Our curriculum aims

We are passionate about developing rounded individuals who are equipped for an ever-changing world and have exceptionally high expectations of every child, that they will become the best that they can be.

Further curriculum information

We deliver a curriculum which is beyond the statutory National Curriculum, providing wider experiences for each child. All learning opportunities are based upon our core learning values which state that we are:

  • Active
  • Collaborative
  • Resilient
  • Curious
  • Reflective
  • Happy and Healthy in Mind and Body

Cross curricular themes are used to explore the World initially at a local and personal level, building to a more global focus. It is our intention to make the learning as meaningful as possible to the children so themes incorporate aspects of the local environment in the South West. Themes are linked to the sea, to Dartmoor and to the history of Plymouth and the surrounding area. These themes then build towards a worldwide focus, teaching the children about our rights and responsibilities as global citizens. The children learn about periods in history, cultures around the World and issues impacting on the World as a whole, with teachers making connections with prior learning. Although we implement the curriculum through these themes, we maintain a clear focus on the subjects from the National Curriculum, ensuring that the knowledge of the curriculum is being taught in each subject, whilst securing clear progression of skills through these meaningful contexts.

We believe that, to become an active citizen of the future, our children need to develop oracy skills, being confident to articulate, explain and debate, whilst developing an extensive vocabulary. Research has shown that a large vocabulary is the single most reliable predictor of success in later life. To help us in this aim, we use different techniques (Kagan structures) in our teaching and learning to maximise engagement, create opportunities for discussion and ensure that all children have to think and engage their brain.

As a school community, we have generous grounds and creative teachers who use the outdoors as a key learning environment to develop knowledge and skills within these cross-curricular themes through active learning opportunities. The progression for children is not just in terms of academic achievement but also in terms of social and emotional aspects of learning. This reflects our dedication to support children in developing a healthy sense of mental well-being.

We use visiting specialists and take the children on a wide range of off-site trips to try, as much as possible, to immerse the children in the learning, developing depth and breadth of experience. For example, Howard Carter takes the children underground to the tomb of Tutankhamun. Children become Stig of the Dump in our wooded area to experience life as a Stone Age child.

Part of our duty is to nurture talent, in many forms, from developing musicians who perform beyond the school, to aspiring athletes who compete at the highest levels. Music is central to us as we are passionate about the benefits of music to achievement. All children learn to play a musical instrument in Year 3, children access peripatetic lessons from Year 4 and the school is fortunate to have an orchestra. Through their life at Manadon, our children perform to a variety of audiences, developing their self-confidence and self-esteem. We also firmly believe in high quality, competitive, sports opportunities and participate in a wide range of competitions across the city.

Through our curriculum, we teach children to reflect on their own beliefs, show respect for the faiths and cultures of others and we harness the knowledge and expertise of our local community in teaching diversity.

Our school offers numerous enrichment clubs on a termly basis provided by both staff and external organisations which enhance our curriculum offer and allow children to succeed in many different areas.

For further information about our approach to equality and ensuring the curriculum is accessible for children with SEND and disabilities, please see our Equality Policy, Accessibility Policy and SEND Information report under Key Information.  

We are exceptionally proud of the curriculum offer we provide at Manadon Vale and believe that, by the time they leave us to enter Secondary School, our children are well equipped for the next stage of their education.

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