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:
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.
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 –
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!
ARCS Curriculum provides a creative approach to HOW to learn and teach the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes.
Creativity is promoted in the following ways –
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…………………………………….
The story of our curriculum continued …………………………………
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.