We aim for our unique curriculum to give all of our pupils the best chance in life to make positive choices for their futures and to be well equipped to contribute positively to the society they live in.
We recognise that what pupils learn and how pupils learn is fundamental in creating, in every child, a desire to achieve the best for themselves and others, fostering a mindset of learning for life.
Our curriculum drives our ambition that every door remains open for our pupils and that no pathway to success, whatever that individual ambition may be, is limited or closed to them.
The intent of our curriculum is to promote 3 key notions:
- Culture and Community
Through our curriculum design, our intent is that children:
Embed AMBITION to succeed, for their present and future life so that they:
- Achieve academic success -not only reaching but extending potential
- Experience wider and enriching opportunities - exposing life choice possibilities in the immediate community and beyond
- Develop individual talents and strengths
- Have ambitious mind frames to reflect, evaluate and set personal targets
- Are confident communicators – with well-developed language and oracy skills
Understand the importance of well-being for themselves and others so that they:
- Develop values and morals
- Develop healthy physical habits
- Have positive mental health
- Understand how to keep themselves and others safe
Have an understanding of culture and community so that they:
- Appreciate arts and creative activity in our city and beyond, developing a sense of awe and wonder
- Value the learning and education
- Appreciate social and ethnic diversity
- Understand the heritage and values of the locality and the nation they live in
- Recognise their place in the community as a local, national and global citizen
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school. A blocked curriculum approach in which subject content, skills and concepts are delivered through holistic themes, has been implemented at the school to ensure coverage and progression in a number of curriculum areas. This approach enables project-based learning, fostering each child’s curiosity and interest throughout each topic and also enabling the achievement of depth in knowledge and skills. Opportunities to explore children’s questions and interests are planned at the beginning of each new topic and this is used to inform the learning for each topic to ensure relevance.
The school's curriculum is broad and balanced.
The curriculum provides children with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities form which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. We are committed to enrichment experiences out of school such as residential experiences and off-site trips to broaden horizons, encourage risk-taking, collaboration and self-management.
The children’s own community, its heritage and traditions are frequently used as starting points for engaging interest. The curriculum themes also ensure a wide range of cultures and communities are explored.
The school has attained the Healthy Child Quality Mark and is committed to promoting pupil wellbeing through our robust PSHE curriculum, our School Values and a Trauma Informed Schools approach.
The school’s core values are vehicles that support children’s PSHE development and are woven through all school life. Our values are:
These values are also used to underpin our Learning Mind Frames and learning dispositions that are taught, modelled and expected to be used in all learning. Children are taught what respectful learners, responsible learners, collaborative learners, thoughtful learners, ambitious learners and learners that endeavor look like across all phases and can identify when they have displayed these learning attributes or when they need to.
The school has also achieved The International Eco Schools award which recognises our commitment to ecological awareness; empowering pupils to lead change within school and have a positive impact on the wider community. The programme encourages pupils of all ages and abilities to work together to develop their knowledge and awareness of environmental issues.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our children. The school grounds have been developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science. Our Forest School area is used regularly by children from across the school led expertly by our trained Forest School teacher.
The school has an excellent choir which has a positive reputation around the city. As such they perform regularly at key events and venues including the Lord Mayors Carol service, Christmas lights switch on celebration and Armed Forces Day. This aspect of the school is enriched by links to professional bodies including the Theatre Royal, Plymouth University and Plymouth City Council. Pilgrim Primary also makes full use of the skills of other professionals; throughout their time at the school, children will work with specialist coaches as they learn football, basketball, rugby and multi skills. The school has also achieved the School Games Bronze Award.
A varied timetable for extra-curricular activities is offered by the school, with clubs that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences. Many clubs focus on being active and promote a healthy life style.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and most make very good progress in most subjects and areas of learning. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
The school’s commitment to Visible Learning supports pupils to be assessment capable learners who see assessment as a tool to accelerate their own progress. Children are given a common language of learning and the relevant tools to enable them to discuss their progress and next steps.
Communication skills are vital to our pupils. As such early assessment is the key used to identifying specific needs and our well-trained TA’s deliver high quality interventions under the guidance of our speech and language therapist. The school promotes and understands the importance of high-quality dialogue and oracy skills. We aim for all children to:
- Communicate with confidence in a climate where all ideas are valued, welcomed and discussed.
- Develop their vocabulary so that they are able to express themselves with accuracy, using words and phrases which are ambitious and aspirational in all subject areas.
- Be able to disagree with each other in a calm and polite way, explaining their reasoning and understanding that this is ok.
- Use language to express how they are feeling and discuss why they are feeling a particular way in order to ensure their wellbeing.
This approach also supports the language development of our many EAL pupils. Our EAL pupils also have the opportunity to attend workshops hosted by The Theatre Royal, Plymouth. The ‘Dare to Dazzle’ experience is a drama group for children aged 7–11 from asylum seeker, refugee or migrant backgrounds. Drama is used to explore identity, improve confidence, integration and enhance language skills – and confidence in speaking.
We also place a strong emphasis on the development of the basic skills and their application in a range of contexts necessary to be confident learners. Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. The celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further. All subject leaders are given training and the opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. It is also the role of each subject leader to keep up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local levels.
The innovative practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills both indoors and out. Our curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met by Quality First Teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s outcomes and progress from their starting points.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things. High quality visits and visitors to the school enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for writing for a purpose.
Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
Our pupils can articulate their learning and discuss the strategies they use to learn. They can articulate their next steps, the see errors as opportunities and are comfortable to say they don’t know or they need help, they know what to do when they are stuck and actively seek feedback about their learning.
Our curriculum is integral component to our achieving the overarching Vision and Aims of the school; it provides the strong foundation that enables learners to ‘Aspire, Believe and Achieve’.