About our Curriculum
At Old Clee Primary Academy we believe our curriculum should inspire, excite, motivate and challenge our children to develop a love of learning, beyond that of the classroom. To that end, in January, we introduced a new approach to delivering the curriculum. Through it we wish to ensure a rigorous learning of new skills whilst giving children the opportunity to build upon, develop and apply what they already know to a range of different contexts. We are passionate about ensuring our approach allows children to engage with their learning at a deep level, allowing plenty of opportunity to use Meta-cognition (sometimes known as ‘learning to learn’) and self-regulation approaches which aim to help learners think about their own learning more explicitly, and monitor and evaluate their own academic development.
As an Academy, we have chosen to follow the Programmes of Study (POS) linked to the National Curriculum. Our preferred approach to delivering the objectives in Reading and Writing is through an approach called ‘reading through to writing’, using books as the initial stimulus. Here, we follow the outline guidance developed by ‘Babcock Partners in Education’ and the Pie Corbett approach Talk 4 Writing. We cover progression in genres, and strive, where possible, to link our books to reflect cross curricular links to other subject areas of the curriculum, which we deliver through the International Primary Curriculum (IPC).
The International Primary Curriculum is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum for 3-11 year olds, with a clear process of learning and with specific learning goals for every subject, for international mindedness and for personal learning. The non-core subjects are broken down by age group and are taught through the International Primary Curriculum in segments called ‘Mileposts' and ‘Units of Work’. Within this, subjects are blocked in order to facilitate better quality learning, through providing a sustained and concentrated approach, leading to a deeper learning experience.
We have chosen the IPC at Old Clee as it ensures broad learning experiences and allows teachers to make learning exciting, active and meaningful for children. When learning through the IPC, the children also concentrate on an international and global element; in addition, we help children to connect their learning to where they live as well as looking at learning viewpoints of other people around the world. We aim to provide opportunities so that our curriculum is supported and enhanced by a range of experiences, visits and activities; all designed to heighten and enrich learning. It successfully involves parents in their child’s education, in the form of joint venture activities, and ‘Celebration of Learning’ events for pupils to share their learning with their parents, as each topic comes to an end.
We take our inspiration from the ideas in the IPC, but then adapt the content to suit the needs of our pupils, matching the objectives to the new programmes of study. As we move through the year – our curriculum maps will develop, which will document the arrangement we have used to cover subjects and their POS.
We teach our pupils to develop a 'Growth Mindset' approach so that they tackle challenges because they understand that learning takes a lot of effort. They don't give up when things get difficult, because they have strategies to persevere. They take risks, participate in class, and understand that mistakes are normal when people try hard things. This supports them in their thinking, reasoning and questioning, as well as the way the children speak and listen to each other in the dialogue. This has an impact on children's cognitive, social and emotional development, and is about getting children to think and communicate well; to think better for themselves.
Our approach to Numeracy has been driven by what we are being told by NCETM. We are using their planning and guidance because the White Rose Maths Hubs have been established to help schools and colleges lead improvement in mathematics education in England. We will endeavour to make our numeracy teaching, fluid, dynamic and exciting - linked to acquisition of basic skills, problem solving and using applying knowledge, skills and understanding at a greater depth and to a wide range of contexts across all subjects. Click on the following links for further information: http://www.mathshubs.org.uk/about-maths-hubs/
Our Spelling starts with a systematic phonics programme called Read, Write, Inc. which 7 out of the 12 schools in the HMI Ofsted report 'Reading by Six: How the best schools do it' use. Once children have completed the phonics programme, which we aim for them to do by the end of Y1, they move on to KS1 Spelling Pathways & KS2 Spelling Pathways, which involves teaching spelling strategies taken from a combination of Support for Spelling and Spelling Bank. In addition, children learn individual spellings and spelling & grammar rules that have highlighted themselves to teachers during children’s work.
Our Early Years Curriculum is designed to support children’s learning across all areas, through the provision of both planned and child-initiated purposeful activities and experiences within a environment developing high quality resources and interactions. It recognises each child as an individual with their own interests, motivations and needs.
To find out more about the curriculum we are following please click the links contained within this commentary.