At Thwaites, we place great importance on a curriculum which develops the whole child. Through our school values, we have created an environment where the emotional, physical, academic, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of each child is considered. We aim to give every child in our care equal access to ‘The Thwaites Experience’.
Our Curriculum has been designed so that all pupils develop in three areas: personally, socially and academically, in a way that creates individuals who are prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
When we think about our curriculum, we include all the aspects of learning that are specific to our school, such as our access to local businesses, our extended provision including our sporting activities and clubs, and all members of Team Thwaites modelling high standards of behaviour, nurturing and caring.
Our Curriculum is very specific to our school, so that as a small, rural primary school, we enhance the learning experiences of the children through activities that relate to the natural world such as Forest Schools; our use of the outdoor areas and links to the local area. We also enhance learning through activities and trips that make the most of our particular history and location, such as Geography – KS2 – Coastlines, we use Haverigg beach and the surrounding area. Where possible, we take the children outside of our local area to increase their knowledge and awareness of the world around them. Over the years we have taken part in residential trips to Glasgow, York and London.
In our Curriculum, we focus on teaching relevant subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding, as set out in the National Curriculum. The development of learning is planned and sequenced to build on prior knowledge and skills. Within our curriculum, we encourage children to use their enquiry skills to extend their knowledge. Further opportunities for development are incorporated into activities outside the National Curriculum such as a residential trip for older pupils; sporting competitions and pupils supporting younger pupils as play leaders.
Our broad and balanced Curriculum gives all pupils an opportunity to shine in a wide range of areas, from music to PE, from science to history, from maths to geography. We want our children to both 'know more' and 'remember more'.
Through the quality teaching of knowledge, skills and vocabulary across core and foundation subjects, all children will be encouraged to be inquisitive, compassionate, courageous, resilient and creative learners. They will develop positive behaviours towards learning and have opportunities to influence their own learning through age appropriate topics and themes. They will not be afraid of new challenges and will be keen to solve problems. They will be able to articulate clearly their feelings and opinions and defend those who cannot speak for themselves.
We ensure that our planning is progressive, and children have plenty of opportunities to reflect on prior learning before taking the next step on their quest for knowledge. Where possible, some of our wider curriculum subjects are taught in chronological order to ensure the children can sequence events accurately.
Our children will have a comprehensive set of skills, knowledge and understanding to prepare for the next steps in their education. This is demonstrated in the way that pupils transfer confidently to secondary school and then continue to flourish. They are prepared for the opportunities, challenges, responsibilities and experiences they will meet in the future.
As a school we recognise the importance of the key basic skills of Reading, Writing and Maths and these are given a high priority in the school. However, we teach a broad and balanced curriculum that includes all the other subjects. We recognise that making cross-curricular links is one way of making the learning interesting and purposeful. Therefore, wherever possible, we will tie together individual subjects (with their specific knowledge and skills) with a theme that makes the curriculum interesting and fun. Themes vary from year to year and could be anything from ‘The Stone Age’ to ‘Egyptians’. As a result of our mixed-age classes, in KS1, this is taught over a two year cycle and a three year cycle in KS2.
For more information about our curriculum see below, or email the school.
English and Maths
We follow the National Curriculum in England which includes a framework for teaching and progression for English and Maths. We base our teaching of English around quality texts - allowing the children to hit their curriculum objectives through the study of a wide range of authors and genres. Our children complete a weekly Big Write – 20 minutes in KS1 / 45 minutes in KS2 - which gives them regular opportunities to increase their writing stamina. We teach Maths using the 'mastery' approach and use the 'Big Maths' schemes to support our planning and teaching of Maths.
We use the programme Letters and Sounds for our teaching of progressive phonics. This is given a high priority and dedicated daily teaching in the Early Years and Key Stage 1. We also use Jolly Phonics to support our phonics teaching with songs and games.
Our reading scheme is based on the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. Early reading focuses on phonically decodable books that the children can access using their phonic reading skills.
Early Year Foundation Stage
This follows the Statutory Framework. This is available at Early Year Foundation Stage Framework
This follows the Cumbria Agreed Syllabus for RE which incorporates Understanding Christianity.
We use the Coram Life Education scheme across the whole school to teach our Personal, Social, Emotional and Health Education. This incorporates the new guidance on Relationship and Sex Education.
This is our chosen Modern Foreign Language and is taught to all of Key Stage 2.
The children are taught their PE lessons each week by a specialist PE teacher.
For details of the other subject areas that we teach, please see the separate year group overview documents below for curriculum objectives taught.