SWB Curriculum

Intent

The curriculum at Sir William Burrough is curated to give the children the strongest possible start to their educational journeys, equipping them with the skills and knowledge that they will need to progress well across all subjects and disciplines. It is designed to ensure that children:

  • Have excellent foundational knowledge of the basics in reading, writing and maths to ensure that they access the broadest possible curriculum as they pass through the school.
  • Make good progress throughout their time of the school.
  • Acquire deep and lasting subject knowledge across a broad range of subjects.
  • Are exposed to a wide variety of experiences in order to understand their place in the world and how they can be a global citizen.
  • Develop skills of learning and metacognition, allowing them to take control of their own development and become independent, self-driven learners.
  • Enjoy their learning, and enjoy the acquisition of knowledge for its own sake.
  • Leave school with high aspirations for their future and the skills to make those aspirations possible.

Implementation

The curriculum at Sir William Burrough fully covers both the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum, and frequently goes beyond the content prescribed.

The key skills of reading, writing and oracy are at the heart of our curriculum, and we keep standards consistently high through fail-safe learning journeys which maximise the children’s success. The children begin with a rigorous phonics programme — Jolly Phonics — and then onwards to the Accelerated Reader system, which allows children to read and enjoy a wide range of books, as well as allowing them to access the broader curriculum. The school is very well resourced with reading books; there is always something that a child can choose to read.

In Maths, the children journey through a progressive programme of study, moving at the same pace regardless of ability level. We support those children who find it more difficult with high levels of in-class support, and track the children’s progress forensically using Star Maths tests.

The wider curriculum is based on Cornerstones Curriculum 22, which provides a broad and rich experience in Science and the humanities and promotes a strong sense of global citizenship and environmental responsibility. This runs through every topic, where specific learning targets focus on exploration of similarities and differences between countries and cultures. The progressive, sequenced and coherently planned curriculum design at Sir William Burrough is one which, at its roots, starts with the child at the centre and, by the end of their time with us, is very much focussed outwards, with children having a strong awareness of the history that has led us to where we are today, and the global responsibilities that being a citizen of the future brings. It is an ambitious curriculum, with high levels of cultural capital, ensuring that every child covers the essential knowledge needed for an appreciation of human creativity and endeavour. All children access the curriculum at the same level; it is built in such a way that there is no need for differentiation.

Our High Performance Learning Programme, focusing on metacognition, equips every child with the cognitive tools to become successful learners, and creates a climate of intellectual challenge which is relished by pupils and adults alike. The programme has been adapted for all age-ranges and abilities to encourage the children to see the bigger picture, make links and integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.

The curriculum is generously and comprehensively resourced, so teachers have immediate access to anything they require to aid the children’s learning. Lessons vary from practical, hands-on experience of real-life events to discursive consideration of the implications of what has been learned. It is enriched with numerous visits to museums, important landmarks in London and beyond. Every topic includes at least one trip — and frequently more than one. It is further enriched by a range of visiting performers and storytellers and the Now-Press-Play interactive experiences, which are specifically linked to our topics.

Impact

In English and Maths, our SATs results are consistently exceptionally high, significantly passing national levels in all areas and with a significant majority — and sometimes a majority of the year group — achieving Greater Depth in one or more of the subject areas. Year One Phonics shows exceptionally high levels of success as does the Year Four Multiplication check.

Beyond these results, the whole Sir William Burrough curriculum is designed to be high impact, exposing children to many and varied experiences and concepts and to give them the knowledge-base, skill-set and drive to learn more that will set them up for secondary school and their education beyond. Children are clearly fascinated by their learning and the experiences that they have, and partake fully in all the lessons. By the end of their time, as well as achieving the high standards in the national tests, they have also become well-rounded young citizens with a deep knowledge of a wide variety of subjects and concepts, and a firm understanding of how all these are bound together.