Curriculum Rationale

Whiston Willis Primary Academy Curriculum Rationale

Whiston Willis Primary Academy (WWPA) aims to provide a creative, inclusive, challenging and real-world curriculum that inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates and supports high quality learning. We ensure that all learners exceed their potential academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually with their families, in their communities as well as in the wider world ensuring that they become ambitious lifelong learners.

At WWPA, we want to ensure that all of our children receive the best education possible and because of this, we have recently moved to a new, inspiring curriculum that involves and engages all of our children. Our aim is to provide our children with the skills and values they need to succeed during their time as a member of our school community and beyond. We want to engage pupils’ positivity in order to increase motivation, interest and attitudes to learning, raise attainment and deepen knowledge and understanding of complex topics through relevant, interactive, experiential learning.

We use an investigative, thematic based curriculum that provides our children with a wide and varied curriculum that both inspires and fosters an independent love of learning. From Foundation Stage to Year 6, all of our children are involved in a thematic based curriculum that centres around finding answers to an essential question. Each project begins with an awe inspiring launch and ends with an exhibition designed as a celebration of all that they have learnt, when they are able to share the answer to their essential questions with a real audience. During each themed project we invite visitors into the school, take the children on visits and create lessons that will build up to answer their essential question.

Children have the opportunity to contribute to their learning with ideas for their projects, we talk to the children about the things that they would like to learn about and then look at ways of incorporating these into the projects. We plan and design learning opportunities that are relevant and engaging and have real world outcomes. We also promote the value of a growth mindset and encourage our children to apply this to all learning opportunities.

Our classroom and learning environments are designed to enhance the learning experiences available for the children. They alter each term to reflect an element or elements of the essential question. So, you could quite easily move from a Tudor banquet, to an under the sea cave as you move throughout our school. We use a variety of flexible learning spaces, which can be adapted for different lessons and which allow children to make daily decisions about how they would like to learn.

Developing problem solving, independence and resilience in pupils is a central part of our challenge based learning approach. Children are presented with challenges related to their project which require them to organise themselves, plan and carry out the task and choose how to present their learning. Staff will act in a facilitating role, using questioning to support rather than direct. Challenges can be across all curriculum areas, can be used to introduce, embed or extend skills and provide pupils with an opportunity to take ownership of their learning.

The final outcome of a themed project; which might be a product (such as a machine or an artwork), a performance (such as a theatre piece or a debate), or a service (such as giving a lesson to younger students), creates a focus for the project that gives it a feeling of purpose from day one. Pupils are aware of the final outcome and more importantly the deadline from day one of the project. This gives their work a clear purpose and embeds the need for high quality, world-class outcomes.

Our school is structured around mixed year group classes due to our number on roll of 40 children per year group. To ensure consistency, challenge and support for all year groups our teachers plan in phase teams based around a two year topic cycle. For example, all children in Lower Key Stage 2 (Y3 and Y4) will cover a topic about the Romans. Although content will be similar, work set will be differentiated to allow for sufficient support and challenge for all pupils.

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Mrs Joyce Jones

on 0151 477 8270

Whiston Willis Community

Primary School, Milton Avenue

Prescot, L35 2XY

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