Within our federation, we value the individuality of all our children. We are committed to giving all our children every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards in all that they do, underpinned by our deeply Christian ethos. We do this by taking account of pupils’ varied life experiences and needs. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum and have high expectations for all children. Their achievements, attitudes and well-being matter and we ensure that they discover their gifts and talents given to them by God and experience ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10).
Our school strives to offer a curriculum that gives children the best possible start to their education by developing their independence, curiosity, imagination, spirituality and desire to learn. We strive to value our differences within the school, the church and the wider community.
We want each child to leave our school with the best possible opportunity to live happy, healthy and productive lives and to become lifelong learners.
The schools within our federation endeavour to provide a stimulating learning environment, offering a variety of exciting learning opportunities and experiences.
We use our catchment area to our advantage; we serve the village of Barlow and benefit from our attachment to the church and the village community. However, we also serve a far wider community of pupils who travel in from Drax, Newland, Selby, Carlton, Camblesforth and Brayton.
Children are provided with a supportive and nurturing start to school in Early Years. Children begin to develop their knowledge, thinking and skills through play-based activities and focused sessions that begin to build children’s knowledge of phonics and number. The children learn to share and work independently and learn to play with others, learning about the world around them. Extra support is a priority in provision for SEN and disadvantaged children. Developing reading for all children is a key priority and this continues into KS1. Our curriculum has the acquisition of knowledge at its heart and we ensure pupils are supported throughout their learning to remember connected and essential knowledge as they progress through KS1 and KS2, incrementally building their long term memory. Lessons are planned so they do not overload pupils’ working memory and a mastery approach to deepen learning is applied.
This focus on pupils knowing more over time is aided by planning sequenced programmed work units with regular revisits and recalls integrated into planning to support the development of pupils’ long term memory. Pupils know how to complete tasks and apply skills and link knowledge to solve problems. Learning is enhanced by special events and visits but the maximum impact on learning progress is secured by carefully planning events within a sequence of work. We are beginning to embed this knowledge-rich approach in foundation subjects. We believe a broad curriculum with depth should give equal value to each foundation subject. Planning differentiated lessons to meet the needs of all groups of children and disadvantaged and SEND pupils is a key principle in our approach and extra resources are used effectively to support closing individual learning gaps faced by disadvantaged and special needs pupils.
Creativity is a strong thread that permeates our curriculum. Teachers plan opportunities in all subjects for pupils to think in different ways, find different solutions, create original designs, make links and connections between subjects and information, and imaginatively use and apply knowledge. This is often achieved by teachers responding during lessons to thoughts and ideas that are provided by pupils from their learning.
Assessment is an integral part of planning and teaching and learning. Our learning culture is built on assessment for learning and the belief of the vital importance of questioning when providing feedback. A range of assessment is used to check children’s progress through the school.
We believe our curriculum prepares our children well for their secondary education and has inspired them to find out more about the world around them. We aim to provide our children with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life. This capital is introduced and supported through the wide range of experiences and opportunities we provide. Our inclusive culture and ethos is built on respect and consideration of all others and, with a predominantly White/British context, we promote the rich diversity of Britain. This is a school that values the voice of all children and really does listen to their views. We encourage our children to actively take part in their local community and help them begin to understand the importance of being a good UK and global citizen. Performing in music, drama and sport activities are highly valued as part of the broader curriculum to enrich the knowledge and skills taught in subject lessons.
The health, safety and well-being of all our pupils is of paramount importance. We encourage our children to experience a wide range of activities during the school day and at the end of the school day. Our provision is designed to prevent our children spending too long on computer games and tablets.
At our school, we follow the National Curriculum and strive to enrich the curriculum wherever possible. Our children are taught in classes, small groups or individually, according to their needs, within the framework of the National Curriculum. A variety of teaching styles are used in school, based on good practice and teachers continually reflect on their teaching. We are always seeking to innovate where appropriate, to maintain high standards and provide the best in primary school practice.