The curriculum at Courtney is hinged around our school motto of Nurture, Inspire, Flourish. We have taken the statutory National Curriculum and made it our own so it best reflects the interests of our children; our own outdoor facilities; and the unique aspects of our Kingswood community. It is underpinned with a strong thread of our Courtney Crown Values and British Values.
Where it makes sense to do so, we link our subjects within a topic (and often linked to the quality class reading book) in order for children to see the Bigger Picture. However, we still teach discrete, stand-alone units if that is more appropriate.
We have a two-year rolling programme of topics (with the exception of our Reception) with pairs of classes learning around the same theme to allow teachers to plan together, create memorable experiences and to share resources.
Our topics all start with a big launch called a ‘Sparkling Start’ to Inspire and spark interest in what is to come. The holiday before each term, each class finds out about their next topic and the children are asked to complete a task of their choice - a Sparkling Start – which is then displayed outside their classroom. Sparkling Starts have included: a visit to a Roman ruin; building a Meccano bridge; writing a fact file; creating a clay bust of Queen Victoria; models of the houses on Pudding Lane; and kitchen Science experiments. The expectation is that every child will complete a Sparkling Start at some time during the term.
In order to involve parents and carers in the learning, we organise a WOW event each term to which adults are invited. These events are opportunities for different family members to come into school to either work alongside their child or to celebrate some learning. WOW events recently have included: a Maths Fluency lesson; making a wattle and daub wall; burning houses on Pudding Lane (yes really burning!); joining phonics lessons; and E-Safety presentations.
Learning in Houses
From time to time, we provide opportunities to work in their House families so that children learn in mixed-aged classes on a given project. These are extremely popular with the children and help to develop learning skills such as collaboration, problem-solving and leadership.
Our staff work in Curriculum Teams so that ideas could be shared between staff members; subject leadership can be developed and the organisation of whole school events divided up.
Our Curriculum Teams are:
Communication: English, History, Geography, RE, French
STEM: Science, Mathematics, Computing, Design & Technology
The Arts: Music, Art, PE
Examples of the work the Curriculum Teams have planned in the past: an Armistice Week; a STEM Week based on eggs; a Poetry Slam; and an Art Week based on drawing and painting.