Primary Core Principles

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Despite numerous changes to the national curriculum and changing expectations placed on Primary curriculum over time, we firmly believe that there are a number of core skills that enable children to thrive both in school, in the wider world and in future life.

  1. The ability to talk confidently, using a sophisticated range of language structures and vocabulary to discuss, debate, explain, justify, describe and recount.
  2. The ability to use technology confidently for the full range purposes, including processing, presenting, researching, analysing, computing, illustrating and communicating.
  3. Physical and mental well-being, good health and an active life style.
  4. The ability to work and play with others, co-operating and collaborating, responding and communicating successfully.
  5. The ability to work alone and with others to hypothesise, plan, investigate, record, analyse, conclude and re-hypothesise.
  6. Reading skills that include:
    • The ability to read at progressively more challenging levels
    • The ability to synthesise out information from texts, to interpret information and to use and apply information.
    • Higher order reading comprehension skills including the ability to infer and deduce from text.
  7. Writing skills that include the four Basic Skills of Writing including the ability to use accurate grammatical structures, a neat and accurate cursive style, accurate spelling both through basic sight vocabulary and phonic skills and the ability to construct and punctuate sentences accurately.
    • The ability to accurately apply the characteristics of the full range of text types and genres.
    • The ability to respond appropriately to a wide range of stimuli.
    • A higher level writing voice (as achieved through ‘Big Writing’).
  8. Be numerate and use and apply a high level of numeracy skills confidently and accurately in their work across the curriculum.
  9. Be creative through music, art, gymnastics, dance and design and construction.
  10. Confidently tackle and solve problems.
  11. Confidently make decisions and choices without fearing risk taking.
  12. Be creative learners who are inquisitive and able to work independently with self motivation.

From The Creative Curriculum by Ros Wilson

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We have also identified principles which we believe help us to maximise children’s progress and attainment.

1. Building Belief – we will provide a learning culture where:

  • staff believe in ALL children;
  • there are “no excuses” made for underperformance;
  • staff adopt a “solution-focused” approach to overcoming barriers.

2. Data Supports Success – we will ensure that:

  • all members of the school team are aware of the analysis of data so that they are fully aware of strengths and weaknesses and challenges facing children across the school
  • we use ‘best practice’ research to support us in determining the strategies that will be most effective in supporting all children to experience success and make progress.

3. Early Identification – we will ensure that:

  • all teaching staff are involved in the analysis of data
  • underachievement at all levels is targeted (not just lower attaining pupils)
  • children’s individual needs are considered carefully so that we provide support or challenge for those children who could be doing “even better if…..”

4. Ongoing Improvement of Day-to-Day Teaching – we will continue to ensure that all children across the school receive good teaching through:

  • promoting high expectations
  • addressing any within-school variance
  • ensuring consistent implementation of the non-negotiables such as our strategy for marking and feedback
  • sharing good practice within the school and drawing on external expertise
  • providing high quality training to all staff

5. Making best use of learning time – we will maximise the time children have to “catch up / keep up” through:

  • working with families to improve attendance and punctuality
  • providing support as early as possible ie. ideally from Early Years/nursery
  • extending learning out of school hours, early mornings and after school.

6. Individualising support –  There should be no sense of stigma attached to any child being in an intervention group. Everyone needs a little extra support at some time or other. We will ensure that the additional support we provide is effective by:

  • looking at the individual needs of each child and identifying their barriers to learning
  • ensuring there’s regular communication between teachers
  • using high quality interventions
  • working with other agencies to bring in additional expertise as it’s required
  • providing support for parents to develop their own skills (for example, accredited ESOL, Literacy, Back-to-Work and Maths courses) to support their children’s learning
  • tailoring interventions to the needs of the child (e.g. targeted maths booster sessions in mornings to support children who’re not on-track to achieve age-related expectations)
  • recognising and building on children’s strengths to further boost confidence.

7. Going the Extra Mile – in our determination to ensure that ALL children succeed we recognise the need for, and are committed to, providing completely individualised interventions for set periods of time to support children in times of crisis.

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