What are we trying to achieve with our curriculum at Millbrook C P School?

At Millbrook Primary School we aim to be inclusive, diverse and tolerant. We are situated in Kirkby Town and work within a family of local schools.   Our curriculum celebrates the local area and enables all children at Millbrook to show the qualities of a Kirkby child.   We want the children of Millbrook School and Kirkby Town to be confident, knowledgeable, resilient and ambitious.

The curriculum aims to ensure pupils get a wide variety of opportunities and experiences, both in the local area and the wider Merseyside area. We celebrate the wealth of resources in the local area both historical (St Chad’s Church) and cultural (Kirkby Gallery, Kirkby Library). Every opportunity to take the curriculum outside the classroom is used with visits to these places. Of equal importance is the chance for our children to broaden their horizons by visiting the many resources beyond Kirkby Town which surround us.  Using local rail links we regularly explore Liverpool City Centre, the Merseyside region and beyond which have a wealth of resources: museums, galleries, public services, theatres, cinemas, zoos, beaches, pinewoods etc within a short distance to Millbrook School.

We welcome all children in our school and celebrate a fully inclusive approach matching resources to pupil need. Many pupils benefit from our sensory provision and high staffing ratios.

Our curriculum supports children’s future ambitions to be good citizens contributing to the world and developing the key drivers which enhance our curriculum: resilience, responsibility, respect, independence, communication, inspiration, unity, inclusion and mindfulness.  Our behaviour policy compliments this by emphasising the importance of children being ready, respectful and safe at all times.

Breadth and Balance

At Millbrook, our curriculum has been designed to adhere fully to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study.  The Essentials Full Spectrum Curriculum and Curriculum Planner written by Chris Quigley enables us to efficiently adjust our curriculum year on year. This ensures full coverage within our school including across our single and vertically grouped classes.  This curriculum along with Millbrook’s milestones clearly state the knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage of a child’s development at our school.

Each class has a class curriculum map which identifies the core learning objectives and a subject specific curriculum map which identifies topics to be followed through the year.  At Millbrook, we compliment this core curriculum with specific programmes which are tailored to the needs at our school.

For example, Ruth Miskin’s Read, Write Inc enables our children to make a strong start to their reading and writing attainment.  McGaw and Hill’s Spelling Mastery ensures our children receive a loyal and structured approach to spelling throughout our school.  Nelson Grammar is used in Key Stage 2 to ensure a progressive structure and common approach to our grammar teaching.  White Rose Planning and Times Tables Rock Stars form the foundations of our Mathematics curriculum.  The Power Of Reading aims to promote a love of reading in our children.

On World Book Day, we all studied the book called ‘The Writing Machine.’

How is our curriculum delivered at Millbrook C P School?

Our curriculum is delivered through exciting, inspirational and creative teaching, ensuring that pupils are fully engaged with their learning and connections are made within and between subjects.  We regularly have WOW events to launch specific topics across school.  For example, Virgin Balloons brought a hot air balloon to our school and this marked the memorable event that ensured our topic ‘Up, up and away.’ was a great success.  A special Mini Police Launch Day, saw the arrival of the Police helicopter which performed a dance for us on our field.  A mystery engulfed the school when an Unidentified Flying Object landed on our school field.

English and Maths take place in the mornings along with specific programmes tailored to the needs of our children here at Millbrook.  The afternoons are alive with subject and topic work as identified in our specific subject curriculum maps.  Teachers can choose to block lessons across the afternoons to ensure greatest impact on pupils’ learning.

Our curriculum is enriched with visits off site, visitors to school and a widening range of after school clubs.  We believe that children need authentic experiences and a rich cultural stock to support their attainment.  Educational trips to the vast range of resources on our doorstep here in Kirkby are littered throughout our curriculum.  A highlight from this year’s curriculum so far has been a focus on recycling.  Our personal development curriculum encourages our children to take a world view.  This along with our Science and Geography studies led us to follow the particular interests of Class 8 and consider how we could better take care of our planet.

A trip to Gillmoss Recycling Discovery Centre inspired our children.
Class 8 followed this up with a visit from United Utilities to help us think about conserving water.
An in-house competition encouraged children to recycle batteries and a visit from the Rangers highlighted the litter in our area.

What difference is our curriculum making to the pupils’ learning?

Our end of key stage data continues to demonstrate good attainment and/or progress across school.  Assessment of our wider curriculum in July 2019 showed that children are both knowing more and remembering more each year across most subjects.  A large majority of children demonstrate the knowledge and understanding we would expect for their stage of development.  Any gaps in the children’s current knowledge has been identified and this has informed our curriculum content for the academic year 2019 to 2020.  Curriculum and subject leaders will ensure training and resources enable children and teachers to continue to improve the impact of our curriculum.  You can find our curriculum milestones on the curriculum tab above.

We used our assessment of the science curriculum to identify more able scientists who enjoyed a six week science block at Kirkby High School.

What’s coming next year?

As I am writing this in the Summer Term 2019, already plans are building for further development work on our curriculum, as we fine tune it to suit the needs of our children at Millbrook.  Power of Reading has been a great success this year and the books we study in English are going to be at the centre of our subject and topic plans for 2019 to 2020 academic year.  Our staff will spend our first Inset day focusing on the curriculum map and we will lead staff on some specific training linked to Art and Design, Design and Technology, History and Geography.  Within mathematics, we will be providing greater opportunities for intervention groups across school to ensure progress is improved throughout school.