‘..a broad and balanced curriculum is in place, with a variety of high quality enrichment experiences. Music and drama have become strengths of the school with opportunities for pupils to become involved in concerts and performances. The wide curriculum, balanced with the caring and inclusive atmosphere, develops pupils’ confidence. As a result, Woodside pupils are articulate and their oracy is particularly strong. Pupils enthused about the wealth of sporting and other clubs, visiting speakers and activities on offer.’
At Woodside Junior School our intent is to provide a curriculum which is not only broad and balanced but one that equips our children with the skills they need for their next phase of education and beyond. We are passionate about learning and aim to pass this love of learning to our children. We have been praised by Ofsted for the high priority given to supporting pupils’ personal development and welfare: a ‘key strength’ within the school. Therefore, in addition to the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum, we provide children with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, to make use of the outdoors, to develop a caring attitude to others and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures.
Each year, we devote time to develop a long term plan for each year group, mapping the skills and knowledge necessary for children to reach the expected levels of learning by the end of the year. However, we adapt and review planning regularly in order to make sure it is relevant, as no two cohorts are ever the same.
Into this long term plan we weave what is often referred to as the ‘Hidden Curriculum’. The unwritten, unofficial and often unintended lessons (in response to current and global events), shaping children’s perspectives of the world around them. This may happen during our school assemblies or for example, by encouraging children to take part in a mock parliamentary vote.
We give our children an insight into what it means to be British, into 21st Century Britain, so that all children are fully prepared for their life long journey of learning and understanding. To achieve this, our themed topics cover a range of cultures which have impacted on British society, such as a study of the local area, The Romans,The Anglo- Saxons and World War 1. School trips are focused on further enrichment with visits to London Museums, places of worship and local shops and businesses. We regularly take part in and attend events held by the local Amersham Community.
Three years ago, following participation in the ‘Great Learner’s Project’ the staff and governors came to understand that, by developing a ‘Growth Mindset’, children would become more positive about their learning. We strive for children to be resilient learners, to challenge themselves and not to give up when they fall in the ‘Learning Pit.’ Children are able to articulate what they need to do to improve and will often self-direct their learning in maths and English based on their prior learning and teacher’s feedback.
In building on the knowledge and skills in the National Curriculum, the Woodside curriculum prioritises collaboration, resilience, being responsible and taking pride in our work. Skills such as being organised, being a good communicator and leader also underpin many of the lessons and extra-curricular activities that children will experience whilst at Woodside.
This year we are lucky to have a specialist teacher for computing in Years 3 and 4. Additionally, a number of our pupils receive peripatetic instrumental tuition in liaison with the Music Centre. As well as delivering weekly PE lessons, we collaborate with outside sports providers in order to broaden the children’s experiences of multi-sports. Our football teams (both boys and girls) compete locally and we liaise closely with the local high school for sports festivals and galas. Our Y5 children swim at the Amersham pool for a term. Please have a look at our curriculum enrichment page to find out about the additional activities on offer at Woodside.
Finally, we are very proud of our extensive school grounds and the children love making use of the outdoor areas and field when the weather permits. We are an accredited outdoor learning school (Silver Award) and Forest School takes place whatever the weather.
We are confident that the impact of our curriculum can be seen in our confident and happy children.