What are our Curriculum Drivers at Powell’s?
At Powell’s we believe that our curriculum should offer children not only the national curriculum but life skills and rich experiences beyond this.
Alongside teaching the requirements of the national curriculum, key drivers have been identified to help embellish the curriculum based on our children’s needs. We use these 'drivers' to underpin the learning and experiences we offer to ensure our curriculum is enriched, ambitious and tailored to the needs of our children.
These key drivers underpin our learning and are developed through the school, in all areas of learning: Resilience, Ambition, Locality, Vocabulary and Diversity.
Resilience means having the skills and resources to deal with challenges and barriers. It is a key life skill to learn that is based on your emotional strength, that will be necessary and tested throughout all of our lives.
Our children will develop the emotional and physical security needed to become resilient individuals who are able to deal with different challenges across the curriculum and in the wider world, by thinking positively and having the confidence to persevere.
This is a recent specific focus for our school following the impact of covid19 on our children. We found that following home learning, the children’s resilience, stamina and ‘have a go’ attitudes have been hugely affected, so therefore have chosen this as a key focus throughout our curriculum.
Ambition is the hope, desire and aspiration to strive to achieve something; to be the best they can possibly be and to challenge themselves as a learner. The driver of ambition encourages children to produce work of high quality, take pride in themselves and be the very best that they can be.
We also ensure that our curriculum is aspirational; we want to ensure that everything that the children are learning, and being exposed to, is the ‘best of the best’. This core driver will help inspire and empower our children to go on to be the best they can be and with ambitious targets for what they can achieve in life.
As a school we are incredibly fortunate to be based in the heart of Cirencester. We are situated in the centre of a beautiful historical town with the most amazing school grounds, that include an orchard and our own forest school area. The town itself provides us with opportunities to visit churches, the museum, library, leisure centre, park areas as well as lots of other fieldwork opportunities.
We ensure that our curriculum celebrates these local resources to help the children have rich first-hand experiences. This secure knowledge provides a basis for their learning so that comparisons and links can be made as the children widen their experiences of the world in all subjects.
We want to ensure that children leave Powell’s, ‘secondary’ and ‘life’ ready, and do all we can to help them succeed. There is a huge wealth of educational research that shows that the levels in children’s vocabulary are indicators for academic success. By having a drive to widen the amount of words each child knows, the impact for these children will be huge; not only will it help improve their attainment levels but it will ensure children leave Powell’s with secure word knowledge and therefore confident when undertaking both spoken and written tasks.
Many of our children start school with large banks of vocabulary which helps ensure that they have a high starting point. As part of our ambition for everyone, it is important that these children with high starting points are further extended and challenged. Equally for those children who start school with a smaller vocabulary bank, we want to ensure that they have equal opportunities to their peers. By valuing vocabulary and ensuring its prominence in our curriculum we hope to help ensure that all children leave Powell’s with a wide and rich vocabulary ready to tackle the secondary curriculum and beyond.
Although Cirencester is a wonderful resource for many subjects, we recognise that it is not reflective of the wider, much diversly richer, make-up of the United Kingdom or the world. We want to ensure that our curriculum is diverse and goes beyond the children’s everyday experiences. With this experience and knowledge, children leave Powell’s educated about the wonderful richness there is in the world, so they are respectful to all and celebrate diversity.