Phoenix Curriculum Intent
Phoenix is a unique school with a warm, happy and supportive ethos where a love of learning is fostered through a broad and ambitious curriculum with exciting and stimulating opportunities. Everyone is valued and everyone’s happiness and well-being is an essential feature of our setting. The curriculum is planned and sequenced to ensure children gain knowledge and skills, year on year, in all national curriculum subjects and reflects British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Phoenix Values of resilience, responsibility, reflectiveness, collaboration, courage and independence are used;
- to promote positive attitudes to learning
- to nurture enthusiasm and empower pupils to take ownership of their learning.
Pupils have guidance and support
- to develop as reflective, life-long learners
- to plan, monitor, evaluate and make changes to their own learning behaviours
- ensure a transfer of skills between subjects.
We are committed to providing a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs, the knowledge and wider life opportunities and experiences (cultural capital) they need to succeed in life and which enables our children to master key knowledge and skills outlined in the National Curriculum.
Our curriculum prioritises:
- Early and secure literacy skills centred around rich language development, oracy (expression through speech)
- Reading, because this is what our pupils need.
- Pupils at all stages are given the opportunity and are expected, to present their learning in front of other pupils
- The use of subject specific vocabulary to embed understanding and knowledge.
Our curriculum promotes active community involvement with secure knowledge and understanding of fundamental British values, including supporting those less fortunate. All pupils, regardless of background or SEND are provided effective guidance and encouraged to be ambitious.
At Phoenix Community Primary School our curriculum makes links across the subjects to enable children to make connections with the real world and see a purpose in developing and retaining knowledge and skills. We consider carefully the needs of each cohort and review the curriculum in response to those specific needs as well as changes in education and the local context. Visitors to the school, visits off site and experiential learning are all key ways in which we enable children to embed new knowledge and skills.
For those pupils with special educational needs there needs to be more flexibility within the curriculum and they may access the curriculum in different and often very practical ways, whilst ensuring those who attain ‘greater depth’ standards are challenged and inspired.
Each subject area has a designated subject leader to oversee the subject across the school. Our curriculum is under constant review in response to the needs of our children, developments in education and our local context. We are always looking for ways to improve and develop the learning opportunities we can offer our children. We carefully consider, through regular planning meetings, how our curriculum will meet the needs of all pupils and are further developing our curriculum progression of skills documents. For example, subject leaders are planning the opportunities in the curriculum for pupils to present their learning to others, develop their oracy and to have opportunities for wider life experiences.
We are constantly reflecting on how we can provide the most vibrant, exciting curriculum in order to ensure our pupils have a wealth of opportunities to thrive both academically and personally. For example our Phoenix job’s scheme enables our pupils to promote, share and develop confidence, resilience and self-esteem in an engaging, motivational and rewarding way which ensures that pupils can gain a better understanding of real life work with applications, job interviews and then responsibility.
We are part of the CARE Foundation Trust group of 10 schools, a strong collaboration of schools who support each other and share best practice. We are a learning community who share resources, training and learning experiences for both staff and children. Some of the joint events enjoyed by our pupils have been:
- Annual Carol Concert in aid of the NSPCC
- Young Voices Choir at the O2
- Spelling Bee
- Maths competition
- Joint science workshops
- Pupil Online Safety Ambassadors
- Eco conference with the Mayor of Ashford
- Challenger Games
At Phoenix, you will see pupils embracing the curriculum in a variety of ways, demonstrating a range of learning behaviours – our key goal is to ensure that learning is memorable with skills that will be retained for life. Our curriculum is not just exciting, but it is also ambitious, providing appropriate challenge as children move throughout the school.
An important part of implementing this curriculum is to use the SeeSaw app to capture pupils’ specific learning in topics, to provide opportunities for oracy, pupil and peer assessment and enable teachers to assess learners accurately.
The impact of our curriculum can be seen in the standards our children attain at the end of each Key Stage as well as through the progress they make each academic year. The children have a positive attitude towards their learning and our school values reinforce those vital learning behaviours that will enable children to be well-equipped for the next stage of their education and beyond.
Children at Phoenix Community Primary School love coming to school and visitors often comment on the general behaviour of the children and how caring, supportive and eager to learn they are. For example, children of all ages are also keen to take responsibility in a range of roles across the school which includes lunch monitors, house captains, school council, librarians, digital leaders, maths ambassadors, eco council and online safety ambassadors.
Parent, pupil and staff surveys are used to assess the impact of the broad curriculum on pupil attitudes to learning and progress. The surveys demonstrates the value that pupils and parents place on our broad curriculum and wider learning opportunities. Results from these inform the implementation program for the school curriculum. The curriculum impact on pupil engagement and progress is also demonstrated through pupil posts on the SeeSaw app which show high pupil engagement, specific curriculum knowledge and oracy.
The impact is also seen in the way our pupils make the transition to their next school. Feedback from secondary schools that children from Phoenix attend, is positive about their behaviour and attitudes to learning. Families will often share with us the many achievements that pupils go on to make at secondary school and we receive numerous requests from our ex-pupils asking to return to our school for work experience.
The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum (NC) provides both the content and the framework for most of what we teach at Phoenix School. In the Early Years, children experience the seven areas of learning required as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Children in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two are taught the ‘core’ subjects of English, Mathematics and Science and the ‘foundation’ subjects of History, Geography, Music, Art, Physical Education (PE), Design and Technology (DT), French, Computing and Religious Education (RE).
Where possible the curriculum is delivered through cross-curricular themes to connect work from different subjects together, allowing children to make effective links in their learning.
The National Curriculum also requires that children are ‘secondary ready’ by the time they leave primary school. At Phoenix we believe that this is our core task. We believe it is essential that the process by which this is achieved is as creative, engaging and exciting as possible, instilling an enthusiasm and lifelong love of learning.