At Great Torrington Bluecoat C of E Primary School we aim to provide a rich, vibrant curriculum which inspires all our pupils and maximises attainment. Our school ethos is centred around the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ and the philosophy that “at the heart of the educational process lies the child”. Our provision is child centred, creative and innovative, fostering curiosity and a love of learning. As a school we look to the future and aim to prepare our children to be resilient, reflective learners able to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world. We strive to create future leaders and global citizens who are equipped with a broad knowledge base, critical thinking skills, respect for others, self-belief, empathy and integrity.
In order to achieve this we have created a dynamic and innovative, globally thematic, skills based curriculum which meets our statutory obligations and engages and excites our learners. The curriculum has been designed to develop basic skills in the core subjects, stimulate interest in the world in which we live and develop the essential skills for lifelong learning. Our curriculum builds on the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage and is centered around three curriculum teams. Each team is linked to a key curriculum driver and all are underpinned by Building Learning Power (BLP).
The curriculum drivers are areas that all stakeholders involved with the school value; they give focus to learning opportunities and are embedded throughout teaching and learning, developing the child as a whole. Working with the pupils, staff and school community we have created a four year rolling programme which consists of twelve inspirational, broad, overarching themes which are relevant and maximise opportunities for depth of learning. Each unit of work is built around a ‘Big Idea’ which is created to enthuse the children and provide a meaningful context for their learning. There will also be a linked ‘Big Event’ which will provide ‘hands on’ experience and an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the theme. As pupils progress along their learning journey they will focus on key texts which will help to fully immerse them in their learning. We encourage parental participation and integrate publication and celebration of learning into our topic outcomes.
We feel passionately that it is important for our children to grow up knowing about the world in which they live and developing an understanding of their responsibilities as global citizens. Therefore each year group also has a global partner country which they will learn about in depth and a partner school which they will communicate with. Our curriculum provides our pupils with opportunities through each theme to examine a range of global issues relevant to their lives in the real world.
Our approach to the curriculum is closely linked to our teaching and learning pedagogy. We place emphasis on the voice of the child and the contributions of the community in which our children live; thus promoting the development of a spiritually, vibrant learning community, to which all members contribute, within which all feel appreciated and valued, and through which all are empowered to excel.
Learning in Depth
At Bluecoat Primary School, our pupils follow a broad programme of study designed to maximise creativity, critical and collaborative thinking, global awareness, and depth of learning. One feature of our rich and diverse educational experience is the Learning in Depth (LiD) programme which has been rolled out across Chapter Three. (Find out more about LiD here)
Where it started for Bluecoat
LiD started in January of 2015 at Bluecoat with a group of twenty pupils in Year 5. It was a big success. At the end of that year we reflected on student learning—especially what we learned of student knowledge and progress through their “video diaries” and online portfolios. We decided to offer LiD to all pupils in Year 5 and 6 starting in the Autumn of 2016. Now there are more than 160 children participating in LiD.
Mr Thomas, previous Deputy Headteacher at Bluecoat, wrote article about 'Recommendations for Running a Successful Learning in Depth Programme'. To read the article, click on the link.