Curriculum Enrichment & Cultural Capital
Wider Curriculum Opportunities & Cultural Capital
Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of enriching experiences and opportunities both within and beyond the school day. This includes an extensive programme of after-school clubs, that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as Spanish and French, sailing and archery, whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences (Cultural Capital). A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and make very good progress across the curriculum. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who can struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
In addition to our exciting and stimulating cross-curricular themes, we also provide further enrichment opportunities to enhance children’s learning wherever possible. These include:
Promoting Positive Mental Health & Wellbeing
At Woodstock CE Primary School, we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing of every member of our school community and recognise how important mental health and wellbeing is to our lives, as is physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health and overall wellbeing can affect their learning and achievement.
A key aspect of our role in school is to ensure that children can manage times of change and stress, and that they are supported to reach their potential or access help when they need it. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and where they can go if they need help and support.
Positive wellbeing is promoted through the wider curriculum and all school activities. Through a carefully planned approach to PSHE, RSE and Citizenship our pupils are helped to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives, and to become resilient, informed and responsible citizens.
In addition, whole school approaches such as collective worship and circle time sessions are used to further develop the pupils’ knowledge of strategies. For example, peaceful problem solving is taught in circle time sessions to help pupils learn to control and manage feelings when there are disputes on the playground. Whole school events are held including Time to Talk Day in February, Mental Health Awareness Week in May, World Mental Health Day in October, and Anti-bullying Week in November. During these events, the focus is on mindfulness and resilience; teaching strategies for dealing with anxiety; and coping with change and transition.
What do we do at Woodstock Primary School to support children’s emotional well-being and mental health?
Woodstock Primary School is committed to creating a happy, caring and supportive environment. As well as a learning environment, the school ensures there is a positive, supportive and inclusive ethos where children can thrive and achieve their personal best. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is a central to the curriculum across the whole school.
- PSHE & RSE assists pupils to cope with the changes at puberty, introduces them to a wider world, manage transitions and enables them to make an active contribution to their communities. The concepts covered in PSHE include identity, managing feelings and emotions, relationships, change, resilience and being healthy, which includes physical, emotional, and social well-being.
- Nurture Provision. Children who experience domestic violence, bereavement, anxiety, and any other life experiences that may affect their emotional well-being are identified and supported by a fully trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) teacher who will offer regular 1:1 or small group nurture support. The school supports the child in their specific needs, meaning the pupil is at the heart of the school focus and their learning is understood developmentally.
- Physical Education at least two hours weekly. Most pupils attend at least one sport-related after-school club, and many take part in inter-school sporting competitions.
- Extensive range of After-School Clubs support children’s social and emotional development, and their well-being all with a view to increasing the range of experiences that children have, enabling them to make informed choices for adult life. Activities are designed to be fun and cater for a wide variety of interests.
- Healthy eating is promoted throughout the school. We have children’s garden areas with green house, potting shed and raised growing beds. One area is used by children in the Early Years and the other as part of the curriculum in KS1. Parent volunteers support children working in the garden. The children grow a variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs and when harvested use these in cooking activities.
- Disadvantaged and vulnerable children are closely monitored through a ‘Championing’ approach and ensuring barriers to learning are removed and enrichment opportunities are encouraged and supported.
- World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week is celebrated across the school and ongoing events and activities are planned for the whole school community.
- National Wellbeing Award Accreditation demonstrates our commitment to gaining a fuller understanding of mental health and supporting the needs of identified children.
- Staff are trained in supporting children’s wellbeing through ‘Developing Practices around Mental Health and Wellbeing’, including accessing outside help and support when required.
Nurture Support & ELSA Support
Our school offers Nurture Provision. Children who experience domestic violence, bereavement, anxiety, and any other life experiences that may affect their emotional well-being are identified and supported by a fully trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) teacher who will offer regular 1:1 or small group nurture support. The school supports the child in their specific needs, meaning the pupil is at the heart of the school focus and their learning is understood developmentally.
Whole School Theme Days/Weeks
Throughout the year, themed days/weeks are woven into the curriculum to extend and enhance the breadth and balance of opportunities we offer our pupils. These include, Anti-Bullying Week and Safety Day, Creative Arts Week, World Book Day, Black History Month, Sport & Health Week, Fair Trade Fortnight (we are a Fair Achiever School), European Day of Languages, RE Days and much more.
Forest School & Outdoor Learning
Forest Schools is a Scandinavian initiative designed to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment. As a school we are very fortunate in having our own woodland area and a teacher trained to deliver the Forest Schools programme.
Forest Schools is offered to our Foundation Stage and Year 1 children and also as an after-school club for Y2-Y6 pupils. Sessions are designed around the needs of the group to ensure that they are learner-led. Sessions are designed around a theme, themes are sometimes subtle such as evolving or exploring the site or more obvious such as butterflies, spies, fairies or nature investigators. Many areas of the National Curriculum are intrinsically covered, in the Forest Schools experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art, the list is endless. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.
We are an Eco school and value the benefits of outdoor learning. Children are stimulated by the outdoors where they can undertake a range of practical activities to support and enhance learning across the curriculum. Our Foundation Stage and Key Stage One pupils also benefit from tending their own growing beds to produce fruit and vegetables to use in cooking activities.
Further up the school, opportunities are built into the curriculum for children to continue learning beyond the classroom including undertaking fieldwork and enquiry-based work in the local area.
Educational Visits and Residentials
School trips and visits are an integral part of the education of children at Woodstock Primary. We value the opportunities such visits offer our pupils and the commitment of staff and adults undertaking them. Trips include class visits aimed at bringing learning alive and providing first-hand experience; extra-curricular outings such as activities with the school choir, orchestra or sporting events; and attending or taking part in performances or competitions. Blenheim Palace is on our doorstep and provides a rich and inspirational learning resource.
Children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 6 take part in residential visits. These are planned to provide new and exciting experiences. Children in Year 2 make an annual overnight visit to the Hill End Outdoor Centre; pupils in Years 3 & 4 gain first hand-experience of Roman Britain when visiting Cirencester and Chedworth Roman villa; and our Year 6 young people take part in a challenge week at The Frontier Centre in Northamptonshire where they experience orienteering, climbing, abseiling, raft building, archery and lots more.
Visitors into School & Workshops
Visitors have a valuable role to play and can contribute to many aspects of the life and work of the school. They deliver talks, workshops and full day activities across a wide range of subjects, giving pupils access to outside experiences and expertise. Visitors provide a link with the wider community – children have the opportunity to work alongside artists, musicians, authors, health professions and others.
Half-termly STEAM presentations introduce children to the world of work, develop career-related learning and breakdown gender stereotypes. Presentations introduce children to different career options and aim to increase aspirations while also raising self-esteem and breaking down barriers. Talks are wide-ranging reflecting different employment sectors and delivered by both men and women, for example a recent talk by a drone designer was delivered by a female engineer with a degree in physics – she spoke about her contribution society in a male dominated job; other speakers have included surgeons, an architect, a photographer, a volcanologist and an animator – he told an enraptured hall full of staff and children about his struggle in school with dyslexia to going on to receive his first (of four) Baftas!
At the heart of our ambition for Woodstock Primary School is our commitment to providing the very best for all children to enjoy and achieve. This includes having the widest possible range of opportunities both within and beyond the curriculum. We offer extra-curricular opportunities through various types of provision delivered by school staff, external providers, and independent clubs – all with a view to increasing the range of experiences that children have, enabling them to make informed choices for adult life. Activities are designed to be fun and cater for a wide variety of interests.
We want to offer the scope for each child to find a passion, develop a talent, spark an interest, or simply find pleasure in doing an activity with others. After-school clubs are a fantastic way of achieving this, and we are excited to offer a wide range of clubs, including sport, art and craft, lunchtime choir and orchestra, drama, running club etc.
Music, Art & Drama
Woodstock CE Primary School provides opportunities for children to take part in a wide range of musical activities and performances where they are encouraged to sing, compose, and work creatively with sound. Through active listening, pupils’ awareness, understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of music are developed. A range of opportunities are provided within and beyond the curriculum for children to showcase their musical skills and talents, for example every two years our older pupils take part in Young Voices where school choirs across the Midlands region come together to performance at the Indoor Arena in Birmingham. Visits to the theatre further enriches pupils’ cultural development.
As a school we appreciate and understand the importance of drama within our curriculum. Research reveals that drama had a positive impact on children’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. Drama is developed across the whole school in a variety of ways including storytelling, various performances, and assemblies.
One of our external after-school club providers ‘Spotlight Academy’ provide opportunities for children to learn a show in a term which is then performed to parents – the shows are very professional looking, and the children thoroughly enjoy their performances.
Homework can make an important contribution to a child’s progress at school. As well as reinforcing learning in the classroom, homework helps children to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful independent lifelong learning.
Homework is set in-line with the school’s policy, with tasks planned to appropriately challenge all pupils. Weekly activities focus on English and Maths to reinforce and consolidate skills taught. Often whole-school homework is set which provides an opportunity for children to think creatively and produce their own form of response. A comprehensive Homework Policy outlines further our approaches to homework.
Pupil Parliament & Voice of the Child
Volunteering is an activity that everyone can get involved in and benefit from. At Woodstock Primary we promote and encourage pupils’ active citizenship and positive contribution to the school and wider community. We offer lots of opportunities for pupils to take on new responsibilities and be involved in successfully supporting the life and work of the school. These include elected representatives on our Pupil Parliament where children are responsible for some of the following key areas of the school: subject specific leadership, Environmental Eco work, Rights Respecting etc. Older pupils can also apply and be interviewed for positions such as Playground Leaders and Librarians, and within classes children can volunteer to take on various responsibilities ranging from lunch duties, to helping with the organisation of equipment in Collective Worship.
Involving children as volunteers is very empowering:
- It helps them to develop self-confidence.
- It promotes self-esteem.
- It develops their skills as leaders.
- It involves them in making their own decisions.
- It gives them a voice in the life and work of the school.
- It offers them opportunity to take responsibility
- It enables them to make a positive contribution to the work of the school and wider community.
- It helps to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of adult and working life.
Pupils tell us that they enjoy the opportunity to volunteer to help make their school an even better place to be and rising to the challenge that additional responsibility brings.
Eco & Environmental Work
Eco-Schools is a scheme, which supports schools to raise pupils’ awareness of environmental issues through curriculum work and specific environmental projects. Click here to visit the Eco-Schools website. The eco-schools programme links to most if not all curriculum areas. Many cross-curricular issues such as citizenship, enterprise and personal, social and health education can be tackled through involvement in Eco-Schools.
It is an accredited award scheme. Schools who achieve eco-school status receive a Green Flag to display in their school. If a school achieves four Green Flags, then they can be awarded permanent eco-school status. Woodstock CE Primary School is very proud to say that we were awarded our fifth Green Flag Accreditation and continue to hold the Eco-Award for our school.
Rights Respecting School
Our school uses the work of Unicef to create a safe and inspiring place to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured, and they can thrive. We strive to ensure the Rights Respecting philosophy is embedded within the values of our school life and gives the children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.
We use the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as a guide to further enhancing our curriculum. We have already successfully achieved the Gold level Rights Respecting Award which recognises our school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond.
Global & International Citizenship
Through the inclusion of an international focus within our curriculum offer at Woodstock CE Primary School, children engage in a range of experiences that enhance their learning and raise awareness of their national and international identity. Whether through termly themes or when celebrating European Day of Languages, as a school we have a commitment to both gender and racial equality. This global dimension is reflected in the attitudes and values of our school community, the ethos and the curriculum of our school. We recognise that global issues are an important part of children’s lives today. We are living in a world where economies are increasingly interdependent and global communication is a daily reality. Children have access to the Internet, increased opportunities to travel and to watch news stories from around the world, as they develop. A global dimension helps children to understand their role in creating a fair and sustainable world in the future and enables learners to explore links between their own lives and people, places and issues throughout the world. This work is further extended through the ‘Our World’ initiative that runs weekly across the whole school.
We have links with a French-speaking school in Italy and regularly communicate with them through the E-Pals initiative, led by our MFL Lead. We have also been recognised for our work promoting international dimensions within our curriculum through being awarded International School status.
Our World & Primary News
Each week, throughout school, children discuss and reflect on naturally occurring events or topical issues that are happening around the world. The aims of this we hope will broaden the children’s geographical knowledge and understanding and the impact of how such events can affect others. Weekly PowerPoints to support each theme are produced and shared with teachers who adapt to ensure they are age appropriate. These are also shared on our school website so that families can further discuss the weekly theme at home. We link with the Primary News resource which also links with our Collective Worship themes and discussions.
Year 6 Weekly Booster Sessions
Children in Year 6 are invited to attend a weekly after-school booster session for both Maths and English. These are run by class teachers and children benefit from bespoke teaching in small groups. These sessions are a great opportunity for the children across the phase to work together in different groups whilst further supporting their learning. They are very much a social time where children can further enjoy a range of approaches to learning including problem-solving and reasoning. Speaking and listening is very much promoted as a result, children hugely value these times with almost all pupils attending.
Charity & International Aid Support
Children at Woodstock Primary School are actively involved in charity work and fundraising for various local, national and international charities. We hold annual events such as the School’s Partnership Charity Enterprise fundraising where we work with schools within our partnership to raise funds for nominated charities: Children in Need; Comic Relief and Sport Relief. Often children will approach teachers with ideas to further raise money for different causes, in particular responding to an international issue. Recent fundraising events have included a fundraising event for Christian Aid in support of global disasters. Other events have included a bake sale for a local children’s bereavement charity; and taking part in the local OX5 Oxford Hospital run.