Our curriculum is designed to enable learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy.
We believe that, through adopting the Commando Joe Character Curriculum, we have developed a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
At the heart of our Commando Joe Curriculum is instilling RESPECT in each of our pupils:
Through following the cross-curricular links, our Character Curriculum ensures that children are gaining all the necessary skills and attributes they need to be successful learners and members of society, whilst also learning the skills set out in the National Curriculum.
As Bandura, 2000 explains, ‘confidence is learnt, not inherited’ and it is this confidence that we must harness to help children achieve within the classroom.
We believe that building the confidence of our children before they leave is of utmost importance: children with high self-esteem are better able to make difficult decisions under peer pressure, approach adults for support and be self-sufficient in their learning. We believe that our curriculum develops this resilience through many activities; including being part of a team, performing challenges or having a leadership role.
At Loxdale Primary School we passionately believe that all children should have equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Our curriculum is designed so that subject specific skills are taught within an exciting cross-curricular topic each term. Hooks, enrichment activities and extra-curricular opportunities supplement each topic to enable our children to make connections in their learning and acquire a deep understanding. We teach our children that learning occurs everywhere, at all times, and we utilise our outdoor environment to enhance the curriculum wherever possible.
We believe that our school has a responsibility to develop cultural capital and we therefore teach our children the skills and knowledge that will enable them to succeed in life. Each year group will design a bespoke Cultural Capital Journey, whereby children will take part in a range of activities linked to our 7 core values. Part of this Cultural Capital Journey is to use educational visits to provide rich learning experiences that make links with their learning in school. Residential visits in Year 2 and Key Stage 2 further enrich the curriculum as well as developing a sense of wellbeing beyond the classroom walls.
Given that we value our children holistically, we ensure that entwined throughout our whole curriculum are the characteristics of learning, which enables our children to leave Loxdale with a healthy growth mind-set, ready for the future.
As part of our topic curriculum, children engage in planned Commando Joe missions, which provide an opportunity for them to develop the specific CoJo characteristics. We have found that this is a fun and innovative way to allow the characteristics to become embedded and our children to flourish.
At Loxdale, we are committed to building emotionally resilient individuals. To help do this, there is a CoJo characteristic focus each week, where the pupils are encouraged to demonstrate and develop these particular skills through all aspects of their learning. During our weekly achievement assembly, we celebrate those individuals who have been most successful in demonstrating these attributes. This provides an opportunity to embed a culture of celebrating all achievements for every child, not just academic gains and inspires children to work hard and recognise their talents and successes in all areas of their learning.
In our school, we believe that family and community engagement is key. We welcome families into our school to work alongside their children through Stay and Play sessions in EYFS and curriculum enrichment projects in Key Stage 1 and 2, such as our ‘Terrific Topic’ sessions, which are a key feature of our curriculum. To forge links with the local community and showcase our curriculum achievements, Key Stage 2 children regularly visit the local Residential Home to partake in intergenerational work, thus giving our children a real sense of pride and personal achievement. In addition, we regularly invite local residents, governors, theatre companies, emergency services and members of local faith establishments to work with our children to enrich their experiences. We are also committed to fund raising and community work and help local charities such as The Well, using the curriculum to generate donations led by children in our School Council and PAWS (Parents Active Within School) team.
In reading, we teach VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summary) in order to cover the key skills children need to become great readers. To ensure the consistent teaching of phonics, we use the Read Write Inc. Scheme. Children have access to high quality reading experiences through a well-stocked school reading library and teachers also ensure that children regularly read at home and in school. We ensure that children who fall in the lowest 20% of each year group for their reading ability are monitored and supported rigorously to ensure that, by the end of Key Stage 2, all children can comprehend and read fluently. To supplement VIPERS, we also ensure that there are engaging texts, pictures and extracts linked to the year group specific topics.
In writing, children learn to become great writers through experiencing quality texts and visual stimulus. As children move into Key Stage 2, they study a new book each term which they use to generate high quality writing opportunities. In Key Stage One, we teach writing using Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ approach, employing the three stages of imitation, innovation and invention to a range of non-fiction and fiction genres. We link our writing context to our curriculum topics and aim wherever possible in order to find a real life purpose for children’s writing to enthuse and engage them further, such as the use of the ‘BoomWriter’ writing platform in Key Stage 2. We explicitly teach cursive handwriting from Early Years onwards.
In maths, children develop mathematical skills through a consistent mastery approach using the White Rose Maths Hub Scheme. They are taught mathematical concepts through a Concrete, Pictorial Abstract approach and become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice, moving onto reasoning and problem solving.
Our 7 core values drive the curriculum in order to ensure that our children are prepared for the future and able to succeed in life. They are tolerant, caring individuals with a strong moral conscience, who are resilient to the influence of others and make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community and wider world. They take risks and are emotionally resilient, recognising that we often make mistakes and learn from them. At Loxdale, the children understand that sometimes a ‘FAIL’ is just a ‘First Attempt In Learning’ and our children persevere and do not give up. They dream big and have high aspirations, fostered by the belief that with determination and hard work anything is possible. Through exciting curriculum design, pupils acquire a deep body of learning over time and make interconnected links to their prior knowledge.
If you would like any further information about our curriculum please feel free to contact us.