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Our Curriculum

Intent 

We designed our own curriculum to ensure that children have a positive sense of self-identity, are able to relate and interact well with others and have the skills and talents for now, for the future and to make the world an even better place.

 

At Abbots Hall, we have a growth mind-set to our own learning as educators so that we can model this for our pupils. We integrate research and theory into our practice in a quick and efficient manner so that we can maximise the positive impact on outcomes for our pupils.

 

The whole academy community plays an enormous part in reviewing the curriculum. There is a highly cohesive team ethos and we work together to identify areas for improvement and to problem solve and find solutions quickly. We work in an agile manner to address any school improvement points as urgently as possible and we constantly review and refine what we are doing in the school.

Our Aims:

  • Provide equal opportunities for all children, regardless of their background and starting points, to gain knowledge, skills and character and make significant progress across the range of concepts taught in the School Curriculum.
  • Encourage children to develop a sense of personal growth through character development, enabling them to become global citizens and socially responsible. They will develop key characteristics through the celebration of our values [Fig. 1].
  • Develop children’s application of knowledge through carefully planned, high quality questioning and activities where a wide range of thinking skills are required. These skills are accessed by the Abbots Hall ‘Thinking Skills’ [Fig.2].
  • Prepare children for their own unique journey by encouraging them, through the curriculum, to become reflective, effective learners [Fig.3].

Implementation

We know that children learn better when they are excited and engaged. At the Abbots Hall, we are constantly looking to provide stimulating and motivating learning opportunities which not only challenge our pupils but also inspire them to continue their learning beyond the classroom.

 

We also recognise that great learning needs to be the right balance of lots of areas and if there is too greater focus on one aspect, learning can be limited. It is for this reason, we have carefully designed our curriculum around four key areas: Character, Knowledge, Skills and Meta-Learning (or learning how to learn).

Further Curricular Opportunities   

In addition to the well planned and comprehensive curriculum delivered by our outstanding teaching staff, our TAs and specialist teachers deliver the following learning experiences: Forest Schools, gymnastics coaching, specialist sports coaching and dance coaching. All children in years 5 and 6 and have the opportunity to access a residential trip once a year.

Inclusion and Differentiation

In order to provide all pupils with relevant and appropriate work at each stage we; -

  • set suitable learning challenges;
  • respond to pupils’ diverse needs;
  • endeavour to overcome potential barriers to learning;
  • plan and adapt learning to enable children to broaden, deepen and accelerate their understanding and development of skills and knowledge;
  • challenge children to think at depth and deepen their learning across the curriculum.
  • ensure our curriculum is inclusive and promotes a growth mind set in all our children, linking back to our school moto – Achieve, Believe, Create.
  • provide additional support and interventions for children as necessary and in line with our SEND policy.

Impact 

To ensure our curriculum is highly effective we constantly monitor its output. In order to do this, we place great emphasis on pupil voice. We spend a lot of time speaking with our pupils about their curricular experiences, constantly seeking to improve them. 

 

Leaders, including middle, senior and governors review pupils outcomes, data and teaching to judge the standards of teaching all subjects across the curriculum. 

Teaching Reading 

At Abbots Hall Primary Academy, we see reading as an integral part of our school curriculum that impacts on all learning. We value the importance of being a confident reader and work hard to develop children’s reading skills. We want children to enjoy reading a wide range of different books and be able to talk about books and authors.

 

In our school, children participate in reading activities every day. These vary from taught sessions to opportunities for reading for pleasure and information.  During Guided Group Reading and Shared Reading, children are taught and given opportunities to apply reading skills which include: phonics, sight vocabulary, contextual cues, comprehension, inference and deduction. Teachers use a range of carefully selected resources when teaching children to read. Every opportunity is seized throughout the day to enable pupils to use their reading skills when accessing other areas of the curriculum. On a daily basis, teachers read aloud to the children and engage them, through active discussions, in order to promote an enjoyment of reading and to expose them to a range of vocabulary that may be beyond their current reading ability. According to the Education Endowment Foundation these approaches, “…explicitly extend pupils’ spoken vocabulary…” and “…support learners’ articulation of ideas and spoken expression…”

 

Phonics

Phonics is taught discretely from the Foundation Stage through to the end of Key Stage 1 using a combination of the Read Write Inc [RWI] scheme and Letters and Sounds. Year 1 pupils take part in the phonics screening in the summer term. Results of the screening are shared with parents at the end of the academic year.  Older pupils who require more phonics skills are catered for through RWI Fresh Start intervention programmes.

 

All children are encouraged to read at home every evening either independently or with a sibling or an adult. They take home a reading book from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and also have the option of choosing a book from their class library or the school library. This shared learning will help children to practice their reading skills and develop a lifelong love of reading.

British Values Education

Religious Education

At Abbots Hall Primary Academy, we teach Religious Education to allow pupils to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief.  We ensure pupils increase their knowledge and understanding of a variety of religions and cultures developing empathy with different people and their beliefs around the world.  The teaching of Religious Education also supports the spiritual development of our pupils as well as ensuring British Values are covered.  Diversity is celebrated and Abbots Hall and pupils leave us equipped for living in the wider world. 

  

Religious Education is taught on a weekly basis. The teaching and learning of Religious Education is that of an enquiry approach.  Within this model children investigate key elements of a number of world religions as well as having the opportunity to apply this knowledge and develop their critical thinking skills.

 

All children learn about aspects of Christianity. The other five principal religions represented in Britain should be studied across the key stages. By the end of Key Stage Two pupils should have an adequate understanding of at least three religions. They should also have knowledge of aspects of other religions and world views, especially those with a significant local or topical presence. At Abbots Hall Primary, we use the Discovery RE Scheme of Work which covers all the objectives identified by Thurrock Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE).

 

Children in Key Stage One focus their learning on Christianity and Islam with some aspects of Judaism covered in Year Two. In Key Stage Two, children continue to develop their understanding and knowledge of Christianity, Islam and Judaism and look at Hinduism as a study into other world religions. 

Right to Withdraw from Religious Education (RE)

Parents have the right to withdraw their child(ren) from receiving RE. Parents are not obliged to state their reasons for seeking withdrawal. However, we ask that parents wishing to withdraw their child contact the school. Parents can contact to the school by either ringing the school office - 01375 673188 and ask to speak to Dawn Smith or by using the contact form below. Parent's will need to clearly state what aspect of RE they would like their child(ren) to be withdrawn from.

Want to know more?

For further information please see the Curriculum Policy (and others) in the Policy section of the website. 

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