Our school, our curriculum
Our aim at Lower Heath is to enable everyone to flourish and achieve their ambition and to ‘let their light shine’. Our broad and balanced curriculum is driven by our school vision in the context of an enabling culture and ethos founded on our Christian values. It is built on the principles of:
- Inclusivity: accessible for all, to support children to develop as successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens
- Excellence – through support and challenge, children will overcome barriers to pursue excellence in all they do.
- Ambition – takes into account the context of our school within a local, national and global perspective
Strive for a curriculum that is accessible to all and develops the whole child. It nurtures spirituality, curiosity, creativity and enjoyment. Our golden thread of ‘Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging’ weaves through all areas of our curriculum. This enables children to secure knowledge and skills and deepen their conceptual understanding.
Challenge and support children through high quality teaching and learning to enable them to be the best that they can be. A wide range of learning opportunities foster children’s love of learning and intrinsically motivates them to succeed. Our lessons challenge, support and enable children to overcome barriers and encourages a lifelong love of learning.
Ensure our children are responsible citizens who take a keen interest in current affairs. They will take action when faced with inequalities and injustice and be valued for who they are as aspirational and ambitious individuals.
Our children are taught to understand that learning is a lifelong skill; one that makes a difference to their lives now and in the future. Ensuring that our children are active and involved in their learning, enables them to achieve to their highest potential in all aspects of their education.
We base our curriculum on our Christian Values: love, respect, faith, thankfulness and fellowship. We make constant and meaningful connections between these and the children’s learning.
Love: “Love is patient, love is kind” 1 Corinthians 13:4
Our curriculum teaches children how to show each other and themselves kindness and patience; an important part of developing positive mental health. They examine times in history and individuals who have shown (or not) love, and the impact this has.
Respect: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” Matthew 7:12
Our curriculum content develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the modern world, along with past events, enabling them to better understand and respect everyone and to celebrate spiritual and cultural differences.
Faith: “Faith can move mountains” Matthew 17:20
Our curriculum supports our aim of ensuring children have a strong sense of faith in their own abilities and in God to support them. It provides all learners with a range of experiences and cultural capital to enable children to identify their talents and to ‘Let their light shine’.
Thankfulness: “There’s always something to be thankful for” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Our curriculum encompasses opportunities for children to show thankfulness and help others, developing skills and motivation to become good future citizens. Our Courageous Advocacy activities highlight how they can use their voices to support those less fortunate than themselves.
Fellowship: “Encourage each other and build each other up” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Our values based curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs or disabilities. Curriculum coverage fosters children’s sense of belonging and pride in their school and community and also to broaden their horizons, ambitions and aspirations.
Our Christian Ethos
As a Church of England school, we have strong links with the local Church – Fauls Holy Immanuel – where we visit for special services and learning opportunities. Our Christian ethos also runs through all areas of our curriculum and our daily Collective Worship allows time for reflection on each week’s theme, local and global current affairs and the British Values we uphold.
All children participate in a range of sporting, creative and musical activities. In addition to our wide ranging curriculum lessons, we have offer a variety of lunchtime and after school clubs to broaden their skills and enjoyment such as sports clubs and outdoor learning through Shropshire Wildlife Trust.. We hold The School Games Gold Kite Mark, recognising the quality of our PE offer and extra-curricular sporting opportunities. External music providers, Music Heroes, visit school weekly to provide additional music lessons in keyboard, guitar and woodwind instruments.
Our pupils also take part in outdoor activities and relish all outdoor learning opportunities. The whole school access our ‘Allwood World’, our fantastic Forest School area, developed in conjunction with our community. All children take part in ‘Daily 15’ to improve their fitness and mental health and children in year 4 upwards take part in residential visits.
All year groups make at least one trip away from the school premises or invite a special visitor in each term to extend their learning, as well as to have fun and to take part in enriching experiences. These enrichment activities cover the full range of curriculum areas for example visiting Xplore! Science Discovery Centre in Wrexham and the Shrewsbury Muslim Centre.
“In the embrace of nature, education flourishes and inspiration blossoms.”
As a small, rural school, we are passionate about outdoor learning and have an outstanding Forest School provision called Allwood World. All children take part in outdoor learning weekly with our trained Forest School leader.
Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
Forest School has its roots in Scandinavia; it arrived in the UK in 1993 and has grown from strength to strength since then.
The process helps and facilitates knowledge-gathering but it also helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks. Forest School therefore, helps participants to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners.
There is lots of research out there to support the outcomes of Forest School, but we know that it isn’t just the educational outcomes and research that matter, our children love it too!
Our golden thread
A Golden Thread in our curriculum is a big, transferable idea that has a real world meaning and helps children make sense of the world around them. This thread can be revisited within and across year groups so that children can build upon their existing knowledge. At Lower Heath, and as part of the Marches Multi Academy Trust, we have the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) Golden Thread.
In this thread, we develop a culture of inclusion for all where everyone feels proud of their identify and is able to participate fully in school life. We investigate discrimination through history and encourage children to be change agents through Courageous Advocacy. Children address prejudice and bullying and support others to reach their potential. Children learn about the concepts of democracy and power. They develop an understanding of authority and justice. Our sports premium ensures all children have access to after school clubs and a range of sporting activities.
Vocabulary across the curriculum
Vocabulary is a matter of word building as well as word-using. At Lower Heath, we believe that deliberately building vocabulary is one of the most important things we can do as teacher. Within our curriculum pathways, all subjects have a progression of skills documents, and this includes vocabulary for each year group. Teachers use these to plan how to teach the vocabulary within a progressive model. Vocabulary closes the gap for disadvantaged and it deepens knowledge for all.
The real power of knowledge organisers is that they make us think hard about what we are going to teach. At Lower Heath, we use knowledge organisers in foundation subjects to ensure key knowledge is identified and informs teaching plans. Research suggests that one of the most important principals of psychology is that knowledge builds on knowledge. The more you know, the more readily you can learn something. We believe that knowledge organisers should contain important material to be learnt and mastered. This is the minimum that needs to be known, rehearsed, and stored over time in the long-term memory in order for pupils to become fluent.
To find out more about our curriculum subjects, please click on the icons below:
Other Useful Documents