Bishop Chavasse Church of England Curriculum Statement
The curriculum at Bishop Chavasse is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society; fulfilling our potential, achieving excellence for all. The curriculum ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, reliability, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health, are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning. The curriculum, which provides all pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life, celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school. A topic based curriculum approach has been implemented at the school to ensure coverage and progression in all areas of the curriculum. This approach fosters each child’s curiosity and interest throughout each topic and also enables the achievement of depth in knowledge and skills. Opportunities for child voice are planned for at the beginning of each new topic and this is used to inform the learning for each topic to ensure relevance.
The Christian ethos of the school promotes a culture in which individuals are respected and valued and this is reflected in all curriculum areas as well as in our approach to working together as adults and children within the school community. The curriculum provides children with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skillsThe children’s own community, its heritage and traditions are frequently used as a starting point for engaging interest. As a school we recognise the importance of the links which we have developed with other schools within our local community. We have also established a global school link with a school in Tanzania, Matongoru School.
The school makes a conscious effort to engage with accreditations which will enable further development and excellence in specific areas. As a school we are very fortunate to have a varied outdoor environment both within our school grounds and local area. The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our children. The school grounds have been developed, and continue to be further enhanced, so they can enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science. The school is working on the Learning Outside the Classroom quality mark at bronze level and also Eco School – Green Flag at bronze level. Both awards will recognise our continued commitment to ensuring that all learners have access to high quality educational experiences beyond the classroom walls. This will enable us to engage in an ongoing process that ensures frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom, and theses opportunities are integrated into the curriculum.
Bishop Chavasse recently became a finalist in Kent’s Dementia Friendly Intergenerational Award 2019, in recognition of its community links with the local residential care homes, Barnes Lodge and Rosewell House. This engagement with the local community further enriches the children’s learning experiences. The carefully considered design of our new school building with high quality library and specific reading break out areas was recognised through the Education School Building Award which we won as a school in 2019.
Music and performance have a high profile in the school. We are fortunate to have a specialist music teacher on the teaching staff. Each child receives a weekly music lesson, as well as participating in weekly whole school singing practice. Despite currently only having children in EYFS and KS1, the children are provided with numerous opportunities to perform in front of an audience, for example during whole class celebration collective worship, church services and class drama sessions. As the school grows into KS2, the school will have a school choir and orchestra and opportunities for ensemble and solo performances are planned for and will be provided both within the school and beyond it. This aspect of the school is enriched by our links to the Tonbridge Music Cluster and also makes full use of the skills of a wide range of professionals; throughout the children's time at the school, they work with specialist coaches, learning activities such as golf, fencing and archery. As the school has grown into KS1 it has begun to take part in competitive sports within the local cluster of schools. Further development of this is planned for as we continue to move into KS2, at which point the school will apply for the ‘Active Schools Bronze Award’ for competitive sports.
A varied and substantial timetable for extra-curricular activities is offered by the school, with an extensive range of clubs that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as fencing and archery and learning to play the ukulele, whilst also extending the range of experiences for all children. A primary focus of our curriculum is to promote high aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The school is proud of its highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and most make very good progress from their unique starting points. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their full potential through the provision of learning activities which provide opportunities for challenge, greater depth and mastery. Targeted support is timetabled to ensure that identified individuals are enabled to embed skills, building on prior learning in order to close any attainment gap.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum. Senior leaders programme a regular timetable of monitoring, evaluation and review and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to build on current success and strengths and continually strive for outstanding provision for all. All subject leaders are given training and the opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school.
The innovative practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills both indoors and out, developing mastery of subject knowledge. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children are met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s learning outcomes.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things within an environment where perseverance and success is celebrated. High quality visits and visitors to the school further enhance the curriculum.
Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions such as Meet the Experts, Whole Class Celebration, Collective Worship, performances and competitions. This will be further embraced as the school moves into KS2 as greater opportunities become available to junior aged pupils. Developing every pupil’s independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.