Curriculum

Ardley Hill Academy Curriculum Rationale

 

Intent

At Ardley Hill Academy, our ultimate aim is to empower each individual to develop a passion for ‘LEARNING FOR LIFE’. As a result, our curriculum has been designed to enable all pupils to REACH their potential and beyond.

 

Through nurturing independence and RESILIENCE, our pupils are motivated and fully ENGAGED in all aspects of school and community life. They are encouraged to be ASPIRATIONAL learners who strive to be the very best that they can be in everything that they do.

 

Pupils at Ardley Hill use a variety of means to COMMUNICATE with different audiences preparing them for life in a diverse society. Alongside this, to develop HEALTHINESS, physical, personal, social, emotional and spiritual well-being are embedded in learning.

Our pupils leave us as ambitious learners who enthusiastically aim high to REACH their full potential and make a difference in the society in which they live.

 

Implementation

Our curriculum is delivered through topics and discrete lessons that meet the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 (https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum/key-stage-1-and-2) and go beyond. Each subject has an intent, a learning journey and clearly sequenced acquisition and accumulation of knowledge. Learners develop the full range of skills across the full breadth of the curriculum as they encounter increasingly challenging levels of subject knowledge. Teachers plan engaging and age-appropriate curriculum content to inspire and enthuse our pupils, building on our core principles of REACH.

 

Each subject is planned carefully, starting with pupil’s current knowledge and skills, so that real progress is made in each subject and embeds and builds on prior learning. New material is divided into manageable steps, lesson by lesson, fostering and nurturing a child’s semantic memory through use of repetition, revisits and focused lessons. During lessons, appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explanations are all used and there is an expectation that all pupils will develop resilience and accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently. This implementation ensures that pupils are ready for the next stage, whether that is the next lesson, unit of work, year or key stage.

 

Teachers plan opportunities in all subjects for pupils to think in different ways; find different solutions; make links and connections between subjects and information and imaginatively accumulate and apply knowledge. This is achieved by teachers presenting concepts and key knowledge in a variety of ways.

 

Progressions and planning are regularly reviewed to ensure the curriculum is relevant and incorporates essential learning that needs to take place, based on the needs of the Ardley Hill pupils and therefore make any necessary improvements to the existing programme of work.  Our curriculum is inclusive for all and the more able are challenged according to their strengths.  Pupils who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they are enabled to achieve success.

 

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.

We believe that pupils learn best when they enjoy their learning and our various and engaging topics and themes delivered throughout the curriculum and across all subject areas capture pupil’s interest from the start through well thought out and planned content and subsequent exciting learning opportunities, making meaningful connections in order to deepen learning.

 

Pupils are able to share their learning with each other and their parents and carers through school based exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools.  Developing pupils’ independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.

Our curriculum and cultural capital is further enriched through local community visits and projects, school trips, charity events, days such as World Book Day, visiting speakers and residential trips.  We firmly believe that real life experiences like these create lasting memories and strengthen the learning happening in school.  We also have an excellent range of school clubs, taking place during lunchtimes and after school.

At Ardley Hill Academy, we have an extensive outdoor environment including two fields, a swimming pool, a sensory garden, class trees, a nurture hut, a wildlife area with a pond and a forest schools area.  Our school grounds are used for active learning for all of our pupils ranging from Pre-School through to Year 6.

The implementation of our curriculum intent and school motto of ‘Learning for Life’ is underpinned by the fundamentals of REACH (Resilience, Engagement, Aspiration, Communication and Health) and these are taught through the curriculum and in assemblies.  We actively promote the fundamental British Values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.  The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils is woven throughout the curriculum. We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide role models for our pupils.

We understand the crucial role parents have in promoting learning beyond the school gate and ensuring pupils make the best possible progress.  We pride ourselves on being an open, friendly and approachable school that encourages parents to be actively involved in pupil’s learning.  As well as Parents Evenings, we host regular events to inform parents how they can support their child or to come and work alongside their child.  Events include reading, phonics and maths workshops, parents invited into lessons in EYFS and an annual Science Fair.

 

Ardley Hill Academy recognises the importance of English and Maths teaching in order to open up other areas of the curriculum and therefore a large emphasis is placed on these areas. The teaching of subject specific vocabulary is a primary feature in all subjects which supports the accumulation of knowledge.

 

We hold reading at the centre of our curriculum and aim to encourage wider, more avid and life-long readers. To do this, we choose texts which explore many social, emotional and cultural issues thus developing the cultural capital of our children.

 

In addition to regular English and Maths teaching, we try to make as many cross-curricular links in discreet subject learning in order to utilise these skills in a range of contexts and ensure that knowledge and skills can be transferred.

 

 

Our approach to our curriculum complies with our duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational and Disability Regulations 2014, ensuring that our curriculum is accessible to all.

 

Impact

Knowing more and remembering more is key to assessing the impact of the curriculum at Ardley Hill Academy. The use of Tier 3 vocabulary is essential in the transfer and application of skills. This is used within each classroom through a ‘Wow Word Wall’, Tier 3 vocabulary books and whole class memory books encompassing learning from each area of the curriculum.

 

The impact of our curriculum is evaluated through end of unit, term and year assessments, Government tests; Governor and Trust meetings, external reviews, visits, pupil progress meetings and through our own monitoring of teaching, learning and pupil voice. All pupils progress well by developing knowledge and skills on their journey through school. This is demonstrated through outcomes at EYFS, Phonics, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. (https://ardleyhill.org.uk/information/policies/)

 

Rigorous assessment and tracking of pupil’s performance regularly takes place to inform classroom practice and next steps. AfL is evident in learning objectives, success criteria, feedback, interventions and self/peer evaluation. A clear tracking and monitoring system and wide variety of summative assessments are also in place to inform teachers of next steps to ensure that pupils progress and any learning needs are identified and addressed along the way.