Our Curriculum Vision
Kerr Mackie Primary aims to provide a creative, inclusive, challenging and real-world curriculum that inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates and supports high quality learning. To ensure that all learners exceed their potential academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually with their families, in their communities as in the wider world ensuring that they become ambitious life long learners.
Our curriculum aims
Kerr Mackie Primary is a happy and healthy place to learn. View our whole school aims and ethos.
Like all schools in England, we must follow the National Curriculum – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-primary-curriculum – it sets out subjects and content which we must teach. Within this, however, there is flexibility so that we can interpret and plan to meet the needs and interests of our children now and for the future. The key aim for all our teaching and learning is to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn, to enjoy and to achieve.
To provide a vibrant, happy and safe environment in which all people can share positive experiences and feel valued
We encourage and stimulate the best possible progress and the highest attainment for all our pupils. Our curriculum builds on pupils’ strengths, interests and experiences and develops children’s confidence in their capacity to learn and work independently and collaboratively.
To assist everyone in acquiring the skills to learn independently, interdependently and work as a team
We place great importance on the skills of literacy, numeracy, information and communication technology and problem-solving. We promote skills that help our learners to improve their own learning and performance and that help them to work well with others. (See separate section below.)
To help each child adopt healthy lifestyles with a sound knowledge and understanding of the factors that affect their physical and mental health and emotional well-being
We place a high priority on developing pupils’ physical skills, self-esteem and emotional well-being. We encourage them to recognise the importance of pursuing a healthy lifestyle and keeping themselves and others safe. We promote happy, effective relationships that are based on respect for themselves and for others.
To help each child develop a good understanding of right and wrong, respect and treat each other as equals and become decent and responsible citizens
We do this through teaching knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society and of the local, national, European, Commonwealth and global dimensions of pupils’ lives. We want everyone in our school to understand and appreciate their own and different beliefs and cultures, and how these influence our communities.
To encourage confidence and high aspirations so everyone realises their full potential and talents
We provide rich and varied contexts for pupils to acquire, develop and apply a broad range of knowledge, understanding and skills. Doing so enables our pupils to think creatively and critically, to solve problems and to make a difference for the better.
To provide experiences that enable pupils and staff to develop tolerance, perseverance, determination and resourcefulness
We promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and, in particular, the differences between right and wrong, and that we have rights but also responsibilities. We want everyone in our school to be responsible and caring citizens who make positive contributions to communities.
Kerr Mackie Pedagogy
Kerr Mackie Primary prides itself on its entirely inclusive pedagogies. The main pedagogy at Kerr Mackie is called Immersive Learning. Please the photos of our classrooms under the Year Group pages. This is a hugely engaging approach, which ensures all our children succeed and love to learn. It consists of the following strands:
Environmental Stimulus-This is a key teaching approach that promotes engagement for all learners. At Kerr Mackie Primary we use the environment to enrich a child’s experience by promoting the stimulation of the senses. The classrooms have a variety of flexible learning spaces, which allow children to feel empowered to make daily decisions about where and how they would like to learn, therefore engaging them further.
Project based learning – is a teaching method in which pupils gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Project based learning involves several skills and stages to embedded; an essential question, 21st century skills, in depth enquiry, student voice and choice, learning for purpose and authentic audiences. The projects are also centred around the 6A’s, which ensure that the projects are as successful as possible; Authenticity, Academic rigour, Adult connections, Active exploration, Applied learning and Assessment practices. All of these skills and aspects ensure children are engaged in learning to the highest level possible.
Critique-Critique is embedded within the culture of Kerr Mackie Primary School. The children are empowered to complete multiple drafts of work to ensure that they are proud of their learning and that it is of the highest quality possible. Children are asked to follow the three main rules when completing critique sessions; be kind, be helpful and be specific. The children are enthusiastic about making their learning the best it can be.
At Kerr Mackie Primary School we also aim to ensure that the children develop key deeper learning skills for future learning and life experience. Our aim is that when children leave Kerr Mackie Primary School they are able to: problem solve, communicate, reflect, be curious and creative, articulate, analyse and evaluate and collaborate effectively.
To meet the requirements of the National Curriculum, all classes in Key Stage 1 and 2 follow set, pre-planned projects; there are three main projects and some mini projects during the year. We also offer after-school clubs and other extra-curricular activities – encourage your child to join in!
The ‘Immersive Learning’ approach to the curriculum which we follow at Kerr Mackie Primary means that wherever possible, we group our subjects around a broad theme. The topics we choose depend on three factors:
- the content set out in the National Curriculum for each of the subjects
- the interests and needs of the children
- the core values of our school,
For example, the project ‘Why was it dangerous to go to hospital?’ in Y2 covers lots of Science in the National Curriculum and provides opportunities for our pupils to develop skills in other subjects. In History, for example, children will use artefacts, pictures and online sources to learn about a significant person from Britain who had an impact on medicine and hospitals.
The National Curriculum sets out the minimum content. At Kerr Mackie Primary, we make sure children learn lots of additional skills, knowledge and understanding. For example:
- we offer a range of after-school clubs and opportunities– these extra-curricular activities go beyond the statutory requirements
- if a class or group show an interest in a particular subject, teachers will try to include this in the school year –
- current local / national or international events can provide a great basis for learning – the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire was a good example
Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ within a topic and so these subjects are usually taught in a discrete way. Religious Education does not usually link with a topic and so it’s taught separately. Not everything in Maths links effectively with a topic and so this often runs separately, but is taught by the same teacher and links are made whenever possible.
Our curriculum is a creative, skills-based curriculum.
- Creativity = imaginative, purposeful activity + originality + with value
- Core skills = communication + mathematics
- Supporting skills = ICT + improving own learning and performance + working with others + problem-solving + working with others
Creativity is important so our children are really engaged in their learning: we want our English, Maths and topic lessons to be inspiring, challenging, enjoyable and relevant to the pupils. Skills are needed so that our children can become effective, life-long learners and successful, happy citizens. The skills feature in all subjects; they are sometimes the primary objective of a lesson whilst at other times skills are developed more implicitly.
Communication is a two-way process. We communicate ‘outwards’ by speaking and writing, and we receive communication by listening and reading. In all our teaching and learning, we aim for our pupils to communicate orally to a high level, and so we place a lot of emphasis on all forms of speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing. In this increasingly information-based world, we also want our learners to evaluate information critically rather than believe everything they come across without questioning. For example, children at Kerr Mackie Primary School frequently compare different websites or books and decide which are better, and why.
Maths is a key skill. We all need to be able to perform simple mental maths skills; understand functions of a calculator and interpret the results; read and question data we see in tables and graphs; tell the time… There are many areas of everyday life in which we use mathematical skills without realising. In addition to this, Maths gives us the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills and apply logic and reasoning. We don’t think it’s acceptable for anyone to have poor numeracy skills and so we’re constantly thinking about how to develop this core skill in our topics and not just in a Maths lesson. (It’s worth remembering, too, that research shows the better a person’s numeracy skills are, the more likely they are to earn more and manage their finances better!)
Science is a core subject at Kerr Mackie Primary School. As a school the staff work hard to provide the children with a variety of activities that involve lots of scientific experiences. The children are encouraged to think and investigate in a number of ways both with the support of adults and independently to develop their knowledge. Science is delivered with a very ‘hands-on’ approach and is very practical allowing the children to think scientifically, broaden their own thinking skills and at the same time develop their understanding of the different scientific concepts.
At Kerr Mackie we believe in preparing our children for a technological future. We believe that technology, already merged with our ethos, pedagogy, vision and immersive environments, will give our children a relevant and successful education which will enhance their learning opportunities. This will develop individuals and prepare them for the technological future in their everyday and working lives. We also aim to provide children with Design and technology skills that will ready them for future jobs and provide life skills. Children have stimulating and exciting DT projects that enhance the children’s learning.
At Kerr Mackie Primary School, we aim to provide a stimulating and enriching humanities curriculum. The humanities consists of Geography, History, Religious Education and Modern Foreign Languages. We aim to provide a curriculum which informs the children of previous historical events, ensures geographical and environmental understanding and provides them with a rich cultural, moral and spiritual understanding of the world through the teaching of Religious education and Modern Foreign Languages. Teaching is stimulating, exciting and provides the children with key life skills such as teamwork, empathy, communication, language, thinking and independence skills which will develop your child both academically and socially
At Kerr Mackie Primary School, children explore a wide range of skills and media through a range of approaches to the creative arts. The arts are a form of celebration, communication and expression. Drama, music, dance and art help children to develop self-awareness and confidence and to acquire empathy, teamwork and listening skills. Participation in the arts develops gross and fine motor skills and can be used to support all other areas of the curriculum. At Kerr Mackie Primary School, we offer a curriculum rich in the arts, inspiring and nurturing each individual, raising self-esteem and confidence.
At Kerr Mackie we endeavor to promote the importance of Physical Education and a healthy lifestyle to all our children across the school. All children have at least two hours of PE per week, one hour outdoor, and one hour indoor. We also encourage participation in a wide range of our extra-curricular activities and also through the local competitions we partake in throughout the year. The school has recently invested in high quality training for all teachers delivering PE within the school. We offer a range of engaging, creative and exciting PE lessons giving the children the opportunity to learn and try new things, gain physical skills but also develop their skills of sportsmanship for future life.
The children’s economic understanding is also developed well through the enterprise aspects of our curriculum, which we strive to ensure they participate in throughout the year. We encourage them to work toward their personal aspirations and goals to develop self-esteem, confidence and a love for learning. These lifelong learning skills are developed through the use of project based learning. Some examples of this have included; fundraising to save Oakwood Clock, designing and organizing a Spring Fair to raise funds for St. Gemma’s Hospice.
Improving own learning and performance/Learning Powers
At Kerr Mackie, we recognise that our children must be able to initiate, engage, persevere and reflect in all their learning. We want our pupils to be able to work independently without close supervision. We often, for example, incorporate independent research on a subject that they want to find out more about. Children then might present their findings to others.
Working with others
Working with others is a life-skill that will help to prepare our pupils for their future. Just like adults, children need to be able to cooperate and compromise, agree and sometimes constructively disagree, help others to learn and learn from others.
Problem-solving and thinking skills
Another aim of our teaching is to build children’s confidence to investigate and find solutions to problems and to think for themselves. There are many ways to build up skills in this area. For example, we might do this through lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement, teaching step-by-step problem-solving techniques, and indirectly by using role-play or other realistic problems to reach agreement.
Every child at Kerr Mackie receives home learning each week. The home learning is tailored to the needs of each child and will be adapted on a regular basis. The home learning is used to support and apply learning each week in class.
Please refer to this link regarding project based learning http://www.innovationunit.org/sites/default/files/Work%20That%20Matters%20-%20Teacher%27s%20Guide%20to%20Project-based%20Learning.pdf
Please see the curriculum newsletters under each Year group tab.