At Great Smeaton Academy Primary School we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the new National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of our children in our school. The aim of our curriculum is for children to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education.
Children’s learning as they enter school is focused on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and as they enter Year 1, they will continue from this base. There is a period in the Autumn Term of Year 1 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 Programme and developing their fluency in reading through the daily supported reading sessions
The National Curriculum is delivered using the Cornerstones Curriculum as a basis to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school. Learning projects are chosen with our own children in mind. It is centred around what are called the four cornerstones:
- Hook learners in with a memorable experience.
- Set the scene and provide the context for learning.
- Ask questions to find out children’s interests.
- Spark children’s curiosity using interesting starting points.
- Teach facts and information for deeper understanding and knowledge.
- Demonstrate new skills and allow time for consolidation.
- Provide creative opportunities for making and doing.
- Deliver reading, writing and talking across the curriculum.
- Provide imaginative scenarios that encourage creative thinking.
- Enable children to apply previously learned skills.
- Encourage enterprise and independent thinking.
- Provide opportunities for collaborative working and problem solving.
- Provide environments for reflective talk.
- Create opportunities for shared evaluation.
- Celebrate and share children’s success.
- Identify next steps for learning.
The more able are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success. National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school and then individual class teachers plan the curriculum for their children accordingly. The curriculum is underpinned by the key core values that include:
Respect, Responsibility, Courage, Justice, Integrity and Compassion and these are taught on their own and through other areas of the curriculum, including assemblies. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children and their understanding of the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum.
The English curriculum and the mathematics curriculum are supported through a framework linked into Hamilton Trust in lower Key Stage 2 and explicitly planned from national subject objectives in upper key Stage 2 that follow on from the lower Key Stages. These subjects are taught in mixed age and ability groups across the school. In all year groups and classes there are small group and individual interventions in order to support children in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians.
Specialist teachers support some of our music. All class teachers 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. Theme weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. Additional whole school programmes and approaches support quality teaching and learning and the school is well resourced in terms of learning materials, books and technology.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our children. The school grounds are being developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science.
Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.