"Pupils find the curriculum highly engaging... it goes well beyond that which is required by statute."
Curriculum Focus Weeks
Our creative curriculum includes regular focus weeks which can be linked to a range of world, national and local community events. Past themes have included:
Democracy Week linked to the General Election
Victorian Week linked to Ferncumbe's 130th Anniversary
1950's Week to link to the Coronation
Science Week linked to National Science Week
Roald Dahl Week linked to his 100th Birthday
Maths Week where we collected 1 million objects
These weeks normally involve a dress up day and an invitation to parents to attend and support their child's learning in the classroom.
Key stage 2 Enrichment hour
As part of our creative curriculum KS2 pupils spend one hour per week developing a variety of life skills. These popular and engaging sessions are delivered in family groups with a mix of pupils from year 3 to 6. Our ‘Enrichment Hour’ has included:
Cake & Bake
Perhaps the best way to convey how well our Enrichment sessions are received, are a few comments from some of our pupils:
"I really enjoy Cake and Bake because you learn lots of new recipes and then have the luxurious task of eating what you've made!"
"I like Drama because Sam plays great warm-up games and we do interesting topics - I learn lots every week."
"I love Art because the finished project looks so hard but Mr Scheuermann explains what you have to do really well. You're done in no time!"
"I like sewing best because you get to create awesome things like animals and mythical creatures. In fact, you can design anything you want!
"I really enjoyed being outside and building rafts in Eco-Warriors."
"Cake and Bake has really encouraged me to bake at home."
"The making of the play in Drama is great fun to do and you get to feel exactly what it's like to be an actor."
"Enrichment lessons are great because they give you the chance to explore such a wide range of different activities."
"Enrichment is engaging and teaches you skills for life!"
Early Years and KS1 Enrichment
As part of our creative curriculum in Early Years and KS1 children enjoy exploring their learning at Forest Schools.
What is Forest Schools?
Forest Schools is an exciting and inspirational learning experience that gives children the opportunity to develop confidence, self-esteem and knowledge in an outdoor woodland environment, using a creative and hands-on approach. Learning in the outdoors is an alternative way of learning; it allows all children to shine, providing children with opportunity to learn about the natural environment. Research shows that much of the curriculum learned indoors can be developed and expanded through outdoor learning. Art, creative writing, science, maths, RE and more can all be taught outdoors. Children are able to explore and acquire a range of skills that they would not learn as easily, or as enjoyably, if they were classroom based. They experience seasonal changes, learn to identify hazards, learn how to handle risks and most importantly to use their initiative to solve problems and work together, to reach their full potential.
How does Forest Schools work at Ferncumbe?
We are very fortunate at Ferncumbe to have the use of a local privately-owned woodland, which all pupils visit regularly. We feel that it is important for them to experience the wood in all weathers and every season throughout the school year. These visits give the children the opportunity to regularly engage with the rich natural diversity of the woodland environment. The only time we don’t take them is during high winds or lightning due to the risk of trees/branches falling and causing an injury. The woodland is a short distance from the school, and children and staff walk from school to access this site. Our trained Forest Schools leader, Mrs Nicholls, along with the class teacher, plan sessions which meet specific learning objectives and enhance the curriculum subject, as well as developing interpersonal and Forest Schools skills.
What do our children think of Forest Schools?
Perhaps the best way to convey how well Forest School sessions are received, are a few comments from some of our pupils:
Ferncumbe Forest Schools kit list:
Long sleeve top
2 pairs thick socks
Forest Schools Association website - http://www.forestschoolassociation.org