At Cheddington Combined School we view every child as an individual and work together to enable them to achieve their potential. Therefore our curriculum is designed to be broad and balanced, teaching both academic knowledge and skills and those personal skills which will enable the children to be successful in life. Through our sequentially planned curriculum we offer learning experiences which enable the children to develop both deep learning and their cultural capital.
Learning is a way of interacting with the world, and as we learn we see the world in a different way. The acquisition of information in itself does not bring about understanding, but the way we structure that information and think with it does. A child’s education is about conceptual change, not just the acquisition of information. Surface learning is the simple acceptance of information and memorization as isolated and unlinked facts. As such, it leads to superficial retention of material for examinations and does not promote understanding or long-term retention of knowledge and information.
In contrast, deep learning is an approach and an attitude to learning, where the children learn to use higher-order cognitive skills such as the ability to analyse, synthesize, solve problems, and think meta-cognitively in order to construct long-term understanding. It involves helping the children with the critical analysis of new ideas, and linking new information to already known concepts and principles, so that this understanding can be used for problem solving in new, unfamiliar contexts. Deep learning entails a sustained, substantial, and positive influence on the way the children act, think, or feel.
Deep learning promotes understanding and application for life, as deep learners reflect on the personal significance of what they are learning. Through our curriculum the children gain skills to be autonomous and collaborative learners, with high meta-cognitive and learning skills.
Our curriculum, both in the classroom and through the provision of additional curriculum opportunities, is designed to promote and develop the cultural capital of the children. Cultural capital is usually defined as the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a person can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence. As such it is one of the key ingredients a person will draw upon to be successful in society, in their future career and in the wider world of work. Cultural capital gives personal power as it helps the children to achieve goals and to become successful without necessarily having wealth or financial capital.
As a school we enable the children to gain cultural capital, thereby assuring they have the necessary assets and desire to be aspirational and to achieve in life, whatever their starting point.
At Cheddington we view cultural capital within six inter-related areas which are developed across the years the children are part of our school community:
- Personal Development
- Social Development, including political and current affairs awareness
- Physical Development
- Spiritual Development
- Moral Development
- Cultural development
As such, our curriculum is planned for all children so that:
- Children develop a fascination for learning and so will become life-long learners
- All learning is celebrated
- Children develop key skills and knowledge so that they can move on with confidence
The children are taught in class groups. Within our curriculum the approximate time allocations for subject learning per week are as follows:
English 6 hours 25 minutes
Mathematics 5 hours
Science 2 hours
Art 1 hour
Computing 1 hour
Foreign Languages 1 hour (KS2 only)
Geography 1 hour
History 1 hour
Music 1 hour
PE 2 hours
PHSE 1 hour
RE 1 hour
DT is taught in blocked time of approximately 15 hours per term to enable a more meaningful learning experience for the children. We also teach a Curriculum Enrichment programme for 1 hour per week.
The school resources the curriculum with a range of provision including the use of visitors and visits to enrich the learning.
The impact of our curriculum is that it enables the children to move onto their next stage of education with the key knowledge and skills they need to feel confident and to be successful. It offers children the opportunities to develop a fascination for life and learning due to the range of experiences included in their learning.
The curriculum is kept under constant review so that we can respond to the ever-changing needs and demands of life in 21st century Britain. All adaptations and changes will be shared in a timely manner.
"Both of our girls are flourishing at Cheddington School because they are happy and encouraged to be the best they can be. There is a friendly atmosphere in the school and all the children are valued and supported and cared for."