A curriculum that promotes remembering and builds character
During their school journey at Ashcombe, we deliberately aim to nurture and value our students and provide them with a rich set of experiences so that they can thrive and participate in society when they leave us in year 6. Our taught curriculum aims to provide our students with the cultural capital and skills to understand the world. Sitting alongside our taught curriculum is the 'soft curriculum' of experiences our children have and the people they meet and work with.
Pupils at Ashcombe have strong relationships with staff and with one another. They are polite, courteous and caring towards their peers. Personalised induction programmes for children joining the school from other settings are in place, including those who are Looked After, have SEND and are new to English. Pupils who struggle with forming successful relationships are proactively supported by the team of staff around them.
All children at Ashcombe have a regular ‘Jigsaw’ lesson which combines Personal, Social and Health Education, emotional literacy, social skills, and spiritual development. The whole school scheme has a systematic approach to covering this content under different themes for each term of the year.
At Ashcombe, we have Future Stars coaches working with our students every lunchtime to develop them as sportspersons. The coaches also work with our teachers to develop their capacity and skill for teaching PE. In addition also participate in regular intra-school and inter-school competition through our membership of the local School Sports Partnership. We run a number of after-school sports clubs and we use our sports premium to give our children the opportunity to experience a range of sports they might not usually have the opportunity to be exposed to.
Leaders and all staff at Ashcombe consistently promote fundamental British values and pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Similarly, our ‘Crew’ meetings support children in learning about democracy and respect for the beliefs and values of others. They also foster opportunities for children to mentor younger pupils and adults to coach children through issues they may encounter at school and beyond.
Opportunities to perform
Every year group has an opportunity to perform to the school and the community in every eyar they are in school. This creates opportunities for team work, project work and developing confidence.
Our school’s REAL projects curriculum model involves the children in resolving real community issues. They have regular opportunities to enact real, visible changes to their local community. We engage fully with our community and invite parents in to take part in workshops central to the children's learning. Children have the opportunity to meet members of the community and local experts to broaden their knowledge of our locality.
Growing in the allotment
The school allotment and pond area is a fantastic outdoor learning space and is available for use by pupils in all years. We grow a variety of flowers and vegetables from seed or bulbs. Pupils in year one and two are involved in sowing seeds indoors at the start of the growing season while the older children participate in activities such as digging, weeding, sweeping and in the Autumn leaf collection for the leaf mould heap. Looking after the allotment gives pupils the opportunity to learn how to use tools safely and understand how plants grow best. We have a thriving wildlife pond full of newts and frogs which the pupils can study by careful pond dipping. There is a covered seating/table area that can be used for outdoor learning groups and individual pupils accompanied by an adult can use the space to spend time in a relaxing and peaceful environment. We grow flower and vegetable plants for an annual sale and pupils plant up the popular hanging baskets for sale at the Summer Fayre. The produce from the allotment is either picked and eaten straight way by pupils (peas and raspberries) or taken home and shared with their families.
At Ashcombe, children take part in Forest School in years 1 and 4 with a fully qualified Forest School Practictioner. Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in the woods and natural school environment. Children walk to Weston woods or use the school grounds for their activities. Children are encouraged to explore all aspects of the natural world. Their own interests and play ideas are the basis of activities to extend their learning which might include den building, bug hunting, tree and plant ID, using tools, fire lighting and cooking. They enjoy learning about the safe boundaries and how to keep within them. Children also learn about keeping themselves and others in the group safe by using appropriate behaviour and developing good listening and observation skills.