Our curriculum weaves together the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and the principles of our Aspirations philosophy: Self worth; Engagement and Sense of Purpose.
Our school provides a curriculum that is balanced and broadly based, it promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of all pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life in modern Britain. The National Curriculum forms only one part of our school curriculum, we capitalise on every opportunity to broaden children’s experiences outside of the classroom and the school day. We utilise classroom teaching, trips, visitors and assemblies in order to instil a clear understanding of the social values we abide by and knowledge of the cultural diversity of our academy, the town, county and world we live in. Our close relationships with the local community ensure we can extend learning experiences and provide a context for learning.
British Values and Modern Britain
Central to our curriculum are the Citizenship and PSHE requirements, ensuring that we prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain.
Throughout our Aspirations Curriculum we promote the British values of:
- democracy (starting with our Aspiration Heroes through to understanding Britain as a democratic country);
- the rule of law (class and school rules, our place in the community, to British law);
- individual liberty (promoting rights and responsibility in all we do, standing up to bullying);
- mutual respect (learning to understand each other’s points of view);
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs (celebrating the diversity of our community, looking at modern Britain, our place in Europe and the wider world);
Through a carefully planned blend of discrete subject teaching and thematic study, the curriculum is taught through cross-curricular themes based around one of the 8 Aspirations Conditions, these are carefully mapped out to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum. Developing English and Maths skills underpin our whole curriculum, and are taught discretely. The teaching of reading, writing, communication and mathematics is cohesively planned and opportunities provided to apply these skills through the wider curriculum.
Each of our 6 termly units has a topic theme that is progressed through each year group, ensuring knowledge and skills are progressively taught and developed.
Term 1: Belonging, Fun and Excitement: focusing on the world in which we live and how we can contribute to our world, both now and in the future, promoting identity, diversity and equality.
Term 2: Heroes: preparing our children for the future world of work, exploring enterprise and developing an understanding of money.
Term 3: Spirit of Adventure and Accomplishment: Linked to our Space Studio School and promoting the key skills of problem solving, questioning and creative thinking.
Term 4: Curiosity and Creativity: focusing on listening, respect: for others and self. We study people from the past who have made an impact on our life today, and lessons we can learn for the future.
Term 5: Leadership and Responsibility: how to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle, learning how to manage risk including personal rights, responsibilities and consent.
Term 6: Confidence to Take Action: promoting self-motivation, participation and engagement.
Throughout every theme children are given the opportunity to set personal goals and to reflect on their learning, so developing critical reflection skills.
Our aim is to ensure that no pupil is allowed to fall behind, this is reflected in our high end of Key Stage results. Regular assessments ensure we can provide learning experiences tailored to individual pupils’ needs, for some pupils, this requires extra support or additional challenge, this is provided on a regular basis by highly trained staff. We also have opportunities for different groups of our pupils to take part in workshops with other pupils from other local and national AAT Academies and local partnership schools.
As part of the Aspirations Academies Trust, we believe that our curriculum should reflect pupils’ abilities, interests and needs. To reflect this, our pupils are involved in helping to shape the units of work that they are studying by setting out key questions for topics. We give them the opportunity to guide us with their interests and at the same time ensuring that they are offered a broad and balanced curriculum. This individualised approach enables all pupils to feel engaged and excited about their learning and encourages them to strive to be the best.
As part of the Government’s reforms to the national curriculum, the current system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress has been removed. This has allowed teachers greater flexibility in the way that they plan and assess pupils’ learning, providing greater opportunities for formative assessments. The programmes of study within the new National Curriculum (NC) set out expectations at the end of each key stage, we have developed a curriculum relevant to our pupils that teaches this content. We are currently developing and trialling an assessment system which enables the class teacher and the academy’s senior leaders to check what pupils have learned, whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the key stage, and to report regularly to parents.