Helmsley Community Primary School

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Curriculum Intent Statement 

Within the Ryedale Learning Trust, the curriculum is designed to: recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers.

Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our school community and aim to broaden our children’s knowledge and understanding of the world beyond our local rural setting.

The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values with a vision to prepare them for life beyond primary school. We constantly provide enrichment opportunities to engage learning. We believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives, where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge.  We use school values to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.

Community involvement is an integral part of our curriculum. We celebrate local traditions and invite visitors and families to our schools to facilitate the learning of new skills and the sharing of experiences through assemblies and other forums. Our children have the opportunity to participate in external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools and communities. Developing our pupils’ independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens lies at the heart of all our teaching and learning.

Children leave our schools with confidence inspired by the knowledge they have acquired of the world and with a sense of understanding of their value and responsibilities within society.  They have the skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, and make connections so that they can become passionate lifelong learners.

Within the Ryedale Learning Trust, we have subject leaders who develop, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their subject within their school across all year groups and phases. Specialist teachers support physical education. Subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. However, in recognising the difficulty, particularly for small schools, of having subject leaders for all of the Foundation subjects, we are moving towards a structure of Federation Subject Leads. This process began this year with the establishment of a Science Lead who works closely with the Science Lead at Ryedale School to ensure that the curriculum is engaging, challenging and prepares pupils for the demands of the KS3 science curriculum.

For Foundation Subjects, the National Curriculum, is delivered using an integrated topic approach and our newly designed subject overviews are integral to ensuring coverage of and progression through each subject. To ensure misconceptions are quickly addressed, our Federation wide focus is to collaboratively develop consistent and effective formative assessment. We are committed to ensuring that pupils gain the necessary knowledge and skills so as to be able to access and indeed flourish in the next year and phase of their learning.

The majority of pupils have achieved the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they enter Year 1 and progress to the National Curriculum. However, throughout this period and beyond all children are still developing their phonic knowledge through the use of various research based programmes and developing their fluency in reading. The more able are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success. In all year groups there are small group interventions in order to support pupils in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians.

National requirements and shared Trust expectations provide the basis for individual schools and teachers to plan a relevant and rich curriculum for their pupils. The curriculum is underpinned by each school’s Core Values and these are taught explicitly and through other areas of the curriculum, including assemblies. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum.