KS1 and KS2 Curriculum statement

Curriculum Statement 

Forest Curriculum rationale (Intent)

We have 5 clear aims which are inextricably intertwined with 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, ask 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 Forest Academy is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils and gives them the skills, knowledge and understanding to prepare them for their future lives.

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.

The curriculum celebrates diversity and supports the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

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.

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.  

 

Curriculum Statement 2018-19 (Implementation)

At Forest 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. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. 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 the 4 BLP dispositions to become resourceful, reflective, resilient and reciprocal learners.

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 Storytime Phonics Programme and developing their fluency in reading through the daily reading as part of the 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 in age phases 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 get feedback from the children.

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.

The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum.

The English curriculum is taught 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 KS 1 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. The school uses Accelerated Reader and had developed its own suggested text list for each year group, ‘The Forest Fantastic Reads’. These texts are chosen for their level of challenge, quality language and are all on Accelerated Reader. They have also been chosen with a view to promoting reading for pleasure.

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. Each child has opportunity to use their Mathletics accounts for 30 minutes each week during Mathematics lessons.

English and mathematics are taught in mixed ability groups in EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 but there is targeted ability grouping in Upper Key Stage 2. 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.

Sports coaches support physical education and dance. 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. After school clubs, sports tournaments and events extend these opportunities further.

The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. The school grounds provide opportunities to enrich different curriculum areas, particularly science and geography. We have a woodland area, an environmental area and easy, free access to Brandon County Park. The school has a trained ‘Forest Schools’ teacher.

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. Children’s work is celebrated in sharing assemblies with their peers. 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 and ensures our children develop their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.

What is the impact? What does this mean for the children?

From their individual starting points, pupils are well prepared for the next stage in their education. We want our children to have the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to be successful academically and socially. Our children will leave Forest Academy:

  • Ready to learn: Children have a positive, confident attitude to learning.  They are both physically and emotionally ready to learn.
  • Resourceful: Children show initiative, ask 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.