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Middle School Curriculum
From Year 2 we teach using our own P.A.L Curriculum, which goes far beyond the UK's National Curriculum. With widespread use of specialist subject teachers, we are able to offer focussed expertise at a younger age than most other schools. Small class sizes and the principles of P.A.L give us greater flexibility to build teaching around the individual child.
All teaching is planned and structured, with continuous and rigorous monitoring of individual progress. Pupils have access to a wide range of technology in the iMac suite, the Innovation Centre and the Digital Creativity Room. Teaching and learning across the curriculum is enhanced by the use of iPads and virtual and augmented reality. Support teaching is available for those who need help, together with extension teaching for those who can go further, faster. We aim to meet the needs of every child in this critical first stage of their education.
The principle of "finding the brilliance in every child" drives everything we do. Our learning environment consists of both indoor and outdoor provision, incorporating a vibrant cross curricular approach with the children’s interests at the heart of their learning. This personalised approach leads to children that are engaged and excited about learning; children who are curious, inquisitive and confident.
Each topic begins with a ‘sensational start’ launch day where pupils are immersed in a range of multi-sensory activities to spark their curiosity and encourage them to ask questions and make connections.
We teach a mastery curriculum focused on securing and deepening pupil’s understanding of key concepts through rich, personalised and meaningful experiences. They are supported and challenged to reason and apply their knowledge in a range of contexts, differentiated to meet the needs of all children. Learning is engaging and practical, ensuring that pupils have first-hand experiences to build foundations from. We highly value the development of a rich vocabulary and strong speaking and listening skills. We use a ‘Talk for Writing’ approach for our written work, which encompasses a three-stage learning process where children imitate, innovate and invent their own pieces of high quality writing.
Weekly STEAM challenges encourage pupils to think creatively and critically, and problem solve whilst working effectively as part of a team.
We incorporate Mantle of the Expert, which is an educational approach that uses drama, inquiry and imaginary contexts to create purposeful and engaging activities for learning. Once the scene is set, children work as part of their own company, completing a commission for a specified client. For example, in Year 3 the children become archaeologists working for ‘Time Team’ to uncover the secrets of Lascaux’s prehistoric cave paintings.
At the heart of everything we do is the powerful image of the child; their potential, their aspirations and their brilliance. PAL is our own system for maximising individual achievement and learning. As part of our weekly P.A.L learning rotation, the children will explore their interests further and make choices about what they would like to investigate on their own learning journey of discovery: dinosaurs, under the sea, climate change, becoming a dentist, athlete or astronaut, running their own hotel...the possibilities are endless! They will explore their passions and visit all sorts of exciting places using virtual and augmented reality technology.
In addition to this, they will have regular hands-on experiences in a natural setting in our woodland area. Whilst in the woods with us, the children foster a respect for nature and develop an understanding of their natural environment through open enquiry and exploration.