Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum Intent

At Banwell Primary School, our curriculum is challenging and ambitious, promoting passion and resilience. It is progressively sequenced to allow children to build upon prior knowledge, and develop an overarching narrative of the subjects we teach. We endeavour to provide rich and first-hand learning opportunities that will take children beyond their everyday experiences. In turn, children will develop a strong work ethic and interpersonal skills as well as becoming independent, creative and critical thinkers.

Our curriculum focuses, where possible, on our local area, taking advantage of the varied landscapes and history of Banwell, supported by our enthusiastic local community.  Banwell has a cave with hundreds of animal bones dating to the Paleolithic era; evidence of an Iron Age hillfort; a wealth of Roman archaeology including two villas, a port and a fortified outpost; and a rich medieval history focused around the church.  We are surrounded by the varied landscapes of the Mendip Hills, Somerset Levels, Bristol Channel coast,  rural Somerset and the rapid urban development of Weston-super-Mare and Bristol.  Within our Science and Humanities curriculums in particular, we focus on ensuring that children are familiar with what surrounds them, so that they have the cultural capital to make comparisons with other wildlife, landscapes and histories from around the world.

Within our school community, we celebrate and welcome differences: every child is recognised as a unique individual. Our curriculum is relevant and accessible to all learners, yet adaptable to ensure inclusivity. We believe every child deserves a challenging, broad and balanced curriculum that is underpinned by teaching of the basic knowledge, skills, concepts and values that they will need to become proficient both academically and socially.

We strive to engage children in their learning through promoting curiosity, imagination and a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. We endeavour to ensure all of our children feel happy and safe to explore the unfamiliar and ask questions. We promote a growth mind-set and are invested in guiding children as they develop the values and skills required to take responsibility for their own learning, both now and in the future. 

We aim to give children the best possible start on their learning journey with an Early Years environment that promotes a love of reading and writing through a rigorous systematic synthetic phonics programme, within a nurturing, stimulating setting.

Children leave the school with a sense of belonging to a tight-knit community where they have had the confidence and skills to make decisions, reflect upon their choices and make connections. Our children will be well-equipped and prepared to continue their learning journey within a dynamic, diverse and ever-changing world. Through the curriculum at Banwell Primary School, all children, including children facing the additional barriers that come with disadvantage, will be equipped with the powerful knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

Curriculum Rationale

Our curriculum provides children with opportunities to view the world from different perspectives, helping them to understand that a geographer would view the same landscape through a different lens than a poet, a historian, an artist... 

By providing children with the chance to look at the world from these varying viewpoints, they will become immersed in the subject specialisms, whilst we recognize that our children are novices in their learning of each subject, not experts.  Children will know the National Curriculum subjects as disciplines to be studied and as fields of knowledge that can shape their outlook now and in the future. In addition, they will understand the role of people who work in these fields, appreciating their contributions, knowing that they could, should they wish to, have a career in any of these subjects in the future.

Curriculum development

We strive to continuously review, develop and improve our curriculum as we respond to the children and their needs, this enables us to keep our curriculum fresh, relevant and exciting for our children.

In September 2023, we adopted the Opening Worlds curriculum for History, Geography and RE.  To learn more about this curriculum, see the Opening Worlds curriculum page.

As a village school, we take pride in knowing our children and parents as individuals.  We know their strengths and interests, and are able to support and guide when necessary.  We work well with our parent community to ensure that children have the very best opportunity to succeed.  As a caring community, we focus strongly on ensuring that we look after our own and each other’s physical and emotional wellbeing and mental health. Across the whole school, we daily focus on the 5 ways of wellbeing which are: Connect, Be Active, Keep learning, Be creative and Take notice to support the wide embracing Jigsaw scheme of work by which we deliver our PSHE curriculum.