Our curriculum evolves each year to ensure it is suitably adapted to every class.
We use a cross-curricular approach, meaning that we teach using thematic approach. Each class has a theme for either a term or half term e.g. All about me, Frozen Planet.
Literacy, Numeracy, Science, PE, Music and Computing are taught as discreet weekly lessons although where possible we link to the theme for that term. All other lessons are taught through the theme.
Our curriculum challenges and supports all pupils to reach their full potential in all subjects.
We develop children’s strengths and support them to progress in areas that they find challenging. Our team approach to topic learning ensures that our curriculum is broad and balanced, and that regular links are made between areas of learning as we know that this is how children learn best.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The first curriculum your child will encounter on starting school is the Early Years Foundation Stage.
In Reception children learn through play, with a range of opportunities for child-initiated and teacher-led activities. These activities enable your child to learn through a range of play based activities in a safe and secure environment. Free flow play allows children to become independent learners moving between the indoor and outdoor environments.
The curriculum in the Early Years stage consists of prime and specific areas of learning and development. The three prime areas are personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language. There are also four specific areas of learning: literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive art and design.
Our staff teach the children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development allowing them to foster the characteristics of effective early learning which are playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
Throughout Reception children’s achievements are assessed using an online assessment tool called Tapestry where we upload the progress children are making in class through statements and photographs. Parents are also able to log on and upload photos and comments about their child’s learning at home so that school and home are working in partnership together.
These are English, maths, science and computing. Your child will take part in English and maths lessons every day, usually in the morning.
English consists of reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) and speaking and listening.
Children are taught to write lots of different styles of writing, such as stories, poems, letters and many more. During the literacy lesson children are also taught grammar, spelling, and punctuation and dictionary skills. Children are all given writing targets which they focus on, which are shared with parents.
In addition to English lessons, all children from reception up to year 2 will take part in our phonics programme to improve spelling and reading. Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 will have daily SPAG lessons.
All children take part in guided reading where children are grouped by ability and read a range of books and then discuss the books so that children can develop inference and deduction skills.
The academy has a huge range of independent and guided reading books. We group our reading books in coloured bands, and children work through these reading levels as they become more proficient. Your child will be encouraged to change their reading book every day, or when they have finished their reading book.
Maths is now taught very differently and many of the methods you were probably taught are no longer used. We hold regular curriculum evenings to keep you up to date, and teachers will be happy to talk through calculation methods with you.
The school has a calculation policy which is available to parents, so that parents can see how maths is now taught across the school building on what children have learnt in each year. The academy also has a strong emphasis on mental maths and we encourage children to learn their multiplication tables times tables programme.
Science is taught every week as part of the topic. Wherever possible it is taught through practical activities and investigations. Children are asked to select questions to investigate within topics, design experiments, select equipment to carry them out and predict outcomes. They then analyse their results and draw conclusions from them.
All children will be taught the relationship between physical activity and a healthy body and a healthy mind from an early age. This will include the development of an understanding of the key role that healthy eating plays in the development of a healthy lifestyle.
ICT can be found across the whole curriculum. From the very youngest age children will become familiar with technology through the use of interactive whiteboards and tablets. They will have opportunities to use ICT themselves within whole class and small group teaching. Children learn how to use word processing and publisher programs, graphics software, data handling and spreadsheets, powerpoint and control technology. They also have access to the internet throughout the school and are taught how to use it safely and responsibly.
Religious Education and Collective Worship
RE is an important area of the curriculum for all age groups. The academy has developed a culture and curriculum that encourages exploration of a broad range of faiths.
At the academy children learn about all world faiths and are taught to respect the beliefs of others. Through R.E. we encourage children to reflect on their experiences, behaviour and opinions and in doing so prepare them for adult life.
Modern Foreign Languages
Children will begin learning French in a discreet lesson from Year 3. Children will be introduced to key vocabulary that can be used on a daily basis in class, along with singing and playing games.
All the other subjects within the curriculum are known as the foundation subjects. These are History, Geography, Art and Design and Design Technology.
Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education
This will form part of the thinking skills approach to learning across the whole academy. It will be taught through a theme, but does include regular circle time discussions with the aim to stimulate debate and reflection within a structured setting. Children learn about healthy lifestyles, keeping safe, peer pressure, physical development and relationships, all an essential part of life and learning.
Within the context of physical development and relationships, we have a sex and relationships education (SRE) programme. As children begin to develop into young adults, they will face the changes of puberty. SRE plays a vital part in preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. Parents of Year 5 and Year 6 pupils will be invited to a meeting to discuss the content of the SRE programme, prior to it being taught.
The academy makes every effort to consider pupils’ opinions and as a result we operate a student council which is made up of elected pupils from every class. Weekly meetings are held between the Academy Council members.
The Academy Council also meets regularly with the headteacher to discuss any suggestions that have been made by pupils.
Promoting British Values
The Department for Education recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”