Birchwood Avenue Curriculum Statement
At Birchwood Avenue Primary School, our vision is ‘Educating Hearts and Minds’ and we are committed to doing this for all our young people, whilst simultaneously meeting the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum. We strive for academic excellence by tailoring our curriculum provision to the local needs of our community and by developing our children’s skills, deepening their knowledge, and enhancing their learning values and cultural capital, whilst encouraging each child to achieve their full potential personally, socially, and creatively, as we believe this allows our children to thrive. We hope to inspire, through our curriculum provision, a genuine love of learning, whilst providing the foundations for ‘lifelong learning’.
At Birchwood Avenue, we believe in cultivating, encouraging, and championing scholarly attributes that enable our children to flourish and become the best learners they can be. We are embedding, at the core of every child’s learning journey, learning values that our children and community believe are intrinsic to creating a community of learners, who are: curious, reflective, resilient, empathetic, collaborative, and resourceful. Our goal is to create tenacious learners who want to learn and know more – so our ‘Learning Superpowers’ are the bedrock of learning at Birchwood. Our aim is to develop our children as determined and efficient learners, who are not only ready, willing, able to choose, design and research, but learners who are willing to pursue, problem-solve, and evaluate learning for themselves but collaboratively, in school and out.
By fostering our chosen ‘Learning Superpowers’ at the heart of every child’s learning journey, we are inspiring our children to build a toolbox, from which they can select the best tools to enable them to thrive and be successful. Ultimately, we want our children to be confident learners and, most importantly, equip them with the necessary skills to be lifelong learners, so that when they leave us, they are not only ready for the next part of their educational journey, but are prepared to take their place in the world as active ‘Global Citizens’. We want to ensure that our children feel equipped to take an active role in modern British society and the changing world as responsible citizens and tomorrow’s leaders.
We want to ensure that our children develop an awareness and understanding of the importance of both their local and national heritage and their role in modern Britain today. Our curriculum provision encourages our children to embrace all that multi-cultural Britain has to offer them and helps them to develop and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live, to help them become active global citizens.
At Birchwood Avenue we know that a happy child is the most effective type of learner, but we also believe that happiness and mental and physical wellbeing should be ends in themselves. We are committed to meeting the mental health needs of our community and we actively support and champion the emotional wellbeing of our children and community by working in partnership with the Mental Health Support Team. We have a designated Mental Health Lead and Deputy Mental Health Lead, who are responsible for the implementation of all Mental Health interventions at school. Both the Metal Health Lead and Deputy attend training provided by the Department of Education and engage with the Hertfordshire Level 2 MHL training programme. We see it as crucial to investment in the support of resilience of children and young people. The introduction of the MHST will complement rather than substitute existing support for each setting.
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive school. We strive to ensure that our curriculum provision and high-quality pastoral support not only meets the unique needs of every child but also supports them in fulfilling their ambitions and being the best they can be, regardless of background, special educational need, or disability. We believe in creating a safe, caring, and nurturing environment to help develop confidence and mutual respect, whilst building kindness and developing self-esteem, as we see it as essential to ensure that we allow our children to build a sense of uniqueness and self-worth as an individual. We believe that all children deserve the same opportunity to flourish and therefore we help them to see their potential by nurturing their individual talents and achieve their full potential.
A Knowledge Rich Curriculum
We are ambitious for all our children and the curriculum choices we have made reflect this. It is crucial that our curriculum provision provides opportunities for our children to know more and remember more. To help us to secure this, we have put reading at the heart of our curriculum provision. We use books to not only inspire our children, but we use them to help our children gain a better insight into the world in which they are required to be active citizens. Using books to complement our curriculum allows our children to better access challenging concepts and theories across all subjects. By using books in this way, we are encouraging our children to develop and cultivate their own theories and queries – we want our children to be curious learners.
Cultural capital is pivotal to our curriculum provision at Birchwood, and high-quality texts allow us to drive this provision forward for our children. Children are read to daily, and priority is given to this on the timetable and our Guided Reading curriculum is diverse, inclusive, and genre rich. We have created a staff who our readers of children’s books, so we can share our passion of reading with our community and make recommendations for our children. We want to create a narrative around books, so we can ignite a love of reading in our community.
Reading also enables us to secure another curriculum driver – oracy. At Birchwood Avenue we believe that ‘talk’ is an entitlement for every pupil, and we want to ensure that every child has their voice heard. By creating articulate children, who can think and formulate their own ideas, we are enabling our children to have the platform they need to know that their ideas and opinions matter and they are better prepared and able to take their place as active global citizens. These skills are practised and rehearsed across all curriculum areas, through the learning challenges provided.
A wide range of strategies and methods are used to teach our children the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Children are given opportunities to work independently, with their learning partner and in groups. Throughout our children’s educational journey with us, we strive to provide our children with an extensive range of exciting, appropriate and innovative opportunities to enrich their learning through trips, visitors, specialist PE and music teachers/coaches. We are endeavouring to use our historical local area, as well as our school grounds, as a rich tool to further enhance learning opportunities wherever possible.
To enable us to fulfil the national Curriculum requirements, as a school we have invested in the following schemes to help us tailor our curriculum to the needs of our community: