At Morden Primary, we are passionate about ensuring our curriculum is designed to broaden horizons. We intend to provide a wealth of opportunities and engage, challenge and motivate our children so that by the time they leave, they have the greatest number of choices and options open to them.
Our curriculum reflects our key values, which have personal development at their core. These are respect, responsibility, resilience, challenge and teamwork.
We foster a growth mindset approach to learning. We prioritise confidence in reading & mathematical fluency to allow pupils to access the full, broad and balanced curriculum. We have identified key drivers that we feel ensure that every child, irrespective of their starting point, achieves their personal best, prepares them for their future and develops life-long skills such as independence, confidence, resilience along with the virtues of empathy, kindness and respect.
Wellbeing – Children being physically and mentally healthy so they have the strength to be successful and happy, is a key element in our curriculum intent. We are a trauma-informed school and believe that all behaviour is communication. It is our job to determine what a dysregulated child is communicating and support them. We aim to ensure that children have the knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to make healthy decisions and choices in the future, as throughout their lives our children may face difficult challenges.
Our school is a culturally diverse and inclusive community and we celebrate our differences and diversity. We want our children to have a sense of pride in themselves, their school, their local area and understand that the world is beyond their immediate doorstep. Our curriculum aims to encourage our children to stand together, walk together and thrive together. It encourages our learners to ask questions, listen to those with lived experiences and learn from each other. Our curriculum provides opportunities to experience the richness of the world’s diversity and show how they can care about its management and sustainability. Also, that working collaboratively helps this to happen.
We aim to help our pupils to appreciate and be interested in the wider world around them and to inspire ‘awe and wonder’. With London easily accessible, we aim to expose our children to a variety of museums, art galleries, theatres and workshops. This also includes inviting guests into school to enhance learning. We want children to be curious and be provided with magical moments that open doors to worlds that children don’t even know exist. Alongside this, we incorporate outdoor learning opportunities that include using our yarning circle and fire pit, visiting the local parks and residentials. We encourage using the outdoors for learning experiences across the curriculum.
Being articulate, engaging with others positively and to learn through spoken language is a key intent of our curriculum. We aim to develop the physical skills of oracy, along with vocabulary and grammar. In turn we also aim to ensure that oracy develops thinking skills, so children can express their feelings, their knowledge and explain their understanding. It is also an aim to develop key social skills, including the ability to work cooperatively through active listening and showing respect and tolerance of each other’s opinions.
The school is organised into 9 classes which includes a morning and afternoon nursery. In addition, we provide 16 full time Nursery places.
Nursery and Reception children work on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which is statutory. Outdoor learning is a key element of this experience. Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) for further information on the Early Years and Foundation Stage Curriculum. In Years 1-6, the National curriculum subjects are taught discretely. Where possible, links are made to Literacy. National curriculum – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) for further information on the National Curriculum.
Pupil Voice is essential at Morden and as such, we have introduced a PLT (Pupil Leadership Team) from September 2019. The PLT comprises a Head Girl and Head Boy, Deputy Head Girl and Deputy Head Boy; Y6 House Captains (who lead the 5 hummingbird teams); Y5 Sports Leaders and our School council members. PLT regularly meets with the Senior Leadership team to share their ideas for school improvement.
We are developing and enhancing our outdoor learning provision including regular use of our yarning circle and fire pit. A highlight of each half term is the allocated Fire Pit/Yarning Circle day where children experience mindfulness and outdoor activities on a different theme. The oldest children are responsible for building, lighting and managing the fire throughout the day.
We believe curriculum enrichment and enhancement is essential for supporting our school motto “Learn, Achieve, Enjoy”. Each class participates in regular visits to enhance the curriculum and develop children’s cultural capital by visiting museums, art galleries, zoos and churches amongst other places. Ever seeking to engage and excite our children, we have many focused enrichment weeks. We hold an annual Book Week, Maths Week, Arts Week, Anti-bullying Week, Science Day, Cultural Week (PLT led) and French Café day.
Sporting activities are important to children’s health and well-being. We encourage daily active learning breaks linking to mindfulness activities to support healthy bodies and healthy minds. We have an annual Sports Day and participate in many of the borough’s inter-school PE tournaments. Daily sports activities are offered both at lunchtime and after school. We have the Gold Sportsmark award.
Morden children have many opportunities to showcase their performing arts skills and talents. The children perform in nativities in EYFS and KS1 and a carol concert for KS2. KS2 audition, rehearse and perform in a summer musical. Our Y6 children also sing to the elderly visitors from FISH when they deliver the annual food hampers during Harvest. Annually we participate in the Wimbledon Winterfest celebrations, where our children sing and dance for the public. We are the only Merton school who have participated every year since 2005! We also participate in singing and dancing in Sutton town centre to raise money for St Raphael’s hospice. We offer RockSteady lessons for children where they can learn to play the electric guitar, drums or keyboard and form a band that performs a concert at the end of each half term. In the Autumn or Spring terms each class performs a class assembly to their parents.
Morden Primary is passionate about reading and storytelling. It is at the heart of our curriculum because we know that the capacity to learn and to enjoy learning goes hand-in-hand with reading skill. Therefore, we strive to nurture life-long readers. Oracy also underpins our curriculum implementation and pupils are ‘taught to talk’ and ‘learn through talk’ thus developing physical, linguistic, cognitive and social & emotional skills. With both reading and oracy being central to our curriculum implementation, we ensure that vocabulary which enriches knowledge and understanding about the world is taught.
Phonics is taught explicitly in EYFS and KS1. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as our SSP (systematic synthetic phonics program). This links with a comprehensive Early Reading Scheme produced by Collins Big Cat.
In Years 2-6 we teach Reading using a Whole Class Reading (WCR) approach implementing the gradual release of responsibility model (I do- we do- you do). High quality texts are used to enhance topics throughout the school.
At Morden Primary, all teachers are responsible for providing an inclusive curriculum that is differentiated for those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND). We have high expectations for all pupils and are committed to ensuring our curriculum complies with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. Our Teaching and Learning policy emphasises the importance of providing an inclusive learning environment for all pupils including those with SEND. We therefore consider ways of minimising and reducing barriers so that all pupils are included and able to access learning at the appropriate level. Additional information on this can be found in our SEND Local Offer, SEND Policy and Equality Policy.
When implementing our curriculum, we adhere to our Trauma and Mental Health Informed School Relationship approach where we are committed to educational practices which protect, relate, regulate and reflect. At Morden Primary, the development of the whole child is our focus. All our staff are trained on attachment and trauma to support vulnerable children. Our safeguarding procedures were deemed to demonstrate “exceptional pastoral care” in Ofsted September 2018 and continue to do so.
We use a mastery approach to maths from Reception to Year 6. Reception-Year 6 use resources from Power Maths, White Rose and NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics). We work closely with the SW London Maths Hub with a Teaching for Mastery approach to maths.
RE is taught using the Merton’s agreed SACRE (Standing Advisory council of Religious Education programme.) Our PE curriculum is developed from the MSSP (Merton School Sports Partnership) scheme of work. French is taught using the French Primary Project. Our website provides further information on our approach to the delivery of Maths and Literacy. Our prospectus provides an overview of how the other subject areas are taught at Morden Primary. Click here to view our prospectus.
For PSHE we use the statutory Relationships & Health Education material. Morden was an early adopter school and introduced the new curriculum in 2019. We have a school council that is led by class council representatives who meet regularly to address and discuss ideas they have to help continually improve our school.
At Morden Primary, we use a range of qualitative and quantitative data to review our curriculum impact and subsequent design.
The curriculum at Morden is designed to enable a wide range of engagement, not only within class but in providing out of class opportunities to ensure children develop themselves as learners and we encourage each child to be as independent as they can be.
Results at the end of Statutory Key Stage 1 & 2 Assessments show an upward trajectory trend. Our Y1 phonics results have been above national averages for 2 consecutive years. Questionnaires to the pupils, parents and staff allow us to regularly review and assess the impact that the curriculum is having. We have had many positive responses from the children to this effect:
Following a recent parent survey (October 2022), we received acknowledgement that we continued to be successful in our approach to learning:
Staff responses in a May 2023 survey were equally positive: