At Beacon Primary we have a bespoke curriculum that promotes positive attitudes to learning for all pupils. We educate the whole child with a focus on SEMH and behaviour. This means that PSHE is woven throughout everything we do, as well as taught discretely following National PSHE Association guidance.
Our text-based topic-led curriculum teaches progressive skills and knowledge across the Primary National Curriculum. Teachers use a range of assessment information to personalise learning so that gaps are closed and progress is visible. We enrich the curriculum through planned opportunities for high quality outdoor and/or experiential learning, enrichment activities and Forest School.
The curriculum at Beacon Primary:
• Has high expectations of children’s academic and behavioural outcomes.
• Is progressive in skills and knowledge
• Uses high quality texts to develop reading, writing and cultural capital
• Provides our children with the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum, delivered through topics which emphasise local links.
• Is broad and balanced, filled with enrichment and experiences which embody cultural capital and provide opportunities to apply or experience learning.
• Is continually assessed with personalised targets, to close gaps whilst moving children’s learning forward.
Our pupils join us at different points in the year and for a range of timescales. Because of this, our curriculum is more fluid than that of a mainstream Primary school. Teachers focus on stage as well as age to close learning gaps.
Our curriculum framework (long term plan) is based upon the Primary National Curriculum 2014. Our pupils are baselined on entry and assessment information is gathered from a range of sources and used effectively to plan and deliver lessons at the appropriate level for each pupil, inform of next steps or identify interventions. Feedback is immediate and shared at the point of learning to close gaps identified through secure assessment.
Throughout our curriculum we uphold British Values and support the view that respecting the faith, beliefs and opinions of others fosters a culture of tolerance and freedom for all views to be expressed. We teach RE using the agreed syllabus for South Tyneside. We value and promote the principles of a democracy where each person is valued for their contribution to our community, including through a democratically elected school council.
We teach phonics using Sounds-Write, and all of our children have reading books which match their phonics knowledge. We have a school-wide focus on reading as we believe that it enables our pupils to access the wider curriculum. We also ensure the children have the opportunity to read for pleasure on a daily basis and there is an expectation that children read to an adult at home every night.
During our daily ‘Preparation for Learning’ session all pupils read 1:1 to an adult. Pupils may also be seen completing interventions with the SENCO, having a catch up learning session or an essential conversation with teaching staff, spending time outdoors or eating a healthy breakfast.
In Maths we develop retention and application in every session, with a focus on number and the four operations. Data handling, time and measures is taught in Maths and further developed across the curriculum, particularly in D&T and Science.
Foundation subjects are taught discretely, but linked to text based English lessons through topics where appropriate.
Outdoor learning and experiential activities provide opportunities for our pupils to apply their learning across the curriculum, develop PSHE skills and a working knowledge of all subjects. As a whole school, we model and teach emotional literacy and deliver weekly Forest School sessions off-site. We also deliver weekly Commando Joe’s lessons to develop the PSHE based RESPECT values through practical challenges. These are:
Each week, a ‘Value of the Week’ is chosen to enable the children to develop and demonstrate these skills both in and out of school, and achievements are celebrated in our weekly celebration assembly. .
We place emphasis on language and communication. We believe that if a child can say a sentence, they can write a sentence. Subject specific vocabulary is taught, displayed, modelled and used in context across the curriculum to elicit and demonstrate understanding and strengthen our children’s cultural capital offer.
Lessons, whether indoors or outdoors, and class-based activities have a focus on fine and/or gross motor skills. Our curriculum is designed to increase our pupils’ local knowledge and cultural capital through use of quality texts, enrichment opportunities and through systematic and consistent use of subject specific vocabulary.
We provide our pupils with opportunities to access missed learning and social and emotional experiences, while allowing them to progress socially and academically.
Pupils are assessed in Reading, Writing and Maths at either the start of each half term or on entry to our provision, using a range of assessment criteria. From this, teachers decide on a personalised ‘end point’ of learning to be reached by either the end of the term, or the end of the referral placement. We include an SEMH and behaviour target which are assessed in 1:1 Key Worker sessions three times a week.
Learning is evaluated and assessed in every taught session for the core subjects of Reading, Writing and Maths. Pupils have the opportunity to keep up or catch up in daily Preparation for Learning sessions. Longer term interventions are planned, delivered and monitored by the Primary SENCO. This rigorous assessment ensures that the curriculum that we deliver to the children is personalised and addresses academic, behavioural and SEMH learning with a focus on PSHE.
Our curriculum is stringently monitored through lesson observations, drop ins, student work reviews, pupil and staff voice, environment inspections and coaching opportunities.