In 2018 we embarked on a hugely ambitious and exciting new STEAM Curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and have continued to develop and embed the curriculum through the years.
We are one of a few schools in the country offering such a dedicated and bespoke approach to our curriculum, ensuring that children are inspired and equipped to join a world being transformed by technology. The learning in our school has also been revolutionised by this new curriculum; the children work collaboratively each term towards creating a showcase project, these are then celebrated in an assembly open to all the parents and local community. The response to these has been wonderful and we have seen an uptick in parental engagement far greater than anything before. In the past we have done things such as create an enormous indoor planetarium, complete with planets scaled to size. We have also created a working model of a light house featuring a complex pully system. The children have also produced some wonderful shields celebrating the local area’s connection with the Romans and Saxons. Please take a look at this page where you can see all the great learning we have been doing:
We believe our curriculum is equipping and exposing children to a very modern way of working; inspiring a future generation to peruse careers in high technology settings, of which Banbury is abundant. During one visit to a local high-technology company the class were invited to write messages on a design wall - one year 6 boy at William Morris, our Sister School, wrote, ‘Please hire me, you have inspired me to work here in the future.’ At Longford, following a trip to RAF Brize Norton, a Year 2 girl announced when she returned, "I am going to be an aeronautical engineer when I grow up." It is those aspirations we want to further engender and cultivate in the children in our school.
Through our STEAM curriculum we teach the disciplines of the Arts, Design and Technology, Geography, History and Science. Through our education offer, we empower children to acquire and internalise disciplinary behaviours; there is a constant interplay between knowledge learnt, skills acquired and the ability to effectively express oneself.
The Arts (Performance art and fine art and design)
The Arts is interwoven throughout our STEAM curriculum and the skills to perform are built upon and developed from our youngest years. Children develop skills such as voice projection, how to pitch their performance to their audience and how to effectively work together when presenting or performing.
Fine art diciplinary knowledge and skills are built on year on year. Children build up their skills of drawing, painting and working with 3D media and use these to produce pieces of work linked to the curriculum taught within the term. In our Early Years' classrooms, children begin to explore mark making with a variety of tools and medium, building up to learning how to manipulate marks through pressure and movement. This knowledge is deepened and developed through the subsequent Key Stages where children explore line, pattern tone and texture.
Design and Technology
Design and technology skills and knowledge are built on throughout the primary age in the areas of construction of products, textiles and food technology. Our youngest children explore skills show as how to attach materials together using everyday objects and this is built on in later years with children investigating permanent and semi permanent joins. Throughout our design and technology lessons we are teaching the children:
- how to develop, plan and communicate their ideas
- how to work safely with different tools and equipment to make quality products
- how to evaluate products and processes
Our geography curriculum develops the children's curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. As the children progress through the curriculum they will deepen their understanding of the diverse nature of the planet in both the physical processes and the communities that exist on it. Locational and place knowledge is built upon from our earliest years, where the children learn about their local area, and then this knowledge is broadened and deepened to look at each of the continents in more detail. Developing geographical skills and field work is also a focus within our geography lessons.
Historical themes are explored as the children progress through the curriculum. For example in Year 1 children explore the local history of Banbury and the importance it has had as a market town, and in Year 4, the children learn about the effects of power through settlers and invaders. The curriculum builds on historical skills and knowledge such as how the past has contributed to our life in the UK and the wider world. Throughout the Key Stages children also learn how to interpret sources and decide on their reliability.
Science pervades our STEAM curriculum and is the golden thread that runs through every term. When working towards our STEAM challenges, the children, individually or as a whole class, will be working scientifically. That is to say, they will be making observations, generalisations, researching, planning, testing and evaluating. Science knowledge and skills are built on and deepened throughout the Key Stages through a cohesive and connective curriulum. Enquiry skills and approaches are explicitly taught to the children to help them question the world around them and how to find the answers to these questions.
For each of the disciplines, we have a detailed progression documents of skills and knowledge from nursery to year 6. Below is an example of our art and design progression map.
Please contact the school office if you would like a hard copy of our curriculum theory and research. Please also see year group areas and subject specific areas for more information.