At Ivanhoe, we recognise that children deserve a curriculum that has breadth, depth and balance and that is an exciting curriculum, personalised for our children; so that when children leave our school they will have had a great start, with opportunities and experiences that will be embedded for life.
Since Coronavirus came into our lives in 2020, we have had a radical rethink about our 'offer' and have agreed that we need to put a new focus on mental and physical health and well-being as well as a more profound understanding of our place in the world and the need to actively love what we do: our curriculum is not just about the quality of education, but the quality of life.
Ask any teacher at school, from the oldest to the youngest, and they can describe vividly their memories from their own primary school days. The primary school influences a child for life and our ambition is that Ivanhoe offers an experience that will do this by setting them off on the right path from the minute they enter our doors. We want our children to be shaped by their primary school experience so that it is still with them into adulthood - still helping them engage with the world and still guiding them; the experiences still alive in them.
We are not afraid to say that our ambition is for children to love what they are learning - we want to inspire children and to see beauty all around them; thus they will value the world around them and engage richly and meaningfully in all they do.
In Conisbrough, we have a rich heritage that we use to support our curriculum. Our History teaching is blessed by the fact that we have the oldest church in South Yorkshire (St Peter's) and the wonderful Conisbrough Castle that inspired Sir Walter Scott to write 'Ivanhoe'; we focus on these by visits and using other visits to contrast our castle with another castle, and our church with a Cathedral, thus we can personalise using our locality, but also expand by taking the children further afield to contrast their experiences. We have tried to approach our whole curriculum in the same manner, for example, by seeing how we can apply 'next steps' to what we teach - using local pathways in our music teaching so that those who enjoy our brass music lessons can access the brass opportunities in the wider community, and those who wish to do so in sport can access the pathways to local sports beyond the school - and this is an area rich in brass music tradition as well as sport. Obviously, we have been constrained by Coronavirus, but these are certainly our intentions, all other things being equal.
Our focus on cultural capital marries with our desire to give our children experience of the best that has been thought and said. With that in mind, our children will read classic English texts which otherwise they would probably not access - and they will see that you can enjoy Robert Louis Stevenson as much as you can David Walliams.
At Ivanhoe, we understand that our children will have far better life chances if they are highly literate and numerate, but we are determined not to pursue those aims if it leads to a curriculum that is narrowed and starved of opportunities to develop the whole child. By understanding our children and by recognising how we can help them to be fully rounded citizens we can redress any social disadvantage that may have chained our community in the past. Our children are the future and our curriculum will give them the very best chances in life and the very best chances to appreciate and enjoy their lives and the opportunities that come their way.