Ambition: The curriculum at Town Farm Primary School is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils. It provides opportunities for pupils to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. The curriculum ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, reliability, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning. The curriculum celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that they are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Our knowledge-rich curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 alongside other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. A subject-specific curriculum approach has been implemented to ensure coverage and progression in all subject areas and enable pupils to achieve greater depth in knowledge and skills. The curriculum provides pupils with memorable experiences alongside diverse and rich opportunities from which they can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. The children’s own community and its history, heritage and traditions are often used to support learning in the curriculum.
In reading, systems are embedded to ensure all pupils read a broad variety of high-quality literature throughout their time in school. A rewarding reading scheme is in place to encourage pupils to read regularly with an adult at home. In writing, a consistent approach to planning, with a focus on expanding vocabulary and sentence structures linked to modelling from high quality texts results in pupils exceeding the national average in their end of key stage two SATs. In maths, a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to learning concepts supports our pupils to achieve well, again surpassing the national average by the end of key stage two. In science pupils have frequent hands-on opportunities to carry out practical investigations including ‘Borrow the Moon’ from the Science and Technologies Facilities Council and a variety of STEM workshops across the school. In PE pupils achieve well and pupils represent the school in a range of tournaments and competitions across the county; 100% of pupils learn to swim. Spanish teaching is ambitious with lessons for all children in key stage two. Music is taught throughout the school and includes weekly whole school singing, alongside enrichment opportunities, such as workshops with the Royal Opera House. Cultural capital opportunities are well-planned throughout the year and across all year groups; there is a diverse club offer, trips and visitors, workshops with professional singers, dancers and actors and a residential trip in Year 6.
Reading and writing prioritised: Reading takes priority in the school in order to ensure that every child learns to read fluently despite barriers, ability and needs. Our approach to synthetic phonics alongside a decodable library ensures that every pupil progresses from blending sounds to decoding words. Pupils have the opportunity to read a broad range of books which deepen knowledge and understanding. As spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing, so a talk for writing approach supports pupils to organise their ideas, alongside key teaching of transcriptional skills and grammar.
Teacher expertise: The foundation curriculum is set out clearly to outline the exact subject knowledge to be taught in every lesson to meet each outcome. Teachers use the key knowledge outlined to plan the sequence of learning and the delivery of each lesson.
Local context: The curriculum is contextually designed to address gaps for the community it serves, with each subject intent reflecting the needs of the pupils. It deliberately ensures the diversity of the community is represented well, giving pupils a deep understanding to address the local context.
Sequence: The curriculum is precisely sequenced with coherent, detailed planning for every subject in every year group. The clear end points for each year group in each subject enable the most useful knowledge to be taught in a logical sequence. Learning relates to previous knowledge and builds cumulatively to reach subject-specific outcomes.
Pupils with SEND: Curriculum ambition is the same for all pupils; the curriculum has been designed to teach specific vocabulary and incrementally build knowledge to ensure that all those from vulnerable groups achieve the end points at the end of each lesson, unit of work and year. Clear lesson objectives and success criteria ensures that learning can be easily evaluated against these expectations. Pupils identified as the lowest 20% will in the first instance be supported with quality first teaching. All subject leaders have a focus on their action plans which targets the lowest 20%. Termly pupil progress meetings between teachers and the SLT also identify barriers to attainment and plans to address these for this group of pupils.
- Additional support includes:
- Daily reading support
- 1:1 tuition: National tutoring programme
- Additional phonics
- SEMH support: School counsellor / Learning mentor support (readiness to learn groups / friendship groups / anxiety support)
- SEN support
- Targeted interventions as per EHCPs and Pathway plans
- TA support in lessons
Cultural capital: Opportunities to experience a rich, cultural capital are woven through all aspects of the curriculum and offered to all pupils to enable them to live and thrive in culturally and ethnically diverse modern Britain. Experiences are planned throughout the year and include after-school clubs, trips, visitors and workshops. Pupils have the opportunity to work alongside professional dancers, singers and actors through our links with the Delight Charity, workshops with The National Holocaust Centre and Museum, and Space Dome alongside visits from inspiring figures from our local community.
Teachers have a secure knowledge of all curriculum areas. It is an expectation that all teachers recognise the key knowledge, understanding and skills they need to teach pupils in every subject and this is a focus for developing all staff.
The school welcomes SCITT trainee teachers and Early Careers Teachers and works alongside training providers to ensure that the expected high standards of teaching and learning are practised in every classroom. To ensure consistent, high quality teaching is evident across the school, the following is in place:
- Weekly CPL for teachers and TAs: Staff training is central to pupil achievement; all teachers engage in weekly training sessions which are deliberately designed by leaders to up-skill staff, embed expectations and automate consistency of teaching standards in school policies. Training is always relevant to the key stage and current trends identified through monitoring and is informed by the latest educational research and developments.
- The Knowledge-Based Curriculum: A knowledge-based curriculum has been designed to support teachers in delivering the knowledge, understanding and skills pupils need in order to fully cover National Curriculum requirements. Key subject knowledge is identified through long term, medium term and weekly planning and ensures even the most inexperienced teachers know and teach the most important knowledge.
- Joint Planning across the year group promotes discussion around subject knowledge, allows experienced staff to lead and support whilst addressing misconceptions linked to big idea or concepts. When planning staff placement, the school ensures that ECTs are in classes parallel to an experienced teacher.
- Lesson Observations demonstrate how teachers present identified subject knowledge incrementally, building upon and referring to prior knowledge and securing learning through questioning, partner talk and discussion. Observations also allow the opportunity for leaders to ensure the pace of the lessons allows time for pupils to complete activities in adequate depth.
- Regular Deep Dives across subjects allows leaders to evaluate the intent, implementation and impact and assess the progression and teaching of subject matter. Discussions with pupils show they are engaged in learning, have good substantive and disciplinary knowledge and can articulate previous learning.
- Classroom Displays support the learning in each core subject and highlight key vocabulary and concepts being taught through the learning journey. Displays are used as a resource for learning and support pupils’ retention of content.
- Subject Knowledge for Teaching Reading: The school has a rigorous approach to teaching reading and all staff are trained regularly in delivering Read, Write, Inc by the phonics leader, ensuring all staff, including teaching assistants are confident in their practice. A fully decodable library ensures that pupils practise their reading from books that closely match their phonics knowledge.
- Subject Leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review; the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further. All subject leaders are given training and the opportunity to continue developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school.
- ECTs have excellent support through the above, and alongside an allocated mentor. The school, in collaboration with the Xavier Teaching School Hub, follows the Early Career Framework for ECTs with training, self-study, lesson observations and feedback, and model lesson examples.
Quality First Teaching and Learning begins with highly focused lesson design with clear objectives. Teachers present knowledge clearly, building upon previous learning, whilst encouraging partner or group talk and vocabulary-rich dialogue. There are high demands of pupil involvement and engagement with their learning. Misconceptions are addressed to ensure pupils understand information and facts alongside key concepts. Knowledge is checked throughout the lesson through retrieval, practice and assessment opportunities.
Trips, Visits and Visitors
Visits and visitors have been carefully planned into our curriculum programme to enrich our pupils’ learning experience and provide an extra level of cultural capital to further engage them in their learning. Introducing pupils to a wide range of experts also opens up pupils’ minds to the possibilities for further study and employment in the adult world. We are determined through our rich curriculum to show pupils what a wonderful world we live in, encourage them to think about the opportunities that lie ahead of them and instil in them the importance of education and lifelong learning in fulfilling their dreams.
Assessment: Ongoing assessment in English and Maths informs planning and sets attainment targets for pupils. Assessment grids, linked to National Curriculum objectives are placed in pupils’ books; this ensures that assessment is linked directly to the learning and not overly burdensome. Summative assessment opportunities for English and maths occur once a term. Other subjects have summative assessment opportunities at the end of each unit, also linked to NC objectives.
The curriculum intent and implementation are securely embedded in every class by every teacher so that the quality of education across the school, especially for disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND is consistently good or better. Regular monitoring by leaders ensures that pupils have learned the expected knowledge, concepts and skills and are able to articulate this. Pupils talk confidently and enthusiastically about their learning. They can link ideas to previous learning and understand increasingly complex concepts.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Pupils feel safe to try new things. High quality visits and visitors to the school enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for writing for a purpose. Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools.
From low starting points, pupils make substantial and sustained progress over their school life so that attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 is above national averages.
Our teacher led, maintained nursery has ensured more pupils begin Reception class with stronger starting points. This is shown by our year-on-year trend of higher proportions of pupils reaching a Good Level of Development.
The numbers of pupils with SEN and EHCPs has risen over the last two years. Our SENDCo provides excellent support for pupils, parents and staff and supports our highly trained teaching assistants to have a significant and positive impact on outcomes for this vulnerable group.
Attainment is high at the end of each key stage. At the end of Key Stage 2, Pupil Premium recipients achieve above the PP national average.
Internal progress tracking demonstrates that the majority of children make sustained progress over each year in all subjects. ASP data in recent years shows strong and further improving attainment for pupils demonstrating a consistent trend of high achievement in core subjects. Reading and maths are particular strengths of the school. Pupils in Year 1 consistently achieve very well in the Year 1 phonics screening check.
You can view our curriculum maps via the class pages below: