As children move from the end of Foundation Stage they start to work to the guidelines provided by the National Curriculum to provide an appropriate transition into Year 1 and then on through to Year 6 . Our curriculum is planned to make the most of the natural connections between subjects in order to embed the children’s learning in the real world. All areas of the curriculum are covered every term with a focus on progression of skills and attitudes whilst content is flexible to respond to the interests of the children or areas or issues of topical relevance.
Contexts are provided within the local, national or global communities and are reinforced by visits and trips every term and by visitors into school. Our children frequently enjoy visits from drama groups, professional storytellers and musicians. Whenever possible we take learning outdoors into the school grounds, the local environment and to theatres, places of work, museums and places of natural interest and beauty. We want our children to develop outward looking attitudes celebrating similarity and difference between peoples, places, cultures and beliefs, and a love of the creative arts.
We run an annual residential experience for Years 5 and 6, to develop their confidence and independence, as well as being able to focus on developing transferable skills of learning such as thinking skills, creativity, problem solving and collaboration. We encourage enquiry and challenge children to become independent and active learners who are happy to take risks with their thinking.
What is an Activity Passport & Why is it Important?
In 2018, Damian Hinds (then Secretary of State for Education) went around asking everyone he met what they wanted for their children. The instinctive answer that came back was never about the curriculum or qualifications, vital that these are. What they wanted first and foremost was for their child to be happy and healthy.
Mr Hinds agreed with this as a father, and as Education Secretary, that’s what he wanted for all children in this country. (Of course, he also wanted them to be safe and cared for, to have a world-class education and to make a successful transition to adulthood, to be fully equipped grown-ups, active members of society and to get a job and be able to provide for themselves and, in time, their own children.)
BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, he wanted more than that for our children. He wanted them to lead a fulfilling life, to enjoy learning, to read for pleasure, to be excited by music and drama, to be curious about the world and people around them. He regularly heard from teachers that it’s important that children have the chance to try things out, to get a taste of the world around them, to see and do things that they wouldn’t normally do, or go to places they wouldn’t normally go and to meet people they wouldn’t normally meet.
These things are important because a world-class education is about much more than qualifications: it’s also about your character and wellbeing. Character is developed from taking on challenges and pursuing our interests, by doing things that are worth doing even when they are difficult and which may not give us an immediate reward.
That’s why Activity Passports were produced. They cover a range of activities which we believe children will enjoy and can learn from.
As a school we wholly endorse this, and know that before the pandemic many of our families would have engaged in a similar venture with the National Trust's '50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ list. Therefore we have been using the Activity Passports to ensure a greater array of cultural capital for all our children regardless of their family circumstances, or indeed national circumstance!