'Excellence Through Outdoor Learning'
At South Molton Community Primary School we use a creative and knowledge based approach to learning. Using topics mapped to the Primary National Curriculum, we ensure that there is a comprehensive coverage of the national expectations.
Our curriculum is delivered with knowledge at its core while providing a detailed menu of exciting and engaging learning, making creative links between many aspects of our children’s learning. Where appropriate, we align the different curriculum areas, which enables children to make connections between their learning, build comprehensive schemas and provide them with the knowledge to enrich their experiences across subjects. Our outdoor learning opportunities play a key role in developing the children’s curiosity, through the promotion of discovery, experimentation and use of their imagination, the children learn about and connect to the natural world while exploring environmental factors.
We realise that children have a diverse range of skills and interests and we have developed a broad curriculum to allow all children to achieve and experience success. Our carefully planned topic based curriculum promotes and values the arts as an integral part of learning. Children are prepared for life in modern Britain through exploring the values of tolerance, diversity and democracy both in our own community and further afield.
We believe all children should have an intrinsic enthusiasm and desire to come into school each morning and that this is our role: to build an environment where all the school community feel safe, happy and inspired to come together in a shared love of their school, to build on successes and bask in the shared energy and joy that those bring. For the staff and pupils alike, we want to wake them up to what they have inside and instil a deep love of learning, ensuring they have an ambitious, immersive and holistic experience at school so that they can thrive in their futures.
Our curriculum is designed to encourage children to become lifelong learners who are enthusiastic and engaged by their learning. Through weekly Outdoor Adventure sessions children use our varied outdoor learning environments to develop creativity skills, learn about the environment and get close to nature. The Ultimate Adventure Award teaches children to be ambitious, take risks and to embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process. We actively encourage children to develop their resilience, inquisitiveness and challenge themselves. This positively impacts on children’s well being and mental health. Children are taught how to be healthy and active through our comprehensive PE curriculum which ensures each child receives at least 3 hours of physical activity each week and has the opportunity to represent the school in both competitive and non-competitive sports events. Children are encouraged to develop healthy lifestyle habits through the daily mile run, an extensive variety of lunchtime activities and after school clubs.
All children regularly engage with the community including visiting residential homes and taking part in community events. We hold regular cross age activities which give children the chance to work with other children of different ages whilst developing and encouraging their creativity skills. The curriculum is enriched by a structured programme of school trips and residentials, which help children develop their independence and challenge themselves. The school is run with an environmental ethos at its heart and children learn about protecting the environment through our half termly ‘No Electricity’ days and our Eco-committee play a key role in decision making for the school. We hold regular careers events to inspire children and ensure they leave the school with aspirations for the future.
Our curriculum is designed to nurture children through their primary years and ensure they leave our school confident about the next stage in their educational journey. Children’s emotional well-being is at the heart of everything we do and the curriculum has been carefully planned to support physical, mental and spiritual well-being. There is an emphasis on building healthy, respectful relationships, particularly in the context of families and friendships, including online. This is a thread that runs through the curriculum: from collaboration in family groups to team building during outdoor learning. The aim is for our children to understand the benefits of healthy relationships and how to develop their own interactions with family and friends, alongside recognising unhealthy attributes and how they can be supported if problems arise.
Children use journals to record their learning from a range of subjects including English, Geography and History. These journals allow the children to make valuable links between their learning, which enables vocabulary, knowledge and skills to be sequentially and coherently built up over time. This acquisition of transferable knowledge means children can confidently transition between areas of the curriculum, continuously having opportunities to retrieve information with the aim of committing learning to long-term memory.
Fundamentally, the main aim of our curriculum is that it has a positive impact on our children, not only in terms of academic progress but also socially, emotionally and ultimately enabling them to live successful, happy and prosperous lives within the local and global community.
We want our children to be well-rounded and have a sense of complex values such as equality, empathy and trust. We hope to build resilient learners who relish challenge and persevere when faced with difficulties. Within our outdoor learning and Ultimate Adventure Award activities, we want all of our children, regardless of background, to have opportunities to engage with meaningful life-building tasks that will enrich both their school and home experiences. Above all, we want to see the children thrive in a wholesome environment that caters for a range of interests, both within and outside of the classroom.
By having high standards, we strive for children to attain in all subjects in line with or exceeding the age related expectations and, through an inclusive curriculum, support those that need extra help to succeed through targeted interventions. We ensure staff are secure in their judgements: understanding where the children are in their learning journey, where they need to be and how to get them there. Through a variety of both formative and summative assessment strategies, teachers form reliable views of their classes and individuals and understand how to move their learning and understanding forward. The curriculum is delivered by dedicated teachers in collaboration with pupils, parents and carers. All children will be catered for within the inclusive curriculum and access will be tailored to individual needs.