Elveden C of E Primary Academy Curriculum
We have 5 clear aims which are inextricably intertwined with our Christian vision, mission statement, physical and mental wellbeing and Building Learning Power.
We want our children to be:
- Ready to learn: Children have a positive, confident attitude to learning. They are both physically and emotionally ready to learn.
- Resourceful: Children show initiative, asks well thought out questions and are prepared to use a variety of strategies to learn.
- Reflective: Children are curious, able and willing to learn from their mistakes and can describe their progress
- Resilient: Children are prepared to persevere and stay involved in their learning, even when the process is challenging.
- Reciprocal: Children are prepared to help each other and work as a team.
The curriculum at Elveden C of E Primary Academy is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that is inclusive of the needs of all pupils and gives them the skills, knowledge and understanding to prepare them for life’s journey. It ensures that academic success, as well as physical and mental development and health and well-being are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning.
We recognise our role in developing children’s sense of justice and the associated skills and attitudes to become valued citizens of the future
We aim to raise aspirations and eradicate social and economic disadvantage by providing enriching opportunities to increase cultural capital.
The aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the necessary skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education. It is important that the curriculum prepares children for their future and builds on our key values of hope, trust, respect and forgiveness. The curriculum celebrates diversity and values all God’s children with dignity.
We encourage children to be confident and enthusiastic learners and enable them to take risks. Within a climate of high expectation and challenge, all children are guided, supported and inspired to fulfil their true potential, emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually, both during their time at school and in their life ahead.
At Elveden C of E Primary Academy, we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage.
Our curriculum follows the 2014 National Curriculum and thematic topics are taught throughout the school. Themed topics are devised to teach defined skills, knowledge and understanding in a structured way that ensures progression through the school, consistency across year groups and coverage over time. The themed topics have been designed to complement and build on one another with clear progression and links so that in subsequent year groups, children will be able to explore concepts deeper, applying their knowledge in different contexts.
We recognise the changing needs and interests of our pupils and we are responsive to this, regularly developing existing topics.
Some pupils are still working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they enter Year 1. There is a period in the autumn term where the majority of children progress to the National Curriculum. Throughout this period and beyond, all children are still developing their phonic knowledge through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme and developing their fluency in reading through daily reading as part of English skills.
Foundation subjects are delivered using a thematic topic approach and assessed using the National Curriculum as a basis to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school.
All staff take responsibility for an area of subject leadership and inexperienced staff shadow more experienced to help them develop professionally. Staff are encouraged to attend appropriate CPD and experienced staff regularly provide INSET for teachers and TAs.
Teachers work collaboratively with our partner school, Forest Academy, to plan sequential lessons. Immersion days and other enrichment activities are key to the curriculum design.
Subject leaders monitor planned lessons and offer advice, support and guidance to further improve planned lessons. Subject leaders visit classes to observe lessons, they monitor the work in books and spend time talking to the children about their learning. The school regularly uses Survey Monkey questionnaires to receive feedback from the children.
The more able are challenged further in their learning through enrichment sessions and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success.
The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our school, are embedded within the curriculum.
The English curriculum is delivered using Talk for Writing (T4W) in EYFS and KS1 which develops children’s writing skills through imitation, innovation and independence. Alongside this, children experience lessons on grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting. In Key Stage 2, IPEELL is introduced to provide a structured approach to teaching and learning of all writing text types except poetry which is taught in a different but age-appropriate way.
Across KS1 and 2, children have daily English skills practise where their focus rotates each day to include reading comprehension, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
The school uses core texts as a basis for English planning and usually, these texts relate to the thematic topic. All children use Lexia and we have developed our own suggested text list for each year group, ‘The Elveden Essential Reads’. These texts are chosen for their level of challenge and quality language. They have also been chosen with a view to promoting reading for pleasure and developing vocabulary.
The Mathematics curriculum is split into two parts: Arithmetic and Reasoning. Each day the children have a dedicated Arithmetic session – working on the key arithmetic methods with the curriculum. Typically, in KS1 this is 10-15 minutes per day, whilst in Key Stage Two it is typically 20-30 minutes/daily. The Reasoning lessons are delivered principally through the White Rose Scheme of learning, supplemented by Maths No Problem. We want our children to become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. Each child from Year 1-6 has a Mathletics account in which they can hone their fluency skills and practise their mental-maths.
English and mathematics are taught in mixed ability groups. In all year groups, there are small group interventions in order to support pupils in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians. However, the emphasis is on quality first teaching which means minimal intervention is required. Teachers are encouraged to use pre and post teaching as appropriate.
R.E. is taught using both the ‘Understanding Christianity’ units and the ‘Emmanuel Project’ (For other world religions) throughout the school. This ensures that children have the opportunity to engage with religion and reflect on what this means to them. In EYFS and KS1, ‘Tom and Tessa’ are used to make this meaningful to children so that they can make links with their own experiences. In KS2, there is a developing philosophy of the ‘Big Ideas’, allowing children to consider questions deeply and encourage an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith.
Collective worship play a fundamental role in our curriculum with daily worship built in to the day. This is an opportunity for the whole school to gather together, engage in worship, respond to the messages we hear and to make a difference in the world. The themes are referred to throughout the school day, when referring to our actions, our treatment of others and how we are impacted as individuals.
Sports coaches support physical education and dance. There is a comprehensive programme of tournaments that all children are able to participate in throughout their time at school. We ensure that all children have had the opportunity to represent the school in a sport before they leave Year 6. Children participate in swimming lessons, for one term a year, in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 to ensure they are competent swimmers before the end of their time at Elveden.
All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Themed weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. Most of these opportunities take place within ‘Family groups’ to ensure that children at Elveden work with children from other year groups, including their siblings. This provides an opportunity to develop inclusivity for all and focus on the ‘Values for Life’ programme.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. The surrounding grounds provide opportunities to enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science and geography. We have a forest area, an environmental garden and access to Elveden Estate land/farms.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Parents are invited in to look at the children’s learning and leave positive comments on a golden orb. We have a Facebook page where children’s learning and successes are celebrated each day. The Building Learning Power ethos is firmly embedded, alongside our Christian teachings, and ensures our children develop their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens.
From their own starting points, children will make excellent progress academically and socially, developing a sense of spirituality so that they are well prepared for the next stage in their life journey.
All of our children will have the skills, knowledge and understanding to be successful in all that they choose to do. They will leave Elveden C of E Primary Academy confident and dignified individuals, with a deep respect for others, which is embedded through their behaviour and them as citizens of the future. They will have the belief that they can overcome the biggest challenges, with the guidance of the Christian faith.