Our Approach to the Curriculum
Our belief is that children learn best when they are happy, engaged, motivated and enjoying their learning. As a result, we provide our children with a broad, balanced curriculum which is rich in opportunities for new experiences, encounters and activities. To make learning as meaningful and as exciting as possible, we deliver the curriculum in a variety of ways. We use topics, themes and enquiry approaches where links are made between subjects to enrich and widen the experience as well as discrete subject teaching when we feel the subject matter or skills needed are best suited to this approach. We also plan whole school themes such as our Flying Forces and DNA science days and our French Artists day. We make regular educational visits out and about whenever possible, including an annual residential stay for all KS2 children
We believe that learning is a lifelong process involving family, community and society at large and that we all have responsibility to help instil this love in our children. Education is about the development of the whole person. In line with our school vision and church school status, we believe that opportunities for children to develop positive values and attitudes and robust mental health and wellbeing are as important as the development of skills and factual knowledge. The acquisition of positive values and attitudes, including our chosen twelve Christian Values and British values, is implicit in all aspects of our school life and we place real emphasis on spiritual, moral, social and cultural areas of learning in the curriculum. Our School Council is active and children learn about democracy first-hand through our council election process. We also teach our children about metacognition – learning how to learn - and we use the growth mindset ‘can do’ approach throughout our whole school community.
Our curriculum incorporates the 2014 National Curriculum and our Reception children follow the Revised Foundation Stage Framework. Reading is taught using a synthetic phonic programme called Read, Write Inc. which supports the simple view of reading and the development of essential writing skills. Bespoke topics and themes are planned by staff for their classes or the whole school. The Values for Life materials are used extensively along with the SEAL materials and peer mediation training for all upper KS2 children. This all contributes towards the children’s Spiritual. Moral, Social and Cultural development. Our curriculum also includes the use of drama and philosophy questions to stimulate deep thinking and debate.
We believe the curriculum must be tailored to suit the needs of our children as well as reflecting their rural Norfolk culture and heritage. As a result, opportunities for learning about Norfolk life and countryside traditions are included e.g. food and farming topics, farm visits, harvest celebrations, local walks, joint village hall/playgroup summer fete and joint school/church projects such as the flower and poetry festival etc. Equally, mindful of our rural isolation from the rest of the country, curriculum opportunities to learn about our national culture, society and heritage are included such as the Queen’s birthday celebration, major sporting events, General Election and the use of the BBC’s British culture and diversity materials. An extended day visit to London every other year taking in the sights including Westminster and Buckingham Palace is always a highlight.
Extended schools provision also gives our children the opportunity to enrich their curriculum through a variety of clubs and holiday activities. The school sources clubs which will keep children active and healthy wherever possible as well as giving them the chance to try new things. Children are given many opportunities to participate in a range of sports in addition to the two hours of quality PE and sport they receive each week. We regularly attend matches, festivals and competitions both locally and in the county.
Parents, carers and members of our community are actively encouraged to come into school and regularly help contribute to our curriculum whether it be through sharing their work and career expertise, giving advice, or by providing the children with support or through teaching or demonstrating a skill such as art, music, poetry, cookery or science. We run a variety of workshops for families from how to help with maths and reading to staying safe online. Every year in late September almost every family attends our grand continental breakfast café as part of our celebration of the European Day of Languages. Parents, governors and staff participated alongside the children in our Great Poetry Recital. The Friends of Forncett also provide enriching experiences for the school such as the Great Forncett Bake Off, Easter Treasure Hunt and their fundraising Fun Run.
We want our children to really love coming to school and to be curious, excited and confident about themselves as learners. We want them to succeed by making great progress as they move through the school. We believe that providing a wide, rich curriculum is the best way to achieve this.