At Field Lane, our commitment to a curriculum that is rich with opportunities for investigation and problem solving, both indoors and out, enables all our young people to develop the resilience to manage life’s challenges and grow into well-rounded healthy adults with the skills they need to achieve in their chosen fields and the knowledge and understanding to become active global citizens. This exciting curriculum has a positive impact on both behaviour and self-confidence.
Emphasis is placed on how we learn as much as the learning itself. From the Early Years through to Year 6, children learn through exploring, navigating their way through problems and coming to their own conclusions. Practitioners create an enabling environment that encourages and facilitates thinking. Children are helped to identify their current thought process and select helpful strategies to tackle challenges more effectively. The concept of a ‘growth mindset’ and ‘the learning pit’ are embedded in our approach to problem-solving - adults and children alike.
Our curriculum follows a two year cycle, and an annual in depth evaluation based on research ensures that new ideas and relevant content are incorporated to keep it fresh. As a small school, this cycle enables teachers and classes to work in partnership rather than in isolation. It is essential that the curriculum is inspiring for us to teach as well as developing a passion for learning in our young people. The curriculum design is influenced by the interests of children and staff, whilst being carefully constructed to ensure that key knowledge and skills are taught systematically throughout school and across the year.
In addition to complying with the requirements of the National Curriculum and EYFS Development Matters, and with British Values carefully woven through it, our curriculum is centred around four themes. These themes are explored through the lens of carefully chosen values and concepts, relevant to our community. Every half-term, year groups focus on a main concept which is timeless, universal and abstract. This allows flexibility of content to ensure that our teaching is relevant to children’s lives and current events. As children progress through school, they will revisit the concepts but through different subject lenses.
To find out more about our curriculum, please contact Hilary Towers-Islam
I am STRONG
Healthy body, healthy mindset. We aim to develop a strong sense of self worth and identity in our children, teaching them how to look after themselves and others through a comprehensive health curriculum. In addition to an inclusive and varied PE curriculum, Field Lane offers all children a wide programme of interschool sports and activities. The children are keen gardeners, growing fruit and vegetables that are either used in our kitchens or given to our local community. Mental health and our emotional wellbeing are discussed openly, and we teach strategies for coping with everyday situations through our PSHE curriculum. Our parent-led Stigma Strategy Group is helping to raise awareness of mental health within the community. The children understand how to make sensible choices and keep themselves safe.
Related Concepts: Identity, Inner Beauty, Relationships, Safety, Protection, Change, Endurance, Emotions, Bravery, Growth.
We are TOGETHER
When building a strong sense of identity, it is important to begin to understand the connections we have with others and see ourselves as part of a larger group or community. Field Lane is a family: we champion the values of empathy, trust and loyalty within our relationships. Our success at every level and with all stakeholders, is based upon team spirit and cooperation and the safety we feel within this supportive environment. Parents/carers are our partners; as the children’s first educators, the support they offer is invaluable.
As an inclusive setting, we aim to achieve The School of Sanctuary award this year, predominantly for our work on the Carry My Story project. Understanding that we are world citizens with links across the globe and that we will get the most out of life if we connect with others no matter what our differences is a core theme.
Related Concepts: Belonging, Relationships, Community, Conflict, Responsibility, Difference, Diversity, Beliefs, Democracy, Environment, Migration and Equality.
Our aim is to make children be the best people they can be - happy, confident, ambitious and hard-working individuals with high aspirations who are willing to take risks - brilliance occurs when we are not afraid to make mistakes. At Field Lane we allocate time for our young people to make connections, ask questions, observe, network and experiment; to use and apply the skills and knowledge taught and so develop their creativity. Smart Time, based on the principles of Early Years continuous provision, promotes independent learning and allows children to follow their own lines of enquiry. They create their own projects, developing their organisational and time management skills. Our staff members are also encouraged to conduct their own research to develop their pedagogy and understanding.
Children and their parents/carers throughout school take part in programmes where they meet inspirational people from all walks of life (e.g. doctors, pilots, athletes, MPs), find out about the paths they have taken and what challenges they have faced and overcome. Our youngest children ‘Facetime a Farmer’ on a fortnightly basis; the LKS2 topic ‘Aspirations’ allows children to focus solely on understanding the journey to success; and the Y6 ‘Reach for the Stars’ programme culminates in a graduation ceremony at Leeds Trinity University. We organise a variety of visits (seaside, theatre, farms etc) and visitors to develop the children’s cultural capital. Our assemblies celebrate achievements made both at school and home.
Related Concepts: Ideas, Innovation, Exploration, Independence, Change, Notice, Aspirations, Challenge, Heroes, Choices, Dreams, Ambition, Bravery
I am RESPONSIBLE
Responsibility means taking charge of our own actions and being accountable for the things we do. Our children learn to speak with confidence to a variety of audiences (every child has to speak to an audience at least twice a year) and listen attentively to others’ points of view. They engage in debate and discussion, learning how important it is to understand a subject from different angles. Activities such as our bi-annual ‘Soup!’ events give young people the opportunity to present a campaign, debate and vote. The Carry My Story project ensures that young people explore their identity in comparison to others including refugees. We encourage children to be involved in what is happening in our local community and take an interest in world affairs, with a focus on their rights and responsibilities and the role they can play in making the world a better place.
Related Concepts: Democracy, Environment, Migration, Equality, Change
A key strategy for our success is 'Smart Time', which is based on an Early Years continuous curriculum approach. Smart Time encompasses a mixture of targeted group work and independent learning based around a half termly concept. Children have the freedom to use and apply knowledge and skills taught in discrete lessons but without the constraints of a strict timetable, allowing them to take control of their learning. This enables greater depth in learning and the development of personal style whilst nurturing a passion for enquiry. Children write scripts, poems and reports; create animations, sculptures and presentations; choreograph dance sequences and perform plays…the list goes on. Young people who may struggle to succeed in traditional lessons, flourish as they become the den building expert, the actor or the potion master. Self-motivation and a sense of success permeate these sessions.
From the continuous provision in our Early Years Unit, through to playtimes and lunchtimes in KS1 and KS2, play is seen as important as time spent on the ‘formal’ curriculum. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. Although small, our outdoor spaces have been designed to maximise opportunities for learning. We have construction areas, an eco-garden, places for dens, a treehouse, sports court, mini stage, mini road, gazebo, outdoor classrooms and mud kitchens. Flexibility in the timetable allows teachers to use this time to the greatest effect.
Working closely with families, we extend learning into homes through Class Dojo. Ideas for activities and conversations, based on classroom activities, are sent home every week to enhance the learning experience and deepen understanding. We also subscribe to a number of online resources that can be accessed at home. Parents are invited to workshops to develop their skills, for example, Getting Ready for Nursery and Reception sessions; Funky Fractions and Cunning Calculations; Phonics for parents; Supporting your child to read. We gain an insight into whether the children have learned what has been taught through what they produce and what they say or demonstrate.
Our curriculum is inclusive and designed to be accessed by all; we empower all our young people to develop their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions. It has an explicit emphasis on the development of skills and capabilities for life-long learning and for contributing effectively to society. All children will have opportunities to acquire, develop and demonstrate these skills in all areas of the curriculum in ways which are appropriate to their individual needs.