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Curriculum

Our Vision

Knowledge Through Nurture

 We Value:

 We want our children to:

 We will:

  • working together
  • our children
  • our community
  • parents
  • our staff
  • our differences
  • independence and determination

 

Problem-solving teaching.

  • have a sense of achievement
  • believe in their own potential
  • value and respect each other
  • develop resilience
  • be inspired
  • learn life skills
  •  

 Problem-solving children.

  • provide academic excellence
  • treat every child as an individual
  • recognise and celebrate success
  • provide a safe nurturing environment for all children

 

 

 

 Problem-solving learning.

We honour in everything that we do the 6 principles of Nurture;

  1. Children's learning is understood developmentally
  2. The classroom offers a safe base
  3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  4. Language is a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. The importance of transition in children's lives

As a Cooperative Trust we honour the cooperative principles;

  • Equality Make sure we are socially and academically inclusive, and that we teach respect and tolerance.
  • Self-help Encourage independence in our children’s problem-solving skills.
  • Self-responsibility Ensure our children understand the balance of rights and responsibilities.
  • Democracy Ensure we listen to our children, our School Council, our parents and carers, our staff and our local community, and hold elections and votes in school, so children experience the democratic process.
  • Equity Encourage children to recognise the need to contribute to, as well as benefit from, school.
  • Solidarity ‚ÄčEncourage all our community to work together and our children to work as a team, supporting one another and taking pride in their school.

Our Intent

We use the Harmony Project as the basis of our Curriculum and our Curriculum planning; https://www.theharmonyproject.org.uk/

“Putting sustainability and Nature at the heart of learning

The Harmony Project aims to transform education to ensure it is fit for purpose in preparing young people to engage with the environmental and social challenges we face, not just to pass exams. We work with educators to develop learning that is based upon a deep understanding of, and connection to, the natural world – learning that will equip students with the skills they need to live more sustainably. “

A curriculum that has knowledge, skills and vocabulary at the heart of their learning through enquiry based learning

  • The principle of the Cycle; Opportunities to embed basic skills and knowledge and find ways to deepen or improve our understanding of what we learn. 
  • The principle of Diversity; An understanding of how important it is to appreciate and preserve diversity in all. 
  • The Principle of Interdependence; A curriculum that responds to findings from pupil feedback and school data to ensure it is bespoke to their needs and reflects the ever changing world, locally and globally 
  • The Principle of Adaptation; Developing resilience, perseverance, challenge and support so they have the confidence to aim high and aspire to more 
  • The Principle of Health; A curriculum that helps children to know how to live healthy lifestyles – both physically and mentally 
  • The Principle of Oneness; Spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences threaded through all we do which will facilitate them with all they need to face the any and all futures 

And

  • The Principle of Geometry; A rich curriculum that enables pupils to see the world from a wide range of perspectives 

Implementation

The Harmony Project

Enquiry Based Learning

The word ‘enquiry’ is defined as ‘a seeking for truth or knowledge’ or ‘seeking information through questioning’. Enquiry-led learning therefore develops in young people the ability to ask questions, to research and generate useful knowledge, and to explore ways of answering the questions raised.

Enquiry-led learning is joined-up learning

In its delivery, enquiry-led learning brings together different subject skills and knowledge and applies them through the project being explored. This approach leads to more discerning learners, to people who ask good questions. If we are to create a healthier, more sustainable future, we have to question and challenge the status quo of what we currently do and look for ways to improve it. This could be at a school or community level or even at a global level through projects that focus on issues that connect students around the world.

When students learn in this way, it is, of course, likely to impact on their thinking and actions as they grow into adult life, too.

In each year group, there is the opportunity to teach six enquiries of learning per year – one each half-term. These enquiries can be focused on projects linked to history, geography and science so that two history, two geography and two science projects are covered each year.

Capturing students’ imaginations

The next step is to think of a question – an enquiry question – that encapsulates the essence of the enquiry and gives the students a way into the learning. An enquiry question might ask students Why are bees so brilliant? or What journey does a river take? The enquiry question might prompt more in-depth reflection and debate linked to global issues – for example, Is Antarctica worth protecting?

We carefully plan each enquiry of learning using the following stages:

The Harmony Principles

There are seven principles of harmony that we will reference in our work and they are:

The Principle of the Cycle – Nature works in cycles

In learning about natural cycles, we want our pupils to learn how we, too, need to design similarly cyclical systems if we are to create a future where there is no unwanted waste or pollution. It is essential to a sustainable future in a world where finite resources are precious and in which we need to reduce our consumption, re-using or recycling as much as we can.

Linking learning to the seasons, connecting what is happening outside the classroom to what is being taught inside the classroom, is a good starting point. The more they can be part of creating cyclical solutions – for example, managing the recycling of food waste back into compost – the better.

From the point of view of learning, we know the importance of revisiting a concept or a piece of work. When we look at it again from a new perspective or in a new light, we can find ways to deepen or improve our understanding of what we learn.

The Principle of Diversity – Diversity is a strength

At Southborough we focus is on helping pupils realise that the world has the most incredible diversity. In learning about this diversity, they understand how important it is to appreciate and preserve it.

There are many ways in which we can highlight this diversity, from recognising the uniqueness of each member of a class, to celebrating the extraordinary biodiversity of the rainforest, to learning the different species of trees in a local woodland or even the different types of bees in a bee colony. Where there is space to grow food in school grounds, there is the opportunity for students to learn that there are different species of the same fruit or vegetable, be it an apple, a pear, a carrot or a potato.

The Principle of Interdependence – Everything is connected

We know that bees are an essential part of an ecosystem. As they buzz from flower to flower to collect the nectar that the flowers offer them, they pollinate the flowers in return. It is a perfect partnership and it doesn’t end there. While the bees take the nectar back to their hives to feed their colony, the pollinated flowers slowly turn to fruits. The fruits feed animals and the animals reciprocate by helping to spread the seed, so ensuring the survival of that particular species of plant.

When we learn about Nature’s interdependence, we can see that every element within an ecosystem has a value and a role to play, just like we do at school, demonstrating our school vision.

The Principle of Adaptation – Adaptation is essential for us to survive and thrive

If we can plan enquiries or projects of learning that take pupils out into their local environment and community, then a completely different type of learning will take place. We can enrich learning by looking beyond the school for opportunities to draw on the skills and experience of people from our local communities – and make them ‘partners in learning’. They may be artists, sculptors, gardeners, farmers, local councillors, historians or beekeepers. Through their wisdom and knowledge, they have the potential to add great value to what our students learn, and through these partnerships we build community.

The Principle of Health – We all need to be healthy

If we want the education we offer our young people to make them feel well, and if we want to inspire a love of learning in our schools, we need to plan stimulating, engaging projects of learning and give our pupils a sense of ownership in what they do. If we want to maximise the opportunities for pupils to feel well in Nature, we need to plan and provide experiences that take them beyond the classroom and connect them to Nature. The more we can do this, the more their well-being is likely to improve.

The Principle of Oneness – We are Nature

In all our learning about Harmony, we want our pupils to understand that they are part of something greater, to realise that the world that exists around them also exists in them. By understanding that they are wholly part of Nature, their way of seeing the world shifts to a different, more connected place.

Devoting time to moments of mindfulness every day enables pupils to appreciate a sense of oneness more fully. These quiet times in class or outside in Nature take place at key points, particularly after playtime and lunchtime, and this silent space can be reinforced during their learning – notably when participating in geometry sessions.

Enquiries of learning linked to the principle of Oneness can explore how it has been interpreted over the years across traditions and ways of life. We help our pupils to find a sense of peace in their busy lives and provide opportunities for pupils to rejoice in the oneness of life.

And

The Principle of Geometry and Beauty – Nature has a Geometry

The practice of geometry provides a different lens for learning. It helps pupils to see how things are. As pupils learn the proportions and ratios of Nature’s patterns, they start to understand that there is an order to life that gives it balance and harmony. They see the world from a different perspective and they begin to develop a much deeper insight into what harmony means. Geometry is a mindful art.

Geometry sessions allow pupils to develop a range of skills that benefit their learning in other areas of the curriculum including:

  • Improved fine motor skills
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Mindfulness and presence
  • Increased Self-esteem