Curriculum

Tranmere Park Primary School achieves excellent results in terms of academic success. Our children make rapid progress from Foundation Stage and do extremely well when compared with national and local results at the end of Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. Our stimulating curriculum, teaches core skills in English, Maths and Science whilst actively promoting all other curriculum areas, including French which is taught from Reception through to Year 6. It is reassuring for parents to know that we have a proven track record of supporting children successfully to meet their full potential across the curriculum.

We are proud of our exciting, thematic curriculum offer; it ensures pupils transfer to High School fully equipped for the next stage of their learning and with the essential values required of citizens in modern day Britain.

Intent – What is the purpose of our Curriculum?

At Tranmere Park Primary, our child-centred approach ensures that our curriculum, and the learning that it promotes, is at the heart of everything we do. It inspires an ethos of care, mutual respect and support and, in an environment of high-expectations, it is designed to ensure that our children have high aspirations for their futures. It is planned with meticulous detail, precision and continuous reflection and is designed to engage and captivate our children whilst providing them with the transferable skills needed in later life. The children discover a love of learning in Early Years and, because of our engaging and exciting ‘Entry Points’, possess highly positive attitudes and a commitment to their education. They are intrinsically motivated and are taught to be independent, resilient and determined learners who persevere in the face of challenge. In such, it develops a culture of emotional intelligence and literacy whilst being mindful of the fact that emotion drives attention, which drives learning and memory.

It is progressive, coherently sequenced and enriching, providing our children with an abundance of opportunities to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding across all subjects; it has clearly defined ‘Powerful Knowledge’ that we expect our children to possess so that they surpass national expectations. This ‘Powerful Knowledge’ is then revisited and built upon, ensuring that practise and application are key to ensuring that learning is transferred to the long-term memories of our pupils. To further cement this, utilising theory around the 3D curriculum, it has been ordered to ensure that it demonstrates vertical, diagonal and horizontal links as we understand that: each time a concept is encountered within a different context, not only is the concept more likely to be remembered, the understanding of that concept becomes more nuanced. Thus, knowledge is intricately woven and interconnected in relation to a series of learning units which are personalised to our locality.

To ensure that all pupils reach their full potential, their individual needs and abilities are recognised and developed within a caring and supportive environment, in partnership with parents. The importance of feeling confident, whilst possessing the cultural capital required to enable social mobility, is of paramount importance. In summary, the underlying imperative is to ensure that our children have access to a full curriculum which enables them to achieve confidence and competence – ‘mastery’ – rather than failing to develop the transferable skills required in the future.

Our Children will: Our Teachers will:
  • – Largely progress through the curriculum at the same pace and differentiation will be achieved by emphasising a deep knowledge through individual support and intervention.
  • – Be intrinsically motivated – they are eager to build on their existing knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • – Ask inquisitive questions, pose ideas and be resilient to mistakes and persevere when faced with a challenge; they are unflinching when tackling multi-step problems.
  • – Achieve standards that surpass the national expectations at each key developmental phase.
  • – Possess highly positive attitudes towards their learning and will be aspirational in their goals.
  • – Be encouraged to form positive relationships with their teachers, peers and members of the school community.
  • – Diligently review their personal and professional development to ensure a high level of professional expertise.
  • – Provide a progressive and challenging curriculum which is sequenced to ensure that new and personalised knowledge is taught in each session.
  • – Identify gaps in understanding and swiftly overcome these with precise teaching.
  • – Provide the children with a calm working environment and a rich curriculum of carefully crafted lessons that ensures time for practise and consolidation.
  • – Ensure that classrooms are stimulating and purposeful learning environments that celebrate every child’s work whilst being thought provoking.
  • – Utilise precise questioning to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess pupils regularly to identify gaps in the understanding of those in their care.
  • – Provide opportunities for our children to: think logically, develop quick recall, structure their work in a systematic way, pursue a line of enquiry and to work collaboratively thus fostering an awareness of and an enthusiasm for learning that emanates beyond the classroom.

 

Implementation – How do we do it?

The Learning Journey in the core curriculum
In Reception, the children are taught an Early Years curriculum based on the ‘Development Matters’ framework. In Years 1-6, each topic begins with an ‘Entry Point’ and ends with an exit point that encourages the children to apply their understanding to a real-world context. Following the ‘Entry Point’, a progressive thread of learning (underpinned by the surgical identification of each child’s starting points to ensure that the journey towards ‘Mastery’ is individual and bespoke) will be taught to all abilities. Mastery is at the heart of our approach to learning and, TEAM, is the acronym followed in school. It has 4 key strands: Test, Essential Learning, Advance and Master:

TEST – We begin with a pre-test, where gaps are identified, and Entry Points are defined resulting in the children being placed on a continuum of learning appropriate to the unit. This identifies whether children begin their work on the basics or whether they can begin from an ‘advanced point’. ESSENTIAL LEARNING – Here, children cover the ‘Basic’ knowledge required to achieve the end of unit objectives, whilst also assessing whether previous learning was committed to the long-term memory or whether it will be revisited. ADVANCE – Children are provided with the opportunity to practise the skill independently and grapple with mistakes to ensure that we continue to build resilience; as a result, our children are provided with challenges to further progress their learning and deepen their understanding. MASTER – Following the acquisition of the identified ‘Powerful Knowledge’, ALL children will demonstrate ‘mastery’ of the knowledge via the completion of challenges, which directly link to the real-world and evidence of this journey appears on working walls in classrooms and around school. Finally, children complete a post-test to ascertain whether they have grasped the main teaching points in a particular lesson or unit of work, whether they have any misunderstandings that still need intervention and to ensure that they are ready to move on to the next learning point.
In English specifically but not exclusively, we select engaging texts and use these as the basis of our learning as reading is pivotal to our curriculum. As Fredrick Douglass once said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Therefore, we teach reading as a whole class activity and utilise ‘Reading with RIC’.

The Wider Curriculum
We are proud of our thematic offer, which ensures that our pupils transfer to Secondary fully equipped for the next stage of their learning. In topic lessons, we provide an abundance of opportunities for the children to apply all their knowledge across all subjects; we are preparing our children for life, not for end of Key Stage SATs. Our knowledge-rich curriculum is defined by progression documents that have been contextualised to our locality. Within these documents, we have outlined the ‘Powerful Knowledge’ (which is both declarative and procedural) that we expect the children to have committed into their long-term memories before they leave each phase. This knowledge has been sequenced to ensure that the understanding of our students accumulates over time; we understand that: the more knowledge throws forwards, the more powerful it is. Students who are more knowledgeable, are more capable readers, enjoy better social outcomes, and acquire new knowledge more readily. Therefore, the ‘Powerful Knowledge’ identified is intentionally ambitious to foster the best possible outcomes for all students. This full breadth of study is recorded in one book. Having a single book for the wider curriculum, ensures that our broad and balanced curriculum is ‘built in’ rather than ‘bolted on’. We are historians, artists, designers, engineers, scientists and explorers, morning, noon and night. External visits and visitors supplement the above and begin in EYFS. Furthermore, we undertake exciting and enriching residential trips from Year 3 onwards and offer challenge and themed days that allow our gifted and talented to shine: our musicians, artists, athletes and so on are afforded the opportunity to work, for a day, with a subject specialist who enriches and further enhances our offer.

Behaviour for Learning
To maximise the potential for learning, we proactively facilitate access, participation and engagement in learning by enabling teaching and supporting pupils to develop relationships with the curriculum, others and themselves. To do this, six learning behaviours are at the centre of everything that we do at Tranmere Park Primary School and these are explicitly taught. Our pupils are exposed to high-quality, meaningful experiences that are underpinned by reflective learning behaviours. These draw upon metacognitive theory and are promoted through immersive visits, off-timetable days of discovery and ‘Pupil Mentoring’ discussions around targets and progress. Further to this, ‘Muddy Puddle’ days are undertaken where the learning is taken outside, and the children use the environment to supplement their curricular understanding.

At Tranmere Park, we encourage our pupils to take responsibility for their own learning; the children learn to do this using three acronyms. TRACK ensures that our pupils, whether they are in Year 1 or Year 6, edit their own work and ensure that the basics of written English are at the core of everything we do. Using SLANT, we promote active listening and the social skills required to engage positively with their learning. The 3Cs ensure that our pupils move around school sensibly and politely.

Track every word
Read for sense
Accurate spellings
Capitals / . ! ?
Key Features

Sit up
Listen
Ask and answer questions
Nod your head
Track the speaker


Calm – we travel slowly in single file, use quiet voices and are sensible.
Careful – We check for hazards by tidying our cloakroom, tucking in our chairs and looking where we are going.
Considerate – We are respectful, mindful and thoughtful when dealing with others and ensure that we say please and thank you.

Knowledge Organisers
To ensure that our teachers are acutely focused on the quality of vocabulary that is taught, knowledge organisers have been created. These identify the key vocabulary and specific knowledge that will be acquired whilst undertaking a unit of learning. By restricting these to one A4 page, we have ensured that our teachers have thought deeply about what they want the children to learn. Our knowledge organisers are shared with the children and their parents/guardians at the start of a topic and can be used as a retrieval tool or for low-stakes quizzes. Please see examples of these below:

Assessment
Teachers use formal and on-going assessments to determine their children’s current understanding and determine their next steps. At Tranmere Park, we utilise a four-point assessment system to track pupil progress towards, and beyond, age related expectations in the core subjects. Summative assessments of the foundation subjects are made at the end of each half-term. The school assessment leader works with class teachers to identify pupils at risk of underachieving (drawn from and compared against FFT target predictions) and assists in helping to address this with quality classroom differentiation, intervention or additional support.
– Short-term assessments aim to assess the children’s learning informally on a lesson by lesson basis and are key to our curriculum. These could include observations of groups, analysis of whole class feedback, the marking of work or short tests (including pre and post unit tests), either in written or oral form.
– Medium-term assessments (PIRA for Reading and PUMA for maths) are completed at the end of a half-term and individual pupil results are placed on O-Track (a data management system). Then, using SHINE, our teachers undertake a gap-analysis of these tests to design targeted interventions. In Reception, the class teacher keeps a highlighted grid, to show progress within the age bands outlined in ‘Development Matters.’ These grids are kept in the assessment folders within classrooms.
– Long-term assessments assess our children against national expectations. These are also used to provide extra information about individual children’s attainment and progress so that the teacher can report to the next teacher and the child’s parent. Furthermore, data will be used by SLT to brief the governing body, the staff and the LEA on overall progress towards the school’s end of year targets.

Marking and feedback
Our staff provide feedback that is designed to enhance the understanding of the child and it is expected that the children respond to this. We believe that marking should be motivating, meaningful and manageable.
– Motivating: Feedback should enthuse children to strive for excellence, to improve their work, and to seek opportunities for challenge and advice.
– Meaningful: Feedback should have impact. All feedback should require children to think and/or to act; however, it is left to teachers’ professional freedom to decide on the actions required, and to assess the impact that such actions will have on a pupil’s progress.
– Manageable: Feedback must ensure impact and must not divert time away from a teacher’s responsibility to plan effective and engaging learning sessions, as it is these that first expose children to the key learning of a unit. Feedback should be a task that requires more of the learners – for whom the impact is intended – than it is for the feedback-provider.
Quality rather than quantity of feedback is key. This feedback may be verbal or written, and it is recognised that the most effective feedback is that with the greatest immediacy to the learning. Therefore, we employ a ‘Dot Marking’ system that draws the children’s attention to the error and a ‘Yellow Box’ system where the learner is provided with direction on how to improve or adapt the work.
Further to the above, on a termly basis, we undertake ‘Pupil Mentoring’. In doing so, we discuss with each individual child how they feel their learning is going, where they feel they need any additional help and the standards we expect; attitudes to learning and behaviour are graded, and this is shared with parents/guardians at the end of Term 1, 3 and 5. In terms 2 and 4, we discuss children’s progress at parents evening and, in term 6, a full report is sent home to parents.

Monitoring
Our subject leaders: provide strategic direction, support and advise colleagues, liaise with stake holders regarding progress and attainment, provide resource management and map our curricular coverage onto long-term plans. Both the subject leader and the curriculum leader/staff tutor are charged with keeping up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local level. They are responsible for keeping a portfolio of work to show the achievements at each key stage and to retain examples of expectations of attainment. To aid in the completion of the above, each subject leader, in collaboration with the curriculum leader, have created a clear vertical progression of skills outlined in their subject specific ‘Knowledge Progressions’. These are then mapped onto the long-term topic overviews. Subject leaders intend to use these, during staff ‘speed dating’ meetings (staff book slots with the subject leader to present the work that they have completed by that point in the year so that the subject leader can monitor, evaluate and provide necessary CPD), to monitor the teaching of the content in each year group.
Furthermore, subject leaders complete an annual deep dive into their discipline. They will undertake: learning walks, pupil and teacher interviews and will analyse the most recent data point to identify trends and variation. The monitoring cycle will evaluate current practice and the subject leader will be responsible for providing timely feedback, coaching and support. Finally, they take responsibility for creating visual displays and working walls that demonstrate vertical progression through school.

For further information regarding the teaching and learning at Tranmere Park, please refer to our policies.

Impact – What knowledge and skills are obtained?

At Tranmere Park, every pupil will:

  • – Make accelerated progress, irrespective of background and entry points. We have a proven track record of supporting children to achieve their potential across the curriculum.
  • – Believe that they are able and will have the resilience required to undertake even the most challenging problem. They will leave us with the passion and ability required for lifelong learning.
  • – Undertake problem solving challenges as part of a targeted teaching sequence that requires them to grapple, get things wrong, feel uncomfortable, redraft, feel success and have their moment to shine.
  • – Complete a pre-test which identifies gaps in their understanding so that we are certain about the individual goals of each child. This way, we will endeavour to achieve good, if not outstanding, progress for all. They will then complete a post-test to ensure that content has been understood.
  • – Have access to the concrete, practical resources or representations of concepts necessary to support a deeper understanding.
    Be exposed to meaningful, high-quality experiences and lessons that promote choice and independent thinking.
  • – Demonstrate in their learning and in their behaviour that they can make decisions that benefit the school and the local community.

Further to the above, our Curriculum, at Tranmere Park, is designed to ensure that each child is a confident and successful learner who demonstrates our core values:

The Team Tranmere Way
Be Yourself Be Your Best Be Team Tranmere
Our children will learn to like who they are; they respect themselves and live their lives in their own way, regardless of the opinions of others. Our children ‘give it everything they have got’ to achieve their full potential across the curriculum. Our children are a part of a community and have respect for the resources and people in it and that surround it.
Our Learning Values and Behaviours
Self-Manager Effective Participator Independent Enquirer Team Worker Resourceful Thinker Reflective Learner
Our children set their own goals and manage their own time, motivation and concentration. Our children participate in lessons and persuade and encourage others to do so. Our children set goals for their research with clear success criteria. Our children understand that we are stronger together and implement this. Our children are problem-solvers who can adapt to new or difficult situations. Our children critically analyse their work ensuring future improvements.


Find out what EYFS are learning this year.

Find out what the rest of the school is learning this year.

PSHE became a statutory subject from September 2020.

If you would like any more information about what will be covered in each class, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the class teacher at the classroom door or via the school office to make us aware of what you would like to know.

‘I really like the topics because we can bring things from home.’ Charlie – Year 3