The Curriculum at The Ridgeway
At The Ridgeway, staff provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of all pupils and teaches them the skills and knowledge that will prepare them for their future lives.
Three key elements that run through The Ridgeway curriculum ensure that pupils will be:
Pupils are knowledgeable and inquisitive. They are literate and numerate and read for pleasure and purpose. Pupils learn with curiosity; they are successful, independent learners across a range of curriculum subjects and immerse themselves in learning wherever and whenever it happens.
Pupils are powerful communicators. They listen and speak clearly and confidently, sharing their growing knowledge and understanding with a variety of audiences across a range of situations.
Pupils are successful citizens. Their growing knowledge and understanding supports them to understand their place in their local community and ultimately within the wider world. Pupils embrace and demonstrate the school values of tolerance, empathy, co-operation, kindness, perseverance and honesty. Pupils are resilient to failure and aspire to succeed, whatever their choice.
The curriculum is broad and balanced and includes the essential elements of the National Curriculum for pupils in Years 1 - 6. For pupils in the EYFS, the curriculum is built around acquisition of the Early Learning Goals. In all key stages there will be a strong focus on the acquisition of literacy and maths skills, taught directly and within other curriculum subjects so that pupils learn key skills in context. Staff will plan curriculum content so that it develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of their immediate environment and the United Kingdom in the Autumn term, of Europe in the Spring term and the wider world in the Summer term. Teachers’ excellent subject knowledge and pedagogy will ensure pupils make connections when learning, strengthening and embedding their acquisition of knowledge and skills in all curriculum subjects. The Ridgeway curriculum includes opportunities and experiences that will address social disadvantage, close gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills and allow pupils to acquire cultural capital as they move through the school. For example, pupils will enjoy a carefully planned calendar of trips and visits to include theatres, museums, places of work and worship, higher education establishments and wildlife environments. They will meet different experts in their field, such as authors and artists, scientists and engineers, musicians and conservationists. Pupils will be introduced to the opportunities available to them in the next phase of their education and in the wider world, so that they are aspirational and learn with purpose and determination.
We are very fortunate at The Ridgeway to have two forest areas and trained practitioners who can provide forest school learning experiences to our pupils. Forest School is a Scandinavian concept that promotes pupil wellbeing, self-esteem, confidence and resilience. Pupils learn in a completely different way in the forest: they learn to push themselves; to assess and take risks; to work co-operatively with others; to problem-solve and to find alternative solutions. With time and practice, these skills transfer to the classroom and on to pupils’ wider life. Forest School is a key element of the curriculum at The Ridgeway.
In the EYFS staff plan for pupils to meet or exceed the early learning goals through a series of themes within which learning is planned in line with pupils’ interests as well as their learning needs. This approach develops pupils as independent, curious learners with the knowledge and skills in place to access the National Curriculum in Year 1.
In Years 1 – 6 staff use Chris Quigley’s key concepts and milestones to ensure they plan appropriate progression for all curriculum subjects. To secure mastery and depth of understanding, pupils learn at three levels – basic, advancing and deep. In the first year of each key stage (Years 1, 3 and 5) pupils are taught knowledge and skills at the basic level. As they move through Years 2, 4 and 6 these knowledge and skills are developed and deepened so that knowledge is securely embedded and transferable across subjects and situations. Pupils are successful and confident learners.