Our curriculum is divided in two main sections; Core and Wider. The Core curriculum consists of key subjects which are taught separately; English, Maths, Science, RE, PE, Music and Modern Foreign Languages (German, French and Mandarin). These subjects take up the majority of our teaching week and have focussed time, with specialist teaching in some areas. The wider curriculum takes a topic approach, using a theme to deliver learning in all the other subject areas, but also covering skills from the core subjects.
Our focus in the mornings is on the core skills in English and Maths, so children work on Reading, Writing, Handwriting, Spelling, Phonics, Grammar, Times Tables and Maths.
In Reception classes our focus is on the Characteristics of Effective Learning, with an emphasis on relationships, independence and a positive attitude to learning. We believe that if children have these skills and attitudes then they will be engaged, motivated and successful learners. This approach is built on through our approach to the wider curriculum in the rest of the school.
The Wider Curriculum
Why do we learn? – To prepare them for their futures.
We believe that in a rapidly changing world, we need to prepare our children for a future that is impossible to predict. So we focus on the child, in order to give them the personal and academic skills and attitudes they need for their future. As we need to prepare children for occupations that don’t exist, they need to leave our school with a range of skills and love of learning that will lead them through their life. Strong interpersonal relationships and positive attitudes underpin this approach.
What do we learn? - We don’t teach a topic, we teach the children.
Our curriculum is ever changing: topics are suggested by the children so they vary each term and year. As our curriculum is firmly focussed on acquiring skills, the content can be one that motivates and engages our children, because the topics chosen are relevant to their own lives; are current, local or personal. The key skills in a wide range of subject areas, as well as personal and life skills, are built upon during their personal journey within Chester Blue Coat.
How do we learn? – With the child at the centre.
We aim to place the child at the heart of the process, taking charge of their own learning. Teachers are encouraged to develop creative approaches to ensure the curriculum is tailored to the specific needs of the pupils’ in their class. Our role is to introduce children to new ideas and allow them to explore and raise their own questions, guiding and directing their next steps while focussing on the acquisition of skills, and building their self-confidence through nurture, praise and encouragement. We help turn knowledge into understanding.
Direct experience is placed at the centre of our curriculum, enabling pupils to develop and apply their knowledge and skills in meaningful contexts. Our topic may begin with a “Wow!” factor – an interesting experience that engages and motivates from the outset or include visits and visitors. Collaborative learning is fundamental to all we do, as we expect the children to question, challenge and to formulate their own big questions, as well as work with a range of others to support their skills development. Children apply new learning independently with resilience and tenacity; developing the life skills that underpin our learning.
Where do we learn? - Everywhere
Through our curriculum, it is our intention that learning happens everywhere - home, school and the wider world.
The curriculum newsletter for each year group can be found below. For further information on the curriculum please contact your child's teacher in the first instance.
The phonics scheme used in Key Stage 1 is Jolly Phonics.