Core Values and Aims
We believe that each Class Teacher, with support from their class teams and subject specialists are best placed to design an individual curriculum to suit either individual pupils or groups of pupils within their class.
The most effective and powerful curriculum is one that is flexible, allows for responsiveness and continually changes through evaluation.
Each learner is unique and staff are able to create a motivating and progressive curriculum based on individuals’ interests and needs.
Termly themes are planned (based around National Curriculum expectations) which encompass all areas and are chosen to stimulate pupil motivation and enhance their interest.
Our approach to each curriculum area is described below:
Our teachers aim to develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum.
Our curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development– cognitively, socially and linguistically. We understand that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.
Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently. As they move up through the school students learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. This will enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.
English is taught as a separate subject during Literacy lessons and as an integral part of all other subject lessons. During Literacy lessons pupils work towards individual or group targets in reading, writing, and speaking and listening whilst experiencing the full range of literature set out in the National Curriculum.
Emphasis is placed on the development of communication throughout the entire school day. A range of additional systems is used at Cedars with those pupils who require extra support in learning to communicate. These include signs, symbols, and pictures and sometimes technological aids. The use of these systems gives pupils a means of developing concepts, knowledge and understanding within the curriculum and then communicating their learning to others.
Our teachers aim to develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. Pupils are supported to read with increasing fluency, to understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and be encouraged to read for pleasure. Cedars aims to promote wider reading. We provide targeted reading intervention and set ambitious expectations for reading at in school and at home.
At Cedars we see Mathematics as a creative and highly inter-connected discipline. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.
Cedars mathematics education aims to provide a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
Decisions about when to progress in mathematics should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
The principal focus of science teaching in the primary school is to enable pupils toexperience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them.
Most of the learning about science is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there also will be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
We aim to develop inquiring minds so that children may explore their surroundings in order to understand them and to devise their own strategies to help them solve problems. Pupils also have the opportunity to work independently and cooperatively to share ideas, formulate hypotheses and modify their thoughts in the light of experience.
The programmes of study for science are set out year-by-year, class by class for key stages 1 and 2. Within each key stage, our teachers have the flexibility to introduce contentearlier or later than set out in the programme of study.
Humanities (History & Geography)
At Cedars we believe that quality humanities education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world, its people and history that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
The curriculum equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Teaching aims to equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, historical times, resources and natural and human environments, and of the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Pupils have opportunities to learn about local, national and other countries and cultures world-wide. We also aim to ensure that pupils gain knowledge and understanding of the environment and in particular their city by providing them with a range of concrete experiences that can then be further developed in the classroom setting.
For our students learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures, it fosters pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world.
Achievement in literacy and communication is a key priority for our school and our strategy for languages is designed to promoting a model of language learning which develops generic language learning skills and understanding of how languages work. The prime aim is to enable our students to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
This emphasis on communication, including language learning’s important role in the education of the ear’, underpins children’s capabilities in oracy, which is critical to effective communication as well as a key foundation for literacy.
Cedars students face a range of learning difficulties and barriers that require effective learning opportunities delivered in a variety of interactive ways to stimulate their minds, their enjoyment and sensory needs.
For many of Cedars students traditional paper and pencil methods for recording can be both difficult and demoralising.
Appropriate IT offers students a chance to be more independent and record their work and thoughts in a variety of ways. Computers and iPads can promote independence, can be used successfully by children with a range of sensory impairments, can provide alternative ways for young people to demonstrate their understanding, and can enable exploration, synthesis and modelling of an amazing number of situations and emotions.
At Cedars we understand that a high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.
Cedars physical education curriculum is designed to inspire all pupils to succeed and excel in sport and other physically-demanding activities.
Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build confidence, character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. Our curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils: develop appropriate competence to enjoy a broad range of physical activities; are physically active for sustained periods of time; engage in competitive sports and activities; lead healthy, active lives.
Art, Craft and Design
Our art and design curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
Design and Technology
At Cedars we aim for design and technology to be an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Our music education is designed to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
At Cedars we believe that PSHE is a curriculum for modern life.
Our PSHE curriculum aims to provide our young people with both the knowledge and skills to manage their lives, stay safe, make the right decisions and thrive as individuals and members of society.
It provides children with opportunities to develop skills and qualities such as resilience, leadership, communication, empathy and perseverance. At Cedars we understand that children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social and school wellbeing will achieve higher academic attainment.
Religious Education (RE)
At Cedars RE is an imaginative and creative subject; it makes a strong contribution to our pupils’ well-being and social skills.
There is an emphasis throughout the school on values and the learning in RE supports and helps develop our ethos. Our curriculum is designed to support children to explore RE in a way that values their powerful life experiences.