Upwell Academy Curriculum Intent
Miss Radford is the central point of reference for the Curriculum at Upwell Academy.
At Upwell Academy, we have designed our curriculum with the intent that our pupils must have the foundations to become successful adults. We motivate them to be the very best so that they can be confident communicators, global citizens, take opportunities to extend their horizons and develop the resilience to overcome any obstacles in life.
These values are central to our Academy Vision, Ethos and Our six Academy Values:
We aim for our pupils to have ambition and aspirations for a range of careers and personal interests in the future, and endeavour to ensure that they gain knowledge and skills across all subjects. We have designed our curriculum to cover not only the statutory aspects of the National Curriculum, but also to take account of their local heritage. The curriculum is enriched in a variety of ways: trips; visitors; real world contexts; innovative, stimulating and inspiring experiences; cross-curricular links; purposeful use of the environment as well as pupil and staff collaboration.
Our ambitious curriculum is a thread in everything we do here. We consider cross-curricular links to make learning meaningful for pupils and build these into learning. The acquisition of knowledge and the skills to discuss and share this is essential. The development of language is important. We enable our pupils to be proficient communicators, regardless of their starting points or backgrounds.
Our curriculum at Upwell Academy is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, aspirational, confident and successful learners, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and wider society. The curriculum considers the whole child. It includes physical development as well as well-being and mental health, and ensures that key elements such as creativity, academic success, problem-solving, responsibility and resilience support the development of the whole child and a positive attitude to learning.
We celebrate diversity here and utilise the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of our community while supporting children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We want to ensure that young people are well-prepared for life in modern Britain.
Through focussing learning on a series of diverse topics, key curriculum requirements can be embedded to motivate pupils to develop a love for learning, enabling them to continue their learning outside of the classroom. Linking learning to local, national and international themes develops tolerance in accepting different opinions, while raising personal aspirations and expectations. Through quality teaching of knowledge, skills and vocabulary across core and foundation subjects, all children will be challenged to be inquisitive, compassionate, courageous and creative learners.
Each teaching and learning unit encompasses these areas, with vocabulary being an important part of learning for all children. Partnerships with outside groups, as well as educational visits, help to enhance the delivery of the curriculum.
We have simple priorities for teaching in all lessons. Our children and staff all use this as a guide for their lessons. This provides children with the opportunity to recap prior knowledge and develop new knowledge.
- Children enter the room ready for learning, resources are set out for the lesson and, where applicable, an activity is available to settle the children.
- The curriculum is our progress model; we know that children have made progress when they have learnt, over time, the core knowledge from the lessons. We ensure this is done through our A4L quizzes, termly assessments and a longer piece of writing.
- Our lessons begin with the chance to re-cap on prior learning through quizzing, questioning and brief discussions and reinforcement of concepts and vocabulary.
- We share the language of learning; “My Turn, Your Turn” for the class to pay attention and listen to the pronunciation of new vocabulary, before repeating it back themselves in a choral class response.
- We use the ‘Ask 5, Not 1’ questioning technique, to ensure all children are secure in the knowledge that they need for the lesson.
- We ensure that the questions we ask are rephrased each time, so that children can think and apply their knowledge in different ways and ensure security.
- We use the ‘cold calling’ technique and give children thinking time after a question, before saying the name of the child we would like to answer. Using this no hands-up questioning approach means all children need to be ready and paying attention.
- Children should respond to question in full sentences. Teachers to model if required.
- Student work is well presented with titles and date underlined neatly.
- All lessons include an element of written work, usually a high-leverage short paragraph answer, which makes use of the vocabulary that the children have learned in that lesson.
- We finish our lessons with a recap of key knowledge and understanding.
Our curriculum is organised so that learning builds year on year, providing a ‘spiralling’ curriculum where children are taught key facts, significant skills and relevant vocabulary which will broaden their knowledge and enrich their learning experiences. Bruner (1961) states that the purpose of education is not to impart knowledge, but instead to facilitate a child’s thinking and problem-solving skills which can then be transferred to a range of situations. At the start of each new topic, knowledge organisers are created for children and parents. These outline key facts and vocabulary which can be used as an introduction to each new topic and a point of reference enabling parents to support their child’s learning experience. These will be shared with parents and will also be available on our website.
At Upwell Academy, we ensure that the children are regularly assessed against the relevant frameworks across the breadth of the curriculum. There is a regular half-termly cycle of monitoring and assessment which is analysed and utilised for identifying knowledge gaps. Following this, the teachers meet with members of the leadership team to discuss each pupil’s progress to find out the reasons behind their current attainment, enabling the school to provide interventions and any necessary support.