WEST LEIGH JUNIOR CURRICULUM
At West Leigh we have long prided ourselves on offering a high quality, bespoke curriculum which closely reflects the context of the pupils we teach and the community in which they live.
High academic standards and expectations have always been at the core of our school. Much is expected of us from our aspirational, professional parent community, yet we have always been mindful of the need to give our children the broad and balanced education they deserve which nurtures each child’s unique skills and interests.
Our whole school curriculum is organised and sequenced to create the best opportunities for secure and lifelong learning. Our ‘connected curriculum’ encompasses history, geography, art and design and technology. From experience we know that the links we make between these subjects lead to more memorable, enjoyable and powerful learning. Although our other subjects stand alone, we look for opportunities to make meaningful curriculum links – though never at the expense of the individual subject discipline. (Each subject has its own document detailing its particular intent and sequencing). Our lessons are implemented under the umbrella of our ‘West Leigh Way’ so that learning experiences are always of the highest quality for each and every child.
Each subject has its own leader with a special interest or expertise in the subject. They lead and manage their subject across the year groups, supporting planning, advising staff and reviewing the quality of the learning. They ‘fight the corner’ for their subject ensuring its high profile across the year groups and are ever watchful that those children showing a particular talent are given every opportunity to embrace their potential. They have a responsibility to keep the planning under constant review, re-sequencing where necessary to ensure knowledge and skills are firmly embedded in long term memory. Their mini AIPs (academy improvement plans) and action plans feed into our whole school planning.
We have organised our PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) afternoons so that our children benefit from the highest quality teaching from subject specialists. French, music, computing and outside sport are all delivered at this time. West Leigh children all become proficient swimmers as a result of our weekly all year round swimming lessons led by our specialist swimming teachers.
Our day is carefully timetabled for the best impact on learning. English and maths are taught daily with the other subjects taught either weekly or in blocks according to need. Throughout the school the children work in bands for maths while in Years 5 and 6 the children work in consolidating or faster moving classes to best target their learning needs.
Our curriculum planning describes our provision for both SEND and high attaining children. Quality First Teaching is key to this provision while pastoral care and support staff are carefully deployed for greatest impact. Interventions for both groups take place, as and when necessary, usually with qualified teachers leading the learning.
We have always understood there is a wider curriculum beyond the ‘subjects’ we teach which is essential to developing our children into well-rounded, happy and successful individuals. Each year our staff meet to reconsider our pupils’ current needs and what ‘driver’ should run through the curriculum. For 2021-22 we have chosen the driver of ‘Diversity’ which we are weaving throughout our lessons and school life. Similarly we feel it is important to set time aside so we can bring to the children’s attention events and issues in the wider world – we call this ‘What’s in the News?’
We recognise all our children are individuals in their own right. We owe them a rich extra-curricular provision in which they have the opportunity to explore new experiences and to develop and extend their particular interests and aptitudes. During their time with us, our offer includes:
Whole school musical productions – large scale performances are arranged alternate years and performed to our families in the theatre of our local secondary school.
Residential trips – three are organised during the children’s time at West Leigh, each one building further on the children’s experiences – two days at Belchamps in Year 3, three days at Danbury Activity Centre in Year 5 and five days at Ilam Hall Youth Hostel in Derbyshire in Year 6.
Wide ranging local (and national) sporting events and competitions – our trophies are testament to our great success here.
Music events – West Leigh is well respected across Southend for its choirs and for creating outstanding musicians.
Charity work responding to the local community as well as world-wide issues.
A wide variety of clubs which we change across the year according to need.
West Leigh is committed to the concept of continual review and there is never room for complacency. We only affect changes to improve our provision with evidence of clear impact, not simply ‘for the sake of change’!
We wish to fully understand what it is like to be a child at West Leigh. Nothing is treated in a haphazard way but carefully tailored to the experiences of the individual. Every day we strive to discover and nurture each child’s interests and potential. It’s what makes West Leigh special.
‘We are West Leigh’
‘We are citizens of the world’
‘We are leaders’
‘We are creative thinkers’
To find out about the intent of each of our curriculum subjects in more detail, please click on the documents below.