Take learning in your hands, do not let her go: keep her, for she is your life. (Proverbs 4:13)
At Biggin C of E Primary school our curriculum is founded on hope and aspiration. We believe every child has a unique part to play in the world and aim to provide rich and balanced learning so that everyone can Achieve their best for themselves and others, Believe in themselves by developing knowledge and skills alongside a strong character, positivity, an openness to opportunities and a love of learning and Care for their own wellbeing, people around them and the wider world.
We teach the National Curriculum, enhanced and delivered in a way which provides rich and stimulating learning for all children in school. We focus strongly on core skills in Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Science as well as providing a broad education in Foundation Subjects. We are passionate about enjoying learning and know that everyone learns best when they are happy and engaged in activities. Biggin is a school which promotes a love of reading for pleasure as well as exploring and celebrating children's personal interests. At the same time, we work hard to ensure that children understand the bigger picture and how their learning will help them become active citizens of the future.
We are extremely fortunate to live and work in a very special and beautiful part of the Peak District and enjoy using outside spaces as much as possible in our learning. This includes getting to know our local area through trips and walks, working with the local community and understanding local industries such as farming and tourism.
Being a very small village school, we are able to offer small class sizes and learning groups. This enables teaching staff to get to know children very well and tailor teaching to help each child make good progress. The curriculum allows for plenty of opportunities for children to learn in detail about our local environment, community and heritage, including local geography, history and industry. However, we also recognise that looking outwards to the wider world is an essential requirement of the education we provide for our children. In particular, we recognise children benefit from visiting cities and beginning to understand the contribution we make to national and global communities.
Wherever possible we work with other small schools to enable children to get know other local children and experience working in larger groups. This is regularly part of our Sports and Physical Education provision but has also been achieved in Drama, Art and Religious Education work. We find this helps our children make smooth and confident transitions to High School, too.
Our curriculum is taught mostly in a creative topic-based way which we believe brings learning to life and is interesting for the children. We build on the requirements laid down in the National Curriculum and plan learning to enable links to be made easily between topics and subject areas. Making learning memorable is crucial; we start with what the children know and build on that knowledge. We place a strong emphasis on vocabulary and understanding and ensure knowledge and skills are built on and revisited so children retain and can recall their learning.
The curriculum is organised on a cyclical basis to ensure coverage of knowledge and skills for each year group. Teachers plan and deliver the curriculum in ways that best suit each group of children however we consistently link our learning to quality texts to encourage children's love of reading and model the use of books as a primary source of information. Learning occurs through a mixed range of processes, including individual and group work, written and practical work, and direct instruction and enquiry-based approaches. We encourage the children to form their own ideas and opinions, be curious and ask questions.
We enjoy many enrichment activities such as educational trips, theme days and joining with national and local events. We believe these to have a significant impact in developing wider skills and awareness, consolidating learning and increasing confidence and cultural capital.
Our primary outcome is for children to love learning, be curious and be positive about education as part of a journey which will last their whole lives. We aim for every child, whatever their strengths and challenges may be, to see themselves as successful learners. We also aim for them to have the motivation to learn through mistakes, resilience and effort and to know that they will be supported in this. We want every child to enjoy learning at school and feel prepared for their next steps when they move on to high school.
We monitor progress and attainment through regular assessment. This may be formative, including questions and discussions, live marking, verbal and written feedback and other tasks or it may be summative end of topic tests or quizzes. We regularly discuss learning with groups of children to understand their learning experience and engage parents through consultations, questionnaires and informal meetings.
We track the progress and attainment of our children with standardised tests and compare these against national data as required. This data is reviewed by our school governors and School Improvement Partners. School is committed to continuously try to improve all aspects of teaching and learning through professional dialogue, lesson observations and reviewing children's work.
We recognise that the impact of our curriculum cannot always be measured directly and constantly seek opportunities to engage in wider opportunities to develop character virtues, skills and knowledge. For example, we take part in competitive sport as a cluster, invite a range of visitors into school to talk about their work, have workshops to improve road safety and online safety, etc. The impact of these events is also considered as an important part of school experience and learning.