Our aim is to nurture our children so that they grow and flourish in our ever-changing world.
‘From the smallest of seeds grow the greatest of trees’
At St.Swithun’s, through our curriculum, we aim to develop the essential knowledge, skills and understanding which are the building blocks for later life. Our curriculum encompasses not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum but goes beyond the experiences of the classroom to ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide. Our aim is to enrich every child's school experience by creating an environment where they are encouraged to succeed and be the best that they can be. The exploration of new skills and experiences help to nurture resilience, curiosity and creativity.
It is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children and aims to provide opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and wider society.
We aim to reflect the needs of our children and so offer a curriculum which embraces:
- the rich diversity of children within the school to help them understand their place in the world.
- the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and the skills and knowledge which underpin them
- a sustainable future
- opportunities for children to be able to articulate and communicate effectively
Our approach to our curriculum is to teach topics which bring learning together yet still keep subjects specific.
We deliver our curriculum through carefully planned and progressive disciplinary skills, known as milestones, and knowledge in each subject. The milestones, based on the work of Chris Quigley, set out the essential coverage, learning objectives and standards which are required for all subjects. Some subjects have specific knowledge and vocabulary identified within the milestones. In addition, we have identified the key concepts which we want children to know and remember in history and geography.
One of the primary reasons we chose milestones is because they emphasise the importance of developing the depth of children’s learning. In essence, they allow them to apply the skills which they have learnt independently in a range of contexts rather than moving them onto the next skill when they have not truly mastered it.
The curriculum builds progressively on from the learning in the Foundation Stage. The milestones that are built into our curriculum begin with Milestone R (Reception), followed by Milestone 1 (Years 1 and 2), Milestone 2 (Years 3 and 4) and Milestone 3 (Years 5 and 6).
Based on the edge of Oxford, our curriculum is designed to take full advantage of the cultural and academic opportunities available locally. We embrace all that the City has to offer in terms of widening and deepening learning through trips to museums, places of worship and visitors. The curriculum also provides for the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that they are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
As well as delivering the National Curriculum, we place great importance on the following as additional ways of allowing children to grow and flourish:
- Residentials for all children in Years 2, 4 and 6
- Class Sharing Assemblies throughout each year
- Performances in Years R , 1 and 2 at Christmas and Year 6 in the summer term.
- Reception and Year 1 using our local forest to develop their sense of awe and wonder as well as a love of nature
- Leadership responsibilities for children across the school:
o House Captains
o School Councillors
o Worship Leaders
o Anti-bullying ambassadors
o Sports Leaders
- Additional learning opportunities throughout the year which allow children to understand the wider world. Examples include:
o Young Voices
o IMPS and Junior Citizen
o Supporting local, national and international charities
- PE tournaments and Sports Day which are critical to the success of our PE curriculum as they allow children to flourish outside of the classroom and to embrace competition
- After school clubs to enable children to develop in other areas including: sports and music.
Ultimately, we want all of our children to be the best they can be making a positive contribution to the world they live in.