We have thought about implementing our revised curriculum carefully to ensure it achieves what our learners need. We have considered key barriers to learning which our children face every day and thought about the skills we want to emerge in every child as a result of each aspect of our curriculum. We have broken these skills down into three areas 1) the basic skills (speaking, reading, writing, calculation etc) 2) active learning (enjoying challenge, collaboration, perseverance) and 3) curious minds (asking questions, generating ideas, trying alternatives, and connecting ideas).
When teachers are planning a topic of work they are first think about the subject specific learning for each area of the National Curriculum and consider how this learning fits into a sequence. Staff forge links from a set of non-negotiable concepts. For example, work could be linked around the themes of belonging, rights, freedom and integration rather than a traditional topic title of ‘Settlements’. It is our aim that our topics will therefore be cohesive, enhancing the essential knowledge taught with transferable life skills preparing children for life in our every changing world.
Blue concepts are our Regent Farm Core Values.
At Regent Farm, purposeful links are made across the curriculum, both within subjects and across subject areas. This means that knowledge and understanding is built upon and consolidated causing a long-term change in a child’s memory.
In addition to the National Curriculum, we value the power of authentic experiences; staff work hard to ensure that learning is brought to life and given relevance and meaning to our young people. This may be through activities in lessons, visitors to school, wider experiences and trips. This supports our key intent to raise children’s aspiration and prepare them for life after Regent Farm.
At the heart of our teaching lies a language-rich learning environment. We hope this not only supports children’s communication and vocabulary but also develops their questioning, confidence and curiosity. We use approaches such as Rosenshine's Principles, peer critique and curiosity cubes to ensure children are active participants in their own learning.
The areas below are implemented across school and any visitor to a classroom will see a variety of these approaches within a lesson.
Curiosity: Children are taught to wonder, ask questions and share their thoughts. We want them to hunt out clues; talk about their findings and share ideas. As children develop their skills, we encourage them to look for other answers or possibilities by thinking outside the box, or from a different angle.
Respect: As soon children arrive at school they are taught the importance of respect. This is modelled by every member of our school community, in and out of classrooms. Children are taught to embrace difference and how to listen and reflect on other people’s opinions. We teach children how to use their manners; consider other people’s feelings and value collaboration.
Team Work: In every classroom you will see children working together, collaboratively. Team work is exceptionally important to everyone at Regent Farm. It not only enables children to build their communication skills and learn from one another, but it also develops a lifelong skill which will be useful throughout life.
Determination: All staff at school help children to become determined, resilient learners. In lessons children are encouraged to keep trying and never give up. We encourage them to take small steps forward, towards an end goal, and not be concerned by mistakes along the way. When challenges are overcome the children will celebrate their own, and peer, success.
Imaginative teachers: Class Teachers work collaboratively to bring children’s learning to life through engaging lessons, practical experiences and purposeful stimulus. They ensure that learnt knowledge and skills are both memorable and engaging.
Opportunities for talking: At Regent Farm classroom talk is evident in every classroom from Nursery to Year 4. We teach the children how to talk effectively; age appropriate prompts support children in talk by modelling, scaffolding and extending responses. They are given a variety of techniques including how to debate, challenge, support, and critique. Children are taught the skills to engage effectively in communication through not only speaking, but also listening.
Opportunities for thinking: Teachers plan tasks which allow children space to think about their learning and apply it. A ‘thinking culture’ is created in classrooms and there is an expectation that all children will take part in this process. Children are asked to share and explain their thoughts, or note them down. This helps develop working memory and gives teachers opportunities to quickly address any misconceptions.
Questioning: Our staff team is skilled in using questioning to support learners to reach their potential. A mix of strategies allow class teachers to direct questions to individuals where necessary, or use a ‘no hands up approach’ to allow children to contribute freely. To stretch children’s answers further, class teachers probe for reasoning and justification. Children are also taught the skills to ask effective questions, linking to our drive for curiosity.
Clear learning objective: Children are given clear tasks and learning objectives. They should know how their learning builds on previous lessons and be able to talk about a task. Our learning is sequenced carefully across the curriculum to enable children to make links and connections in their minds. We work to ensure the learning is relevant, engaging and accessible to all. Our aim is for children to remember their key learning, apply this into different contexts and draw upon previous learning experiences over time.
Modelling and Support: Teachers will often give modelled examples to ensure that expectations are clear and children are scaffolded during independent practise. Children across school are taught to review examples in order to identify features, strengths or areas to develop. Support is also used in a variety of ways across school to ensure every child makes progress. This support is varied and dynamic from lesson to lesson, and child to child. The class teachers’ take time to understand each child’s individual needs and will support their learning effectively. They will know when the time is right to remove some support, building the child’s independence, confidence and ambition.