At Manorcroft we offer a broad, balanced and academically rigorous curriculum for all learners. It is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base and understanding of the world. The curriculum promotes long-term learning and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more. We have developed a curriculum built on current research regarding how the memory works to ensure that children not only have access to 'the best that has been thought and said' but are taught this in a way that ensures children can remember the curriculum content in future years.
'Creative learning with backbone'
Traditionally the foundation subjects are often taught in isolation and without any direct reference to children's experiences. However, we have adopted the Cornerstones approach which combines subjects into meaningful, engaging and exciting 'projects' for the children to learn over a half term period. Across the school year, each year group will teach 6 different projects covering all the national curriculum objectives for Science, History, Geography, Art and DT. Learning follows the route of: Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
Each project starts with a ‘wow launch’ hooking children in with a memorable experience - this is the 'engage'. This could be a visit out somewhere, for example Y5 might visit Winchester Science Centre to launch 'Stargazers'; or there might be a workshop within school, for example ZooLab might visit Y1 to launch 'Paws, Claws & Whiskers'. Or the launch could be an event or day worked into the curriculum such as a Y4 'Roman' day or a Y2 messy afternoon for 'Muck, Mess & Mixtures'.
The idea of the launch is to set the scene for learning and provide a context for the children, provoking curiosity and interest. ‘Develop’ allows for core teaching over a 5-6 week period, teaching for knowledge, depth and understanding. Opportunities will be created for making and doing, enabling imaginative scenarios that foster creative thinking, whilst allowing the children to develop new skills. ‘Innovate’ tasks will then encourage enterprise and independent ideas, putting into practice what has been learnt. Finally, the learning is shared across the school and with parents where appropriate, as part of ‘Express’.
Other foundation subjects such as Computing, Music, PE, RE, MfL and PSHE are taught discretely outside of the cross-curricular projects, with links made where appropriate. Key resources support each of these subjects and full details can be found under the subject tabs.
Underpinning our entire curriculum is a drive to take learning outdoors wherever possible. This could range from simply moving the traditional ‘classroom’ from the building to the gazebo, or using the garden spaces, fields and playgrounds for different activities. The school grounds are fantastic and encompass an allotment and orchard, along with a wooded area. The whole curriculum is supported by having the Forest School programme running two days a week which teaches team-work, co-operation and sharing. Different aspects of the curriculum, ranging from PSHE, PE, Science and Maths, can all be delivered in an exciting environment which allows children’s confidence and self-esteem to flourish. Children are able to experience success and build positive relationships with the natural world.
Learning in Action:
There are lots of opportunities to visit the school throughout the year and see the learning that your children have been engaged with. Examples include:
- Parents Evenings - which incorporate an opportunity to see the children’s books (twice a year).
- Class Assembly - 15 min presentation in the Hall.
- Celebration Presentations - each year group takes turns in leading one of the main school celebrations throughout the calendar, eg. Harvest, Christmas, Easter, etc.
- Curriculum Exhibition - once a year each year group holds a curriculum exhibition showcasing all of their project-based learning from that half term. These may be based in the Hall, the forest, the orchard, in fact anywhere on the school site! The exhibitions are a real celebration of the whole half term.
- Virtual Exhibition - at some point in the year, a virtual exhibition is created by each year group and uploaded to the website. This is a great opportunity to see some of the learning that has been recorded in books, presentations and photos.
- Various curriculum workshops linked to specific subjects, eg. Phonics, E-Safety, Maths - the focus of these change each year.
- Year group specific meetings, eg. Y2 & Y6 Assessment Updates, residential meetings, etc.
- Sports mornings in the summer term, along with other sporting competitions.