Goodrich has an outstanding and rich curriculum. Our aim: ‘High Standards for all’ - and academic achievement will always remain our main focus, but we want to provide a well-rounded education of the highest quality, with an ethos that is forward thinking and tolerant. We place great importance on Art, Music and PE alongside the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. Our broad and balanced curriculum is what is needed to effectively prepare children for life in modern Britain.
The curriculum is designed to develop the whole person - knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes, and it is broad, balanced and has a clear progression in terms of subject knowledge and skills.
We have our own Mathematics and English bespoke schemes of work. The mathematics curriculum was written by Nigel Bufton, ex-HMI for mathematics in England, and trialled and developed here. It has been adopted by over 60 schools across England from Devon to Lewisham. Alongside the scheme of work we have our own half termly tests for each year group -one arithmetic and one reasoning- which enable us to moderate teacher assessment with age related expectations.
The English curriculum was written in conjunction with an English adviser and it revolves around key texts which cover every genre. It too has been adopted by other schools in different parts of the country. We have purchased a commercial set of tests for grammar, punctuation and spelling to underpin teacher assessment. There are also regular Salford reading tests which give a reading age , to support half termly teacher assessments.
For science we have adapted the Kent scheme. We have a science adviser working in the school for one day a week, team teaching alongside targeted staff and helping with planning.
All the core subjects have schemes filled with rich, first-hand and purposeful experiences.
There is a very extensive range of educational visits to support and enrich the curriculum with residential trips from Year 3 onwards: Arethusa on the River Medway in Year 3; HMS Belfast and science museum sleep-over in Year 4; Nethercott farm in Devon and Arethusa in Year 5, and Sailing at the Isle of Wight in Year 6.
Built into each of the schemes is a degree of flexibility which allows teachers to return to concepts misunderstood by a particular class. The curriculum is also flexible and responsive to individual needs and interests with gifted and talented groups and targeted SEN support and specialist teaching deepening this.
The wider curriculum is very strong especially in Art, Music and PE. Specialist teaching has helped to raise standards and improve teacher subject knowledge. We encourage the use expertise beyond the classroom so as to break glass ceilings in terms of standards.
Pupil premium children are given bursaries or free places on residential trips and after school clubs. They receive additional teaching to accelerate their progress.
All subjects make use of the external environment, from the Early Years going outside to play and learn every day, to older children drawing local buildings in Art or visiting local places of worship. There is a strong green focus with the Eco-Group and the School Council. This helps to embed the principle of sustainability.
The Friends of Goodrich have helped to develop the new learning gardens at the front of the school and the new pond garden at the front of the house. They also have contributed very generously to book corners, pay for Year 6 and Reception to go to the seaside every year , and for a range of learning resources.
The curriculum has an eye on the future and the needs of future citizens from computing to the ability to respond to the changing needs of our children. For example, this year we have decided to relaunch our SRE curriculum to meet the needs of the children as society changes and e-safety becomes more of an issue. For computing we have adopted the Rising Stars scheme and have purchased a range of iPads and new laptops to support it along with new Interactive White Boards.
An extensive range of after school clubs help to deepen the curriculum offer. Some of these such as speed stacking and cardiovascular training deal with current issues such as childhood obesity. There are also extra group lessons in core subjects before school.
For RE we have adapted the Hackney scheme and have introduced mindfulness in the older years. Along with the Humanities this enables meaningful links between areas of knowledge across the curriculum and the major issues of our time.
British values are explicitly taught through the curriculum and implicitly through the PSHE provision and the day to day relationships and structures of the school.
We also teach Mandarin and the curriculum has an international dimension with visiting teachers from China through the Confucius Institute, who teach Mandarin, kung-fu and Chinese dance. Over several years there have been small group visits to China.
Music has a high profile and children learn an instrument: the recorder, plus African drumming in Year 6, as well as other individual instruments. There is specialist music teaching, and recent projects have included Agincourt 600 (£50,000 was given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to this multi-media celebration of the battle of Agincourt hosted by St George the Martyr church, Borough, which received Henry V upon his return. This saw our children working with another school and a range of professional musicians and actors). We are also performing with the RPO in a concert called Fire, and our drummers have performed at the Royal Festival Hall.
PE is strong and we have won a large number of cups in various competitions and the Active Award.
Art is outstanding with very high expectations and good use of materials from the kiln to weaving to the double primary paint system, but drawing is the key skill and it is taught well.
Areas we want to develop next year include: Dance, writing our own History and Geography curriculum, use of IT in music, and carpentry.