At Nunney First School, we want our curriculum to be exciting and inspiring to both our pupils and teachers. We want it to have strong, clear connections through each theme so that the pupils feel those connections, use their learning effectively and can implement what they have learnt to broaden their horizons. Our curriculum will be a more immersive journey.
We feel that our curriculum needs to have a good balance between knowledge and skills. Our aim is that, by developing a solid set of learning skills, pupils can then apply these as they grow as learners, both throughout their time at Nunney and beyond. In terms of knowledge, our curriculum will light sparks that encourage pupils to want to find out more, have a wider understanding of the world around them and encourage them to be confident, independent learners.
At Nunney First School, we understand that our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum is a curriculum for human flourishing. To help our pupils to flourish, we will continue to use our ‘Purple Learning’ growth mindset in close conjunction with ‘Learning Means the World’. In our daily brain training sessions, our pupils are reminded that it is good to feel challenged and that, as learners, they should be ready, resilient, resourceful and reflective. Together, both ‘Purple Learning’ and ‘Learning Means the World’ will embed the importance of human creativity and achievement and how this leads to the development of educated citizens.
Rationale for Implementation
We use Dimensions ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum as the main vehicle for achieving our outlined intent. This curriculum is underpinned by four highly relevant world issues, known as the four Cs:-
Communication will be at the core of our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum at Nunney First School. We believe that it is key to everything that we do and that if communication skills are poor then this can lead to being misunderstood or misconstrued. It is a tool used in everyday life, in many different ways and we want our pupils to be proficient, confident communicators. Communication has strong connections with our ‘Purple Learners’ attitudes to learning. In our daily brain training sessions, we encourage our pupils to talk about how they feel and what they are experiencing so that they can get into the right mindset for learning. We use phrases such as ‘I am resourceful’ to communicate the attitudes to learning that we want our pupils to have.
We recognise the importance of making our pupils careful and insightful online communicators too. We want our pupils to know about the ways in which people communicate online and how communication has changed in recent times. As online communication is becoming an ever bigger part of our local, national and global societies, it is important that pupils know how to connect appropriately, considerately and safely with others. They need to be aware of the backgrounds and culture, of the people they are connecting with and that the language they use online can cause offence or upset if consideration or thoughtfulness is not applied first. Good communication skills and recognition of cultures leads to acceptance.
The majority of our school demographic is that of white British backgrounds and there aren’t always many opportunities for some of our pupils to experience a wider range of cultures and backgrounds different to their own. Our pupils, however, when learning about different cultures and religions, are very understanding and are enthusiastic to find out more about them. We want to develop this further through our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum by exploring opportunities to see and experience a range of cultures first hand or learning about those that are found in places much further away.
Whilst our pupils are open and understanding of other cultures in the classroom, we recognise that it can be very different in real life. We want our pupils to know that difference is not something that is scary or intimidating but it should be celebrated, experienced and respected.
It is also important for our pupils to understand that culture and background do not only refer to race or religion. It is found in the buildings they see in places away from home, the food people eat, the events that take place to celebrate a wide range of festivals, special days or seasons and even in how families as constructed. It is our aim, through our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum, that our pupils recognise equality, offer respect and celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures and backgrounds our local, national and global communities have to offer.
At Nunney First School, we recognise that conflicts and disagreements do occur in everyday life. We want our pupils to develop their communication skills and build on the work they do in brain training each day to be able to resolve and settle their own conflicts. We understand that staff in the school need to be able to model these good communication skills and mediate where necessary but it is part of the growth of the pupils as learners that they can start to put into practice some of their own conflict resolution.
In terms of wider, more global conflict, we will encourage our pupils to make connections and links between places and periods of time that they’ve learnt about to study why conflict has occurred, how did they start and what could the solutions to conflict be. At Nunney, it is important that our pupils recognise that conflict is still occurring today and that they may have contact with people who have experienced conflict in recent times. We want to teach them that if they do meet people from conflict areas or refugees, they communicate with them sensitively and with compassion.
Finally, we want to ensure that our pupils understand the significance of peace and the impact that can have on a place in allowing people the time and opportunity to grow, learn, progress and ultimately, be successful.
At Nunney, we recognise that conservation does not just refer to green spaces and the environment. We want our pupils to see that, as global citizens, we must conserve many different aspects of life such as the arts, heritage and cultures of people as well as the environment. As part of our focus on lifelong learning skills, we aim to show our pupils that a passion for conservation does not need to finish at school and that there are opportunities to work in conservation as adults.
We recognise that, at Nunney First School, our environment is perfectly suited to sparking our pupils’ interest in conservation. We are blessed with a wealth of green space both within the school grounds and in the local area. We also have the benefit of a rural setting where environmental conservation can be taught and appreciated more deeply. Our pupils are significantly aware of the importance of green space in helping them to learn and appreciate nature. We want to continue to build on this through our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum. Our eco-school connections mean that we encourage our pupils to take responsibility for how they use their environment and the resources it has. We aim to teach them that small actions can have large consequences both positive and negative. By taking small steps in improving the environment, being less wasteful and being resourceful, they can conserve their local, national and even global environments for future generations.
Our curriculum narrative begins with Communication, as we believe it is the root of all learning, understanding and compassion. We know that it is important that our pupils have secure speaking and listening skills and they can use them confidently when speaking with a range of people and in a variety of different situations. By being good communicators, our pupils will see that they can connect with people, share their experiences and, sometimes more importantly, listen to what others have to say. By actively listening to others, we find out about who they are, their views, and their culture and ultimately become more understanding of the people around us. Because of this, we will next look at Culture. At Nunney First School, we recognise the connections between communication and culture. We know that to find out about others, their backgrounds and life experiences we must talk and listen. We want our curriculum to open doors to our pupils so they can be part of and learn more about a wider range of cultural experiences. We want them to understand that whilst some cultures both past and present have significant differences to their own, there can be similarities found. It is understanding and appreciating these similarities and differences that can prevent prejudice and aggression.
Our next world issue will be Conflict. It is important that our pupils, through previous world issues of communication and culture, see how a lack of understanding and acceptance of one another’s culture and poor communication skills can lead to conflict. Through our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum, we aim to teach our pupils about conflict in both the past and present and look at some of the reasons how and why conflict has changed over time. We then want our pupils to understand how conflicts can be solved and peace achieved. We can consider peace, in fighting terms, to be a conservation of life, hence our final world issue will be Conservation. As our pupils grow and learn in a peaceful environment, we want to teach them the importance of conserving land and space rather than fighting over it. By looking after the space we have, we allow nature to flourish and help people to develop their culture and preserve their heritage for future generations.
We also encourage our pupils to have high aspirations by teaching them about human creativity and achievement through additional Competency Units about famous figures and groups of people that focus on Creativity, Commitment, Courage and Community.
LMTW THEME GUIDE – a brief overview of each ‘Big C’ thematic unit covered in the 2 year cycle