The Grove Junior School
Dark Lane
Harpenden
Hertfordshire
AL5 1QB
Tel:01582 760031
admin@grovejm.herts.sch.uk
March 17 2022

Curriculum Statement

Giuseppe Loporchio

The Grove Junior School

Respect, Responsibility and Resilience

Our Curriculum Statement of Intent, Implementation and Impact 

Intent

At The Grove Junior school, we ensure that we offer a broad and balanced curriculum to its fullest potential. We draw upon the school’s values of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience, referred to as ‘The Three Rs’ in all aspects of our curriculum and continually strive for opportunities to make cross-curricular links and to embed SMSC in the ‘diet’ of learning that we offer to our pupils. The school recognises that we have an ever-changing cohort in terms of ethnicity, cultures and additional needs and so we want to ensure our curriculum caters for this and offers diversity whether this be through how we celebrate the Chinese New Year or Eid, amongst other examples. We have a strong commitment to equal opportunities, providing the best possible chance for pupils to thrive and engage with their learning both within and beyond the classroom and to equip them as learners ready for the next phase of their education. For example, the school ensures that pupil premium funding is used effectively so that access to high quality instrumental lessons is not dependent on economic background. We understand the importance of our learners being able to make a flying start to Key Stage Two. The school ensures that any vulnerable children are identified early and good provision is put in place in conjunction with strong relationships being nurtured with families through the use of the school’s pastoral support. The school recognises that some of our pupils join our school having had rich experiences and that some may not yet have had these opportunities. Therefore, we have a curriculum that has impactful and embedded opportunities for cultural capital, so that we can extend the learning experience for all and allow for each child to receive enrichment.

Implementation

The planning and delivery of subjects is led by curriculum leaders and has been designed so they are at least as ambitious as the national curriculum requirements and wherever possible we have sought opportunities to make our curriculum more challenging. For example, in Computing, the school uses Purple Mash and has embedded further opportunities for the children to learn about coding by using Scratch for our Year 6 learners and allowing the pupils in Year 3 to be able to apply coding knowledge to programmable devices.  We also have extended the online safety content to include termly assessments using Google Workspace so that teachers can identify gaps and address these. The school uses the Herts Essential curriculum for maths, writing and spelling. Teachers use a whole class teaching approach for reading to allow for all children to be given the opportunity to access stimulating and challenging lessons that stretch them and create inquisitive readers and to allow for guided practice that reaches all learners. We put an emphasis on classrooms having working walls to allow for thorough modelling and to enable the learners to use this to scaffold them. In maths, teachers use manipulatives and pictorial representations effectively to provide a concrete approach and to allow for a better understanding of the abstract. In Science, practical investigations are given a priority and lessons are designed so that child-led enquiry is incorporated. Teachers use formal assessments each term to support their summative assessments and to provide additional evidence for formative ongoing assessment that allows gaps in learning to be narrowed and eventually closed. To help support wellbeing and reduce childhood obesity, Physical Education is given a high profile both within and beyond the timetable. Indeed, the school uses ‘My Personal Best’ vocabulary from The Youth Sport Trust to complement The Three Rs and this is referred to in assemblies, collective acts of worship, during break and lunchtimes and throughout lessons. Our planned spiral curriculum of the foundational subjects ensures that there is the opportunity to embed understanding of key transferable concepts supporting pupils’ learning as they move across the key stage. Curriculum leaders understand the importance of providing extended writing opportunities in different subjects and not just English. For example, in History, the curriculum has been designed so that key vocabulary is introduced frequently and revisited and learners are able to apply this in their writing whilst demonstrating historical skills and knowledge. Teachers and leaders make sure that learners with SEND are supported through quality first teaching. The school uses pupil passports to identify barriers to learning and offers strategies to support with removing these as much as possible. The Groverneers, our school council, strive to be ambassadors for the school and are role models for others in how they demonstrate The Three Rs and work with the community to raise money for charities such as Toilet Twinning. They also visit The Houses of Parliament to learn about democracy and how our government is structured. The school has cultural capital opportunities planned for each year group that are designed to further engage the pupils with their subjects and allow for secure knowledge. For example, Year 3 visit Celtic Harmony when learning about The Romans, Stone Age and Iron Age, Year 4 have an immersive Ancient Egyptian day, Year 5 participate in a residential trip to York when learning about the Vikings and Year 6 visit Whipsnade Zoo for living things and habitats in science.

Impact

The impact of our curriculum is that the majority of pupils leave The Grove Junior School with skills and knowledge in line with national curriculum expectations, not only in the core subjects but across a range of subjects. We are particularly proud of our achievements within music and sport.  For example, our P.E. curriculum is ambitious, well-resourced and planned and is delivered through excellent teaching. As a result, our children are able to represent the school frequently in events such as netball, table tennis, hockey, cricket, football and boccia. In recent academic years, our teams have won the boys’ table tennis tournament at county level. Our ethos in providing high quality sport is reflected in our enrichment provision where children have further opportunities to participate in clubs such as badminton, lacrosse and cross country. All of the pupils would have been given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, sing in the school choir and go to the annual Harpenden Spring Festival, swim 25 metres, create Stone Age pottery, learn to sew, represent the school at county level sports and participate in Bikeability. The children would have been given the opportunity to be a Mental Health Champion, Play leader or Peer Mediator at lunchtime, become a Groverneer and participate in purposeful and engaging trips. The vast majority, if not all of the pupils at the school, will leave Year 6 not just as secure mathematicians and creative thinkers but also feel they have been supported and nurtured, valued for who they are, given the opportunity to make a contribution to the school community and equipped for secondary school.

 
 
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