Our Curriculum Journey
Gwauncelyn's curriculum journey is a flexible one. During the design stage, it will be adapted several times, elements will be added and perhaps removed until we are confident that we have designed the best curriculum possible for all of our learners. Here is a flavour of some of the steps we have taken so far. We plan is to update this page regularly as we learn ourselves.
1. Gwauncelyn's Core Values and Vision
We have 6 core values in Gwauncelyn. These are perseverance, creativity, respect, responsibility, collaboration and happiness.
2. Immersion and Pupil Voice
We aim to provide our pupils with engaging experiences which will enrich their learning. At the start of our new topics, we carefully plan immersion days in KS1 and in KS2 we carry out our KWL grids to see what prior knolwedge the children have. The KWL enables pupils to lead their own learning by suggesting areas they would like to learn about within the topic. These suggestions are inputted into teacher planning, highlighted on our newsletters and shared with parents.
3. Blended Learning Project
As part of our ongoing professional development, the staff looked at the pedagogical principles. We chose blended learning as the project to focus on last year and from Nursery to Year 6 we carried out blended learning activities based on the word "Difference". Projects varied from "Spot the Difference" to "How is it different?" to "Making a difference". The project was extremely successful and was shared with the cluster.
This year our professional learning activities continue and there will be a class based project in the Spring Term
4. Four Purposes
Staff have a good understanding of the four purposes that are at the heart of the new curriculum. Through INSET staff have identified activities that highlight the four purposes through out topics. We will be holding a Curriculum Launch Day towards the end of the Autumn Term 2020 with the pupils with a focus on the four purposes.
We have a school "Annual Celebration and Events Calendar" where we plan specific activities to celebrate events in the world focused on the four purposes.
We ensure the four purposes are the starting point for all planned activities. By planning in this way, learners are at the heart of decisions and activities can be planned with carefully chosen skills which makes learning purposeful and relevant.
5. International Languages
We are passionate about learning languages here in Gwauncelyn and always celebrate European Day of Languages. Over recent years we have had carousel activities with German singing, building Eiffel towers, Picasso art work, painting like Michaelangelo, designing German love hearts, cooking Apfel strudel, hosting a French cafe, making Welsh cakes just to mention a few.
We are also working towards gaining our Bronze Award for Welsh. We take part in lots of Urdd activities from sporting activities to singing and recitation competitions.
6. Curriculum Maestro
This year we have purchased the new Curriculum Maestro scheme which is aligned to the New Curriculum for Wales. After a half term, feedback has been extremely positive with pupils and staff enjoying the exciting activities.
Here at Gwauncelyn we provide a broad and balanced curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to
the 2014 primary national curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations.
It is based on a child-centred pedagogy called The Four Cornerstones and is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) and Knowledge Rich Projects (KRPs), which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of children’s learning. We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination
and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides many learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively. Cornerstones also provide a rigorous skills and knowledge framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These skills and knowledge are tied to activities and are age-related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.