Our curriculum is coherently planned, sequenced and resourced using the following;
- Development Matters
- National Curriculum Statutory Guidance
- Oracy – Delta Voice 21
- Delta Reading Strategy
- Same Day Intervention Mathematics Strategy
- The North East Lincolnshire’s SACRE R.E. syllabus
- Our Essential Elements and Values
- Strand Community Pledges
- Outdoor Learning and enhancement opportunities, which support teaching of the curriculum.
There is a clear progression of knowledge, skills and understanding taught from one-year group to the next. As a small school, KS2 has mixed classes and therefore follows a two yearly cycle to ensure full coverage of the curriculum. Learning at Strand Primary Academy is not compartmentalised. Children are taught to make links in knowledge and skills across all areas of the curriculum within subject specific learning. The curriculum enables us to provide a holistic, broad and balanced curriculum from EYFS through to Year 6; including the transition to Year 7.
To ensure that outcomes in reading, writing and math’s continue to improve across the academy, our broader curriculum builds on the core subjects, ensuring many cross-curricular opportunities for reading, writing, oracy, math’s and science are created. Where possible, we use texts that link to our topic as a way of developing English skills further. This allows us to consolidate the core skills, embed them and practice them in a range of contexts.
The ability to talk confidently and eloquently has been a barrier for children within the catchment area of our Academy. Children arrive with limited vocabulary and in some cases little to no understandable speech. In order to combat this and ensure these starting points do not hinder our children, all teachers have received comprehensive Oracy training from Voice 21. This is Multi-Academy Trust project called Delta Voice 21. The Oracy Framework outlines the elements, which underpin successful communication skills, and provides a useful tool for analysing speech that enables students and teachers to understand what effective communication looks like and to put strategies in place to improve specific speaking and listening skills.
The Academy has recognised the use of clear, focused learning intentions and success criteria as an effective tool in gaining intended learning outcomes. Staff have had training to use effective questioning techniques to develop higher order thinking skills. In lessons, we provide opportunities for independent and collaborative study. We strive to provide as many recall and application activities as possible to support the retention of knowledge and understanding with appropriate subject specific vocabulary.
The learning culture is promoted to empower children so that they become responsible for their own learning. We encourage children to always try their best, to not give up and to support each other’s endeavours. We actively encourage our children use their learning environment, resources and previous learning to enable them to work independently. Our children have to be resilient in their day-to-day lives and at school, we work to channel that resilience to ensure their success.
The Learning environment in classrooms represent the children’s experiences and learning. Therefore, where possible, we create immersive learning spaces that enrich the learning experience across key stages 1 & 2. These environments encourage active learning behaviours. Our children enjoy being responsible and respectful of their environments. Their classrooms ensure they are keen to take pride in all areas of their own learning and presentation within their books is good.
These environments grow and develop throughout a topic; demonstrating the learning journey of the children. With a variety of creative spaces in which to work and learn, children are focused and display excellent behaviours to learn. This pedagogy enables the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of our children to be woven into the very fabric of school life and their daily learning.
To ‘hook’ our children into their learning we deliver unlocking events. These events raise the engagement of our leaners. Where possible we aim to provide a real project, which relates to the world in which we live in today. Our projects aim to enable children to present their learning in a meaningful manner, often to an audience or our wider school community. This curriculum facilitates a variety of ways to interact and experience a myriad of lessons presented in an engaging and simulating way –ensuring the very best outcomes for all of our children.
Children with English as an additional language present a quarter of our school community, which is above the national average. Supporting EAL learners to achieve as well as their peers in all areas of the curriculum is something we believe to be of vital importance. All teachers aim to teach the essential language features to learners with EAL. For example, in history, learners need to be able to speak about events in the past, so be confident in using the correct past tenses, read and write chronological reports and sequence information accurately. We use vocabulary grids to ensure subject specific vocabulary is explicit. Where possible, we use images to explain and give context to the words. These vocabulary grids aim to make the language of the curriculum accessible through, for example, increased use of visuals, scaffolding and modelling, while keeping the cognitive challenge and interest level high.
We share and celebrate the different cultures and ethnicity of our children both in the classroom and as a whole school.
The Oracy that unpins the entire curriculum values talk for all. It enables children to discuss, debate and communicate together. It enables children who are developing their command of the English language, from whichever starting point, access to good models of talk within their own peer group. Collaborative activities provide an opportunity for exploratory talk as learners work together. They are a useful way of providing an opportunity for speaking and listening for a real purpose.
We have six essential elements that provide the depth and values within our curriculum. They are characteristics and roles that we believe children should adopt in order to thrive in our community and our world.
We want our children to be;
- Global Guardians
- Community and Cultural Ambassadors
- Technical Trail-Blazers
These characteristics are introduced in assemblies, built into our ‘Mission lessons’, discussed in class and promoted through activities and actions. ‘Mission’ lessons are the vehicles in which children can apply the knowledge and skills from the National curriculum into collaborative learning opportunities to solve a given mission (posed as a question). How they chose to present their learning or outcomes develops throughout the school so that in by UKS2 children have the independent skills and personal awareness to construct their own learning and outcomes. Children learn to take personal responsibility for their own thoughts and actions. Their Oracy skills enable them to become confident presenters and communicators when sharing their Mission solutions.
These mission characteristics also underpin our Strand Primary Academy Pledges. Children can earn their pledge award for demonstrating these characteristics within whole school events. They are awarded any of the six pledge awards at Bronze; Silver and Gold level for demonstrating individual endeavours that:
- Support our world and community
- Demonstrate pioneering thought or actions
- Present to an audience
- Research, question and develop solutions to issues with ingenuity
At Strand Primary Academy, we have subject leaders who oversee, develop, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their subject within school across all year groups and phases, including the development of appropriate subject specific vocabulary. Each middle leader ensures that there is appropriate curriculum coverage of Fundamental British Values and the essential elements within their subject area. Staff are committed to delivering high quality learning experiences throughout the curriculum. Support staff have developed their strengths in order to further enhance the quality of learning. The learning culture and essential elements are used as a constant point of reference to allow children to see the impact of their understanding, actions and progress throughout school.
Our children come from an area of high depravation. Hence, the experiences we provide our children are fundamental in broadening their horizons, developing their cultural awareness and raising their expectations of what they can achieved. Therefore, we supplement our curriculum with a range of practical experiences, trips and visits. During a child’s time at Strand Primary Academy, we endeavour to provide local trips within our community; trips further afield to include at least one major city, sporting competitions and events, visits to religious buildings and cultural experiences and the opportunity for a residential stay.