Wider Curriculum Opportunities & Cultural Capital
Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of enriching experiences and opportunities both within and beyond the school day. This includes a programme of after-school clubs, that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as French, sign language and crochet, whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences (Cultural Capital). A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and make very good progress across the curriculum. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who can struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
In addition to our exciting and stimulating cross-curricular themes, we also provide further opportunities to enhance children’s learning wherever possible.
Whole School Theme Days/Weeks
Throughout the year, themed days/weeks are woven into the curriculum to extend the breadth and balance of opportunities we offer our pupils. These include, Anti-bullying Week and Internet Safety Day, Creative Arts Week, World Book Day, Black History Day, Sport & Health Week, Mini-enterprise Week, Science Week, Cultural Day, Community Days, European Day of Languages, National Museum Day and others.
We are an Eco school and value the benefits of outdoor learning. Children are stimulated by the outdoors where they can undertake a range of practical activities to support and enhance learning across the curriculum. Our Foundation Stage and Key Stage One pupils also benefit from tending their own growing beds to produce fruit and vegetables to use in cooking activities.
Further up the school, opportunities are built into the curriculum for children to continue learning beyond the classroom including undertaking fieldwork and enquiry based-work in the local area.
As a school we offer pupils opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities after school. At any time, a wide range of clubs is on offer – our programmes of clubs and activities available is revised termly depending on the time of year and other commitments children may have.
Music, Art & Drama
Woodham Burn Primary School provides opportunities for children to take part in a wide range of musical activities and performances where they are encouraged to sing, compose and work creatively with sound. Through active listening, pupils’ awareness, understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of music are developed. A range of opportunities are provided within and beyond the curriculum for children to showcase their musical skills and talents, for example Woodham Burn’s Got Talent was a huge hit last year and plans are underway to create the event again. Visits to the theatre, for panto season etc further enriches pupils’ cultural development.
As a school we appreciate and understand the importance of drama within our curriculum. Research reveals that drama had a positive impact on children’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. Drama is developed across the whole school in a variety of ways including story-telling, and classes create sharing assemblies, presenting their half term’s work using drama and singing. In addition, KS1 perform the Nativity each December and Years 3 and 4 perform a musical.
Homework can make an important contribution to a child’s progress at school. As well as reinforcing learning in the classroom, homework helps children to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful independent lifelong learning.
Homework is set in-line with the school’s policy, with tasks planned to appropriately challenge all pupils. Weekly activities focus on English and Maths to reinforce and consolidate skills taught. In addition to the Homework set children are expected to practise weekly spellings, timetables and to read regularly at home.
Educational Visits and Residentials
School trips and visits are an integral part of the education of children at Woodham Burn Primary. We value the opportunities such visits offer our pupils and the commitment of staff and adults undertaking them. Trips include class visits aimed at bringing learning alive and providing first-hand experiences; extra-curricular outings such as activities with the school choir or sporting events; and attending or taking part in performances or competitions. Beamish Living Museum is on our doorstep and provides a rich and inspirational learning resource.
Children in Years 3, 4 and 5 take part in residential visits to Robinwood Activity Centre. These are planned to provide new and exciting experiences, they take part orienteering, climbing, abseiling, raft building, archery and lots more. Many classes experience visits to places that are linked to their topics, such as museums, as well as exploring the local area and our Reception children relish taking weekly trips to the local Library.
Visitors into School
Visitors have a valuable role to play and can contribute to many aspects of the life and work of the school. They deliver talks, workshops and full day activities across a wide range of subjects, giving pupils access to outside experiences and expertise. Visitors provide a link with the wider community – children have the opportunity to work alongside artists, musicians, authors, health professions and others.
Opportunities to Volunteer
Volunteering is an activity that everyone can get involved in and benefit from. At Woodham Burn Primary we promote and encourage pupils’ active citizenship and positive contribution to the school and wider community. We offer lots of opportunities for pupils to take on new responsibilities and be involved in successfully supporting the life and work of the school. These include elected representatives on our Children’s School Council, Eco Committee and Rights Respecting Steering Group. Older pupils can also apply and be interviewed for positions such as Playground Leaders and Librarians, and within classes children can volunteer to take on various responsibilities.
Pupils tell us that they enjoy the opportunity to volunteer to help make their school an even better place to be and rising to the challenge that additional responsibility brings.
A rounded programme of daily assemblies helps to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and provide clear guidance on what is right and what is wrong. Once a week, assemblies are led by a member of the Senior Leadership Team, a pupil led assembly is also carried out once a week and the class teachers deliver assemblies on a given them throughout the week, including the School Values and an Article of the week from the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.