curriculum will include identifying reasonable adjustments to offer an equality of opportunity, staff training and the purchase of specialist equipment.
Extra Curricular Activities
Children are given the opportunity to take part in a wide range of extra curricular activities, including sporting activities, dance, art and craft, and computers.
Further information with regards to annual topic overviews and specific details of what is to be covered each half term can be found within the ‘Classes’ section of our website.