A big attraction of becoming an academy school was that we would be free set our own curriculum where we felt is was valuable to do so. Exercising this freedom responsibly, we are working to create a curriculum that is rooted in the local area but which will equip our learners for life in the 21st century. In the core subjects of Mathematics and English we continue to follow national guidance. In the rest of the curriculum we aim to:
1) Make the very best of the opportunities presented by our locality.
2) Innovate and respond to technological change faster than a national framework can.
3) Use our professional judgement to teach in ways that we know will work for the children of our school.
'The strong emphasis on bringing learning to life ensures that pupils benefit from an exciting range of enrichment activities' Ofsted March 2016.
There are key areas of study that we believe the children of Calne should experienc because they live where they do: they should know about local history, geography and famous people, but they also need an awareness of the wider world because they grow up in a relatively monocultural town.
There are also key experiences that we think they are entitled to as they grow up: trips, art materials and techniques, classic books, learning to swim and so-on.
The curriculum is organised across subject boundaries with different studies connected. A progression through time drives this, particularly in Key Stage 2, enabling children to develop a sense of chronology, and of scientific and cultural development.
By its very nature the curriculum is continually changing and adapting, but it is published here to give some idea of what children might expect as they progress through the school.
Click here to see a survey of how much the children are enjoying activities in the new curriculum
Skills and knowledge...
In each subject area there are key skills and knowledge which children must learn. Our curriculum combines the knowledge of the new national curriculum with content relevant to our local area and a strong underlying skills base. It is also organised to make the best of possible links between subjects, to create themes and to enable what has been learnt in one context to be applied in others. Click on the links to see what children learn and how they progress across age groups:
As well as subject based skills, we put great emphasis on teaching children the attitudes they need to learn. Learning to learn is a vitally important part of school. We teach this through a framework researched at Bristol University by Professor Guy Claxton. This framework identifies 17 learning dispositions under 4 headings:
Resourcefulness - being able to learn in different ways: Questioning, Making Links, Imagining, Reasoning, Capitalising,
Resilience - being able to lock on to learning: Absorption, Managing distractions, Noticing, Perseverance
Reflectiveness - becoming more thoughtful about learning: Planning, Revising, Distilling, Meta-learning
Reciprocity - being able to learn alone and with others: Interdependence, Collaboration, Empathy and Listening, Imitation.
Learn more about the 17 learning skills: click here (PDF)
Learn more about Building Learning Power (external link)
These skills are the basis of the school’s reward system and the subject of a reflection session each week, when children look
back on their learning in and out of school. Each class has learning detectives whose role is to spot others exhibiting good learning skills.
Learning continues throughout life, so the children are learning skills which will stand them in good stead for many years to come,
including in the workplace. The key message is that ‘you can get better at learning’. This approach creates children who are ready, willing and able to learn. Fertile ground for teaching.
In each classroom we display and use language structures which teach children to think logically, ask appropriate questions and explain themselves clearly. These are called Thinking Frames.
There are 6 thinking frames, although others may be invented by older children, and they may be simplified for younger ones. They are: “Is that because…”, “I notice that…”, "What would happen if...", "What's the same and what's different?", "I wonder if...", "It is similar to..."