We like to think we push the boundaries. Our curriculum is dynamic, it evolves with the seasons, the Christian calendar and develops with the children’s interests. We believe learning is richest when children have first hand experiences. Our curriculum is crammed with activities and events that not only contextualise learning, but motivate and thrill the children. We also recognise that content must be flexible. The pandemic has brought this into sharp focus. We provide time to review and adapt curriculum to suit the needs of the cohorts of children.
Our curriculum is expansive. It is intended to teach knowledge that prepares children for life growing up in Cornwall as well as aspirations that reach far beyond our shores. For example: children living next to the sea should learn how to enjoy this resource safely, but also appreciate that growing up in one of Britain’s urban centres is bound to be quite a different experience than their own. At SIS we aim to provide that wide lens view of Britain and the world and a focussed lens on what really matters for them here in Cornwall.
At St Issey, outdoor learning begins in the Early Years and KS1 at our “Venture Zone”. It continues with children gaining enough knowledge and skills to survive a challenging bushcraft camp in Year 6. Our Venture 60 outdoor challenges drive our outdoor curriculum. Residential trips expand children’s knowledge further. Visits to Bristol, Manchester and London all broaden the scope of the educational experience children get at SIS. We start as we mean to go on! Every year begins with Learning to Learn week; an action packed adventurous week with the sole purpose of having fun, re-establishing friendships and learning a bit more about ourselves and the way we learn best. Years 3-6 all spend a night in the wild. There’s no better way to start the year than campfires and camping with your friends.
We are proud of our Storytelling heritage. We teach writing through an exciting storytelling approach. From creative starting points, often enriched by off-site visits, drama, film and IT, children are inspired to write creatively for a variety of exciting purposes and audiences.
Our wider curriculum is driven by key questions and carefully selected knowledge across a broad range of relevant content that taps into children’s naturally curious minds. Real life outcomes alongside exciting trips and visits, bring learning to life. We collaborate with our partner schools within Venture MAT to further broaden opportunities for our children.
We carefully plan the progression of knowledge for each subject. This curriculum design document, which has been created by leaders across Venture MAT, helps teachers plan progressive content through the years. For example, in Reading we plan the progression of questions that drive the teaching of comprehension, the shared reading book choice to ensure book difficulty, the range of vocabulary is challenging and the subsequent reading skills that we aim for the children to develop as they become more accurate, widely read readers. Similarly in art, progression of artistic skills is mapped alongside the age expected knowledge of artistic techniques and subject specific vocabulary. The impact is that we can support teachers in their planning of age appropriate challenges for their classes. Our teachers are very experienced in adapting this planning to suit our mixed age classes. Our rolling programs are carefully tailored to support progression and prevent repetition. In class our approaches can predominantly be summed up by these illustrations.
If you would like any more information on our curriculum, please see our ‘Curriculum Design’ document on the website or alternatively, contact us via the school office.