At Floreat Montague Park Primary School children and adults work in a holistic way by integrating spiritual, moral, aesthetic, physical, social, emotional and intellectual strands into our everyday lives and practice.
We teach a combination of discrete subjects and thematically, with specific curriculum studies planned each half term, for example, Evolution and Ancient Greece. Please see our year group pages for a brief overview of the half termly planning and knowledge organisers. Please see our subject pages for more detailed information about the vision and progression in a particular subject.
Our educational approach can be usefully considered in 2 broad areas: the curriculum and our approach to teaching and learning.
The curriculum is everything the child experiences at Floreat Montague Park Primary School. This is in the classroom, outdoors, at lunchtime, at play, during remote learning, participating in before and after school clubs, assemblies, competitions, educational visits and residentials.
The following schematic gives a good overview of why we have deliberately developed our curriculum and identifies what the main components of the curriculum are:
Central to our curriculum is the knowledge, skills, conceptual understanding and experiences we have intentionally designed to accomplish our aims.
We work with six ‘Big Ideas’ at all times so that the children deepen their understanding of these concepts and both apply and link their knowledge across the various curriculum studies.
Approach to Teaching and Learning
We recognise the challenge we face as teachers specifying a particular curriculum and pedagogy when we are clearly influenced by so many in the field of education and anthropology.
Cunningham, et al, wrote in 2007:
‘One of the challenges academics face when designing pedagogies and curricula is how best to articulate their own positionalities regarding the different ways theories or models of learning inform both the process of design as well as the product’.
Their article provides a useful summary of the main learning models, all of which are utilised at Floreat depending on the subject, age of the child and learning intentions of the teacher. The Humanist model, for example, describes an approach seen clearly in our early years setting:
- Behaviourist model
- Humanist model
- Information processing model
- Activity model
- Situated learning model
Our goal as educators is to understand the different learning models and consciously teach according to their principles. Our understanding is deepened with research including reading, and in the example of the Humanist model, a visit to A.S Neill’s Summerhill School, to see it in action.
In addition to learning models, there are principles that we have agreed, as a professional college of teachers, that we should see in our school every day. These form the basis of our collective understanding of effective teaching and learning :
- Pupils being clear on ‘what’ and ‘why’.
- Effective scaffolding techniques.
- The learning having meaning to all pupils.
- Build upon what pupils already know.
- Regular and effective verbal feedback.
- Higher-order activities that challenge thinking.
- High quality questions from adults and pupils.
- Explicit development of metacognition.
- Worthwhile classroom dialogue.
- Pupils have a chance to construct their own learning.
- Pupil-generated questions used to encourage a pupil centred learning process.
- Environment is used as the third teacher.