‘Learning means the World – changing hearts and minds.’
Buntingford First School is a brand-new school in East Hertfordshire on the outskirts of Buntingford. It is unique because it is the country's first net zero carbon school. The school will initially have around fifty pupils in September 2023 with the potential to grow to a two-form entry first school with pupils completing up to Year 4. The school benefits from a good amount of outside space and plenty of room for growth within the school building. There is a vast hall space, numerous break-out rooms and separate science, DT, arts and crafts areas.
At Buntingford First School, we want our curriculum to be engaging and hands-on. We want it to give our pupils a sense of leading their own learning through a wide variety of first-hand learning experiences and opportunities to get out of the classroom. As a new school in the area, it is important that, through our curriculum, we can make links with the local community. We want to be an asset and not a hindrance.
Our format as a first school also means that we need our curriculum to give our pupils a strong foundation in the first years of school with enough rigour, depth and well-roundness to allow our pupils to progress into their next stages of learning beyond Buntingford. We see the Learning Means the World curriculum as a curriculum for human flourishing and we recognise the importance of developing human creativity and achievement leading to the development of educated citizens.
See our Subjects pages for further detail of our broad curriculum including EYFS.
Should you wish for more information on the curriculum please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rationale for Implementation
We use Dimensions ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum as the main vehicle for achieving our outlined intent.
This curriculum is underpinned by four highly relevant world issues, known as the four Cs:-
Our curriculum narrative begins with Communication, as we want our pupils to be equipped with a wide vocabulary and language skills in order to have their opinions heard and establish a Buntingford identity. We will follow this with Culture as it is important that our pupils not only know about their own cultures but also those of others in both the local community and in the wider world. After this, our pupils will explore Conservation. Whilst studying culture, our pupils will have had the chance to look at the human contribution to society and how cultures shape the landscape around them but now we want our pupils to see how we can conserve the protect our green spaces. Our final world issue will be Conflict because, at the end of school years, conflicts can arise as we try to manage new and old relationships when transitioning to other classes. We want our pupils to know how to manage those feelings, especially those children who will move on to another school at the end of Year 4. It can be a daunting time and it’s good to know how we can avoid conflict to ensure peaceful ends and beginnings.
We also encourage our pupils to have high aspirations by teaching them about human creativity and achievement through additional Competency Units about famous figures and groups of people that focus on Creativity, Commitment, Courage and Community.
Communication is a key part of our curriculum that starts in the early years. We want to create a language-rich environment throughout the school with reading at the heart of our curriculum. We want to model wide and in-depth vocabularies to encourage our pupils to be able to talk about their learning with their peers and adults alike. We aim, through our curriculum, to equip everyone with the tools they need in order to communicate effectively.
At Buntingford, we also see communication as a key part of leadership and we want to ensure that our pupils develop these skills through our school council. In our early stages of development as a school, we our pupils to feel like they have a say in how their school grows and therefore they need good communication skills to do that effectively and successfully.
In terms of online communication and technology, we ensure that our pupils know how to communicate safely online. We want them to know how to speak out if they see something that is not appropriate and how to use online resources safely and with care.
At Buntingford First School, it is imperative that we set out strong expectations of how we want our pupils to behave and treat one another. We want to make sure that our pupils know how to assess their feelings and recognise how conflicts between themselves can be either avoided or resolved without significant adult intervention. Through our curriculum, we want our pupils to recognise that conflict is a normal part of life and it cannot always be avoided but there are things we can do to prevent it from escalating.
Through our Learning Means the World curriculum, we also want our pupils to be aware of current affairs. We want to strike the right balance between ensuring that they are aware of what is going out in the wider world without causing fear or distress. To support this, we will have regular assemblies where we explore what is happening in the world and hold discussions on these events.
Conservation and our eco credentials are part of what makes our school unique. We are the first net zero carbon school in the country and we have a wide range of features that ensures our school maintains that status. We want our pupils to be deeply aware of their special school building and involve them in knowing how it works.
Through our curriculum, we want our pupils to know about the changes we can make in our everyday lives to ensure that our planet is safe and suitable for humans to live on. We want our pupils to know that some of these changes can be small but they can have a huge impact in the long term both locally, nationally and globally.
As well as making our pupils aware of changes they can make, we want them to be able to talk about these changes and hear how other schools are working with conservation to make their schools and localities better. We aim to do this by attending an annual sustainability conference, hosted by our trust. Our pupils will have opportunities to attend and speak at the conference.
As a brand-new school, it is exciting to have the chance to build a school culture that has strong values and a secure sense of belonging. Our school culture will have the pupils at the heart of it as we want them to help establish what it means to be at Buntingford First School. It is important that our pupils see their school culture as something that represents them both in and out of the school environment and they should be proud of that.
Our pupils will learn, through our Learning Means the World curriculum, that diversity and inclusion are key aspects of their learning. They will learn about a wide range of cultures in meaningful and integrated ways. We do not want to feel that learning about other cultures is seen as a ‘bolt on’ or is tokenistic. It is key that alongside building our school culture, our pupils also learn a culture of tolerance and respect for people who are from a different culture, background, race or religion than their own.