Our aim is to develop the full potential of each and every child, to set them on a path that will lead them to become confident, self-motivated, lifelong learners. We will encourage pupils to “dream big” within our nurturing Westbury family, so that they leave us ready for life’s great opportunities.
In 2022-23 we audited, reviewed and redesigned the existing curriculum. Knowledge and skills in each subject area have been carefully sequenced to ensure that learning builds over time in a logical, progressive way. We follow the 2014 National Curriculum from Y1- Y6. The Early Years (Preschool and Reception) follow Development Matters 2021 and use it to ensure pupils are working steadily towards the Early Learning Goals. Please see the separate documents for each subject, which describe in more detail the content that is studied at all stages, from Preschool to Year Six. Specific areas of study for all year groups have been chosen to provide breadth and depth of knowledge with opportunities to apply skills and knowledge in a variety of contexts.
We recognise that learning does not just take place in the classroom and therefore offer regular educational trips to inspire and engage, helping pupils make links between their lessons with the real world. Rich experiences are not just confined to school trips offsite, we often invite visitors in to enrich pupils’ understanding of a certain area of learning (a vet, a nurse, the police) or give a talk about their area of expertise (an author, scientist, athlete).
Our curriculum has three key “drivers” that “drive” each theme: Excellence, Diversity and Sustainability. These drivers have been carefully chosen to support our school vision and the educational needs of the pupils at our school.
Excellence- Our aim is for children to dream big and to realise their potential. Through our curriculum we show them models of excellence in Writing, Art, Sport, Music for example. We also explore excellent achievements through key historical figures in our History curriculum. Children need role models and to see excellence modelled so that they can aspire and aim high for themselves. We have boards of Excellence in each classroom, in which we recognise and celebrate pupils’ achievements and hard work.
Diversity- At Westbury, the vast majority of pupils are White British. We recognise that pupils need to understand cultural and ethnic diversity to become citizens of the world. We teach pupils that the world is a rich, diverse place and not everyone believes the same or lives in the same way as they do. Westbury is a rural, isolated community with poor transport links. We talk at school about “Bringing the World to Westbury” through our curriculum. We choose historical figures and key texts carefully to ensure that pupils can consider a wide range of human experience, often within an unfamiliar context.
Sustainability- Nature is all around us at Westbury and we celebrate it. Most pupils live at close quarters to nature in the local villages, on farms or in rural locations. From Preschool through to Year 3, pupils have regular Forest school or Outdoor learning sessions which promote respect for and support a deeper understanding of the natural world. We also use our Forest School, with its pond, raised beds, wild grounds, range of trees and shrubs, for hands on Science lessons where appropriate. We build on pupils’ respect for nature to teach the broader issues around climate change, pollution and the fate of the planet in the 21st century to equip them for the KS3 curriculum and real life dilemmas.
“Dream Big” Weeks
In addition to this, several times a year, we timetable “Dream Big” weeks, where we dedicate a week’s afternoon lessons to one subject in the curriculum and plan stimulating learning experiences to deepen understanding and enjoyment. These weeks often have a local or timely relevance for the pupils. For example, in May 2023 we held a Geography Dream Big week all about the River Severn. All pupils learnt about the specific features of this local river, which we can see from our playground, and the whole school went on a walk to its banks. In November 2023 the school will be celebrating its 175th anniversary and to commemorate this we will be holding a History Dream Big week.
Curriculum Focus Days
Throughout the year we timetable particular days that we feel will enhance our curriculum; World Book Day, National Poetry Day, International Day of Maths, Safer Internet Day are all timetabled for this year, for example. The Whole school comes together to explore a similar theme around this subject.
At the end of each long term, we invite parents, carers and family members in to look through our books and celebrate our theme work with us. We also invite parents to sign up to Tapestry, the online learning journey, and regularly share photos of pupils more practical learning with parents. Parents and carers are also invited in to concerts to mark their progress with learning a specific instrument, such as the clarinet, violin or recorder. We value parental engagement in the curriculum, since it hugely enriches pupils pride in their learning when parents and carers notice and enjoy their achievements.
Please take time to read the separate curriculum areas to further understand and appreciate how our curriculum supports pupils in their educational journey.