Quick Links

Useful Links

Part of the Learning in Harmony Trust

"In the Learning in Harmony Trust, we work in harmony to achieve excellence for all. We live and breathe our values and focus on doing things the right way, providing the perfect environment for all our children to flourish and succeed. And with a diverse range of schools in two contrasting locations, we offer a unique opportunity for professionals looking for a challenging and rewarding career in a supportive, creative and forward-thinking environment."
Click here to find out more about the LiH Trust.

Blenhein Primary School

sheringham's curriculum statement

 

Summary

The Sheringham Curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure all our children receive an ambitious, enriched curriculum that ignites curiosity, fascination and aspiration and equips them for the next stages of their education. Children’s learning across the curriculum is enhanced with meaningful experiences that bring it to life, including WOW immersions, educational visits and purposeful ‘outcome’ celebrations, with subjects taught discretely to ensure knowledge, skills and understanding in individual subjects are developed successfully. A continual commitment to children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning runs through both the taught and wider curriculum. Our relentless drive to develop children’s mathematical and reading skills, as well as their spoken and written communication, also informs how we teach across the curriculum; we believe children need as many meaningful opportunities as possible to truly master these fundamental skills.

Principles behind The Sheringham Curriculum

Equity 

We pride ourselves on an ambitious, enriched curriculum offer, which is designed to give all children, regardless of background, the experiences required to both deepen their understanding of the world and build the cultural capital essential to thrive within it. 

Every unit of work is built up from children’s existing knowledge, such as Maths No Problem ‘In Focus’ explorations to ‘what do we know and want to find out?’ starting points in science and history. Building on what children actually know, not what we assume they know, allows teachers to skillfully scaffold their learning and help them make links from their current understanding to new learning. A relentless commitment to equity drives us in creating a highly enriched curriculum - partly funded by Pupil Premium income - with WOWs, educational visits and purposeful outcomes creating stimulus and meaning in children’s learning, ensuring that all children receive a rich and varied experience both in and outside the classroom.  

Our curriculum, as with our approach to all teaching and learning, has been carefully designed to ensure children are being well prepared not only for the next stage in education but also developing the life skills they will require to be successful, positive members of society. We strive to develop aspiration in our children, through JIGSAW lessons, inter-school competitions, clubs, assemblies and careers events. A culture of talk, enquiry and challenge ensures our children are developing thinking skills and our focus on developing a growth mindset underpins our entire pedagogical approach. PSHE is taught both discretely and interwoven across the taught curriculum, school routines and ethos, creating an education that we feel gives our children the very best start in life.

We ensure, through partnership teaching, scaffolding and personalised learning plans, that all children at Sheringham are given the support they need to access an ambitious and appropriate curriculum. Intensive support is provided for our children at most risk of delay, with significant investment in programmes proven to have great impact on access to learning, such as Reading Recovery, targeted EAL support and speech & language (SALT) programmes such as Box Clever and Learning to Listen. Our buy-in specialists, including SALT and OT (occupational therapists), train our staff and design bespoke intervention programmes to ensure children receive the best possible support. Tracked and regularly evaluated, these programmes allow children to engage in and benefit from a personalised curriculum that enables them to overcome any barriers to learning.  

To ensure that we provide a strong educational offer in the context of the Newham’s approach to inclusion, we have developed a model of specialist provision for our highest needs pupils. A highly personalised curriculum, informed by experts from JFK Special School and our buy-in specialists, is delivered by a team of experienced and passionate staff who ensure the approach is appropriately challenging and engaging. Enrichment opportunities such as workshops, educational visits and a range of after-school clubs are well planned to ensure all children can access and benefit from them.  

Our context

Newham has London’s third highest child poverty rate and the second highest unemployment rate; Manor Park is in the 10% most disadvantaged band, nationally, and home visits tell us that many families are living in very overcrowded housing. This, alongside much other local knowledge, has been a significant factor when approaching curriculum design. Our knowledge of local communities, challenges faced and contextual safeguarding considerations has informed a curriculum that is intent on raising aspirations, rich in talk and debate, with a strong focus on gender, race and religious equality woven through. Weekly JIGSAW lessons and a strong RSE curriculum ensure a robust PSHE offer that is further enhanced with careers workshops and lessons on identified key themes such as gang culture and financial literacy, to ensure our children are equipped for life in their immediate community within modern Britain. 

Our curriculum is designed to develop a sense of community and belonging; from local history units to a wealth of educational visits in the immediate (Little Ilford Park, Olympic Park, Stratford East Theatre) and wider (River Thames boat trip, Museum of London, Science Museum) area, we ensure children develop an awareness and appreciation of the world around them. We seize opportunities to be involved in wider community events, including Debate Mate and Shakespeare Schools Festival as well as inter-Trust competitions and visits such as our annual trip to Southend. Our regular visits to local buildings of religious and cultural significance ensure children both recognise and celebrate the cultural diversity within our community. 

We greatly value the contribution our families make to our learning at Sheringham; from parent doctors visiting Reception as part of ‘People Who Help Us’ topics, to parent clubs and families providing the audience for presentations and galleries, we are committed to growing these community links and utilising our families to enhance our learning.

Children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is at the heart of curriculum design, with both subject content and enrichment opportunities planned to ensure children have a growing understanding and appreciation of the world they live in, with the aspiration to seek and grasp opportunities alongside a strong awareness of the responsibility they have for contributing positively, socially, economically and environmentally. 

Balance

We recognise the importance of providing children with time to develop the fundamental skills of literacy, numeracy, communication and collaboration whilst exploring a rich curriculum that supports their developing understanding of the world in which we live. Every area of the curriculum offers children different opportunities to be inspired, enjoy learning new information and develop skills; whilst we don’t teach each subject for an equal amount of time, we value every area for its contribution to children’s development, striving to ensure engagement and outcomes are strong. 

Achieving both breadth and depth can raise significant challenges, and we use knowledge of our children’s starting points and life experiences to inform decision making regarding content and structure, creating a timetable that allows our children to reach, and often exceed, national expectations in the core subjects from relatively low starting points whilst remaining excited and motivated by our non-core curriculum and wider learning opportunities. Our progression guides, developed with subject specialists from across the LiH Trust, alongside professional development ensure that staff understand the non-negotiables in every subject. This allows us to provide a curriculum that gives children time to explore ideas and concepts in greater depth, follow their own lines of enquiry and build up knowledge over time. 

Meaningful learning

Whilst understanding the importance of statutory testing within primary education, it is clear that children learn most effectively when they see a purpose in the learning and it’s rooted in engaging contexts, and that much essential learning cannot be tested. Our curriculum is carefully constructed to provide the time we feel children need for learning in maths and English, without sacrificing teaching time across the wider curriculum which is taught discretely to ensure quality and robust coverage. However, we do ensure that embedded across our curriculum is a focus on applying mathematical skills and developing language, communication and literacy.

When planning, teachers seek and utilise purposeful opportunities to apply and consolidate maths skills across the curriculum, for example when timing sprints in PE, recording rates of decay in a science experiment or analysing population trends in geography. 

An intense focus on language acquisition and spoken communication ensures that our children have opportunities to develop across the curriculum. Play-based learning strategies in the EYFS, weekly poetry sessions in KS1 and structured vocabulary-building programmes in KS2, as well as our extensive speech and language support programme, all contribute to children’s rapidly developing command of language.

The Sheringham curriculum provides a rich and purposeful context for the development of children’s literacy skills. A relentless focus on developing reading enjoyment, fluency and comprehension means that teachers plan for children to engage with a wide variety of texts within their learning in every subject. By exploring a range of both topics and text types, children are challenged to decode, clarify, infer and make links within areas of the curriculum from Roman Britain and famous inventors to the pop-art movement. Careful planning ensures children have opportunities to apply the skills they are learning in English lessons when writing across the curriculum, for example when recording science investigations, reviewing a piece of music, or creating a newspaper article about an earthquake. 

Collaboration 

A social learning model, heavily informed by research, is at the heart of learning across the whole curriculum at Sheringham, with talk, group-work and collaborative improvement integrated into learning right from the Early Years Foundation Stage to Year 6. Both research and our own observations tell us that children learn best when given the chance to talk through ideas, share them with others and both give and respond to feedback and challenge from peers. A rich receptive and expressive vocabulary, the ability to reason, question and justify, and respectful interactions are just some of the products and are key behaviours we want our children to leave school with.

Work spanning several years has been dedicated to this belief and now visitors from both the local area and wider world come to observe our approach to collaborative learning, with feedback evidencing the positive impact. Learning walks and action research through our learning communities ensure that it is continuing to improve engagement and progress within learning, as well as encouraging staff to reflect on the impact of their pedagogy and identify areas for development or exploration within this approach.

How our curriculum is taught

 Our curriculum map has been carefully constructed to ensure children’s knowledge and understanding builds over time. Our individual subjects leaders, including a number of specialists in our school, Trust and local secondary school, provide guidance and support to ensure that progress and outcomes are strong in every subject.

Children are taught individual subjects discretely to ensure they develop skills and knowledge within each subject discipline, understanding what makes a ‘geographer’ or ‘scientist’. We block units together, so that children spent several weeks immersed in a unit and have the time to follow lines of enquiry after developing a core bank of knowledge. 

Linking learning to the world around them through visits, workshops and enquiry based on the children’s own interests is vital; children’s fascinations are piqued and interests broadened as they gain knowledge, ask questions and interrogate information they acquire. Children often work collaboratively to explore and problem solve, with challenges that serve to develop resilience, confidence and motivation to excel. 

Some subjects are taught by specialists during teachers’ PPA sessions; children participate in music, PE, poetry (for KS1) and Spanish (for KS2) sessions that run on a weekly basis for the whole year. This model allows for a genuine depth of learning, supported by expert teaching and high expectations for outcomes.

Units and enrichment experiences are designed to both reflect the diverse, urban context of our school community as well as broaden experiences beyond children’s own lived reality. Finding out about and celebrating London and the local area is a fundamental component of our curriculum, with local history and geography units enhanced by visits to sites of local, national and global significance. 

Teachers use their established pedagogy of responsive teaching to ensure they regularly assess children’s understanding, provide feedback and adapt the learning. Learning Journey books capture the learning across a unit, providing ongoing reflection opportunities both within the topic and beyond, as they are utilised to ensure subsequent learning builds on the foundation of what came before. 

Every unit of work ends with an ‘outcome’: a planned opportunity for children’s knowledge and understanding to be synthesised, shared and celebrated. Children present to an audience, often parents or another year-group, or make videos, websites or booklets. We are really proud of our children’s amazing outcomes across the curriculum, for example their incredible musical performances; you can explore these in our subject pages and year group sections.