Sowe Valley: Nurturing Excellence In An Urban Setting

Published 7 January 2022 by Kapow Primary

Sowe Valley, a small inner-city school, overcame challenges in ensuring progression between year groups by implementing Kapow Primary for Computing and Art and design. With teacher videos and comprehensive lesson plans, Kapow Primary upskilled staff and improved teaching quality. The school appreciated its easy implementation. The impact of Kapow Primary was evident in increased pupil engagement, positive outcomes, and improved teaching and learning. Read on to learn more about their journey.


About Sowe Valley

Sowe Valley is a small, inner-city compact urban institution offering education for children in a single class per year group setup. Despite being small in size, the school takes pride in accommodating a higher-than-average proportion of children eligible for pupil premium support. With a total enrollment of 191 pupils, the school employs nine dedicated teachers: one for each year group and two part-time teachers who share their responsibilities.

The school emphasises providing children with a well-rounded and balanced curriculum enriched with a diverse range of experiences. They strive to create engaging and captivating lessons, particularly when using schemes of work, to deliver an exciting and stimulating approach to teaching key subjects.


How has Kapow Primary supported the school?

We found out about Kapow Primary through online research using teacher forums and asking within our network about schemes of work that had been used.

Teachers sometimes struggled to ensure clear progression between year groups, which was solved using Kapow Primary for Computing and Art and design (we are currently considering DT, too!). Kapow Primary provides clear teacher videos that have upskilled staff in areas where they may have lacked the expertise required to deliver that subject to a high standard.




Teacher video to support CPD from our Art and design Y3: Egyptian scroll unit. 



Why Computing and Art and design?

We felt that these two subjects require a level of expertise from the teacher, which does not always come ‘naturally’. In particular, we found our approach to teaching Computing was outdated and lacked the new developments in ICT. Kapow Primary provided clear teacher videos and a wide variety of content for Computing that suited exactly what we needed.

For Art and design, we were looking for a clear and progressive approach that allowed teachers to utilise the modelling skill, and again we benefited from the teacher/pupil videos provided.

Kapow Primary was extremely easy to implement and is well-received among staff, including those at the beginning of their career and those with a wealth of experience.


Why did you sign up to Kapow Primary?

  • To help increase the subject knowledge of teachers
  • To help increase the knowledge of pupils
  • To get access to high-level and skilful lesson plans
  • Because of the clear and transparent links to the national curriculum
  • To get access to the knowledge organisers


What do you find the most helpful?

Kapow Primary has enabled staff to clearly envision their year group and how learning looks for Art and design and Computing. The detailed and easy-to-follow lesson plans mean that staff are teaching at a high standard in subjects for which they may not naturally have the ‘expertise’. Pupils are clear about the learning and use the knowledge organisers well.

We also love:

  • Clear curriculum maps
  • Clear progression between year groups
  • Teacher videos to support CPD of staff, subject knowledge and expertise
  • Detailed lesson plans and accompanying lesson resources



What impact has Kapow Primary had on teaching and learning?

Teachers spend less time planning and resourcing lessons because they can use the Kapow Primary lesson plans and resources to ensure that key skills are being taught, meeting the national curriculum and broadening children’s understanding. Also, teachers are confident in using Kapow Primary and enjoying the outcomes produced by children, particularly in Art and design. Where staff find areas more challenging, e.g., using Python in Computing, they can utilise the teaching videos to help build confidence, which has been positive and helpful.


Do pupils have a favourite unit?

Year 3 has particularly enjoyed the Stone Age Art and design unit, and Year 6 has enjoyed the ‘make your voice heard’ unit, which nicely linked to our learning about WW2. We also used the ‘Bletchley Park’ Computing lessons, complementing the Year 6 curriculum. The children were highly engaged and motivated by this. In Year 5, children loved drawing sweet wrappers* and were highly engaged by this lesson.



What supporting materials have you found the most helpful?

Having been inspected by Ofsted (November 2021), we were able to make good use of the deep dive toolkits to prepare coordinators in Art and design and Computing for the level of questioning they could expect. We have found the progression of skills documents also incredibly useful in upskilling our leaders and teachers and providing the confidence to talk about what progression looks like in our school’s Art and design and Computing.


Impact statement

Kapow Primary has transformed the teaching of Art and design and Computing at Sowe Valley. Staff confidently deliver well-planned, skill-rich lessons with confidence, and children respond with high levels of engagement and positivity. Children are proud of their outcomes and enjoy talking about their learning since using Kapow Primary!


With our thanks to Nicole Pownall, Arts standard leader, Literacy standard leader and Assistant headteacher.  


*This lesson is from our Original Art and design scheme which was archived in 2022.