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Evelyn CommunityPrimary School

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Curriculum Intent

                                                   ARCS CURRICULUM INTENT STATEMENT

The school has formulated its own unique curriculum entitled ARCS (A Real Life, Creative, Skills-based Curriculum).  ARCS curriculum underpins the school’s Mission Statement and vision for the future, as well as the general aims, ethos, and life of the school.

ARCS curriculum is based on a set of core values and principles.  All stakeholders played a part in designing the curriculum, i.e., children, parents, staff, governors, business partners, secondary schools, and higher educational institutions. 

ARCS curriculum design was based on a consideration of the contextual needs of families, the local context, government requirements as well as national and international practice.  Quality First Teaching is at the heart of this engaging, rich, and relevant curriculum. 

ARCS curriculum is based on the following components – knowledge, skills, and attitudes/values, and is fully inclusive in its process. 

 

 

                                              CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION STATEMENT

ARCS curriculum is designed to enable learners to acquire relevant subject knowledge which underpins the application of skills.  Knowledge and Skills are carefully and progressively mapped across each key stage and subject area.

Knowledge symbolised by a Pot of Gold

‘A confident understanding of a subject with the ability to use it for a specific purpose.’

Knowledge is taught as 12 distinct subjects with cross curricular links to apply knowledge, where appropriate.  The reasons for this choice of teaching distinct subjects was based on research undertaken by the Headteacher.  The following findings were paramount:

  • Each subject has a unique contribution to make to the individual as a person – a contribution that cannot be found in other subjects.  Each subject supports a child’s thinking, to liberate them as full human beings
  • Children need a solid understanding of subjects to make ‘choices’ about subjects in KS3 and University course choices, and children need to know they are investigating a body of knowledge in a particular subject
  • Society needs to produce geographers, historians, scientists etc.  Therefore, subjects should be taught discretely and be seen as important in their own right

 

Skills symbolised by the 7 colours of the rainbow

‘A specific ability or expertise requiring training’

7 Key Skills were agreed as –

Communication, Working with Others, Application of Number, Information Technology, Improving Own Learning and Performance, Problem Solving, Physical Agility

These were selected as being relevant for a 21st Century Citizen.  A Long-Term Plan which maps out these skills, ensures progression.

 

 

Attitudes/ Values

5 Attitudes to Learning were agreed upon called The Fantastic Five, in order to ensure children, develop a positive attitude to learning:

Optistar is Resilient and wears a star badge

Shimmer is Reflective and has a mirror

Motivar is a Risk Taker and holds a shield

Sorcerine is Resourceful and carries a wand

Unitor can Remember and keeps a pot of Knowledge

 

Related to these attributes, the school’s curriculum consists of 22 Values for Living, as follows:

Quality, Co-operation, Unity, Understanding, Peace, Honesty, Happiness, Appreciation, Hope, Courage, Patience, Love, Caring, Friendship, Humility, Thoughtfulness, Simplicity, Tolerance, Trust, Responsibility, Freedom and Respect.

Together with the 5 traditional British Values of Respect, Tolerance, Individual Freedom, Abiding by the Law and Freedom.

 

Cross Cutting Themes

It was agreed that the curriculum would have 3 specific dimensions –

  • Global – to respond to the world becoming a ‘smaller’ more ‘accessible’ place.  Each child develops to become a Global learner and Citizen.
  • Entrepreneurial – to ensure all children participate, compete, and show innovation in their futures.  They will be given opportunities to follow the school’s unique entrepreneurial continuum in order to facilitate the teaching of such skills as: writing a Business Plan. 
  • Well Being – as a response to a fast paced, pressurised society, children are taught the life skills of relaxation and dealing with challenging situations.  Peace and Harmony afternoons and P4C provide a structured approach to mental health. 

Other important aspects of ARCS Curriculum are: What constitutes being an Ideal Learner and Ideal Educator, ensuring children receive an outstanding world class education.

 

Balance of Time

In order to ensure full coverage of all aspects of the curriculum, certain subjects are ‘blocked’ for periods of time, i.e. Geography (1/2 year), History (1/2 year) which is further enhanced by activities set in enhanced provision areas, PSHCE through focused small group sessions, Technology through focussed weekly sessions 4 times a year and Computing through half termly foci. 

 

Real Life learning

A contextual approach secures an ambitious method for learning and teaching, meeting the needs of all children.  For example, School Council elections are run around Bonfire Night.  Children are taught about the history of parliament and politics.  During the week children write manifestos and all children vote in a real booth! 

 

Creativity

ARCS Curriculum provides a creative approach to HOW to learn and teach the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes.

Creativity is promoted in the following ways –

  • As part of the school ethos, e.g. explicit CPD opportunities in relation to creativity.
  • As a systematic strategy including key features of teaching and learning, e.g. time for pupils to persevere with extended learning across all subject areas.
  • Using the classroom as a creative space, e.g. careful use of colour and texture in the learning areas, external environment utilised in order to maximise teaching and learning opportunities.
  • Use of outside organisations e.g. opportunities for children to work with artists, musicians, performers, designers and other creative professionals, are promoted.

 

ARCS curriculum framework ensures all members of staff have a clear understanding of how to plan creative and challenging lessons.  It also serves as an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum for all children.

The curriculum and its delivery improves pupil outcomes on a range of measures including summative and formative assessments and the school’s own Student Exit Profile, which tracks the development of the whole child. The Student Exit Profile also places an emphasis on the school’s commitment to developing cultural capital.  Embedding cultural capital into our curriculum is a way of closing the gap between children from different socio-economic backgrounds by ensuring that children from all backgrounds have the same opportunities in society to achieve their full potential. This is achieved by annually reviewing progress towards the achievement of the SEP and identifying gaps in knowledge, skills and attitudes. 

 

The story of our curriculum so far…………………………………….

  • Regular seminars for all children and staff explaining each new aspect of ARCS
  • Consultation with parents re The Student Exit Profile benchmarking statements
  • Appointments of Experts in Residence to support the quality of certain subjects e.g. a reading ambassador and Computing champion
  • A quality Learning and Teaching Matrix – agreed by all staff
  • Implementation of High 5 groups
  • Life- long learning Foci
  • School Council views gathered on ‘What makes an Outstanding lesson’
  • Criteria agreed for ARCS curriculum learning space
  • Introduction of House Days
  • Introduction of Evelyn Etiquette
  • Inspire afternoons to promote Parental Involvement

The story of our curriculum continued …………………………………

  • Adjustments made to the Fantastic 5
  • Gathering the views of Business Partners regarding the qualities needed in their employees – to build into ARCS Curriculum
  • Research on Changing Mindsets integrated into the curriculum
  • Forest Schools activities introduced
  • Changed the language used for assessment, i.e. use of Depth of Learning Index (DOL) for core subjects and Milestones to Mastery Ladders for Foundation Subjects
  • Satellite groups to self-evaluate aspects of school improvement awards
  • Enrichment of Enhanced Provision areas
  • Expand Experts in Residence to include sports, geography, and history ambassadors
  • Examples of Mastery for children and staff in Maths and Writing displayed in the Room of Requirement
  • Online Tutorials to support parents at home
  • Master classes led by subject leaders for all teachers

 

CURRICULUM IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The success of ARCS curriculum has been recognised by various awards, e.g. Educate awards, Maths Mark, Reading Mark.

Other schools in and beyond this Authority have purchased information packs, re; ARCS curriculum, to introduce into their own school.

Pupils leave Evelyn Community Primary school with a secure knowledge and understanding of the academic content; with the understanding of how to be socially, morally, spiritually, emotionally, and culturally responsible and aware; to make positive contributions to the local community and how to endeavour to be the best they can be.  We aim for all of our children to leave Evelyn respectful, skilful, ambitious and with a thirst for life and all it has to offer. 

You can view information about each of our subjects below
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