Rationale

 

A Bespoke Curriculum for Birchfields

At Birchfields we deliver a bespoke curriculum that has been designed and written by our own teachers. Last year teams of staff worked together to create six new projects for each year group from years 1-6.  

The intent behind the new curriculum is to ensure that:

  • Our project lessons feed the curious appetite of our pupils.
  • Lessons provide Birchfields pupils with the skills and knowledge needed in order for them  to progress in each wider curriculum subject.
  • We address cultural capital and teach lessons that are relevant, balanced and current.
  • All pupils look forward to project lessons and feel engaged, responsive and excited.
  • The curriculum is exciting in its unpredictability, is constantly developing and changing and is therefore stimulating, generating a sense of wonder for all our children.

The first six exciting new projects launched in September 2020 and they have  proven to be a great success across the school. As we continue to deliver each project for the first time during 2020 and 2021 the project plans will evolve and may be edited to make the most of every wider curriculum lesson opportunity.

 

Changing Times, Changing Minds

 

In September 2020 Birchfields re-opened to our staff and pupils after an  unprecedented six month lockdown. The academic year began with a groundbreaking three week project acknowledging both the current climate and some of the important events of Spring 2020.

The first week of the year addressed Covid 19. In a series of lessons the children were invited to share their knowledge and personal experiences from the previous six months and school set out guidelines and expectations for continuing to work, learn and play at school during a global pandemic.

 

Over the  following two weeks Birchfields launched a school wide project addressing the Black Lives Matter movement and acknowledging the death of George Floyd and the worldwide demonstrations that followed, in reaction to this. Over a fortnight, all pupils celebrated the achievements of many Black role models from past and present. They learnt about the different aspects of racism that still exist in the world today. Our children learnt about the importance of being anti-racist upstanders.  All children made a pledge to be anti-racist and made posters and wrote letters to inform their families of how to do the same. As part of this dynamic project, every pupil produced some art work which has been collated and is exhibited in our BLM ‘Hall of Fame’ corridor. 

During the project some classes made invaluable links with their  Black role-models including  Manchester music artist J Chambers and popular children’s illustrator Dapo Adeola. As a school we also chose this time to change our House Team names from historical figures to current, relevant, inspirational  Black heroes that our children have learnt about and to which they can relate. The children are delighted to be members of the new Houses: Ennis-Hill, Rashford and Chambers. At Birchfields we strive to ensure that the impact of this is much more than a two week project. We are embedding Black representation in the lesson resources we use, the book choices we provide and in the curriculum we teach.