Shebbear Community School is committed to ensuring the best possible provision for all of our pupils. In the last two years we have undertaken a comprehensive review to ensure that our curriculum is meeting the needs of all our learners and will ensure the best possible outcomes for the children. It has also taken into account the class structure changes that took place at the start of the 2021/22 school year.
Intent: At the core of our school curriculum is the desire to ensure all of our pupils are well prepared both for the next stage of their learning journey and for their future adult life. To this end, we believe that it is essential that children develop a strong base of knowledge and skills to support them in the future.
At the core of this are good literacy and numeracy skills which will be gained through strong teaching of mathematics and English. Children will both learn the knowledge and skills needed to be confident in both disciplines but also the ability to apply these in different situations and contexts.
We want all children to be fluent and confident readers so that they can use this skill to read widely and access knowledge across the curriculum. Through this, they will be able to improve their vocabulary and give them confidence to extend themselves when writing or talking to others. We want children to have access to a wide range of books and authors.
However, the school does not want the curriculum to be narrowed so that mathematics and English dominate to the detriment of other subjects. We recognise that the other subjects within the national curriculum can inspire children in their thirst for knowledge and provide opportunities for children of different talents to excel.
We recognise that it is vital that children acquire a strong knowledge of scientific concepts and have the opportunity to hypothesis, experiment and learn how to draw a conclusion to support their findings. Similarly, we want the children to develop strong ICT skills not least the ability to code effectively. We believe that children with a strong base of knowledge and skill in these STEM subjects will be well placed in the future job market. With the increased opportunity to work remotely, having strong coding skills (as an example) may allow our pupils to attain employment without the need to be displaced from their local Devon community.
We want children to be inspired by learning about the past, the world around them (both locally and further afield) and different faiths and cultures. We are mindful that Shebbear is quite remote to the rest of the country but we don’t want our children to be denied the opportunity to learn about 21st Century, multi-cultural, Britain including how it was shaped in the past, the influence it has left in other parts of the world and what it may be like when they become adults. To this end, we try to use every opportunity including assemblies and pockets of time during the school day to teach the children about news and current affairs so they have an increasing knowledge in the world in which they live.
While we want the children to learn about the wider world, we also want them to understand the local area in which they live. Shebbear is located in a rural area and while we want the children to appreciate that other places are very different to their home. We also want them to understand the contribution Devon makes to wider society, particularly through agriculture, both now and in the past. We want the children to understand and appreciate the local environment in which they live as well as knowing they have a contribution to make in protecting this and the wider environment in the future.
We want children to be fit and healthy and enjoy being active. Children should have the opportunity to learn about eating in a healthy way and understand the importance of exercise in staying fit and well. We want the children to enjoy playing sport both through their lessons and in after school clubs. Similarly, we want the children to have the chance to take part in competitive sport so they appreciate the enjoyment of winning but can also learn how to be gracious losers.
The school wants all of our children to be mentally as well as physically healthy. The curriculum should support this both through its teaching and the support put in place for the children who need it. The children will be taught to keep themselves safe including online. Similarly, we wish to fully embrace the new relationships education which will become a statutory part of the curriculum in September 2020.
We want the children to develop an appreciation of the arts and have the opportunity to create artwork, design products and make music. Likewise, we want the children to have the opportunity to learn about famous artists, designers and musicians as well as having the chance to do this in person through visits to galleries, concerts, theatres and museums. Indeed, the school will also strive to provide a range of enrichment visits and visitors to engage children in their learning. Likewise, we want the children at Shebbear to have the chance to learn a foreign language and converse with others.
Part of the challenge will be ensuring that children are able to retain and use the knowledge which is imparted. The school will consider teaching styles and research on the most effective strategies taking in to account the theory of cognitive load.
As well as the specific knowledge content, we also want our provision to support children in developing key life skills. We want children to leave us as kind and thoughtful young people who are confident in themselves and can show a high level of resilience when tackling any task. Above all else, we want children to have high expectations of themselves and aspire to do well in all they do.
Covid-19 – As a result of the extended school closures over the last two years, the school is mindful that some children may have fallen behind in key areas. The aim is to still provide a broad, knowledge based provision but one that ensures key basic skills, particularly maths and English, take a priority to ensure that pupils do not fall further behind thereby denying them access to the wider curriculum. Our provision will be continuously reviewed and updated to take account of this.