Curriculum Information and Year Group Information
Lansdowne: a de Ferrers Trust Academy Curriculum
Ethos and Curriculum intent.
Our work is underpinned by the de Ferrer’s Trust vision
‘To ensure that all the children and young people in our care have the opportunity to fulfil their potential through achieving highly regardless of their ability or background.’
Our Academy is reflective of the partnerships we have both within the Trust and within the wider local area. We have a shared aspiration for our children to be caring; resilient and honest with a personal ambition to achieve their very best.
We all aim to provide a safe, happy and healthy environment in which all children are encouraged to be creative, confident and enquiring individuals in an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect and support. We want our children to be successful, to love learning and to move onto the next stage of their education with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to thrive.
The four primary Trust Academies operate in different contexts. Lansdowne’s vision is modelled in our curriculum, where we believe in advantage over disadvantage. As a school serving a community that has high deprivation, we believe that our pupils deserve a curriculum that does not narrow their life chances. It is our aim that no child is left behind, each individual is given the support and guidance to enable them to develop the skills and acquire the knowledge that will prepare them for the next stage of their school career.
The curriculum programme at Lansdowne is knowledge-engaged and encourages pupils to develop, knowledge, skills and understanding of all the subjects incorporated in the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the Key Stage One (KS1) National Curriculum 2014.
The Principals of the four Trust primaries have worked closely together to agree a core curriculum structure based on skills, knowledge and understanding. This process began by identifying clear progression and sequencing within subject areas. Each school has built upon this core to meet individual needs and contexts, with the ability for staff across schools to work collaboratively.
Our curriculum aims are to develop good academic outcomes and at least expected progress for all through:
- Pupils having guidance and support to develop an understanding of what it takes to be a successful learner
- Pupils understanding that it is acceptable to make mistakes in their work as this forms part of the learning process
- Themes supporting extra-curricular opportunities such as trips, visitors and after school clubs for pupils.
Moreover, we firmly believe to enhance the life chances of our pupils, our curriculum must actively promote the acquisition of a broad and academic vocabulary. Put simply, we believe that knowing more words makes you smarter, and our curriculum is very intent on ensuring this becomes a reality for all of our children.
From Nursery to Year 2, the Lansdowne curriculum has been designed using a thematic approach. All four schools have identified subject leaders to ensure subject equity. We see learning as an ascending spiral with sufficient repetition to ensure that learning becomes embedded and secure. We know that children learn best when they can make connections between the different areas of their learning and this approach makes the subjects more relevant and interesting for our pupils who have little experience of the world outside their immediate location. Each theme uses a high quality text-based approach to support the language acquisition required by many of our children. The long term over view of the planned themes for the whole school can be found on our website. In addition, topic planning is in place to show curriculum coverage, what the children will be learning about and an outline of the activities they will do during a half term. This is also available on the website at the beginning of each half term.
Following the publication of the research into curriculum (HMCI 18/9/2018) the staff discussed the two terms knowledge and skills. Our shared understanding is that knowledge is facts and information and skills are the application of knowledge in a range of contexts. We adhere to the HMCI comment ‘knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill’ and we understand that both need to be developed alongside one another.
In KS1, the knowledge, skills and objectives for the children's learning has been taken directly from the National Curriculum which sets out the core subjects of Maths, English and Science and the Foundation subjects of Art and Design, Computing, Design and Technology, Languages, Geography, History, Music and PE.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the skills and knowledge for learning has been taken from the development matters document.
We also teach Religious Education, Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education attaching great importance to the development of moral and social skills, including the emotional wellbeing of all our pupils.
Key Stage One.
In order to deliver the aims of our curriculum we ensure all pupils are taught the statutory number of hours for each subject by providing staff with a timetable for all subjects each half term. The morning sessions include the five Maths and English sessions required and at five bespoke phonics lessons in year one. Spelling and reading are also timetabled for the mornings. Science and each of the foundation subjects are studied in the afternoons. Although, time is set for each subject each week there is some flexibility for teachers to block teach these if the subject content would benefit from this. E.g. To plan, carry out and evaluate a science investigation. Staff record all changes to the weekly timetable on the medium term planning grid.
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the curriculum in the early year’s unit. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to acquire knowledge and skills, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, known as the prime areas are; communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The pupils at Lansdowne focus on these prime areas in both Nursery and Reception classes. The children are then supported in the four remaining areas known as the specific areas. The specific areas are; literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design. The staff in the foundation unit support learning and development through a mix of planned, purposeful activities and teacher-led lessons. As children’s development allows, the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for the more formal learning in Year 1.
We use formative and summative assessment processes to enable us to make accurate judgements of both attainment and progress this enables us to identify any gaps in knowledge or skills and to adapt our planning to close these gaps. Knowledge gained by regularly reviewing our assessment processes and outcomes, enable us to continue to develop our school curriculum to inform and improve our future curriculum design.
Each child is assessed on entry to the school, irrespective of the year or time of year starting and from that point, they are supported to reach their full potential. If children are present at Lansdowne at the beginning of the Reception year, they will have a baseline assessment within the first four weeks of the Autumn term. From then onwards teachers continuously asses children’s knowledge and learning as a natural, integrated part of each lesson. Assessment records and progress tracking are maintained using the School Pupil Tracker Online system (SPTO). This allows teachers to monitor gaps in learning and plan next steps. Throughout the year KS1 children complete end of tern formal assessments as a way to support teacher assessment and gap analysis.
At the end of Key Stage One, all children undergo the national SATs (Standard Assessment Tasks) and in conjunction with teacher assessment, results are reported to parents. At the end of Early Years Foundation stage 2 children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals, with results being reported to parents.
Parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress three times a year in the Autumn, Spring and the Summer terms.
Progression and Sequencing
The curriculum has been planned and mapped progressively throughout each Key Stage. A topic based approached is used as a vehicle, where relevant, to teach the knowledge and skills to make links through cross curricular learning.
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering Age Related Expectations. We intend that the impact is that children will be academically and physically prepared for life in their next school stage, in Modern Britain and the wider world.
We want our children to become rounded characters with a clear understanding of complex values like equality, friendship, trust and many others. From this they will develop a character that prepares them for living in the community demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day, on the playground, in corridors, and in the many roles we give them.
Our children are to be guided by all staff on how to approach challenges every day. This could be on the playground, in a game or disagreement, or in class in a complex learning challenge. The impact should be that children don’t give up, are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this.
Our children will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons. They will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others.
If you require further information on the curriculum we follow,
please contact the school office on 01283 239141