Our curriculum evolves each year to ensure it is suitably adapted to every class.
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 (we call this exploring) 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 as well as having daily activities that are completed in adult led activities.
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.
We are using the Read Write Inc programme throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1(Read Write Inc For Parents). Children are assessed termly and are taught in groups according to their individual ability. They rapidly learn the sounds and the letter, or groups of letters they need to read and decode accurately. The children read phonic books closely matched to their knowledge. Prompts for thinking out loud and discussion help the children to comprehend what they are reading. Daily writing is incorporated into the lesson. They begin writing at the level of their spelling knowledge and gradually build up to more adventurous vocabulary encountered in their reading.
We promote reading through encouraging reading every day at home and rewarding in school. We believe in the value of learning to read and the joy it can bring when children experience their first book. We are fortunate enough to have a wide selection of levelled reading books for children to choose from and take home to read.
When children first start to learn to read, it is important that they have books that enable them to read most of the text fluently, whilst still offering them the correct level of challenge.
Children are assessed on their reading skills using Benchmark reading assessments, at the end of each term.
We teach English through an adaptation of ‘Talk for Writing.’ Pupils engage with a fiction unit and a non -fiction unit every term. The units are usually taught across three weeks and are split into:
Imitate week – Pupils learn the story and text really well and produce writing around it.
Innovate week- Pupils begin to adapt the text with their own ideas.
Invent week– Pupils start creating their own stories.
Pupils also spend one week a term focusing on developing cross curricular writing.
We provide a consistent approach to teaching mathematics across the school. We aim to give all children positive and fun experience that will enable them to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject. We teach for mastery in all areas, focusing on the 3 aims of the 2014 National Curriculum: Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving. These play an essential role in helping pupils to gain a deeper understanding of a topic. Maths lessons are well paced, engaging and children use a range of resources to support their learning.
To be fluent in the mathematics children practice arithmetic skills, recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately. The curriculum ensures that children feel confident when following a line of enquiry or investigation and can justify their ideas using mathematical vocabulary. Children are also given the opportunity to apply their skills to a variety of mathematical problems, which require perseverance in seeking solutions.
Science is taught every week as a discrete lesson, using the National Curriculum programmes of study across all classes. 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. All children are taught PE by our Sports Teacher every week.
Computing runs through the whole curriculum. From the very youngest age children will become familiar with technology through the use of computers, 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
All our pupils from Nursery to Year 6 learn Spanish and enjoy the benefits of starting to learn a foreign language at an early age. They will receive one discreet Spanish lesson a week where they will learn the four key skills: Speaking, Listening, Talking and Writing. This will be achieved through songs, videos, games, interactive activities and lessons based on a practical communicative approach. Our aim is to ensure that all of our pupils, regardless of their ability and background are encouraged to develop a good understanding of Spanish and the culture of the different Spanish speaking countries.
Our pupils can also continue with their learning outside of the classroom thanks to the use of Languagenut, a software that helps them to improve their Spanish through games and other fun activities.
Pupils from Nursery to Year 6 receive a weekly discreet Music lesson covering performance, singing, music theory, history and provides an opportunity for children to listen to Music from a range of different eras and cultures. We also offer individual music lessons.
All the other subjects within the curriculum are known as the foundation subjects. These are History, Geography, Art and Design and Design Technology. These subjects are taught through our Topic lessons which are based on the half termly theme.
Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education
We teach PSHE theme through the programme of Jigsaw. There are 6 Jigsaw Puzzles (half-termly units) designed so the whole school can study the same learning themes at the same time, each year group at its own level. The Puzzles are sequential and developmental throughout each academic year. Jigsaw includes 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.
We teach SRE through the programme of Jigsaw and in line with our academy policy. SRE plays a vital part in preparing children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
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”. We teach the pupils about the British Values through our whole curriculum as well as assemblies so it is immersed into our daily school life.