At Oldbury School we offer a rich, vibrant curriculum which is ambitious for all children. Through our curriculum we develop the knowledge, skills and understanding which prepare our children for the next stages of their education and for life-long learning. We not only teach the formal requirements of the National Curriculum and the locally agreed syllabus for RE, but we also ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide. In Class 1 our children follow the ‘Letters & Sounds’ phonics scheme and we also follow the Collins Big Cat Phonics / Oxford Reading Tree reading schemes.
Our aim is to enrich our children’s experiences of school by creating an environment where they are encouraged to be the best they can be by nurturing resilience, curiosity and creativity in our lessons.
We aim to foster a sense of ‘being and belonging’ in our children, inspiring them to connect to the past, live purposefully in the present and look forward to the future. For example, our curriculum focuses on ‘rivers’ – which is a feature of our children’s everyday experience. Rivers are emphasised when we learn about different UK and global locations and when we learn about ancient civilisations around the world.
We aim to promote a ‘sense of place’ by studying the local area, the national picture and international locations and history. We promote a values-based education, which integrates our Christian values of Growth, Respect, Friendship, Compassion, Praise, Patience, Peace, Creation, Community & Joy (based on ‘Jesus, the true vine’ – John 15) and encourages children to take responsibility for themselves and their actions and to develop respect and resilience. Community involvement is an essential part of what we do, as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable children to take an active role in events throughout the year and encourage a sense of belonging.
Skills and knowledge are taught discreetly to our children in subjects so that they gain a broad understanding of each subject and know exactly which subject they are studying. However, our curriculum is also designed to embed transferable skills across subjects so that children have the opportunities to apply the knowledge they have learned and to make links in their learning. We recognise the importance of feedback as an integral part of the teaching and learning cycle and we aim to maximise the effectiveness of its use in our practice. We aim to build and encourage positive mindsets towards learning in our children and we teach that it is often through making mistakes that we learn the most. We also encourage a ‘growth’ mindset, so that children know that just because they haven’t learned something, it doesn’t mean that they can’t learn it, it probably means that they just haven’t learned it ‘yet’.
The child is at the centre of everything we do at Oldbury School. We plan lessons with clear learning objectives. These objectives are based upon the teacher’s detailed knowledge of the subject and the children in their class. We endeavour to ensure that the tasks set for children are appropriate to their learning needs, which is of particular relevance in our mixed-age classes. We note individual children who do not achieve the objective in a lesson and use this information to plan for following lessons. Daily, on-going assessment is crucial, gives instant feedback to the teacher and ensures progress within lessons. We use Assessment for Learning (AFL) strategies to provide a clear picture of a child’s level of understanding and so that teachers can quickly assess when extra support is needed. AFL is also used to inform planning for subsequent lessons.
Progress is regularly formally assessed. At several points throughout the school year, assessment data is gathered and the progress of each child is examined by subject leaders and the Head teacher. Children are expected to make good or better than good progress in all subjects and their progress is tracked individually. In cases where children are making less than expected progress in Maths and English interventions are put in place to address gaps in learning.
We believe that our approach will create well-rounded, life-long learners. We want our children’s learning to be meaningful and memorable and that their learning journey will result in children who are challenged, happy learners who are ready for the next step of their journeys.