The Vine Schools Curriculum Intent
At the Vine Schools of Christian Malford, Seagry and Walter Powell, our curriculum is driven by the need to foster children’s growth in all aspects of life, including interpersonal skills and critical thinking as well as academic knowledge.
Our curriculum has been designed to excite and engage, as well as embed knowledge. We build upon our children’s prior experiences, both in and outside of school, and look to craft a clear, individualised learning journey through their time at the Vine. We sequence our learning to ensure that children reach the full breadth of coverage offered by the National Curriculum by the end of their Key Stage, as well as provide experiences beyond that.
We are drawing on inspiration from the Curriculum of Hope to create an enquiry-based curriculum to offer the children a learning journey that promotes intellectual curiosity, core knowledge and the development of key life skills. Through asking children ‘Big Questions’, we can tailor a variety of skills and differentiated tasks towards mixed age year groups, giving our pupils access to a broader curriculum that teaches children about key values.
Through direct teaching, our curriculum is designed to guide children in establishing values that are important to them. This will be facilitated by teaching of our whole school ‘GRAPES’ values, a foundation in British Values and planned opportunities to discuss and consider real world problems.
All of our teaching is founded on the National Curriculum. The Core Subjects are:
Our approach to teaching Writing in inspired by Pie Corbett’s Talk 4 Writing. Our intention is that use of text mapping and oral retelling of texts scaffolds children, providing a strong foundation to deepen and extend their writing skills.
Our approach to the teaching of reading differs between Key Stages. In EYFS and KS1, the teaching of phonics follows the Little Wandle scheme of progression, which ensures a consistent, systematic approach across each class and each year group. In KS2, we use VIPERS to teach the skills of reading comprehension, using engaging, age-appropriate texts. We also foster a love of reading through exposure to high-quality texts from our Reading Spine, and allowing children the opportunity to read books that they personally enjoy.
Our aim is to ensure a strong teaching of Maths, in line with the National Curriculum, to ensure children have the skills needed to thrive in the wider world. In the teaching of Maths, we follow the White Rose Hub scheme of progression. This provides an excellent basis for mixed-age teaching and allows teachers to plan small steps for the children, targeting the teaching towards the need in class. Our intent is that the children should be scaffolded in their learning journey through use of manipulatives and clear models, so that their understanding of mathematical concepts is secure.
Our intention is that the Vine Schools Science curriculum imparts the knowledge and skills that children need to have a sound understanding of the wider world around them. We use Switched on Science as our primary source for schemes, adapting the units as necessary to suit the needs of our mixed age classes.
- Religious Education
Religious Education is an essential part of everyday life in the Vine Schools community. As a DBAT school, we believe that it is important to give our children a good foundational understanding of Christianity and reflect the myriad religions that form British and global life. To reflect this, we source our RE teaching from Understanding Christianity and the Swindon Agreed Syllabus, so that our sequenced units offer children a depth of religious understanding by the end of the key stage.
The Foundation Subjects are:
At the Vine Schools, we believe that a strong Computing curriculum is key to developing skills for a wider, technological world. We have recently started following the Purple Mash Computing curriculum, using the excellent platform they provide to access the wide range of resources required for the skills expressed in the National Curriculum. Units are sequenced so that children encounter important topics frequently over their key stage journey, such as e-safety and coding.
The Vine Schools Art curriculum has been developed to establish the underlying artistic skills that children need as artists, as well as allow children to access a tool for expressive freedom. Units are sequenced so that children have the opportunity to hone and develop their skills, before applying them to more standalone projects, following the Kapow Primary Mixed Age Art scheme.
Our Vine School Geography curriculum has been developed with the intent to give our children a good understanding of the world around them, including key locations around the globe, natural phenomena and essential skills, such as map reading. Our curriculum progression is mapped out across key stages, so that children have access to the requisite coverage over their school career.
The Vine School History curriculum is intended to impart key historical knowledge, as referenced by the National Curriculum, as well as the skills integral to historians, such as source handling and interpretation. Our curriculum progression is mapped out across key stages, so that children have access to the requisite coverage over their school career.
- Design Technology
The Vine Schools DT curriculum has been developed with the intention of giving children practical skills for working with a range of materials, as well as the planning, design and review skills that are so essential in everyday life. Units are generally taught in blocks to allow children to make immediate review and design decisions, following the Kapow Primary Mixed Age DT scheme.
The Vine Schools Music curriculum is pitched to give children opportunity to access the musical skills, knowledge and understanding to think as musicians. We have sequenced units across key stages to provide opportunities for children to practice theory, composition and performance.
- Physical Education
Physical Education is an incredibly important part of the schools’ curriculum. Children have at least one hour of direct PE instruction a week, covering the breadth of skills and activities needed for a broad physical education, through dance, gymnastics, and invasion games. We are very lucky to work with Superstars and benefit from the experience of a highly-skilled sports coach.
- Modern Foreign Language
The learning of a Modern Foreign Language is an important part of a child’s journey to being a global citizen. At the Vine Schools, we teach French through a sequence of units planned over the range of a key stage, allowing children the greatest access to the oral and written language skills needed to develop their status as a linguist.
We believe that PSHE is an essential part of the curriculum, a vehicle through which to teach children the social skills, independent skills and wider world knowledge needed to flourish as a member of society. Most of all, we believe that PSHE should be responsive, a tool for teachers to address the development of the children under their care. Our PSHE curriculum is based on Jigsaw, with teachers taking opportunities to move within and beyond the program based on the current needs of their class.
- Outdoor Learning
At the Vine Schools, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to develop practical and interpersonal skills – one of the best ways for us to do this is through exploration of our fantastic outside areas. We ensure that children have regular access to Outdoor Learning, as a vehicle to exploring a number of curriculum objectives, including DT, Science and PSHE, as well as exploring the GRAPE values that we believe are essential to making children citizens within a wider society.