International Primary Curriculum
Willow Bank follows the International Primary Curriculum, which is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum, with a clear process of learning and specific learning goals for every subject. It also develops international mindedness and encourages personal learning.
Each year group sets out the IPC units they will be undertaking each half term and this is shared with parents through the curriculum letter.
Each IPC unit begins with an immersion day including a hook or visit to inspire and excite the children about the learning in their next topic.
SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL (SMSC) UNDERSTANDING
The school aims to develop the children’s SMSC through direct teaching in the curriculum and also through the wider opportunities such as assemblies and the ethos and values that the school promotes. This includes the development of the children’s understanding of other cultures and what it means to be British.
Environmentally Friendly School
The school understands the value of learning outside of the school environment and this supports its vision of developing learners for life. Teachers are encouraged to maximise the opportunities available to take the children outside of the school to learn and trips are carefully planned. Additionally, the school encourages the children to attend residential opportunities in order to develop both their academic and social development. Each year group has a number of experiences that they are expected to provide within that academic year and can include visiting the Houses of Parliament, the Bank of England Museum or a zoo and are valued as opportunities to develop the ‘whole’ pupil.
The school has a number of bee hives on site as well as staff and pupils who are trained apiarists. We are delighted that we have started to collect our very own Willow Bank Honey. It is our aim that every children will leave Willow Bank Primary School having attained the Junior Beekeeping Award. We also have our own collection of chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and snails. This area of the curriculum remains in its infancy and moving forwards the following will be taking place:
We are fully committed to supporting the RSPB and it is our aim that every child across EYFS and KS1 attain all three Wildlife Awards – Bronze, Silver and Gold – from the RSPB. Achieving this award involves children completing an activity per half term linked to the award, activities are linked to classroom learning as well as Brain Builder homework. Additionally, each January the children will participate in the Schools’ Big Bird Watch and they will send their survey results to the RSPB whilst finding out all about birds that visit our local area.
Our outside wildlife areas will be developed to further support children’s learning and there is now a dedicated teaching space located next to our animals.
Finally, as part of our commitment to raising funds for charity we are seeking to develop enterprise skills whereby funds will be raised to sponsor various endangered animals by each class.
PSHE and Collective Act of Worship
All pupils follow a structured and age related Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme covering such things as hygiene, safety and personal development. Personal safety is also addressed through a range of activities including Road, Rail and Water safety. This ensures children revisit these topics regularly.
Children take part in weekly PSHE sessions with their class teacher during which issues such as relationships and feelings can be explored in a safe environment. Year 5 pupils participate in a series of lessons covering puberty, physical, emotional and social change. During Year 6, lessons cover sex education and human reproduction. Parents of these children will be invited to discuss these lessons before they occur and will be given the opportunity to withdraw their child if they wish.
The school has no religious affiliation. The school follows the Bexley Agreed Syllabus as laid down in the 1988 Education Act. Worship is ‘of broadly Christian character without being distinctive of a particular religious denomination’. Through classroom teaching and school assemblies, there is a presentation of basic Christian ethics linking with children’s everyday life. Knowledge of the Bible is included along with celebration of major Christian festivals. Children also learn about other faiths and are encouraged to develop awareness of and respect for different cultures to their own.
Children may be withdrawn from collective worship at their parents’ request but prior to doing so please do come into school and discuss this with the Head Teacher.
Character Education will form part of your child’s timetable. During these sessions, children will discover their unique traits and develop an understanding of how to use them in everyday life to benefit them and the wider community around them.
Children will have a separate session, delivered in conjunction with PSHE, as well as through the wider curriculum.
Character themes across the year are:
September - Who am I? Who am I becoming?
October - Being Caring
December - Being Aspirational
January - Being Inspirational
March - Being Respectful
April - Being Stewards
June - Being a Champion
The school actively promotes British Values which we believe will prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. To achieve this we use our curriculum, and the “The Big Questions” to enable the pupils to relate experience to learnt knowledge. In particular these values are woven into assemblies and many more aspects of personal, social, moral and cultural development. We promote democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
The school's positive and inclusive atmosphere ensures that pupils experience these values on a daily basis. We teach these values through our PSHE curriculum, assemblies, school council, debates and discussions.