WHOLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM VISION
‘taste it, touch it, see it, smell it, hear it'
Planned and focused opportunity for first hand, real life experience is essential in ensuring our children acquire knowledge and skills that commit to long term memory and that is why school embed a ‘senses’ philosophy in all areas of our curriculum.
Our vision is that through carefully planned, memorable, sensory learning experiences; high quality teaching; collaboration, and a united aim our curriculum enables children to make the right ‘CHOICES’ and that these positive attributes will support them not only in their next stage of learning but throughout their lives:
C – Caring and Kind
We are empathetic & compassionate and want to make a positive contribution, big or small
H – Honest and Respectful
We appreciate and learn from our own and other cultures, history, values & traditions and value honesty & fairness
O – Organised
We can self-manage our time & projects and organise our thoughts & ideas
I – Imaginative
We can use a range of thinking skills including being creative to solve problems and make reasoned decisions
C – Confident
We are reflective risk takers who approach challenges with resilience & determination both independently and by communicating positively with others
E – Enthusiastic
We foster a love of learning that is lifelong
S – Safe and Responsible
We know how to keep ourselves safe through the choices we make about our own personal wellbeing and understand how our actions can affect and impact upon ourselves and others
Our developed CHOICES approach that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
This is aided by the use of our CHOICES diaries – which enable children to reflect on their choices throughout and at the end of the school day.
MR BEAT– Children record how many times they raise their heart rate in the day.
FUELLING FITNESS – children reflect on their food choices (fuelling learning) – They think about fruit and vegetables, water and how well they balance their diet.
ME, MYSELF and I – Children reflect on their emotional state – kindness, happiness, feeling safe, positive contribution to others, honesty, confidence, trust, responsibility, enthusiasm, respectfulness, politeness.
At its most basic level, mindfulness equips children with the skills to focus on the now and also form a strategy to address their worries and uncertainties and manage these emotions positively - it can help them learn how to work skillfully with the stresses and strains of childhood and adolescence without being swept away by them. These coping skills then are more likely to remain with them into adulthood.
At Rift House we have trained staff who promote mindfulness in the classroom, in small nurture groups, through targeted support with EP involvement and through weekly assemblies. It is also displayed around school and reinforced with children when needed throughout the school day.
Primary reflexes are movement patterns which emerge during fetal life and are critical for the survival of the newborn - e.g. infant rooting and suck reflexes. They are obvious during the first six months of life and primary reflex tests are routinely used by paediatricians to assess the neurological integrity of the newborn baby. As the nervous system develops, however, they are inhibited or transformed and the persistence of primary reflexes beyond their typical timespan (twelve months) interferes with subsequent development and indicates neurological impairment
The Primary Movement programme developed at Queen's University, Belfast has been shown to have a significant impact on reducing reflex persisitence.
The Primary Movement programme is used within the early years of Rift House and for those children targeted when identified. Younger children first learn a series of songs with added movement, in order to prepare them for participation in the core Primary Movement programme, a sequence of specific movements which are based on replicating or mimicking the primary reflex system of the fetus.
Aspiration and future choices should start from the very first day children arrive at our school and this is planned for within many areas of our curriculum, including through purposeful educational visits, often present in many of our day to day curriculum subjects, particularly our planned STEM days and by making use school speakers/guests. A strategic plan is in place and a delegated staff member ensures these plans become realised. As does a wellbeing team ensure that all aspects of the whole school ensures the health and wellbeing of all staff and children in school.
This is a good school which is improving rapidly because every member of staff ensures every child has the best possible opportunity to achieve well academically, personally, physically and creatively. Pupils thrive in a welcoming, positive, caring environment to become confident, young people who want to learn. Ofsted 2018