Our children and learning environment are at the centre of what we do at Greenacres. Our curriculum is built on strong educational principles, and provides opportunities for our children to explore learning within a clear, purposeful context both indoors and outdoors. Embedding understanding and deepening thinking through a talk focused (dialogic) teaching approach is an invisible thread that runs through all subjects. We believe that children are owners of their learning and in order to be inspired by the curriculum offer, they need opportunities to take risks and think independently in order to build their knowledge and skills. As a school within a small community, it is essential that diversity and different outlooks are explored and celebrated in order to enrich world views. Learning is a lifelong journey and at Greenacres, we cultivate Habits of Mind to ensure that our children leave school as critical thinkers and risk takers with a love for learning.
Our curriculum is built with Reading, Talk (Oracy) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) as its key drivers, however all subjects have equal status with connections being made to support how much information is shared with children (cognitive load) and how much information children can remember (working memory). Our children are taught strategies to develop their Habits of Mind in order to be successful, resilient learners. Core texts and key vocabulary is introduced as a means to engage children in their subjects with Sentence Stems being used to support the sharing of ideas and deepening thinking. Responsive teaching driven by formative assessment scaffolds learning for our children and allows for prompt identification of common misconceptions. Greenacres teachers work collaboratively to plan and implement effective learning opportunities with a clear sequence of learning leading to specific end points linked to the National Curriculum in England.
Underpinning all curriculum development is the focus on learning, with children learning how to be successful learners. Through lesson study, talk (dialogue) and reflective practice, teachers are able to evaluate their impact and identify how to continue to move learning forward. Children’s books evidence clear progression and sequence of learning enabling them to know and remember more over time. Learning how to learn (Meta-cognition) and developing ways to remember more (executive functioning strategies) are taught explicitly throughout the curriculum to support children to retain learned knowledge and skills. As an inclusive school, our curriculum offer can be easily scaffolded and adapted to ensure it is accessible for all. Clear triangulation of all monitoring allows school leaders to measure the impact of the curriculum design in order to evaluate and redevelop where needed. Our curriculum is seen as a working document; adapted and developed over time, reflecting our ever-changing world.