Learning is at the centre of everything we do at the Village Schools Partnership. We are physically in the centre, or heart, of our village Communities but also in the heart of rural northwest Devon. This is reflected strongly in our curriculum offer. Even our classes are named after local hamlets around our schools and we are careful to build links with our surrounding locality, both within our core curriculum offer and for additional activities like beach cleans, bring-a-bulb day or inviting guests from the community in to talk to the children about their work or project.
We believe that the richness of community found in small village schools plays a huge part in the success of the children who learn with us. Small Schools: Big Futures.
Throughout each school, we encourage children to develop key characteristics of effective learning. These are represented in our school by different animals:
We base our curriculum on the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum, a programme of study which set standards in all subjects. It was laid out by the Government in September 2014 and is divided into Key Stages aligned to a child's year group. For information on how classes are organised in each school, please look at individual school pages on this site.
As part of our Curriculum Offer in all of our schools, we have a strong focus on First Hand Learning and Learning In the Outdoors. One of our Schools has had both an on-site and off-site Forest School since 2008 and staff are highly experienced in delivering outdoor learning across the subjects of the National/EYFS Curriculum and through our programme of Forest School activities which take place for all children at the school in every term of the year. This has now been extended to cover all three Schools in the Partnership. We also have very spacious grounds which are used extensively for outdoor learning at each site including large playing fields, adventure play areas, outdoor classrooms (including a large yurt and all-weather outdoor seating, together with school gardens, which we can use for whole class teaching about food production, horticulture and nutrition.
Below are our documents which maps progression in the National and wider Curriculum. Each sets out clearly how small steps of learning build up to an ambitious curriculum, together with outcome statements for the end of each National Curriculum Year Group. In addition to a useful planning tool, as the curriculum settles post-Covid, our staff will be able to use this document to benchmark outcomes for all learners.
Progression and Impact Map - Version 8 - this is our Core Document and sets out the expected standards for foundation subjects not covered in stand-along curriculum plans (further details are given in this document)
On these pages, you can discover more about our approach to different curriculum areas for our school:
Our knowledge organisers are aimed at securing long term knowledge in a more coherent way across the school. As our whole curriculum is tied to the National Curriculum, it is the expectations set out in that document which form the basis of our Knowledge Organisers - the declarative knowledge that the children should retain on their journey through the school. Teachers are able to use the documents for revision work and for children to use as a scaffold for talking about previous learning,
Should it become necessary to once again move all or part of the Partnership's children to Remote Learning, the following document sets out how we will manage remote learning in our schools:
Sadly our Partnership just isn't large enough for an extended day (Breakfast Club, After School Club) to be financially viable. However, our dedicated staff offer after school clubs in different areas of interest during term time. These include activities such as running club, football, tag rugby, multi-skills, singing, ukuleles, recorders and so on. These are advertised to parents at the start of each term and children
We offer a range of peripatetic music lessons for our children. these are often offered during the school day but after school sessions can be arranged as well. Through our peripatetic teachers, we offer guitar, keyboard, drumming and singing as standard programmes, but can also bring in other teachers for woodwind and brass where there is sufficient demand.
Although not a formal part of our school, our Governing Board worked hard in 2018 to have a scout group established to serve our community. This came from the identification of emerging social problems for many of our older children and early secondary phase children who were suffering from rural isolation and a lack of interesting things to do after school. Accompanied with these issues was a rise in antisocial behaviour in the community and an increase in drug use.
1st Woolsery Scout Group was formed in June 2019 and now has a thriving membership of over 100 Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. Meeting weekly on Woolsery School premises, the Group offers a full Scout offer from 6 to 14 years and beyond, and over 50% of the Woolsery school roll are members, with the remainer coming from our surrounding five parishes, including Parkham and Buckland Brewer. The Scout Association approach is a good match for the Partnership's outdoor curriculum and the shared values between the two organisations is evident throughout the school.