Out of bounds
Thinking about thinking
Opportunities and aspiration
At Owston Park Primary Academy we believe that children need to see how what they are learning is connected to a body of greater knowledge and that knowledge across those bodies is interchangeable. Children need to understand about concepts, and how these concepts inter-relate. Curriculum literacy requires understanding of the meaning, use and justification of curriculum concepts through respecting individual subject traditions. We have created a curriculum based on distributed practice and regular testing which provides coherence and helps knowledge to move into long-term memory, to become declarative and procedural. Our curriculum is about addressing social injustice so that our children leave us with a love of locality, happiness, dignity and strong emotional literacy. They will leave us with the keys to unlock the powers of the powerful.
The national curriculum ‘provides children with an introduction to essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens.’ It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought, said and done and helps engender and appreciation of human creativity and achievement. At Owston Park we are keen also to emphasise to children the way in which ‘the best that has been thought and said and done’ impacts upon their own life, today, living in North Doncaster.
We have a clear idea of what knowledge, words and concepts we want children to learn in each subject. Crucially we also know where the ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ links are. Vertical links are those links WITHIN a subject year to year. Horizontal links are those links ACROSS subjects within a year group.
Here is an overview of subjects within the wider curriculum:
Art and Design
The art and design curriculum aims to engage and inspire pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment and create their own pieces of art work through various mediums. It is about children being able to think critically and reflect on how art and design has shaped our history and contributed to our culture as a country.
The children in our school are encouraged to explore their ideas and be creative by recording their ideas in sketch books which follow them through their school journey. Children have access to a wide variety of resources which enables them to be creative in their drawings, painting, sculptures and other art and design techniques. Evaluation is also a major part of our art and design curriculum with the children being critical of their own artwork but also of other artists in history. We link art and design to other areas of the curriculum including History, English, Maths and Science to produce a range of art work which is displayed throughout school.
The computing curriculum aims to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to thrive in the digital world of today and the future. It is about preparing children for an ever changing world in which technology is playing a substantial part. The curriculum can be broken down into three strands, which are, computer science, information technology and digital literacy.
Computer science is about the relationship between computer software and how programs are implemented as algorithms. Information technology is closely linked to computer science, as it is about using computer programs in real world situations to manipulate and produce data such as photos, videos, word documents and presentations. We use computing in a cross curricular manner through English, Maths and the topics being taught across school. Finally digital literacy is about the use of different technology in the world today alongside the use of digital communication methods and the importance of being safe online. Through Gooseberry Planet we are teaching our children to be safe and secure online as well as being responsible online citizens who are respectful and have positive relationships with others.
The Geography curriculum teaches children how to make sense of the world around them, through developing their ability to understand, locate and be aware of both physical and human features. It enables children to understand and appreciate relationships and contrasts in their everyday lives. Through the use of whole class teaching, guided group work and independent activities, children learn how to draw and interpret maps, develop their research and investigation skills as well as problem solving and data analysis. Through cross-curricular learning, the children can study Geography in Maths and English as well as relating it to their current classroom topics such as; discovering where in the world a specific historical event took place. The use of the onsite Forest school allows children to apply the skills they have learnt; map reading and orienteering for example to a real-life context.
Geography helps to develop their growing knowledge and understanding, children learn to appreciate the contribution made by many cultures to the development and application of Geography. Where appropriate, the Geography curriculum promotes key British Values so our children have exposure to a wide experience of local and global learning where there are opportunities for respect and tolerance when embracing differences within the world, we live.
Our history curriculum is designed to inspire and ignite children's curiosity about the past and develop their understanding of historical individuals, events and movements. Our bespoke curriculum has been designed around the needs of our children - to develop their sense of identity and help them to make sense of the world in which they live. History teaching at Owston Park should prepare children to think critically, question, evaluate sources of information and justify their arguments. Our history curriculum is taught chronologically in KS2 in order to develop children's understanding of the concept of change and human progress. We have recently streamlined our history curriculum to give us opportunity to look at fewer topics in much more depth.
History lessons at Owston Park are taught discretely, to ensure children are aware of how the knowledge and skills they are learning fit into the bigger picture of their learning journey. History lessons are knowledge rich, and our bespoke curriculum has been carefully designed to provide opportunities for children to revisit and build upon their prior learning, through vertical links (learning linking to learning in a prior year group) and horizontal links (learning from other topics or other subjects within their year group). Vocabulary is explicitly taught in history to enable children to develop an understanding of key concepts, which are covered in multiple year groups to ensure prior knowledge is being built on and pupils' understanding of the world is developing. History lessons provide opportunities for children to develop core skills - children are encouraged to use maths to work out intervals of time or plot population data from different periods on a graph for example, and children are given opportunities to read a variety of sources of evidence and write at length during history lessons. All children are provided with opportunities to access greater depth activities in history.
Our history learning is enriched by a variety of topic launch and landings, which provide experiences that hook the children into their learning, e.g. a visit from a Mayan archaeologist for Year 4, or a trip to Creswell Crags for Year 3. We hold topic landings at the end of topics, where we showcase our learning for our parents/wider school community. Parents are also kept up to date about their child’s learning through Class Dojo.
The school’s meta-cognition curriculum aims are to teach an understanding of how one learns and best retains learned information; independent ownership of one’s learning, with respect to a growth mind set philosophy, and an awareness of self with appropriate strategies taught, so pupils are best equipped to succeed in their endeavours, with respect to their unique and individual skill sets, attributes and qualities. Pupils are taught the key vocabulary relevant to meta-cognition, including some neurological science, with regards to how one learns, this focus on vocabulary also follows a whole-school approach of using vocabulary to reduce barriers to education. We use meta-cognition in a cross-curricular manner throughout English, mathematics, science and other subjects being taught across school. This supports their understanding of learning and themselves to reinforce their development into lifelong, independent, capable and confident learners.
The music curriculum aims to enrich the lives of our pupils by giving them the opportunity to perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions. Children are given the opportunity to create and compose music using their voices, instruments or technology to express their ideas and feelings. They also explore how music is created, produced and communicated, showing an understanding of musical vocabulary and noticing how music links to other curriculum subjects.
We use music to help children develop their understanding of mindfulness, keeping their mind and bodies healthy and thus contributing to an overall happier self. We sing a range of songs in assemblies and also share children’s musical achievements, celebrating a culturally diverse society and promoting tolerance and human dignity within creative expression.
At Owston Park Primary Academy, Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, emotional literacy and social skills are brought together via our home-grown ‘life skills’ programme and Gooseberry Planet scheme delivered for a lesson-a-week. In addition to this, children regularly engage in workshops with external visitors (such as NSPCC and BigTalk), weekly PHSE assemblies and collective learning based on individual needs.
Designed as a whole school approach, the Life Skills and Gooseberry Planet programmes provide a comprehensive scheme of learning for all children.
The Life skills programme consists of 6 half-term units of work containing 3 lessons. They are based on specific PSHE learning (covering the non-statutory national framework for PSHE Education but enhanced to address children’s needs today); and on emotional literacy and social skills (covering the SEAL learning intentions but also enhanced). These enhancements mean that our PSHE curriculum is relevant to children living in today’s world as it helps them understand and be equipped to cope with modern issues such as body image as well as cyber and homophobic bullying.
At Owston Park Primary School, our PSHE programme offers many opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, as well as contributing significantly to all strands of the British Values agenda.
Through our PSHE curriculum, we aim to help children know and value who they really are and how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world. As well as raising children’s self-esteem and resilience, whilst building skills essential for life and relationships.
Our science curriculum aims to teach an understanding of natural phenomena; stimulate a pupil’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do and teach methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative and critical thought. Through the science capital approach, scientific vocabulary will remain as a key focus in science lessons, as it is a whole-school focus, to reduce barriers to education and build upon the pupils’ scientific capital. To further support this, pupils’ own experiences of science and their own lines of interest is incorporated into science lessons. Throughout and within science lessons, our school seeks to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links between subjects: pupils are given the opportunity to practise, apply and refine skills from other subjects, in particular English and Mathematics, within their science lessons, whilst being able to make reference to similar respective skills and knowledge from science in other subjects. In science, pupils learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.