The Primary National Curriculum (2014) states:
The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement. The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum
At Rice Lane Primary we believe that our key responsibility is quality first teaching and learning in every classroom every day. Embedded and sustained improvement is dependent on this. Our expectation therefore is that all pupils are provided with quality learning experiences that lead to consistently high levels of achievement and engagement in order to become confident, articulate, independent learners.
We encourage the children to show at all times the following qualities, so to become lifelong learners and citizens of the future within a Global Community
R – Respectful
I – Independent
C – Creative and Critical thinkers
E – Engaged
L – Listeners
A – Achievers
N – Nurturers
E - Enthusiastic
Our Principles for Teaching and Learning
Curriculum Intent – How we have designed our Curriculum
At Rice Lane Primary School we are: skilled readers, confident writers, mathematicians, scientists, historians, geographers, musicians, artists, linguist, theologians, athletes, digital nomads, designers, chefs, inclusive and diverse. We want our children to embody our R.I.C.E.L.A.N.E core values. We all believe that we have no limits to what our ambitions are when we are ‘happy together, believe together, achieve together’.
We offer a progressive curriculum that allows subjects to be taught discretely, so to develop specific knowledge and skills. Subjects will be given a cross-curricular approach (if it is appropriate) to embed skills and enrich learning in other subjects through meaningful links. Children will be given opportunities through subject study to develop a deeper understanding and a connection to the wider issues and challenges facing our world community today, therefore making the learning real and relevant. This has been split into 3 major study areas and supports the SMSC and British Values curriculum:
Each area will have a subject link, for example when studying human Geography or settlements by the Anglo Saxons in History, the children may make a link to the ‘refugee’ crisis happening in the world today. Each area explored will be introduced to the children through an SMSC approach. Children will explore the major concepts primarily through discussion, using Philosophy for Children. At the end of any explored concept, the children will be given an opportunity to apply their understanding by a positive outcome. This could be raising money for a charity, or sharing knowledge to the community.
We believe it is important to create independent learners. To do this we believe it is crucial to give children time to think and explore and learn from each other. We have developed a curriculum which is broad and balanced, and provides for the academic, moral, physical, creative and social development of every child.
Through our Curriculum at Rice Lane we have recognised the importance of vocabulary development as the key to children’s learning and progress across the whole curriculum, from the beginning at Early Years Foundation Stage to Year 6. Our Curriculum Milestones and Subject Pathways, including the EYFS teaching and learning opportunities, highlight the importance of actively developing vocabulary and build on children’s prior and current knowledge. The progress and expansion of vocabulary through all subjects is vital for children to make links and expand vocabulary choices to reason, justify, question or explain using accurate language.
At Rice Lane Primary School, we also recognise the importance of health and well-being. This has been an increasing challenge for our children living in today’s society. To support the children’s well-being, pastoral care has been placed in a structured weekly programme for all children to help our next generation become more resilient and teach them tools to manage their physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing. We also offer the children individual support when needed through working with the Learning Mentors, who offer such things as ‘Time to Talk’ , ‘Lego Therapy’ and ‘Socially Speaking’. We recognise children’s behaviour for learning as being the cornerstone for effective engagement.
Curriculum Implementation – How we have organised our curriculum
Our curriculum has been carefully built to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. We have developed key learning opportunities for every subject and every year group to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum learning expectations. Subject Leads have developed Subject Pathways that demonstrate the key characteristics which we expect our children to demonstrate in each discrete subject area. These characteristics underpin the learning in the subject, and form the focal point for sequences of lesson and subject displays. The pathways include: key knowledge, key vocabulary, pre-assessment task, end assessment task and key skills.
As stated above, our curriculum opportunities are strongly supported with opportunities to link learning to the wider world, through the SMSC curriculum. The SMSC concepts are also embedded in our weekly assemblies. For example, when the children are participating in ‘Odd Socks Day’ to raise awareness on bullying, the SMSC concept being explored is ‘acceptance and diversity’.
We empower our staff to organise their curriculum as they see fit to best suit the needs of the pupils in their care. They are best placed to make these judgements. Staff organise their yearly planner of teaching to identify when the different subjects will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects to deepen children’s learning.
Our lesson plans are produced on a weekly basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve the ’Steps to Success’.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, topics and learning opportunities are chosen according to the children’s own interests. They build upon their prior learning experience. (ref EYFS Policy)
The topic themes:
We use both formative and summative assessment information every day, in every lesson. Staff use this information to inform the next steps in learning or ‘boost’ interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all our pupils, including the more able. Subject Leads have mapped out pre and post assessment tasks, and also key skills and knowledge to be acquired.
Assessment information is analysed by Subject Leads, the assessment lead, the curriculum lead and the Headteacher as part of our monitoring cycle. Pupil Progress reviews are conducted termly to discuss the individual progress in the Core Subjects. Subject reviews are also conducted termly with the subject leads and the Curriculum lead, to moderate work and to discuss progress and next steps.
Regular curriculum updates are shared at Governor Meetings, including the end of year subject reports from every subject.
Continuous Professional Development
We believe that as children need to develop their own subject knowledge, staff also need to extend their subject specific knowledge so to be the ‘expert’ and lead others. Subject Leads are given dedicated time during the school year to complete subject monitoring exercises, time to coach and support staff or to research and reflect on their subject area.
Subject Leads also attend subject network meeting organised by the local authority, so to share good practice with colleagues across the city. Subject leads are encouraged to feedback any new learning within email, phase meeting or staff meeting.
At Rice Lane we believe that children progress best when the school and parents work in partnership. In order to support parents with helping their children learn we provide
Each year we hold a range of themed curriculum and learning days. This either supports curriculum learning intentions or local / national events. This can include:
At Rice Lane, we believe that children should be given the opportunity to develop their leadership potential. There are many informal opportunities given to children to do this on a daily basis. We also provide formal opportunities for children to develop leadership and actively make a positive change or highlight important issues. Children can do this through being a representative for e.g.
Additionally, children are encouraged to put forward their own ideas. This has previously led to the formation of Rice Paper, a dance group, art workshops led by the children and the formation of a pop band.
At Rice Lane we believe school trips provide unique opportunities for kinaesthetic learning i.e. 'learning by doing' and encourage students to engage with people, places and buildings in new ways. This is particularly beneficial for many SEN students who find visual and sensory experiences helpful to their learning and understanding. Educational visits and school trips also help enhance the social, personal and emotional development of all learners and encourage children and young people to engage with the public and places. Where possible, children visit sites and museums and have visitors to school relevant to the subject being studied. We also offer residential trips for our Key Stage 2 children.
At Rice lane we also try to engage with the local area and community to immerse the children into ‘Liverpool Culture’, to become proud of their heritage and multi-faith society. We have close relationships with local businesses, the local councillor and the local church.
Wider Opportunities and Extra-Curricular Activities
We value the importance of a wider curriculum and offer the children a broad range of adventurous activities, sports clubs, dance and drama, creative arts, workshops, performances, team games against other local schools. These are regarded as an essential part of children’s learning and supports the individual developing particular skills or talent.
The direct link below gives a whole school overview of the curriculum to show the breadth of study from Year 1 to Year 6.