Curriculum Rationale

At Lairhillock School we have worked collaboratively to devise a curriculum rationale which underpins our key values for learning and the development of the whole child. Our Curriculum Rationale is built upon the following components:

The ethos and life of the school

Developing a positive ethos lays the foundations on which to build learning and teaching. Our curriculum offers a broad range of learning experiences, taking in to account the needs and interests of our pupils, families and community.

Children’s opinions and ideas are listened to and valued through our Pupil Council, Rights Respecting School, Junior Road Safety Officers, Eco, Health and Fairtrade work.  Children are encouraged to be involved in developing the work of the school, thus having a positive impact on school improvements. There is a mutual sense of trust, respect and shared values and aims.


Opportunities for Personal Achievement

Through our Achievement Book and assemblies we share and celebrate achievements within and outwith the school environment, sharing in each other’s successes and achievement. A range of pupil successes are shared with parents, families and the wider community through our monthly newsletters. Through our Pupil Profiles, children are being encouraged to reflect on their progress and identify next steps in their learning, thus becoming independent and responsible

learners. Extra-curricular activities and clubs are being developed to maximise opportunities for our pupils to actively engage in a wide variety of activities, encouraging the development of skills and knowledge in a wider context.


Teaching and Learning

Our curriculum at Lairhillock School is designed to develop the whole child, encouraging our pupils to become confident individuals, responsible citizens, successful learners and effective contributors.

Learning is a process with a start point and from that any number of end points, depending on what a child is learning and what stage of learning they are at.  Where learning is at its strongest a child is either developing or mastering new knowledge.  Our drive is to identify, support and challenge all of our pupils at all stages of their learning to maximise their individual potentials.

We have a responsibility to provide all of our children with a Broad General Education from pre-school to Primary 7, whilst preparing them for their S1-S3 Broad General Education at secondary school. At Lairhillock School we use well planned programmes following the 7 design principles of Challenge & Enjoyment, Personalisation & Choice, Progression, Coherence, Relevance, Breadth and Depth.  Active learning is encouraged both inside our classrooms and using the outdoor learning environment.  Our children are given opportunities to cover the full range of experiences and outcomes across all 8 curricular areas.

Our curriculum allows flexibility to cater for pupil, family and community needs and interests. Opportunities for interdisciplinary learning will be planned where possible, maximising the teaching and learning experiences for our young learners, encouraging transfer of skills and knowledge across all curriculum areas.

Alongside many of the Stonehaven Cluster schools, we deliver out Expressive Arts, Social Studies, Science and Technologies Outcomes and Experiences on a three year rolling programme.  The themes used to deliver these are appropriate for the pupils, families and community at the time of teaching.

Children are involved in planning their learning experiences, thus enhancing the depth and breadth of our curriculum.  Through support from our parents with gardening, baking and craft activities we will enhance the development of essential life skills as well as encouraging positive social interactions.

If children do not know what they are learning how can they assess their progress towards it? It is also important to inform parents and carers so that they can support the learning when the children are away from the school environment.

As well as sharing the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria, teachers discuss learning with groups and individuals, allowing them regular time for reflection. This provides children with opportunities to talk about their learning and understand what will help them continue on their learning journey. The teacher carefully records this learning so they can monitor and facilitate progress. These records then inform future planning.

Teachers carry out continuous assessment as part of their daily practice to ensure that learning activities are meeting the needs of their pupils and extending and developing learning.  Assessment results are used to track pupils’ progress, inform planning, direct future learning and teaching activities and for reporting purposes.

The overall purpose of assessment is to support learning. Staff at Lairhillock School use a variety of formative assessment techniques in teaching the children how they can improve upon their current standards of work. This applies to all pupils, regardless of ability and ensures that opportunities to progress and achieve are fair and inclusive.


Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)

Getting it Right for Every Child is the Scottish Government’s programme that aims to improve outcomes for all children and young people.

Taking care of our children’s well-being and making sure they are alright – even before they are born – help us ensure the most positive outcomes for them later in life. It gives them the potential to grow up ready to succeed and play their part in society.

The Getting it Right approach looks at eight areas of ‘well-being’. These are recognised as areas in which children and young people need to progress in order to do well now and in the future. The eight wellbeing indicators are:

Safe                       Healthy                Achieving            Nurtured

Active                   Responsible       Respected          Included


Support for Learners

Many children will face barriers to their learning at some time in their school career.  These may be short or longer term and for a variety of different reasons.      If a pupil is identified as requiring additional support then pupils, parents and staff are involved in helping identify specific needs and what intervention support strategies are appropriate and developing support plans as appropriate.

The majority of children who require support will be supported through the use of staff and resources available within the school.  On occasions it is necessary to work in partnership with other agencies e.g. school doctor, educational psychologist, intervention and prevention teacher, pupil support worker, Child and Family Mental Health, social work, health visitor.


Structure of the curriculum

Curriculum for Excellence

Confident               Effective                  Responsible                 Successful

Individuals             Contributors          Citizens                         Learners

Expressive Arts                 Health & Wellbeing         Literacy & Languages      Numeracy       Religious & Moral Education                   Social Studies       Science               Technologies

Global Citizenship            Sustainability

Safe       Healthy                Achieving            Nurtured             Active   Responsible       Respected          Included