Curriculum Intent and Rationale
Whiteheath Infant and Nursery School is located in the suburban town of Ruislip, which is part of the London borough of Hillingdon. The school is set in beautiful surroundings with a fabulous range of outdoor environments such as a Forest school area, pond, growing area and maze.
Our personalised, cohesive ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum is innovative, forward-thinking and highly relevant – dealing with tomorrow’s issues today. It is devoted to providing pupils with a broad and deep level of learning, developing fully rounded individuals, fuelling creativity and resulting in positive change.
‘Learning Means the World’ reflects the real world. It is a brave, forward thinking, buzzing, relevant curriculum that promotes independence, creativity and curiosity to help pupils become collaborators, innovators and leaders.
‘Learning Means the World’ takes an inter-disciplinary approach to learning and puts great emphasis on curriculum depth. It is ‘hands-on’, ‘minds-on’ and ‘hearts-on’ and makes pupil agency a key feature of the curriculum. The thematic approach to teaching and learning is designed to support children’s natural curiosity, stimulate their creativity and promote an appetite for, and love of, learning. It offers children the chance to engage in deep learning giving them the time they need to reflect, consolidate and transfer their learning.
Our Skills Ladder is the bedrock of our curriculum model, giving a clear upward trajectory of subject-specific, skills-based learning. Coupled with a system of knowledge progression, called Knowledge Building, this ensures rigour and coverage and provides subject leaders with a clear, birds-eye view of progression. Knowledge is sequenced and mapped deliberately with six distinct fundamental learning pillars for each subject using progressive cognitive blocks. These are then applied to each thematic unit in the form of knowledge statements, that increase in complexity through the key stages and provide a big picture of knowledge progression throughout the school.
Elements such as our Catalyst Questions, Pupil-Led Activities and Essential Learning Experiences also ensure a greater depth of learning. Concept Flows give a logical sequence to learning and the Learning Pathways ensure pupils experience clear progression in the defined characteristics of effective learning.
At Whiteheath we aim to offer an outward-facing curriculum that is exciting, engaging, and interesting, empowering our pupils to become well-rounded, thoughtful individuals, aligned to our ‘We are individuals’ driver.
With this in mind, we have implemented a coherent, progressive curriculum model that is more child-centred and experiential, enabling pupils’ learning to be purposeful and relevant.
We aim to offer high quality teaching and learning for all our pupils that highlights the importance of human creativity and achievement and leads to the development of educated citizens within our own community and on a wider national and global scale.
Raising aspirations and supporting pupils’ social and emotional wellbeing is at the heart of this.
Rationale for Implementation
We use Dimensions ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum as the main vehicle for achieving our outlined intent, with a view to providing an ambitious, connected, relatable curriculum offer.
This curriculum is underpinned by four highly relevant world issues, known as the four Cs:-
We believe that communication is the root from which all learning stems, with listening and speaking forming the basis of growth and development. Our children experience challenges in communicating effectively so we need to make this a more central focus. As an accredited thinking school, we provide many opportunities for questioning, reasoning, and explaining. We set high expectations in oracy and our staff consistently model speaking in full sentences.
Communication is key to building relationships with our parents and this takes many varying forms, including newsletters and the class dojo.
We also have a thriving school council that allows our pupils to have their say. We encourage our pupils to have a voice and we value their opinions.
As part of our school values we believe that; ‘We are tolerant‘, ‘We respect others’, ‘We are individuals’ and so this curriculum allows these values to play an integral role in who we are.
It is important for our pupils to gain a wider understanding of the world and be able to question things and delve deeper into their interests.
Our culture is changing and moving towards more consistency across the whole school and we want to move forwards together. We are a ‘Growth Mindset’ school and so we are always excited to learn and develop. We want to challenge mindsets and help all stakeholders become more outward facing.
As a school, our values that run through the school include ‘We have choices’ and ‘We have rules’. Therefore, the curriculum allows our pupils to encounter many learning opportunities that feed into our big drivers in school. Moreover, all pupils will also undoubtedly encounter conflict as part of everyday life. Learning to get along with others and resolving conflict is so important in terms of wellbeing. Being able to deal positively with confrontation on a personal level will stand pupils in good stead for adult life and help them to lead happier lives. This is very much linked to improved communication skills. Effective communication is vital to working positively through conflict and we want to help our pupils to learn how to disagree well. Having a developmental understanding of conflict and increasingly recognising the impact that conflict can have on relationships on a personal, local, national and international scale, we believe, will make a difference to their own choices.
Whiteheath is an eco-school and we are passionate about instilling the importance of conservation into our pupils. In the light of this, we feel that conservation is highly relevant as a focus for our pupils’ learning.
We can’t ignore conservation. We are custodians of the next generation’s future, and our pupils need to learn how to look after the planet in the future. We want them to problem-solve and work as stewards, locally as well as nationally and globally to leave a positive legacy.
We also encourage our pupils to have high aspirations by teaching them about human creativity and achievement through additional Competency Units about famous figures that focus on Creativity, Commitment, Courage and Community.
What does the curriculum cover?
We teach Curriculum Depth
Our curriculum focuses on common attributes that ensure the provision of a deep curriculum and that underpin our thematic units:-
As well as the full breadth of subject coverage, our curriculum includes the use of a breadth of pedagogical approaches and offers a broad range of learning experiences.
To find out more about our curriculum please contact or arrange a visit to our school.