Our curriculum is rich and varied. It includes lots of interesting and stimulating activities to help us learn!
We look after our chickens as part of our learning to care for animals. We are fully trained and very knowledgeable!
At The Willows, we are passionate about providing all of our children with a creative and exciting curriculum which captures their interest and inspires them to learn as well as achieve highly.
We have updated some of our curriculum units to ensure they are more relevant to our children and context.
The key is to get children engaged by a theme or concept. We aim to “hook them in” with a memorable experience. This may range from a trip out, a visitor in or just some inspiring activities within school. The children are asked lots of questions to find out their interests and to spark their curiosity.
During this stage, the children explore themes, concepts and subjects in greater depth. This is the children’s opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge through a range of challenging activities which enable the children to make progress and develop their confidence across a range of subjects. Our “topic” work encompasses: history, geography, art and design and design technology but our staff are very skilled at making strong links with other curriculum areas e.g. Maths (Roman numerals), English (recount about a trip) and Science.
This is where the children are offered a range of stimulating scenarios, many of which can be found on the innovate boards (which are a great starting point for staff too!) These act as provocations to encourage the children to think creatively. It is an opportunity for our children to work both independently and as part of a group.
This is one of our priorities this year as it is not only the children’s opportunity to reflect upon their learning, it is their chance to explain/share their learning in lots of different ways-thinking about audience and purpose. This could take the form of a presentation within class, teaching another year group new skills and most importantly parental involvement. It’s paramount that our parents and carers have a shared understanding and appreciation of the work their children have done and that they get a real sense of their progress and achievement.
Our Outdoor Learning Area
Children at the Willows are provided with lots of opportunities to learn outdoors as well as indoors. Our school quad is fully equipped to facilitate continuous provision so that the curriculum can be extended outside. Our fairy Quad Mother, Louise Dagnall has worked really hard forging links with our Science curriculum around plants, animals and their habitats (Yrs 2) and with our topic work e.g. colours(Nursery) allotments (Year 5) and using the produce in the quad to make a range of dishes linking to our cookery work within design technology (Year 6). She has had whole class story sessions out there and used the quad as a stimulus for English e.g. Jack and the Beanstalk whereby the children grew their own beanstalks (Yr3). Louise has also developed community and parental links by holding open events during the Summer such as, pumpkin carving for all the family. She has even brought the staff together with a wreath making event near Christmas.
We also support therapeutic interventions at lunchtime for those children who benefit from a calm space in the outdoors where they can nurture and grow things as well as develop a sense of responsibility by having to look after plants, veggies, the chickens & conduct vital maintenance.