‘Learning and growing side by side in God’s love’
Our Christian vision drives all that we do at Eastry school. Our school family is committed to sustaining and growing a nurturing, learning community. We strive to promote a welcoming and open ethos to ensure all feel happy, safe and respected. We value each member of our community as unique individuals where all are encouraged and inspired to fulfil their potential as God intended.
At Eastry Church of England Primary School, we strive to meet the needs of all our pupils by providing a meaningful, engaging, broad and balanced curriculum. We want all pupils to be able to reach their individual potential and build upon their strengths and interests, helping them to understand that we believe they can achieve and flourish in their education, thus encouraging their future aspirations as well as learning and developing essential life skills to enable them to be successful individuals.
As a Headstart school, we believe that in order to learn, children need to be emotionally strong and resilient, Therefore, a core principle behind all learning at Eastry C of E Primary is the development of the whole child. We believe that every child has to recognise that they are safe, happy and loved to learn well. We ensure that our children are at the centre of all that we do and that they recognise their own importance in our school family. A child's self-esteem, and self-concept is essential to their success. This is the main driving force behind out entire curriculum at Eastry. As a church school, we support children’s spiritual needs in our caring Christian environment that promotes our school ethos and values of joy, welcoming, compassion, respect and perseverance. In our school we live out these values alongside the British Values to enable our pupils to make informed choices and become respectful individuals. We promote positive emotional health and well-being to help children develop social and emotional skills throughout all subjects and also through Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education sessions.
We are very proud or our curriculum, It is continually reviewed and evaluated, by our whole school community, not least the children themselves, to ensure that it reflects the needs of all our children, their families and our community. We constantly strive to offer the best learning opportunities for our children.
Our curriculum is overseen by our subject leaders. Information about the curriculum we follow and their vision can be found under each subject title to your left.
At Eastry C of E Primary School, we implement the 2014 National Curriculum statutory requirements in Years 1 - 6. Each subject contains essential knowledge, understanding and skills which every child should have, progressing through the school, whilst ensuring it is motivating, fun, relevant and creative – with an emphasis on attainment and enjoyment. Community involvement is a central part of our curriculum, families are constantly invited into school to participate in sharing and celebrating experiences and forging strong relationships within the Eastry community.
Our aim is to ensure cross curricular opportunities and experiences to spark exciting and creative learning that will encompass the Foundation subjects, alongside the all-important English, Maths, Religious Education (R.E.) and Science. Within this we find ways to maximise and enrich our learning opportunities by making use of our locality and our outdoor learning space.
At Eastry C of E Primary School, we believe that children learn best when subject matter is related to content that engages and excites them. We, alongside our wonderful children, have worked very hard to design a curriculum which is fun and exciting and which supports, challenges and extends all of our children’s learning. We believe that the best way to do this is through the teaching of inspiring topics, which reinforce basic skills and which lead to high achievement for all. We have worked hard to design unique Topics which ensure that children cover a wide range of skills and knowledge during their time at Eastry.
When designing our unique Topic curriculum, we did so around the needs and interests of the children that attend Eastry. We have aimed to create a curriculum which:
• Has our vision and values at the heart of everything we do
• Fully engages all pupils
• Provides meaningful learning opportunities through experiences that children remember and talk about
• Prepares our children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life
• Teaches our children key Life Skills e.g. independence, resilience, enquiry etc.
• Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, social and physical development of our children
• Promotes the acquisition of core skills for learning
• Provides depth in coverage of skills and knowledge in all subject areas
• Enables children to see the links between subject areas
• Allows children’s gifts and talents to be fully explored and celebrated
• Encourages greater parental and community involvement
• Encourages greater use of outdoor learning / a range of learning styles
Our children will experience a range of different Topics throughout their time at Eastry C of E Primary School. Wherever possible, we teach our foundation subjects through the Topics. Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ within a Topic, though, and so, to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum, these subjects are sometimes taught discretely. For example, not everything in Religious Education links effectively within a Topic and so this can be taught separately, as a Topic of its own, but links are made whenever possible.
Our Mathematics lessons are taught discretely on a weekly basis, although, if possible, links are made with the Topics being studied. Our English lessons are linked to our Topics and so children will read texts or stories related to their current Topic, or study different genres to write for a purpose linked to their Topic. Our Science lessons are linked to Topics where possible. Our Geography, History, Art and Design, Design and Technology, Music and Computing lessons are taught primarily through our Topic curriculum, although, where links cannot be made, certain aspects may be taught discretely in that term. Foreign language lessons are taught in all classes in Key Stage 2. All classes have weekly Physical Education lessons, which are linked to Topics where possible.
We believe that the weekly timetable should be flexible in order for learning to ‘flow’ and be meaningful for the children. For this reason, our teachers plan their timetable each week according to the content being delivered. For example, at the beginning of a Topic the timetable may focus more heavily around Reading, to allow the children to learn skills to research and to gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter, before moving onto perhaps an art project. The timetable may then focus more heavily around Writing and Storytelling, for example, before moving onto maybe a Music project. We do not have a weekly timetable which we stick to – our lessons are planned fluidly around the needs of our children and how we believe they will learn the content the best. We carefully plan how much time we give to each learning activity. At Eastry, we do not complete activities because they fill a slot in a timetable – but rather because we believe they are key for developing the learning of our children. Quite often activities are extended and require a sequence of lessons in order to be completed.
In order to create Awe and Wonder throughout our Topics, each Topic follows the following format:
Each Topic begins with a Hook, where teachers introduce the Topic to the children in an exciting way. This could be through a trip, a visitor, a scene or experience created.
Our Class Reader is a huge part of each Topic. Our teachers select texts which they know our children will love and enjoy and they engage the children in these texts expertly. Often the sharing of the class reader is the part of the day which our children most look forward to.
All of the learning that the children are asked to complete in their lessons will have a purpose and a real-life meaning which is relevant for our children. We feel that our children should know why they are learning various skills and that they should learn for a purpose and be curious in their approach to learning. Therefore, each new topic starts with a big learning question (LQ) for the children to answer. Each subsequent lesson then poses a learning question for that lesson for the children to explore.
All of our lessons have a purpose for the children. The children will always be aware of why it is important to learn the various skills or knowledge that they are being taught. Often, they will need the skills and knowledge to solve their learning question (LQ). Our skilled teachers think carefully about their children’s interests and needs when planning their lessons and they deliver lessons which engage children and excite them. The lessons are delivered using a variety of learning styles and the needs of all learners are planned for in depth.
To enrich our whole school curriculum we have a termly inspire day. These are chosen in response to the needs of our school. Pupils are given opportunities to immerse themselves in a current global topic or different culture and have a voice in relation to these. This helps to instil tolerance, compassion and moral justice.
Celebrating with others:
Every topic is celebrated at the end of the term with our school community. Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers through open afternoons, school-based performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
Promoting British Values:
Eastry C of E School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Eastry C of E Primary is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.
Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain, celebrating traditions such as Remembrance and Harvest Festival. We also value and celebrate other cultural traditions through our curriculum and inspire days.
British values are integral to so many countries throughout the world. Our children are taught about, and know of the values outlined below and see them as important values for all relationships.
British values play an important role in education. The values are integral to our school ethos and therefore are promoted in so much of what we do;
School Worship (including celebration, class and whole school)
Topic Learning and our wider curriculum (specific examples of this can be seen in the highlighted in our medium term plans, see below)
Promotion of Life Skills
Our welcoming and inclusive approach to behaviour and relationships
Election and running of school council
As well as actively promoting British values, we would actively challenge pupils, staff, parents or visitors expressing opinions contrary to these fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Schools are subject to a duty (Section 26, Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. Please read the government’s Prevent duty guidance and its guidance for schools.
The five core values referred to through our curriculum and demonstrated in our ethos are;
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Eastry C of E Primary school. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes and to make decisions on wider school issues such as the Behaviour Policy. The School Council genuinely effect change within our school; children helped create a children and families friendly version of our school plan.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
Children have input into our interview process through giving lesson feedback
Children are fundamental in devising policies such as the behaviour policy
Using Pupil Feedback forms, children are asked to respond and reflect on their experiences in school
Children help to raise money for their class and decide together where to spend that money.
The children have been involved in wider community projects. For example, designing the logo for the Forest School
Children lead worship within the school, planning and delivering it
Our children are given choices in their curriculum e.g. how to respond to a learning question
Through our ethos, our entire staff know our children very well and continue to form positive relationships with families
Our children are key in showing our new families and potential candidates around the school
Examples of ‘parent voice’ are:
Partnership with parent Group.
Open door policy with regular contact with class teachers and the senior leadership team.
Examples of ‘staff voice are:
Contributions towards the school behaviour, assessment and learning policies.
Staff ideas to develop our curriculum.
Staff meetings and, senior Leadership meetings.
Development of School Plan
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.
The rule of law
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in worship and when reflecting on behaviour choices using our 4 restorative justice questions:
How are you feeling?
What went wrong?
What could you do better next time?
What can you do now?
At the start of the school year, each class discusses our three school rules which are seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
Our three school rules are;
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. These values are reinforced in different ways:
Visits from authorities, such as the police and fire service.
During topic or R.E lessons and in worship, when rules for particular faiths, rules in different countries and historical rules are thought about.
During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs.
Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and an empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
Choices about what learning challenge or activity to complete
Choices about how they record their learning
Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities
Choices around what lunch they eat
Choices as to what to do during their playtime
Choices about the book they select to read at home
Opportunities to share their own feelings and experiences for example in P.H.S.E lessons
Our pupils are encouraged to know, to understand and to exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and P.H.S.E lessons as well as in collective worship.
Respect is a core Christian value of Eastry C of E Primary. We show respect by:
Listening to the children, our families and staff
Sharing our own experiences in our lessons
Learning about other faiths, viewpoints and perspectives through our curriculum and inspire days.
Following our school rules
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences and beliefs we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource or a personal belonging. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Through our curriculum, we enhance pupils understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs by developing an awareness and appreciation of other religions and cultures.
Our teachers create awe and wonder for the children through the learning environment which they create inside and outside of the classrooms. The children’s amazing learning is celebrated on display and book areas are often created to fit the theme. Our corridors are also transformed by our children’s Topic and R.E learning. At the end of each Topic, the children plan with the teachers which learning they would like to display in the corridors, and they then work as a team to create these fabulous displays.
In addition to this, we are lucky enough to have some amazing outdoor areas for our children to learn in. We have two forest school leaders who works with group and classes of children to inspire outdoor learning. We are incredibly lucky to have great outdoor facilities, including a forest school site, field pond area, vegetable patches and Marchbanks Meadow with includes a nature path, sensory plants and wild flowers. We also have three trim trails for the children to explore as well as a dedicated outdoor area for our Fledglings class.
Children leave Eastry C of E Primary School with a secure understanding of the academic content; with the understanding of how to be socially, morally, spiritually and culturally responsible and globally aware; how to make positive contributions to the local area and how to endeavour to be the best that they can be. We aim for all of our children to leave Eastry respectful, skilful and ambitious, with the motivation and passion to continue to learn and with a thirst for life and all it has to offer. Valuing themselves and others as unique individuals
Information about the curriculum we follow can be found under each subject title to your left and, where applicable, a useful link to the scheme we use should you wish further information.