We try and make the learning experiences as exciting as possible to engage children in learning. If you require further information regarding the school curriculum, please contact the school office.
The school has an explicit desire to provide a relevant educational experience for all of our children, regardless of their background, ability, gender, age or ethnicity. We recognise that all children are different and unique. Similarly, we recognise that the school has been set a task by society in general, to assist each child in his/her development towards being a responsible and well-rounded adult of tomorrow. Willow Tree strives to provide an atmosphere where relationships are based on mutual respect and the belief that all children matter. These relationships are the foundation on which our values such as understanding, tolerance and co-operation will be built on.
We believe that each child is entitled to receive learning experiences that will enable him/her to reach his/her full potential and learn the skills, which will equip them best for the challenges they may meet in the 21st century. Central to this we endeavour to ensure that all children develop a positive attitude towards learning. It is therefore important that school is a happy place and a place where every child can take advantage of the learning opportunities offered without interference from others. We will strive to ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop the qualities of experimentation, investigation and creativity. It is our mission to help each child learn how to learn and behave.
In 2014, the government introduced a new national curriculum. This curriculum detailed the learning objectives to be taught throughout Key Stages 1 and 2 with a strong emphasis on the teaching of English and Mathematics.
In order to make the Willow Tree curriculum unique we researched other successful school curricular and set out the requirements for our own curriculum as follows:
School fulfils its statutory duties and ensures all objectives are covered in a progressive and cohesive approach. This approach, specific to our school ensures breadth balance and relevance.
At Willow Tree, we wanted to define the curriculum more widely than just the statutory requirements alone. We fully encompass the 2014 National Curriculum and our own priorities such as the Creative Arts, P.E and Computing.
We have achieved our uniqueness by including the following:
Balance in the curriculum is about the amount of time dedicated to each curriculum area and how it is used. At Willow Tree, we have set a reasonable amount of time in order to meet statutory requirements.
Thought has been given to the frequency of subjects taught and whether some subjects can be taught in blocks rather than appearing on the timetable every week and the needs of our children.
Teachers are allowed sufficient time to teach and children are given sufficient time to learn.
A three step continuous cycle is adhered to (plan, teach, assess). Teachers plan lessons based on the assessed needs of the children. Subject leaders play a leading role in providing progressive long-term plans in their subject, which are then transferred to a long-term whole school plan. These plans contain the statutory coverage of the subject alongside enquiry questions and key knowledge and skills which are progressive. Class teachers write weekly plans which have clear learning objetives and success criteria which plan for progression. The school’s whole school plan reflects very well how we establish breadth, balance and continuity.
English and Mathematics are the foundations of our curriculum. Children require strong literacy skills to access other aspects of the curriculum. At Willow Tree, we prioritise reading and other aspects of the curriculum that we believe require extra time and emphasis. There may be a need for our children to have further work in English and Mathematics, this might include additional writing sessions each week, intervention and group work with teachers and teaching assistants or extra English added to the timetable across the school. Decisions are made carefully and based on evaluating evidence such as school data.
At Willow Tree, we use a range of formative and standardised assessments which gives us a range of evidence to assess individual pupils. The cohorts in Year 2 and 6 complete end of key stage assessment.