The Spinney Primary School is in the heart of Cherry Hinton, an area with a rich social and culturally diverse community.
At The Spinney, the uniqueness of every child is recognised and valued. As such, our curriculum embraces the community from which it exists, recognising and celebrating the diverse backgrounds and experiences from which our children originate. We constantly adapt our learning journey to meet the needs and interests of our children, offering an outstanding education underpinned by a broad, culturally rich and powerful curriculum to ensure that all pupils are well equipped for the next stages in their education.
We define the curriculum as the totality of every planned experience and interaction that the children encounter every day they are the school, and includes safeguarding, academic content, recruitment, trips and visits, and the development of certain characteristics and virtues that we believe will support the children to live well-rounded, fulfilled and happy lives.
Our aim is to provide all children with the foundations to flourish both now and in the future and this underpins everything we do at the school, including the academic content. To ensure that we are able to deliver on this aim, we have established clearly defined end-points for each subject.
The Spinney Primary School Curriculum Map defines the journey that children will experience across their seven years of at the school.
It is being designed to provide children with a secure grounding within each subject and thus deliver on our aim of ensuring that all children are provided with the foundations they need to flourish both now and in the future.
We have also produced clearly defined end points for each subject, which we feel will enable children to move forwards into secondary education secure in their understanding of certain essential facts and principles regarding a subject (what is termed the substantive’ knowledge); whilst also striving to ensure that children will be familiar with the ‘rules’ and conventions that govern the different subjects (what is termed the disciplinary knowledge).
Our teaching across the school will aim to ensure equity of opportunity and provision: inspiring children with the awe and wonder of the world around them, and the fact that knowledge can be constantly reviewed, discussed, challenged and applied, however they see fit. We will seek to exploit opportunities to enrich the curriculum content through trips, visits and presentations from experts in a range of fields, and constantly support the children’s development of the virtues and characteristics that we feel are essential if they are to meet their potential.
It will also ensure that the statutory obligations that we have under the national curriculum are met.
The Spinney Vocabulary Pathway has been designed by the staff at the Spinney Primary School with the explicit intention of ensuring equity of opportunity and provision for all our children in order for them to acquire a sufficiently rich vocabulary, enabling them to be successful and skilled readers. This will, in turn, drive their academic achievement and their increasing cultural literacy.
The Spinney Vocabulary Pathway is designed in line with the principles contained within Bringing Words to Life (Beck, et al., 2013), which uses a system of categorising words according to the frequency and utility.
Consequently, Tier 1 words are the most basic type, which typically appear in oral conversations, so that children are exposed to them at high frequency from a very early age. As they rarely require instruction and attention to their meanings in school, they will not feature in the Spinney Vocabulary Pathway.
Tier 2 comprises wide-ranging words of high utility for literate language users. They are words that are more characteristic of written language and not so common in conversation. Typically, in the vast majority of cases, Tier 2 words will be introduced during English lessons, and then reinforced throughout the school day. They will also be the focus of the Spinney Vocabulary Pathway.
Tier 3 words have a frequency of use that is quite low and often limited to specific topics and domains. The instruction around Tier 3 words will, therefore, take place within domain specific lessons as outlined in the wider curriculum.
The research available emphasises the need to ‘seed the environment’ with selected words in order to maximise the children’s ability to truly understand a word’s meaning. Therefore, there is a requirement for adults working with the children at the Spinney to promote and accurately use rich and sophisticated language across a range of contexts – with the express aim of enabling children to convey and understand ideas and concepts. This will require a whole-school approach, and also the support and involvement of key adults in the children’s lives.
Please take a look at our Class pages, where we share our Medium Term plans that have more detail about our curriculum.
More information about each subject is available in the subject's own page. The links are below.