Drake Primary School and Little Pirates Child Care

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At Drake Primary School, we want our pupils to become people able to be active and confident in a diverse and challenging world. We want children to leave Drake as lovers of books and reading, as performers and participants in The Arts and with a wide and deep knowledge of the world. We want children to be equipped with the cultural capital and high expectations to transcend any background and make the very best of themselves. 


So that our pupils can move on to high school equipped to succeed, we will make a curriculum to inspire all children. Our curriculum will build on the foundation of the National Curriculum  and reach beyond its ambition to shape a learning foundation for life.


Each year group will work on contexts that relate to key people who shaped our town and our lives. They may have contributed to Science or The Arts, the world of engineering or community and health. As a new primary we see our journey as a school, as we define Drake Primary so our pupils learn about their own identity and their place in the world. We believe that everyone of us has a role to play in caring for and shaping our world. 


Our school badge reminds us of intrepid journeys and discoveries and so our classes will be named for pioneers; women and men from a diverse range of cultures and places who have struck out into difficult or hostile environments or who have innovated, been bold agents of change.  We will ensure that we are a community of avid readers and lovers of books; we want our pupils to play and reflect and we want our children to express and perform. We will build the fabric of our school to encourage all of this.


We know that developing a real love of reading will open doors to worlds for children. The teaching of reading begins in our Little Pirates classes. Books are at the heart of lessons and topics from the baby room and right through until Crew and Turtles. In Reception classes we continue this journey and build on a love of picture books and familiar stories with songs and repeated phrases. Phonic teaching starts early too, with big smiles and encouragement children begin to hear the first sound in their name and then sounds in simple words. By the end of year one the very vast majority of children will be fluent in the decoding of phonetically regular texts. From Year 2 onwards stories remain a key part of our learning, high quality authors and hundreds of books!


All curriculum areas are mapped by leaders across terms and year groups. Meaningful links are made with our community and subjects. The progression of skills and knowledge acquisition is mapped throughout the curriculum. In lessons key questions prompt enquiry and curiosity, our learning then applied in forest schools sessions or in innovative scientific lessons. Teachers use a range of questioning during lessons to promote thinking, elicit responses and prompt discussion.


Each year group will use knowledge organisers, assessing progress by questioning the children about its content. Before a key theme begins, teachers can assess how much children already know and plan accordingly. At key assessment points mapped out across the year, the children demonstrate how much they have learnt. 

Whilst many subjects can be taught within a theme, there are areas of learning that are taught discretely, such as skills in mathematics and English. 


Our school is located near many wonderful places well suited to learning, visits to the library, forest, theatre, nature reserves and museums take place termly. Pupils will also travel further afield when needed; London, Cambridge and residential trips across the county and Europe.  In our mission statement we underline the value of 'lived' experiences. These have never been so important. A year in lockdown and a shift to 'virtual' communications has only reinforced our determination to ensure every child experiences learning from real experiences. These adventures are the stuff of memories and will live in the children's hearts and minds for the rest of their lives. 


We will judge the success of our curriculum in several ways. We will always question stakeholders and ask them to hold us to account. Through the school council, we will ask the children to review the curriculum provision to see what they enjoy, what they find challenging or stimulating and what they think. We will talk to parents through questionnaires, parents’ evenings and cafes and give them opportunities to tell us what they think should be taught in our school to help support their children, families and communities. We will ask governors to review our work and local high schools to critically assess the impact of our curriculum on their work.


Through learning walks, observations and partnered teaching, we will assess the impact and quality of teaching and learning. We will support teachers in the acquisition of excellent subject knowledge and engagement in continuing professional development, using action research and training to further enhance their skills. We will review the quality of the children’s work regularly, ensuring high expectations for all pupils and that disadvantaged pupils are being supported in closing any gaps from starting points.


We will use a rigorous systems of assessment to ensure pupils are supported in making progress. We will use a tracking system for learning, meeting termly to assess cohorts and put interventions or changes in place when necessary. We will analyse outcomes to ensure we take effective action to address gaps or issues identified. Lesson planning in the medium and long-term will be overseen by senior leaders and subject leads who will ensure progression of skills and knowledge with high expectations across the school.  We will review the curriculum yearly to ensure it maintains its relevance, high expectations and effectiveness for all.


All aspects of our curriculum are made accessible to all children, irrespective of their ethnic background, gender, disability, religious or linguistic background. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those who are more able, those with special gifts and talents and the children who are learning English as an additional language. In partnership with our specialist school Fred Nicholson School we draw on their training and expertise to create our SRB curriculum for pupils with Autism.  We provide a rich, challenging curriculum, which stretches all of our children. Staff are aware of children who have exceptional talents and gifts and monitor or track their progress carefully to ensure their academic potential or talent is continually developed. 


For more information about what your child is learning, please speak with their class teacher.