Our Curriculum Rationale
At the heart of our rationale is our learners.
Pupils, parents and staff worked together during Term Four 2015 to create a visual picture of what our school rationale is about.
An electronic version was devised in June 2016.
“The curriculum reflects what we value as a nation and what we seek for our young people. It is designed to convey knowledge which is considered to be important and to promote the development of values, understanding and capabilities. It is concerned both with what is to be learned and how it is taught. It should enable all of the young people of Scotland to flourish as individuals, reach high levels of achievement, and make valuable contributions to society. The curriculum affects us all.”
‘A Curriculum for Excellence’ The Curriculum Review Group
Our school vision, values and aims are reviewed annually by staff, children and parents in the Nursery and Primary School. We use these as the basis for developing a clear vision and rationale for the curriculum, taking into account the learners’ entitlements and our engagement with all the stakeholders in clarifying our values and principles.
We support children’s intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development by ensuring the school undertakes its statutory duty to assure the quality of service provided and to look for continuous ways of effecting improvement. We also recognize key strengths in practice, identify areas where good quality needs to be maintained, identify where improvement is needed, identify priorities for the improvement plan and help gather evidence to report on standards and quality in the school. We also take into consideration the significant new influences and challenges facing young people today such as social, political and economic change, the growing diversity of our society, our better understanding of the ways in which children and young people learn, the use of new technologies and the potential of partnerships in the wider community.
At Arngask Primary School we aim to provide a broad curriculum that meets the needs of all our pupils. All children will be supported and challenged, enabling them to develop skills to use across the curriculum at all levels for learning, for life and for work. They will develop the four capacities of a Curriculum for Excellence; to become confident individuals, effective contributors, successful learners and responsible citizens. By doing so, we aim to prepare our pupils to take their place as adults in society.
The seven key principles for curriculum design should be embedded in teaching approaches and learning experiences:
• Challenge and enjoyment
• Personalisation and choice
This means that every pupil in Arngask Primary School is entitled to a curriculum which is:
• Challenging, building on knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure progression.
• Coherent from nursery through to the end of their primary education
• Developed on sound learning and teaching practices including well planned learning experiences which are active and engaging.
• Based upon developing skills and competences in literacy, numeracy and an ability to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing.
• Real and relevant now and in the future.
At Arngask Primary there is a collegiate approach to developing the experiences and outcomes in all curricular areas, which develops staff knowledge and understanding of curriculum. This ensures we provide the highest quality for learning and teaching for our pupils.
Key Features of Our Curriculum
Teachers plan to develop the whole child through the entire nursery and school experience, the ethos and life of the nursery and school, curriculum areas and subjects, interdisciplinary learning and opportunities for personal achievement.
All curricular areas are planned using the experiences and outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence. The curriculum has been organised into eight areas:
• Health and Well Being
• Social Studies
• Expressive Arts
• Allows children to make connections between different areas of learning within meaningful contexts.
• Allows children to meet and revisit concepts and skills from new perspectives, bringing different strands of learning together in order to deepen understanding.
• Ensures that all children have access to an active, enterprising learning environment.
• Increases children’s ownership and control of their learning, offering greater opportunities for personalisation and choice.
The ethos of Arngask Primary School is important in the delivery of a Curriculum for Excellence. The development of citizenship, enterprising learning and teaching, creativity and understanding of sustainable development are features which underpin our ethos. The experiences of our pupils are based on sound pedagogy.
We foster the development of the values and principles through:
• Active engagement in learning
• Activity based learning
• Independent and collaborative learning
• Problem solving through investigating and exploring.
Supporting all pupils to become literate and numerate is a key factor. This has implications for the organisation of our learning in the following ways:
• Developing literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing will be a priority and the balance of the curriculum will reflect this.
• Opportunities to embed literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing within other curricular areas, is a priority.
• Collaborative, participative and Peer Learning is embedded at the early stages.
• At all stages this learning is linked to skills for life and work.
Teachers plan termly and this planning is broad and flexible. On a weekly basis teachers plan to develop experiences and outcomes in each curriculum areas focusing on learning intentions and success criteria. Planned daily evaluations allow learners to influence the process.
Assessment and Moderation
Arngask Primary endorses local and national guidance on assessment and moderation. Assessment is for learning principles and supporting strategies are embedded across the curriculum and are used in assessing the effectiveness of learning and teaching in our school.
Collaboration with colleagues across all stages in the school and with colleagues for other schools, allows for moderation of standards and expectations. Observations and evaluations are used to audit the pace and challenge we provide for pupils, ensuring we support and challenge every child to ensure they reach their full potential.
We have an Evidence Profile, which is structured according to How Good Is Our School 3. The Evidence Profile is firmly embedded in self-evaluation practices and is used to evidence the progress we make within our capacity to improve. Our shared process of self-evaluation involves self, peer and management evaluation of learning and teaching; quality improvement visits; cluster moderation and Teacher Learning Communities. It is a priority for every child to have a personal profile, their Learning Journey Jotter, which recognises and records individual personal and wider achievement. Pupil progress is tracked through their progression through the experiences and outcomes and levels using the Perth and Kinross Indicators and Seemis. This allows us to track individual achievement and attainment.
As part of our quality assurance policy, learning and teaching is monitored. This supports our self-evaluation processes to ensure that Arngask Primary continues to improve and provide the highest quality learning experiences.
Partnerships with Parents and the Wider School Community
We work closely with parents/carers and our communities. We take every opportunity to involve them in the life and work of our school, to share achievements and to build links which enhance our school. Examples of these are parents who volunteer to help in class, run clubs and lead activities on our Skills Days.
Links with businesses and community groups such as Glenfarg in Bloom and the Film Club can help to contextualise and make relevant learning for children in the classroom. It can provide invaluable opportunities to help raise attainment and achievement, and contribute to the personal and social development of children.
This rationale will be reviewed annually to ensure that it reflects our deliver of Curriculum for Excellence.