The curriculum at Prestbury St Mary’s Federation is designed with ‘The Prestbury Learner’ at its core. We use the distinctiveness of each subject to develop the qualities children need to succeed and to support lifelong learning. We know our pupils - their aspirations, their interests and with this in mind, we have designed an innovative, exciting curriculum that will allow the Prestbury Learner to shine and reach their full potential. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society.
We aim to develop children’s cultural capital by exposing them to the wonders of learning, celebrating human creative achievements, both past and present, and engaging them in local and global issues. Through the Prestbury Learner, our curriculum ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health, are key elements that support the development of the whole child.
The curriculum celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain. As Team Prestbury, we celebrate our Christian distinctiveness and our six core Christian values of Respect, Love, Honesty, Forgiveness, Perseverance and Responsibility, permeate our curriculum and are at the heart of all we do.
Our curriculum provides children with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which they can learn and develop a range of transferable skills.
Running alongside a discreet, knowledge rich curriculum based on the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014, as well as a clear progression of skills, is a curriculum approach which offers the children the opportunity to explore an area of the curriculum in depth. Our curriculum provide a purpose and audience for learning, offering opportunities to learn through experience and develop curiosity and interest in the wider world. Our subjects are taught in a variety of ways: through blocked sessions, weekly sessions, focus weeks and innovative projects.
We make a conscious effort to base aspects of learning in the local community. The school grounds are being developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science. We are committed to ensuring that all learners have access to good quality educational experiences beyond the classroom walls, and for engaging in an ongoing process to ensure frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom and that opportunities are integrated into the curriculum.
Music and performance have a high profile in school and the school benefits from peripatetic teachers and a range of sporting coaches. 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, such as cricket, whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences in the outdoor environment through clubs such as Allotment.
We pride ourselves in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and 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 Prestbury Learner offers a comprehensive and progressive programme of personal strategies from Reception to Y6. The teaching team has identified three strands – Relating to Self , Relating to Others and the application of the skills and knowledge learnt in the key areas of the curriculum. Through these strands,(and utilising the qualities that can be developed in each distinct subject) we want our children to understand more about themselves as learners, setting clear goals through the Prestbury Passport.
We have developed a rigorous monitoring programme throughout the year to gauge the impact of our curriculum design. Members of the Senior Leadership Team, Middle Leadership Team, Curriculum Team and Subject Leaders, monitor individual subjects, projects and the Prestbury Learner. We review learning, evaluate pupil voice and provide feedback to teachers to move practice forward, celebrating positives and highlighting areas of development. Our whole school team strengthen our ethos and vision as we work together for the fullness of life, to reflect upon our curriculum and share outcomes driving forward next steps.
Although monitoring curriculum coverage is important, we also monitor how children are using previous knowledge to help them with their present studies and then how teachers ensure new knowledge is being retained to support future learning. In essence we monitor how teachers plan and implement the learning, what our children are learning, and how much the children have remembered what they have been taught and their ability to apply it. Alongside this, we monitor the impact of the Prestbury Learner – monitoring how well our children know their own learning strengths and areas to develop as well as how effective they are when working within a group, and the development of their social and emotional skills.
What is an Enquiry?
The word ‘enquiry’ is defined as ‘a seeking for truth or knowledge’ or ‘seeking information through questioning’. Enquiry-led learning therefore develops in young people the ability to ask questions, to research and generate useful knowledge, and to explore ways of answering the questions raised.
At Prestbury St Mary’s Federation, we devise opportunities for children to be inquisitive and curious about the subject matter at the beginning of a unit of work. One way of achieving this is to devise opportunities for the children to ask questions which then form the basis of the learning.
When starting with the children’s own questions, teachers use these to formulate carefully structured enquiry questions that are shaped around the relevant knowledge and skills from the National Curriculum. Our enquiries are designed to use the distinctiveness of each subject to promote learning.
These enquiry questions are then used to assess the children’s knowledge and understanding.
The children are also given the opportunity to research their own questions, that may not have been covered as part of the main enquiry questions. This helps maintain the children’s interest and curiosity and a sense of agency, thereby supporting our vision.