At Bowness-on-Solway Primary school your children are at the heart of what we do. We are very lucky at Bowness to be able to teach in small classes and this genuine family feel means every member of staff knows every child well.
We believe all children are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum which is right for them. At Bowness we use our fantastic surroundings to stimulate and engage our children, instilling pride in our rural location of outstanding natural beauty. We are also determined for our children to be aware of the world outside our village and ensure they have a range of experiences instilling a lifelong love of learning and an ambition for their future.
We utilise the outdoors and have a purpose built outdoor classroom as well as a forest, fields, nearby shore and local buildings.
Bowness-on-Solway Primary School is a busy, exciting school.
In order to ensure breadth, balance and depth as well as a rich curriculum, we offer children a range of experiences including visitors and specialist teachers. This is in recognition of our remote location and the passion we have for ensuring our children have as many prospects as possible despite being relatively isolated. For example, Hayley came to provide opportunities for reflection in our prayer spaces as well as the Easter story as an interactive journey. The music service brought the Carnival of the Animals and the Mighty Zulu Nation brought drums, singing and dancing. We are an Arts Award Centre and offer Discover and Explorer accreditation. We have weekly whole school singing and every child learns a tuned instrument due to the Cumbria Music service (last year ukulele and this year - brass!) There are many visiting sports coaches in cricket, tennis, multi-skills and football, with a regular weekly session for all in school - including a lunchtime club - from Carlisle United. In school we also have staff who are qualified dance and gymnastics teachers. We enjoy themed weeks enriching our curriculum focused on science, art, poetry and books. Authors are invited as are local businesses and crafts people.
Although we are a small school, members of staff take responsibility for the different subjects of the National Curriculum.
In designing our curriculum, we began with an overview of what we felt the curriculum should be like, what we felt was important for our learners. We asked the staff, the governors and the children for their ideas. The completed word cloud is available under "Teachers Thoughts"
Then we considered what the needs of the children were, how to engage our pupils and ensure a range of learning experiences that were tailored to individuals. We wanted progression and achievement as well as real depth in learning, choosing quality over quantity. Again we opened up the context of learning as well as the skills and knowledge to our pupils. What would they like to learn?
In order to ensure progression of skills, we used the National Curriculum as the basis for our 'I cans' for a cross school framework for learning, each 'I can' building on the last. Our foundation subject leaders generated matrices to aid planning developing clear steps in attainment and achievement that were agreed by our teaching staff.
In our drive for depth of learning, the 'teach, practise, repeat' process meant knowledge and skills were revisited in a number of different contexts, such as working on the continents and countries of the world as seen below.
Visit our class pages to see what we are doing now!
Unusually, Class 1 has Nursery/Pre-school, Reception and Year 1 children allowing for a rich Early Years curriculum and solid foundation for later learning. Miss Story and Miss Paisley work tirelessly to ensure that children have every opportunity to lead their own learning.
Class 3 covers Years 2, 3 and 4, where Miss Edwards, Mrs Misselbrook and Elaine support our children in the tricky transition to KS2 and more challenging work. The small class allows for individual support and Elaine runs several intervention programmes to accelerate our children's understanding.
Class 4 is currently for Years 5 and 6 where children's creativity is still fostered while lifelong learning skills are utilised. Pat supports learning in class and through individualised programmes, while Mr Walsh, Miss Graham and Mrs Misselbrook have the time and space to get to know each child's strengths and address the areas they may lack confidence in.
The curriculum at Bowness-on-Solway Primary School follows statutory requirements. Our mixed-age classes require careful planning, especially in the cross over from the Early Years curriculum to KS1 (Reception to Year 1), but staff are vigilant in ensuring the coverage of skills and ensuring children are taught appropriately for their level of understanding.
We are keen to chose topics of interest to our children and many of the topics have been chosen by them. In Class 3 a recent topic of 'Robots' was the children's choice and Miss Edwards has said it was one of her favourites to teach!
Overviews of the year's curriculum are published below. They may alter according to the children's needs. Termly topic webs and curriculum letters are on the individual class pages. If you have any questions regarding the curriculum we teach, please contact the school directly