Our Curriculum Intent
At Etz Chaim, our intent is for our children to have rich and stimulating learning experiences in a well-planned and organised environment within which they can explore experiment, plan and make decisions for themselves enabling them to become independent learners who make good progress and develop a strong Jewish identity. We aim to generate an excitement for learning for all, developing lively enquiring minds, the ability to question and reason, the courage and confidence to make mistakes and the motivation and resilience to work independently and overcome obstacles.
We promote cross curricular links wherever possible and ensure that the secular and non-secular areas of the curriculum are fully integrated, supporting and enhancing children’s learning and experience. There is a creative curriculum that is both relevant and meaningful, reflecting the needs of the learners. We aim to:
• Promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils – This is embedded within our curriculum;
• Prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of the ever-changing 21st century world, irrespective of need, prior attainment, background or circumstance.
Our Curriculum Implementation
Our Curriculum is taught over a two year rolling cycle which ensures that all components of the National curriculum are taught within each Key Stage. All staff have high expectations for the children whilst recognising that each and every child is different. A wide variety of teaching strategies and techniques are used to enable children to learn effectively. These include individual, group and whole class teaching alongside use of continuous provision. Our approach which aids transition from the Early Years and feeds into our intent, is founded on the belief that the curriculum should be child-centred, based on practical, hands-on, concrete experiences, so that each child can build his or her knowledge, skills, concepts and attitudes through a deeper understanding. Our curriculum promotes enjoyment of learning through debate, creativity, purpose and relevance. Discussion, communication skills and vocabulary are very important and are planned for within our curriculum so that children can achieve well. We incorporate visitors and workshops, outings and virtual experiences to enhance our curriculum.
As a staff we are continually monitoring and evaluating our teaching strategies and results. Our policy documents and schemes of work are the result of collaborative discussion and regular review.
We have developed our curriculum strategy, starting with the outcomes that we want for our children at the end of each phase of their education, including what we want for when they leave us to join secondary school, so that we can deliver:
· An outstanding and cohesive academic curriculum;
· A holistic curriculum that promotes physical and mental well-being for our pupils.
Our Curriculum Impact
We use ongoing, rigorous monitoring throughout the year to gauge the impact of our curriculum design. Progress and attainment are assessed at key points during the year and Pupil Progress Meetings outline next steps for our learners across the school
Outcomes of pupil interviews, work scrutiny and learning walks evidence that children become resilient learners who are able to talk about their learning and next steps. As they learn and grow during their time in our school, they develop their aspirations for their own future, supported by the experiences, activities and opportunities that they are presented with.
Children leave Etz Chaim ready for the next chapter of their education. They leave with fond memories and proud achievements together with the confidence and skills needed to be lifelong learners.
Here is what our parents say:
Some quotes from a recent Parent Survey (October 2021)
It’s extremely nurturing and has a fantastic sense of community. All the staff are friendly and very personable. (Reception)
Good mental health awareness, creating a safe environment, offer a variety of clubs, wraparound care, creates a nurturing environment, good at addressing issues raised. (Year 1)
I like that the school uses the Zones of Regulation to support the children to understand their emotions. (Year 2)
Nurtures my child’s emotional needs, allows them to develop socially, teaches them about their Jewish heritage and customs, has given them a lovely social circle of friends. My children are happy at the school and this is what keep me happy. (Year 3)
It has a great community spirit amongst the children and parents. (Year 4)
The school is fantastic at offering a wide range of topics and activities. (Year 5)
Jewish education, building team players, focus on kindness and respect (Year 6)
Here is what some of our graduates have said:
How has Etz Chaim supported me best in my learning?
Etz Chaim helped prove I wasn’t stupid
They set the standard for my ICT
Told me to never give up
How has Etz Chaim supported you as a person?
They have encouraged me to try new things
Etz Chaim has supported me to grow and be the person that you know today
To be a kind-hearted person
Teaching me to be confident
What has Etz Chaim taught you?
You have helped me to understand how to work independently and work in a team
Everyone is special and unique: This means that I am special and unique and I must understand my skills and talents; it also means that other people are special and unique and I must treat them with respect, no matter what
You have taught me how to be independent and how to deal with different situations
You have taught me to challenge myself to be the best I can be, shown me that I am capable of great things and helped me to understand that working hard gives great results
You have taught me how to deal with tough situations and understand people better
You have taught me how to take responsibility for my work
You have given me the ability to think outside the box