Ravensden CE Primary follows the Early Years Curriculum (EY) 2012 for the Pre-school & Reception Class; and the Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum 2014 for Years 1-6. We use these programmes of study to develop a broad and balanced curriculum which is carefully matched to the needs of our children.
The school day has been carefully organised to encompass the requirements of the National Curriculum and takes into account the individual needs of all pupils. High priority is given to teaching children to be active listeners and to explain their understanding coherently; to read, to write and to become confident and inquisitive. We aim for them to know mathematical facts, to use effective calculation methods using well developed concepts and to be confident problem solvers . Daily Literacy and Maths sessions are carefully structured and incremental with discrete high quality phonics taught through the Read Write Inc programme, in smaller groups for the younger children. Older children have daily grammar and spelling sessions. Discrete weekly religious education lessons follow the Bedfordshire ‘Agreed Syllabus’.
Throughout the week, 2-3 hours is set aside for science; 2 hours for Physical Education and Sport; and the other time available on French, humanities, creative work in art, design technology, music . Computing is taught as a discrete subject and Information Technology is used in a cross-curricular way to enhance learning in all subjects.
Set within a small rural village, the school is able to use the local resources in the study of the National Curriculum. Good community links are fostered and help and support comes from all parts of the community. There are good links with other schools, and activities are undertaken on a shared basis. All pupils have the opportunity to attend a wide range of annual sports activities organised by the local rural schools ‘Riversmeet’ Partnership; these include athletics, multi-skills, Football, Tag- Rugby, Handball, Dodgeball, Tennis, and ‘Kwik-Cricket’.
All children have full access to the curriculum.
We recognise that children learn through first hand experience, by being awed and thrilled; and being eager to learn by fun, novel and exciting places, artefacts, activities and people. This is why since 2019 we have taught through a connected approach to the curriculum across the school. This involves taking a theme each term as our main inspiration to inspire and enthuse our children. We follow the theme through the foundation subjects, reading and writing as well as history, geography, art & design, technology and science – wherever the curriculum leads to high quality outcomes for children.
We arrange frequent and interesting, inspirational visits for all children. These experiences are designed to shift aspirations and to increase cultural capital. Some of these are planned within the immediate locality, whilst others are further afield always linked to our theme or a topical event or celebration. we also invite visitors to our school to share their knowledge and experience with the children.
We develop the syllabus to use PE in understanding team spirit, co-operation and physical fulfilment. The activities include gymnastics, dance, swimming, cricket and other seasonal games. The children learn how to cope with competition and are encouraged to excel where possible. The children are helped to put physical activity into their everyday life, bringing about a more healthy lifestyle.
How is our curriculum delivered?
Teachers at Ravensden are given the freedom to plan their timetables week by week. We encourage teachers not to have the same subjects at the same times each week and to offer a varied timetable. During the week there are a number of 'non negotiables' which must take place each week which include maths lessons, guided reading, handwriting practice and phonics. It also includes P.E. lessons, PSHE, Music and French (Year 3 - 6). The teachers have the flexibility to teach other curriculum areas through their immersive project for varying amounts of time each week.
Teaching time at Ravensden is a mixture of whole class mixed ability teaching, ability group teaching in for example mental maths and phonics as well as independent learning time. Subject knowledge and skills are taught in a variety of ways through practical hands on tasks, open ended questions allowing children to investigate and explore as well as opportunities to overlearn key facts and skills.
Children also have the opportunity to take part in a range of educational visits each term. We encourage our teachers to take our children on as many trips as possible during the school year and where this is not possible get visitors into the school. Examples of educational visits and visitors planned far this year include:
Reception and Pre-school - a trip to the Higgins Museum, visits from the fire service, a nurse and a veterinary nurse with a dog, trip to the Snowdome, forest school days and a visit to a farm!
Year 1 and 2- a visit to London including to the Tower of London, a boat cruise on the River Thames, a trip to the Snowdome and local visits, singing sessions with Bedfordshire Music, a visit from a Polar Explorer
Year 3 and 4 - a trip to the Stibbington Centre (Victorians) for a day as a Victorian school child, singing at the Christmas Tree Festival, a trip to the Snowdome and local visits, instrument sessions with Bedfordshire Music, a visit from a Polar Explorer. Year 4 residential activity days
Year 5 and 6 - a visit to London including to the Golden Hind and the Globe Theatre (Tudor London- Shakespeare), a trip to the Snowdome and local visits, singing sessions with Bedfordshire Music, a visit from a Polar Explorer- Year 5 and 6 residential activity days
What is the impact of our curriculum?
The first place to look would be to look at the standards our children reach at the end of each age phase as well as by the time they leave our school. The standards have not been officially measured since July 2019 due to the cancellation of SATs due to Covid, but locally moderated school improvement visits have benchmarked our standards at well above national for the last two years, and we are confident that 2022 will see our standards in KS1 and KS2 at or above national.
However, as well as the impact on the outcomes for our children we believe that the most important impact that our curriculum can have is on our children and the community in which we serve. As a Church of England school, our Christian Vision is a golden thread that runs through our curriculum, and allows a real focus on letting all of our lights shine for ourselves and for others. This is why we work with immersive projects where we try to use our local and wider community and have an impact on it, allowing all who work with us to flourish. We believe in the importance in creating global citizens and this can be seen in our project work. As well as this, children at Ravensden are articulate, confident, happy, independent individuals. This is something we are very proud of.
As part of our curriculum vision we believe in creating 'enabling conditions' for our children that allow them to thrive and flourish. Classrooms are designed in a way that allow children to work in spaces where they feel comfortable. Each classroom will have flexible seating, 'a reflective or prayer space ' (i.e. a space where children can go that is quieter), spaces where they can learn in groups / pairs as well as work individually or with their teacher. Classrooms are themed according to the project to allow the children to be completely immersed in the theme. Teachers use space, sound, and where possible smell, to create an environment that is exciting and stimulating for their class. There will be 3 different learning environments a year. The children love coming in on their first day back to see what awaits them!
Independence is at the heart of everything we do at Ravensden and we are developing areas children can use as break out spaces outside of the classroom in which children can work freely and independently.
How is our curriculum designed and organised for each subject?
At Ravensden CE Primary Academy we have a carefully planned curriculum for each subject area. We use the Education Endowment Foundation guidance and DFE/ Ofsted subject review reports to ensure our decisions around the curriculum have a secure, measured research based focus.
We have mixed aged classes, so this needs to be a flexible document in order to ensure coverage across the year groups. We have a two year rolling programme divided into Cycle A and Cycle B which meticulously details how we will teach in each year of the cycle.
We base our Mathematical Curriculum on White Rose maths, using the Concrete, Abstract, Pictorial process to support the mathematical development of the children.
In English we use Read Write Inc as the underpinning of early reading and writing, alongside Jane Considine's The Write Stuff approach to writing. This is carefully blended with the 'high quality text led' approach of Nicola Powell from the Primary Matters consultancy.
We have devised our own curriculum plans for History, Geography, Science and PE. These look to reflect local needs and areas of interest and to maximise the development of cultural capital and aspiration for our children.
For Art and Design, Computing, Design Technology, French, Music, RSE, PSE and Wellbeing we use the highly regarded Kapow Primary Curriculum programmes. Anna Spyropoulos- headteacher was a Kapow subject ambassador and helped test the new RSE curriculum at Ravensden
Our Christian Vision "Let your light shine" provides a golden thread that runs across every subject. Through this, our children have the opportunity to learn about and celebrate the achievements of those whose light has shone, and is shining for themselves and for others.
Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact 2021
At Ravensden CE Primary Academy we share a belief that:
● Children will have a stimulating, vibrant and exciting learning environment so that they feel happy and confident and are challenged to achieve excellence in everything they do.
● We will treat children as individuals and develop their individual personalities and interests as well as developing a respect and understanding of others. We will celebrate differences and treat everyone equally.
● We will provide an inspirational, modern and relevant curriculum where children develop six life skills across all curriculum areas underpinned by a core set of six values.
● We will develop a relevant curriculum that is irresistible, unforgettable, based on practical, real life experiences.
● We will let our children be children.
● We will provide an environment where no child is left behind and all children can achieve their full potential both academically, physically, socially and emotionally.
Our school vision is ‘Let your light shine!’ Through our Christian Vision we intend to provide high quality and exciting learning experiences for our children and staff that inspires them to be the best version of themselves and to support this development in others so they can achieve excellence in all they do.