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At the heart of our curriculum is our shared vision for our pupils.

OUR VISION
Our pupils are central to our school community.
All of our pupils will enjoy a creative, exciting and stimulating curriculum. We are committed to ensuring that each child's potential is fulfilled and that they are prepared for secondary education and beyond.  They will leave our unique school with enquiring minds and with a solid foundation to continue as happy, well educated, confident, and independent learners. They will be resilient, caring individuals, who will respect others and celebrate diversity.

They will look back at their time at Downs with fond memories and a feeling that they have attended 'one of the best schools in the world'!

Our Curriculum

We are an extremely creative and inclusive school and we strongly believe in developing children not only academically but socially, emotionally and physically.  We strive to inspire their creativity and provide them with the key skills to become lifelong learners. 

At Downs we believe that if children discover and learn for themselves their learning will deepen and be embedded. It is important that these opportunities have been planned into the curriculum through challenges and group work that relate to the real world and the children themselves. Ensuring the children have a 'Growth Mindset' and a belief that they can all achieve, is at the forefront of our lesson design.

In all subjects we want to provide opportunities for children to learn how to collaborate, manage distractions, persevere, make links, plan, notice, achieve goals and push themselves to achieve moreFor more information see School Information

Principles

Our curriculum:-

  1. is underpinned by a clear vision, aims and principles which put learners at the heart of the curriculum.
  2. inspires and motivates children, encouraging curiosity and developing creativity.
  3. provides exciting opportunities for the development of the whole child; intellectual, physical, emotional, social, scientific, aesthetic and creative.
  4. locates learning in the context of their lives and the local community, and also within a national and international dimension.
  5. secures high standards in literacy and numeracy yet will also be broad and balanced.
  6. has a clear progression in subject knowledge and skills as well as providing the flexibility to be responsive to individual needs and interests and changing contexts.
  7. is based on our understanding of effective pedagogy.  Pupils will learn how to learn and become critical thinkers, team players and problem solvers.
  8. enables meaningful links to be made between subjects so children are able to see the relevance to life, global issues and world events past, present and future.
  9. has contemporary issues as well as big ideas that have shaped the world.
  10. ensures children enjoy their learning and become happy and resilient.

Specific curriculum drivers:

  • Embedding Stretching Learning Power
  • A local curriculum connecting the pupils experiences of home and community and using community resources.
  • A global dimension

 

Stretching Learning Power

This is an intrinsic part of our curriculum and teaches the children the skills for learning (for example how to persevere, manage their distractions and collaborate). It ensures that children know what it feels like to learn something new.  It ensures they realise  it is OK not to understand and helps them develop strategies to overcome this and get out of the 'Learning Pit'.  We want our children to be resilient independent learners who have the skills needed to learn throughout their life. ​We want children to have a love for learning

At Downs Junior we want the curriculum to enable all young people to become:

1. Successful learners, who enjoy learning, make the best possible progress and fulfil their potential.

2. Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.

3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society, and have high moral and ethical standards.

We will do this by...

  1. Building on their experience of Infant School.
  2. Inspiring and motivating children, encouraging curiosity and investigation and developing creativity.
  3. Providing exciting opportunities for the development of the whole child, intellectual, physical, emotional, social, scientific, aesthetic and creative.
  4. Acknowledging and supporting the differences between children.
  5. Locating learning in the context of their lives and the local community, and also within a national and international dimension.
  6. Striving for the highest standards in literacy and numeracy yet also being broad and balanced.
  7. Having a clear progression in subject knowledge and skills as well as providing the flexibility to be responsive to individual needs and interests and changing contexts.
  8. Teaching our pupils how to learn and become critical thinkers, team players and problem solvers.
  9. Equipping our children with skills for life, through practical work and by applying English, Maths and Computing.
  10. Enabling meaningful links to be made between subjects so children are able to see the relevance to their own lives as well as to global issues and world events past, present and future.
  11. Including contemporary issues as well as big ideas that have shaped the world.
  12. Differentiating work to meet the needs of all children and where appropriate, providing choice.
  13. Ensuring every child can access the curriculum and is challenged at an individual level.
  14. Bringing learning to life through visits, visitors and theme days.
  15. Ensuring children enjoy their learning and become happy and resilient.

To become successful learners who

  • have the essential skills of literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology
  • are creative, resourceful and able to solve problems
  • have enquiring minds and think for themselves to process information, reason, question and evaluate
  • communicate in a range of ways
  • understand how they learn, take risks and learn from their mistakes
  • are able to learn independently and with others
  • know about big ideas and events that shape our world
  • enjoy learning and are motivated to achieve the best they can now and in the future
  • are able to critique, weigh evidence and make judgements

To become confident individuals who

  • have a sense of self-worth and personal identity
  • relate well to others and form good relationships
  • are self-aware and deal well with their emotions
  • make informed and ethical judgements
  • become increasingly independent, are able to take initiative and organise themselves
  • make good choices including healthy lifestyle choices
  • are physically skilled and confident
  • take managed risks and stay safe
  • recognise their talents and have ambitions
  • are willing to try new things and respond positively to opportuniteis and challenges
  • are open to the excitement and inspiration offered by the natural world and human achievements
  • are resilient and find ways to overcome difficulties

To become responsible citizens who…

  • are well prepared for life and work
  • are enterprising
  • are able to work cooperatively with others
  • respect others and act with integrity
  • understand own and others’ cultures and traditions and have a strong sense of their own place in the world
  • appreciate the benefits of diversity and cohesion
  • challenge injustice, are committed to human rights and strive peaceably to live with others
  • sustain and improve the environment, locally and globally
  • take account of the needs of present future generations in the choices they make
  • can change things for the better
  • are able to handle the conflicting values they encounter in society
  • understand that all actions have consequences, both positive and negative
  • understand and promote British values and realise how we have developed these shared values over time, influenced by other cultures

To this end we seek to provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which promotes the intellectual, spiritual, moral, aesthetic, physical, social and emotional development of all our pupils. In our planning there is a balance of learning through curriculum areas and subjects, and learning through cross curricular topics. Pupils learn to work independently and with others, and to communicate their learning in a variety of ways. We aim to enrich the curriculum with exciting opportunities to visit places of interest, take part in special projects, learn from experts, take part in school journeys and participate in performances. The teachers always try to match the work to the various abilities of children.

The class teachers teach the class for a large proportion of the week. However other staff may teach the class for certain subjects and to cover staff non-contact and planning, preparation and assessment time.

Responsibilities for reaching these goals

The Headteacher, Deputy Head, Staff and Governors work hard to ensure that we meet these goals in the curriculum.