Whaplode
Church of England
Primary School

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded

2 Chronicles 15:7

I can do all things through him who strengthens me

Connections Curriculum

At Whaplode Church of England Primary School we nurture within our pupils the ability to think critically, questioning the views of others and building, evidencing and articulating their own. In order to achieve this, Geography, History, Art and DT are taught within the context of Big Questions. These questions are designed to contextualise what the children learn and give them a meaningful opportunity to apply their newly learnt knowledge.

EYFS and Key Stage 1:

As of September 2020, pupils have three Big Questions which they study across the space of an academic year:

 

Autumn term

Spring term

Summer term

Cycle A

Why have buildings changed over time?
(EYFS: What makes me, me?)

Are humans the most powerful thing on Earth?

Why do people go on journeys?

Cycle B

Is exploring important?
(EYFS: What makes me, me?)

Do inventions make the world better?

How do humans use water?

Cycle C

Currently being developed.

Our curriculum is based on a three-year cycle, meaning that EYFS and Key Stage 1 pupils are able to study the same Big Questions however, in the first term of the academic year, EYFS pupils focus on “ What makes me, me?” as their initial school theme in order to support the transition from home to school . Pupils in the Early Years are taught in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage and pupils in Key Stage 1 are taught in line with the National Curriculum. (Each cycle of the KS1 curriculum covers all of the objectives from the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 for Geography, History, Art and DT. This allows pupils to revisit and deepen their understanding of each subject when they revisit the knowledge for a second time in Year 2, within a different context.)

Key Stage 2:

In Key Stage 2, children have one Big Question for each academic year. The Big Question is broken down into focus areas, allowing pupils to learn a range of knowledge relating to their Big Question. The curriculum is made up of a two-year cycle, with two Big Questions for Lower Key Stage 2 and two Big Questions for Upper Key Stage 2.

Lower Key Stage 2:

Cycle A Big Question: Do humans live in harmony with the Earth?

Focus 1

How do humans use rivers?

Focus 2

How did Ancient Egyptians use the River Nile?

Focus 3

What natural materials do humans use?

Focus 4

What natural materials did humans use in Stone Age and Bronze Age Britain?

Focus 5

Do humans damage the Earth? How and why?

Focus 6

How does the Earth negatively impact on humans?

Cycle B Big Question: Why do humans create art?

Focus 1

Why did Ancient Greeks create art?

 

 

Focus 2

Why did Romans create art?

Focus 3

Why did Mayans create art?

Focus 4

Why is some art more famous than other art?

Focus 5

What art can you make inspired by our local area?

Upper Key Stage 2:

Cycle A Big Question: Do invasions change countries forever?

Focus 1

What was the impact of the Roman invasion of Britain?

Focus 2

How has North America changed as a result of British colonisation?

Focus 3

What was the impact of the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain?

Focus 4

How has Brazil changed as a result of colonisation?

Focus 5

What was the impact of the Viking invasion of Britain?

Focus 6

How have past invasions impacted on our local area?

Cycle B Big Question: Can one person change the world?

Focus 1

Did Leonardo Da Vinci change the world?

Focus 2

Did John Harrison change the world?

Focus 3

Did Nikola Tesla change the world?

Focus 4

Did Emmaline Pankhurst change the world?

Focus 5

Did Adolf Hitler change the world?

Focus 6

Did Rosa Parks change the world?

Teaching for depth:

Within the Connections Curriculum, we support our pupils in developing a depth of knowledge across Geography, History, Art and DT by differentiating through cognitive domain. We use Chris Quigley Essentials to support this, which provides clear progression through ‘Basic’, ‘Advancing’ and ‘Deep’ levels of understanding, as well as providing a clear framework for progression in knowledge and skills across the subjects.

Assessment:

In order to ensure our curriculum is helping pupils to know and remember more, we assess the extent to which pupils can apply their knowledge in the context of their Big Question.   EYFS and Key Stage 1 children are given the opportunity to discuss the Big Question at the beginning and end of the term and teachers support children to record their ideas in an age-appropriate way. 

In Key Stage 2, children are asked to answer the Big Question at the beginning and end of the academic year.  This allows them to draw upon the knowledge they have gained over the course of the year in order to apply it in a meaningful context.  Termly progress is assessed by asking pupils to answer the focus questions at the beginning and end of the focus. 

In addition to this, regular opportunities to discuss the Big Questions and Focus Questions allow pupils to develop their skills and confidence in articulating and evidencing their own views, as well as allowing teachers to identify and address gaps in learning.

RE Intent

Here at Whaplode Primary School we instil a love of RE by ensuring it is relatable to the children’s own lives. Linking taught skills and knowledge allows children to apply their learning to everyday life and their own personal experiences. Using this key knowledge informed by The Lincolnshire Agreed Syllabus for RE, children are able to develop their understanding aiding them to reach phase end points.

We teach children the importance of key religious beliefs with regards to how different people around the world worship God and understand the world. By using key individuals within each religion, we teach children the importance of those who have come before us and the impact a single person can have on the world, inspiring those children we are teaching.

We enable children to discover how others choose to live their lives, the way in which they act and what is important to them, giving them the confidence to become more philosophical and critical about how they live their own lives but also developing an appreciation and respect for others.

RE is about religious literacy, and teaching it in this way enables the children to develop knowledge and empathy towards the beliefs and cultures of global citizens. In turn, this helps the children become well-rounded citizens.

In our PE lessons, we aim to inspire all children to develop a love of physical activity and sport. The children will gain knowledge and understanding of the human body when exercising. Through good physical education, whole school values and a whole child approach, we aim to nurture confident, resilient children who strive for their personal best. At this school, we develop the necessary skills for children to be able to work in teams or pairs as we believe that co-operation with others is paramount to success. We allow children to reflect and evaluate their experiences which allows them to build a positive mindset. The children are given the opportunity to participate in competitive situations which gives them the chance to understand fair play in sporting events. We aim to ensure that our delivery of physical education allows all children to have the skills and the mindset to leave primary school with the capabilities to be successful in their sporting challenges and active lifestyles at secondary school and beyond. We are dedicated to ensuring healthy minds as well as healthy bodies and will continue to support our children’s well-being. We have strong links with local partnerships and within our community to ensure children and families receive the support they need.

Music

We recognise the positive impact that music has on pupils and look to maximise its cognitive, physical, social and emotional benefits. We believe that learning to play a musical instrument enhances brain development, honing neural processing and improving pupils’ memorisation and auditory skills, as well as supporting development of hand-eye coordination.

Music provides pupils with a platform for creativity, allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings through composition and through their interpretation of existing pieces. It also enables pupils to develop self-confidence, discipline and helps foster within them an understanding of the rewards of practising and refining their work.

Through listening to and appreciating the works of great composers and musicians, music provides children with a forum for building and articulating viewpoints. Music also supports cultural development by encouraging a respect and deep appreciation for cultures around the world that have contributed to the development of our current popular musical styles. We therefore look to study a wide range of music, from a variety of periods and cultures.

We recognise the importance for our children to be able to develop their ability to design and make in our ever-changing world. By carefully constructing design projects for each stage of the pupils’ time at Whaplode, they will be able to build on previously learnt skills, enabling them to create more complex products. Within every project, a specific set of skills is taught, ensuring children are introduced to a variety of techniques which they can then combine with their own creativity to create products with a specific purpose.

As part of our commitment to ensure children develop a love for their environment, a project’s materials, resources and their origin are discussed and, in many projects, take the opportunity to make children aware of the world around them – making them more knowledgeable about people, places and issues.

We see it as essential that we use the subject of design and technology as tool to prepare our children for the future. Ensuring they can be creative, solve problems independently and be able to be confident in making and rectifying mistakes is a large part of this. We also recognise the importance of keeping our pupils up to date with changing technology, and introducing children to this at every possible opportunity to ensure they are as, if not more, technologically advanced as their peers.

At Whaplode CofE Primary School, we instil positive attitudes towards computing and modern technology, by educating children about the technology in the world today and how to use this safely, they will develop a love of computing. By introducing our youngest children to aspects of programming and other elements of computing, children can develop their own skills and enjoyment of the subject throughout their time at Whaplode.

We aim to develop the children’s knowledge of how technology can help children discover and reach out to local, wider and global communities, to learn about issues that would be otherwise out of reach and help to be able to solve issues, aiding children to be functioning citizens in the modern world.

By teaching in this way, children will continually develop their skills and knowledge, providing them with a solid foundation to move on into the wider world, preparing them for our ever-changing world, with the confidence to become independent and solve problems in a range of settings.

Geography intent

We teach Geography with the intention of developing and sustaining our pupils’ sense of wonder and fascination with the physical and human world. Taught within the context of ‘Big Questions’, we aim to provide children with the depth and breadth of knowledge they need in order to apply their learning to a range of contexts. By drawing on practical skills (such as mapping and navigation) and personal experience (enhanced by fieldwork), we look to enable our children to make sense of the world around them. We discuss current topical issues to instil in our pupils an understanding that humans’ actions can have far reaching consequences and that they themselves can make a difference by implementing small changes to their lifestyle. We believe that the study of Geography provides our children with the tools and knowledge they need in order to approach issues from a range of viewpoints, fostering within them the ability to show empathy and understanding towards others. Through the study of different places, children will be introduced to different customs and traditions, allowing pupils to develop their humility and an understanding of the world as a global community.

Art intent

We believe that art is fundamental to nurturing creativity within our pupils. By teaching our children a wide range of skills and techniques, we enable them to translate their ideas into reality and to express their thoughts and feelings. As well as allowing children the freedom to draw inspiration from their imaginations, we also provide them with a range of topics for them to respond to creatively, within the context of ‘Big Questions’. We believe that every child is an artist and therefore look to foster within our pupils the confidence to create and share their own work.

As well as gaining from opportunities to create their own pieces, children benefit greatly from admiring and critiquing the work of others. By studying the achievements of great artists, our pupils are able to appreciate beauty, express opinions about what they see and learn about past and present civilisations and cultures. We believe that studying art therefore provides children with knowledge that will support them in other subjects, such as Geography and History, and aim to make these connections within the context of our topics.

Science teaching follows the National Curriculum guidelines through a topic approach, providing a broad, relevant Science curriculum for all the children.  We teach a balance between knowledge and investigation skills, which we aim to develop through hands on experiences.  Pupils are encouraged to solve problems by making close observations, planning, predicting, fair testing and recording their findings in a systematic way. We embrace opportunities to link Science with Maths and Literacy wherever possible, such as the collection of data in charts and tables and the presentation of knowledge in the form of information texts.  A further focus of the subject is developing responsible attitudes towards the environment and all living things within our school.

Pupils begin learning French at the start of Year 3 and continue to do so throughout their time in Key Stage 2.  Lessons aim to develop pupils’ skills in listening to and understanding French, as well as speaking, reading and writing in the language.  We also endeavour to provide pupils with additional opportunities to apply their conversational skills though links with French-speaking members of our local community

English Intent

We believe that being able to communicate effectively and creatively is vital for all pupils, irrespective of ability or birth language. We aim to develop within pupils the ability to speak confidently with intonation and accurate grammar in order to express their thoughts and opinions. We encourage all learners to listen attentively to others, showing empathy and understanding whilst processing the information in order to ask questions and develop their own opinions.

Reading is key to all we do within our school and it is our intention to develop within each child, a life-long love of reading. We believe that our children should become fluent readers, who use this skill to further their own knowledge and deepen their understanding of what they have learnt. We wish for our children to experience a wide range of quality texts and authors, from classic literature to modern publications, in order to develop their own reading preferences. The teaching of early reading is a priority in the first years of school and children are provided with books which are closely matched to their phonic knowledge. Phonics teaching, using the Read, Write Inc phonic scheme, has a sharp focus with regular assessments used to identify gaps and next steps. Engaging texts are used as a driver across our Connections curriculum as a way of linking reading to all subjects.

It is a vital for all our children to develop as effective writers, using a variety of methods to communicate their ideas. They should write for purpose and for a range of audiences, developing the skills of spelling and punctuation to create effective and interesting pieces of writing which engage the reader. We endeavour to provide our learners with a variety of experiences on which they can base their writing, linked throughout our Connections curriculum. Children should have opportunities to publish their writing and share with wider audiences.

We believe that a thorough grasp of literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of our ever-changing society.

Maths Intent

We recognise the importance of ensuring our children feel comfortable and confident to discuss mathematical concepts and the ‘mechanics’ of maths as well as being able to apply their knowledge in a range of settings. Due to this our Maths Curriculum has been designed to ensure it provides children with the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, in turn enabling them to become articulate and analytical mathematicians who are able to apply skills and knowledge in everyday life. By developing a sound understanding of the basic concepts in maths, pupils can then advance through our progressive curriculum making good personal progress, in turn building on prior knowledge and applying the skills in a range of settings. This, along with the provided opportunities to apply newly acquired skills, ensures children can become well rounded mathematicians drawing on an array of knowledge. The result of this will be children who can ask and answer questions, making links between different areas within maths, and clearly communicate their thoughts and understanding effectively and feel comfortable to take risks.

PSHE/RHE Subject Intent

PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and RHE (Relationship and Health Education) is about making good decisions.

To be effective it must be grounded in an understanding of what enables us to act in real life situations. This includes our knowledge, but also skills and our own personal qualities. As a school we want to provide pupils with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values and skills that they will need in order to thrive and reach their full potential as individuals in our school, but also to prepare them for adult life in the wider community.

During PSHE lessons the children will learn to recognise their own worth, work with others and become more responsible for their own learning and development. They will be able to reflect on their own experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.

The children learn to understand and respect our common humanity; diversity and all of our differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning. Other aspects of PSHE such as British values are consistently and deeply rooted in the school’s core values and are constantly worked on and intertwined throughout all lessons and the school day.

History intent

We teach History in order to inspire our pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past, and and the mystery of how and why events occurred. By linking learning to a range of ‘Big Questions’, children will have opportunities to investigate and interpret the past, understand chronology, build an overview of Britain’s past as well as that of the wider world, and to be able to communicate historically. Through our teaching, the children will be encouraged to reflect upon different interpretations of the past and how these interpretations have been arrived at. We aim to equip our pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence from a range of sources, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Furthermore, the children will study links between local, British, European and world history in order to examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of ’British’ culture, and therefore, will develop a better understanding of our multicultural society enabling them to empathise with people from different cultural backgrounds.