Here at Bromesberrow St. Mary's School we have clear aims in terms of our children's education, with equal emphasis being placed upon the academic; as well as the spiritual, moral and social aspects of teaching and learning. As a school we feel that it is important to educate the 'whole' child to engender a love of learning that will last a lifetime! We thought carefully as a school community about what our curriculum should look like, although we are mindful that this is forever evolving.
We teach the National Curriculum 2014 in Key Stages 1 and 2, Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum, and the Early Years Framework in Reception, link:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-yearsfoundation-stage-framework--2. A creative approach is employed in regards to our curriculum, whereby subjects are taught through a variety of over-arching themes and focused subject/skills weeks. We are very keen to exploit our environment and maximise this to incorporate our community; we take on board ideas from children, parents, governors and local residents to provide enrichment opportunities to enhance our curriculum wherever possible. We are very proud of our 'bespoke' Bromesberrow curriculum.
Reaching for the Stars
This is what our children are aiming for. Our vision statement is for the adults, but Reaching for the Stars, is accessible to the children. This is embedded across the school in the following ways:
In weekly celebration assembly through our stars of the week and month award system, recognising and celebrating children's achievement, be this behavioural, academic, personal, social or emotional. These are linked to our School Values, supporting the idea that these are learning behaviours to achieve.
In class verbally on a daily basis- reminding the children that they are to aim high and that we as their teachers are have strong aspirations for them. This maybe throughout the process of learning a new concept or revisiting and embedding previous learning; reminding the children to look to their Values in order to gain new knowledge, understanding and skills.
On our weekly newsletter, social feed and other sharing mechanisms. Here we celebrate success and achievement, rewarding children's use of their Values to achieve their goals.
Through our marking, showing excellence through a 'star sticker', with the value written alongside to share the success and learning behaviour. This helps children to identify when they have used a Value, and thus demonstrated a good learning behaviour to succeed.
Visually on a display board in class and in communal areas. Each class has a 'reaching for the stars' board in their classroom that inspires the children and acts as a reminder to focus their learning.
Books have a visual 'front cover' with 'Reach for the Stars' and our Values. Again this acts as a visual reminder for all children, as although their journey and targets along the way may be different and the destination may vary, they are all aiming high, to achieve their very best.
We have 6 core values, which we see as our learning behaviours to enable children to 'reach for the stars' and achieve their best. These are
These link into our Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural Development (SMSCD) and Fundamental British Values (FBV) curriculum and should permeate the curriculum. Values should be visible in dialogue, marking and feedback, display, books, worship etc...
We use a 3B4ME philosophy which builds resilience and independence in our children, promoting a growth mindset. Each classroom has this displayed and illustrated to the children and staff (brain, buddy, board, boss). Staff remind children of these as needed, but mostly we expect the children to refer to these throughout the day, taking responsibility for their own learning. This is to support our children to master and work at greater depth with the curriculum, modelling an increased independence and a deeper understanding.
Real Life Learning
It is important to us as a school that we have a broad and balanced curriculum that prepares children for life and the world outside school (thinking in terms of FBV and, SMSCD). With regard to this we highlight in our medium term planning FBV and SMSCD, so that these are explicit and taught as part of and alongside the NC subjects, as well as supporting that broader pastoral learning.
The use of trips is used as a good motivator (as recognised by research from the National Audit Office 2015, 40% of children felt that school trips helped them, with 89% feeling very positive about trips on the whole). We provide both local and further afield trips to broaden our children's world and viewpoints, as well as enhance learning within class subjects.
Staff plan carefully, so that they are ensuring strong coverage and progression in learning, however are also creative in this, so that they capitalise on the children's interests. We believe strongly at Bromesberrow, that if children are inspired to learn they will, and it is our job to find ways to 'switch them on to learning'. This is where we see our Values as learning behaviours really working in practice.
In addition to this, one of the great things about being a Church of England school, is that we have access to some superb Diocese funded events, e.g. The Easter Experience and Gloucester Mosque visit. These are all about developing respect for others, and developing our own understanding of spirituality, morality and fostering a sense of belonging.