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. We believe, where possible, links should be cross curricular and children should be able to practice application of skills across many subject areas. Our approach should include a curriculum that is well taught and implemented through appropriately sequenced content, and a thoughtfully designed assessment system, taking into account an appropriate model of progression. To that end, we are currently revising our approach 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, at present, 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 text types as the initial stimulus which underpin cross curricular & topic links. Early & KS1 also mix in 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.
We have enabled teachers to be creative with topic choice to inspire and meet the needs of the children before them. The non-core subjects are blocked in order to facilitate better quality learning, through providing a sustained and concentrated approach, leading to a deeper learning experience.
We are happy that our approach ensures broad learning experiences and allows teachers to make learning exciting, active and meaningful for children - but we are always looking to improve this and enhance our provision. 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 children and teachers 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.
We have recently changed our approach to Numeracy which is now underpinned by the Maths No Problem approach which is based on the Singapore methodology. We are quickly trying to progress our children into working at a deeper level to develop better conceptual understanding. This is in its infancy still.
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. We introduce elements of this in Nursery. Once children have completed the phonics programme, which we aim for them to do by the end of Y1, they move on to spelling programme 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 through another scheme - Rising Stars - skills building.
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.