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Burrington Primary School

Curriculum overview

 'The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited' Plutarch

At Burrington CofE Primary School our motto is 'Believe and achieve together' and this reflects our belief that children have an amazing capacity to learn and achieve great things which is enhanced by working in partnership.  Children are nurtured to become confident, independent and inquisitive learners and we strive to provide them with a stimulating, engaging and forward-thinking curriculum which challenges, excites and motivates. Our Christian values underpin all we do so that an education of academic success with its firm foundation of aspiration and curiosity is combined with the expectation that we can all make a positive difference in our world.

The breadth of our curriculum reflects our belief that the primary years are fundamental in inspiring passions, developing attitudes and shaping aspirations for the future. We are committed to ensuring that children have an education of the highest possible quality realised through an innovative and ambitious curriculum for all, underpinned by our Christian values.

Our curriculum has a strong local element as we recognise, appreciate and learn from the historic area and rural countryside in which we are situated, beside Holy Trinity Church. We value expertise both within our school and the wider community and we welcome visitors to share their specialisms with children. We are also outward facing which provides learning opportunities to look beyond the National Curriculum, reflecting on issues that affect the wider world. We support children in their sense of agency and their ability to take an active role in shaping the future. An important pillar of our curriculum is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which are woven into learning throughout the school and helps to encourage children in developing courageous advocacy.

Our pedagogy is drawn from national and international research. We use a Learning without Limits approach. This means that we don't set a ceiling or a limit on what any individual is able to do. We trust our children to make the decisions that are right for them and to challenge themselves in their own learning, asking questions and deepening their understanding of the world around them. As part of our learning culture for all, we strive to constantly reflect and review our practice. Our talented and nurturing staff  are committed to developing children’s growth-mindset, resilience and confidence to challenge themselves, unafraid to make mistakes, secure in the knowledge that this can lead to deeper learning. 

The curriculum is carefully structured with clear progression in all subject areas. As children build upon prior learning, they deepen their understanding and develop their base of knowledge. The curriculum is organised by both subjects and themes. The main  themes will usually have a subject focus. Most themes have a two-year rolling programme due to our class structure;  however, there are some curriculum themes which children will experience annually such as in PHSE.   In all subjects, concepts are revisited but at a more challenging level.  Sometimes we will have a particular curriculum subject focus and lessons will be blocked over a shorter period to immerse children in a theme, for example: Remembrance and Black History Week. For other subject areas, regular weekly lessons are timetabled. We strive for academic excellence and children are supported through careful differentiation and scaffolding.  


 A taste of our curriculum...

Within our curriculum, as well as ensuring that all aspects of the National Curriculum are met, we provide children with a diverse range of opportunities during their time at Burrington, such as Forest School, whole-class instrumental lessons, themed weeks and days (well-being, STEM, arts), which have been specifically selected to ensure that we provide an irresistible education, which develops the ‘whole-child’ and deepens their cultural capital. Learning themes include 'wow' experiences to ignite interest and raise learning questions. At the end of a theme, a presentation may be used to celebrate learning and could take a variety of forms. At Burrington, we want to give all children the experience of 'Life in all its fullness' (John 10:10).

There is a local aspect to the curriculum: the school is situated in the Mendip Hills in an area of outstanding natural beauty and we take full advantage of being able to undertake regular field work and learn about local history. Within the school grounds, the Dring is a perfect environment for specialist forest school - weekly for our younger children and on an occasional basis for special projects for our older children. Expertise can be found in our locality and we have frequent visitors to school who regularly inspire children with their knowledge and skills.

Global goals have become an important aspect of the school curriculum since the development of the Federation and links are made with subjects in RE, geography and science curriculum, among others. Trips and visits to Wells Cathedral, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, London and the Devon Coast expand children's experiences. We are also delighted to have a link school in Zambia, whom we support, and regularly visit St Monica's Residential Home as part of our local community outreach. 

We value specialism amongst teachers and other visitors and we encourage opportunities for children to experience expertise through working with specialists  (e.g. such as visiting scientist, Professor Ed, our Forest School Leader, two AONB rangers on the staff) . We believe passionately in developing a love of lifelong learning for all. Specialists' and experts' enthusiasm can be infectious! We also invite members of the community to inspire children during Curriculum Enrichment week held each term. 

We are passionate about Science, the highlight being our annual STEM project. Each year, for a whole week, children work in mixed-year groups (with older children supporting younger ones) on a specific challenge whereby the children use and apply scientific knowledge in an innovative and creative way to solve a specific challenge, culminating in a big end of week competition. The winners of which attend a regional cluster competition. Projects have ranged from designing wheelchairs; using physics to understand impact on plastic pollution; creating awareness for the plight of hedgehogs and deforestation to digital orienteering. Our school have been awarded Gold Space Award in recognition of our outstanding STEM work. 

The performing arts have a central role to play in developing confidence, presentation skills and team work. A wide range of informal and formal opportunities are given for this, from the participation in special services at Holy Trinity, KS1 Nativity, performing on stage at the Playhouse in the annual dance festival, taking part in our whole school annual production or presenting a confident leaver's speech on the final day at the school. Children have the opportunity to perform in concerts (as individual instrumentalists or in the choir) and at the beginning of service in church.

Sport flourishes at the school.  With the small size of the school, opportunities abound in representing Burrington in sports events! We are proud to have been awarded a Gold Sports Mark School and regularly complete in inter-school competitions in a range of sports disciplines. We are proud to have recently won the small schools trophy for hockey (and came 3rd across all schools in the region).

The curriculum is not confined to the classroom. Depending on the children's interests, staff or parents provide a range of extra-curricular options. This ranges from various sports clubs, 3D pen-club, engineering, chess, arts and crafts etc. 

As a church school, our Christian values underpin all our learning and develop relationships which ensure the success of the school. Our school motto, 'Believe and achieve together' combined with our Federation guidance principle of ‘Let all that you do be done in love’ 1 Corinthians 14-16 provide the cornerstone of all that we do.

For further information on the curriculum, have a look at the 'Learning' tab.