This section of our website is focused on our Curriculum and provides an overview of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework and the Curriculum offer for children in Years 1 to 6. There are also sections on Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development and British Values.
Our vision for an outstanding curriculum at Montalbo Nursery and Primary School
Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of our children. We consider questions such as ‘What do our children need? How can we prepare our children for their next steps? What are the local factors that influence our children’s understanding? How can we add to the skills, knowledge and opportunities the children receive outside school? Our curriculum development has been built on research, particularly on how children learn an remember. We have undertaken much training and research on cognitive sciences which help implement our curriculum. Please see the attached document which explains our curriculum intent, implementation and impact in more detail.
The aim of the curriculum at Montalbo Nursery and Primary School is to provide opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident, successful citizens who enjoy learning. There is a high focus on developing children’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding creating a respectful, thoughtful and reflective culture. Montalbo Nursery and Primary School ensures that children are ‘secondary ready’ and well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Values and purposes
Three key drivers permeate through the curriculum and are visible in every aspect of Montalbo. They are essential and the norm when staff work with each other to improve their practice and for children to improve their knowledge and skills.
In each curriculum area the following 3 values are prevalent:-
Nothing can be achieved without hard work. We ask the children to endeavour in all they do, demonstrating resilience to overcome problems or work that they initially find tricky. They need to show determination to succeed and develop character to respond to mistakes, which is one of the most powerful ways to learn. Concentration and application are essential in this value to achieve well in each curricular area. Children show pride in all they do and we talk to the children about there being ‘no passengers’ (pupils not giving 100%). Knowledge and skills development are carefully built up in each subject, and links between subjects are made where possible.
We want our children to be inspired by our curriculum. We work hard to ensure that each curriculum subject stimulates children’s interest and encourages life-long learning. Furthermore, we want children to appreciate and be inspired by the amazing world we live in and be enthused by its history, geography and environment. We want children to appreciate and respect modern British values of democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. Visits and visitors enrich our curriculum and further inspire children’s interest. We want to create curious learners who ask questions and explore their interests. Inspiring a passion for reading is important to developing all these interests and is a key focus at Montalbo.
Collaborating with others has many benefits to learning. Children learn from each other in formal and informal situations. In every session, in every year group, teachers use collaboration to enhance confidence, understanding, skills and knowledge. Talk partners and group work are frequently used and children are comfortable sharing their ideas with others. Research used highlights the success of mixed ability pairings/groups and this is commonplace at Montalbo.
Teamwork activities help develop enjoyment, loyalty, consideration and thoughtfulness and demonstrate this within the wider community. We have developed strong community links with local organisations such as The Bowes Museum, The Witham and The Hub and collaborated on projects such as events on World War 1, Intergenerational Art and work for local festivals. Further collaboration work with businesses and universities has helped increase skills, knowledge and opportunities.
Much time and energy has been devoted into developing our curriculum, tailoring it to the needs of our pupils. Each subject is developed by subject leaders, building on previous knowledge and learning, from Early Years to Year 6. Our Subject Leaders ensure their knowledge and skills are high through professional development opportunities. The leadership team have undertaken much research on cognitive sciences and innovative approaches run throughout school, helping children learn and remember key knowledge. Teaching staff understand well how to reduce cognitive load and strengthen recall through spaced retrieval exercises. Classroom layouts and display, homework and ways of working are all thoughtfully designed to aid the development of vocabulary and knowledge retention.
The values of endeavour, inspiration and collaboration are evident in each curriculum subject. Subject leaders and class teachers ensure that each element runs through lessons and the topic as a whole. The curriculum is monitored closely to ensure it meets each national curriculum objective and that work evidences the vocabulary, knowledge and skills needed. Subject leaders are proactive in delivering guidance and developments in their subjects. Leaders ensure that each curriculum area is given a high priority and that progress and standards in each are high. Children understand that it is as important to endeavour in Art as it is in Maths.
Children’s interests are pursued and pupil voice helps shape the curriculum. Teachers and subject leaders look at ways to inspire pupils in each subject, by using quality teaching, texts, other resources, visits and visitors to stimulate learning. Giving learning a clear purpose, such as the creation of local history books – written and illustrated by children – allows children to make connections and understand their work more fully.
Each session in each subject allows for collaboration between pupils. We have been using the work of Shirley Clarke in her book Visible Learning as a guide for best practice. As well as adopting her methods for feedback, the curriculum offers many opportunities for partner work, discussion and debate which are key ingredients of the successful learner. Allowing children to reflect on their own learning with peers has also been implemented. Staff use research and evidence-based strategies in cognitive sciences to ensure children learn and remember more.
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each topic, children understand and can use the correct topic vocabulary, knowledge and skills to demonstrate their understanding in each subject taught. By the end of the year the vast majority are working at age related expectations or above and many are demonstrating greater understanding and mastering the curriculum. At each statutory assessment point, Montalbo have been at or above National Averages for each subject. This has been replicated with our achievements at Greater Depth when recorded.
However, there is much more to our curriculum than results. Our children are respectful, confident and happy. All areas of the curriculum allow children to shine and achieve well. We have talented artists, musicians, scientists, sportspeople, historians and computing experts! There have been many occasions when these skills have been demonstrated with purpose to a wider audience and in the community.
Children feel very much part of the community and enjoy learning more about the heritage and culture of our area, and learning how that we are part of the wider region, country and world. The buzz around school shows their enthusiasm and their love of learning. The excitement generated and skills gained by taking Monty does Musicals into the curriculum is a recent example. Children leave Montalbo secondary ready, showing and adhering to our values. They are, without doubt, ready for the next stages in their learning and well prepared for life in modern Britain having developed good social skills, moral values, spiritual reflectiveness and cultural awareness.
You can view or download our class Curriculum Maps by clicking the links below. Please view Our Learning Zone section of our school website to see our curriculum in action.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
At Montalbo Nursery and Primary School we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their peers. The Curriculum is all the planned activities that the school organises in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. Further information can be found in the SEN Information Report.
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