Teaching and Learning: a Curriculum Overview
At John Betts, we believe that a commitment to values and developing compassionate citizens of the future drives the achievement of our children. For this reason, we choose to focus on learning rather than performance, which in turn improves performance organically. Our approach to learning encourages the children to make their own goals and discuss the process of their learning with others through evaluation and support.
By empowering our children to be the experts, collaborative feedback is embedded practice at John Betts - enabling them to be critical thinkers. Our aim is to support the children to make more progress by facilitating them to be actively involved in their own learning and evaluation. An excellent teacher provides a learning environment which allows all learners to grow; an excellent learner will have a variety of learning skills, strategies and knowledge and know when and how to apply these.
If you require further information on the curriculum than is available on the website please contact the school office.
According to the written records of John Betts School’s governing board, the so-called Ladies’ Board, in 1860 the Curriculum at school:
was to involve fun and treats and creativity as well as instruction in the usual subjects: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, History and Geography and, for the girls, household duties and needlework. Dr John Betts expressly required that Singing be taught. He directed that once a year prizes should be given as rewards for merit and attention and that the Trustees should provide treats or entertainments every year for the children, once about Midsummer in the open air (weather permitting) and of a recreative character and the other shall be given about Christmas within doors and shall be of an amusing and intellectual character.
Dr John Betts’s pioneering educational intents, outlined nearly two centuries ago, are still valid today, as is his vision of a non-confessional school enabling children to become self-motivated and independent learners. His ideas of a broad curriculum, encompassing both the “usual subjects” and, crucially, creativity, resonate powerfully with the needs and challenges of our modern world.
With these resolutions in mind, John Betts Primary School still aims at delivering a creative, coherent, and inclusive curriculum through high-quality sequential and subject-specific learning, and with a clear focus on our learners’ contributions. We strongly believe that the development of our pupils’ critical thinking will provide them with the knowledge and skills that are meaningful and relevant in a global context.
Paired up year groups (KS1, Lower KS2, and Upper KS2) have a curriculum tailored to their specific age and skill level that has been put together by their own Year Teacher Team and Senior Leadership Team (SLT). Quality first teaching, delivered by our dedicated staff, makes it possible for all pupils to access the curriculum and to become autonomous learners.
Subject leads, in partnership with SLT, supervise how subjects are taught from EYFS through to Year 6, and carefully monitor the learning progression within and between year groups & key stages in order to guarantee that skills and knowledge are taught sequentially within subject areas. Regular formative assessments are used to collect detailed information to improve pupils' understanding while it's happening and to adjust teaching methods.
Inspired by Dr John Betts’s words, the curriculum includes lessons of music, art, PE, and Italian delivered by specialist teachers to a high standard of excellence. An array of visiting speakers and local field trips contribute to building up a diverse and rich curriculum, and the same can be said of the high number of lunchtime and after-school clubs available.