Education must enable students to learn about the world around them and the talents within them so that they can become fulfilled individuals and active compassionate citizens.
We believe that education can be broken down into four basic purposes:
- Personal – encouraging children to engage in the world within them as well as the world around them.
- Cultural – ensuring children understand their own culture and respect the diversity of others.
- Economic – helping children to become economically responsible and independent.
- Social – enabling children to become active and engaging citizens.
Our curriculum integrates Ken Robinson’s eight core competencies. Interwoven throughout the whole school curriculum and nurtured as the children grow, these disciplines equip our children with the skills needed to for their next stage of learning and successfully engage in life’s challenges.
- Curiosity – the ability to ask questions and explore how the world works.
- Creativity – the ability to generate new ideas and to apply them in practice.
- Criticism – the ability to analyse information and ideas to form reasoned arguments and ideas to form reasoned arguments and judgements.
- Communication – the ability to express thoughts and feelings clearly and confidently in a range of media
- Collaboration – the ability to work constructively with others.
- Compassion – the ability to empathise with others and act accordingly.
- Composure – the ability to connect with the inner life of feeling and develop a sense of personal harmony and balance.
- Citizenship – the ability to engage constructively with society and to participate in the processes that sustain it.
We ensure equal access to learning, with high expectations for every pupil and appropriate levels of challenge and support.
All pupils have the right to access powerful knowledge – knowledge which allows them to predict, explain and envisage alternatives.
A progression of knowledge and skills has been developed systematically to build upon prior knowledge. Links across subjects are explicit and children are encouraged to make generalisations about concepts.
The curriculum is designed to help the children to have a positive attitude to learning and develop the academy values of articulation, resilience, team work, tolerance, confidence, creativity, determination and risk taking through a relevant and well thought out curriculum.
We help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage and traditional British values and prepare the children for life beyond the academy through visits in the local area, and further afield including a residential visit, Crucial Crew and a visit to the Houses of Parliament. Children have the opportunity to hold positions of responsibility in the academy through the ‘job shop’ and the pupil parliament.
We explore creativity through a carefully planned art, design and technology curriculum led and taught by an art specialist. All children visit an Art Gallery, enter art competitions and display their own work in an art exhibition.
We develop musical ability through a curriculum delivered by a music specialist, based on the Kodaly technique: all children have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument and all take part in a performance at our academy each year.
The children’s skills in performing are developed through a comprehensive performing arts programme which ensures that all children perform on the academy stage at least once a year – leading assemblies, singing, acting or playing musical instruments – and all children visit the theatre at least once during their time in the academy.
We develop the whole child by nurturing the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through our PSHE and RE lessons, assemblies, and circle time. Children will visit a place of worship of the five main religions in Sheffield.
We support pupils’ physical development and enable them to be active through a well-planned PE curriculum, which covers the fundamentals, skills, tactics and ensures all children are given the chance to compete at either an intra or inter academy level. All children are taught about their own health through PE, PSHE and science activities and understand the importance of regular exercise, participating activities on the yard with the support of trained Playground Leaders. All children are given the opportunity to attend a sporting event.
We help the children to learn financial literacy and working cooperatively with each other and members of the local community through planning charity events; enterprise projects and community activities such as the local monthly litter pick.
The curriculum is shaped and developed as new ideas and theories are researched and evolved by bodies such as Sutton Trust and the teaching academy alliances that we work closely with.
This policy reflects the requirements for academies to provide a broad and balanced curriculum as per the Academies Act 2010, and the National Curriculum programmes of study which the academy has chosen to follow.
It also reflects requirements for inclusion and equality as set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014 and Equality Act 2010, and refers to curriculum-related expectations of governing boards set out in the Department for Education’s Governance Handbook.
LEAD Academy Trust ensures that:
The academy is complying with its funding agreement and teaching a “broad and balanced curriculum” which includes English, Maths, and Science, and enough teaching time is provided for pupils to cover the requirements of the funding agreement.
The headteacher is responsible for ensuring that this policy is adhered to, and that:
- All required elements of the curriculum, and those subjects which the academy chooses to offer, have aims and objectives which reflect the intent of the academy
- The amount of time provided for teaching the required elements of the curriculum is adequate
- They manage requests to withdraw children from curriculum subjects, where appropriate
- The academy’s procedures for assessment meet all legal requirements
- The governing board is advised on whole-academy targets in order to make informed decisions
- Proper provision is in place for pupils with different abilities and needs, including children with SEN
Other staff will ensure that the academy curriculum is implemented in accordance with this policy.
The Academy structure is one of phase leaders – EYFS, Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2. Each leader is responsibility for overseeing the curriculum within their own phase.
Curriculum Leaders are responsible for ensuring their subject areas are implemented well and the impact of teaching is effective.
There is evidence that teaching subject knowledge and skills as part of a wider theme- based curriculum allows pupils to make useful links between areas of learning, and consolidate knowledge. Children are also likely to be more engaged in their learning if it has a context and theme that runs through it. Rainbow Forge Primary Academy has therefore developed a new thematic curriculum to deliver the National Curriculum 2014 and other aspects of the academy curriculum, including PHSE, Religious Education and Citizenship.
As core subjects English and Maths are taught discretely.
English where possible links are made with literacy genres, fiction and non-fiction books, guided reading books and poetry.
Phonics is taught using Little Wandle. Grammar is taught though Active English, and spelling through Active Spelling. Writing is taught using the Writing for Pleasure Centre approach.
Maths there is less opportunity for linking Maths to themes, but where possible, areas of Maths like data handling and measures are linked where appropriate for pupils and to support Maths learning. The White Rose scheme of learning is used.
Science is taught each week through a half termly Science theme.
History & Geography Half termly units are taught throughout the year.
Music taught by a specialist teacher, following a discrete scheme of work based on the Kodaly approach.
Visual Art and Design & Technology are taught by a specialist teacher, following a discrete scheme of work.
PE is taught discreetly, following the separate PE scheme of work based on fundamentals and skills using the REAL PE scheme and separate sports supported by the Get Set PE scheme
Religious Education is a statutory part of the curriculum. The academy follows the Discovery RE Scheme which matches the Sheffield Agreed Syllabus for RE.
PHSE, SRE, Citizenship (including British Values) and Enterprise while not statutory, PHSE and Citizenship are important aspects of our curriculum, and are taught either discreetly or through Assemblies and Circle Time using the Sheffield scheme.
ICT and Computing is generally taught as a separate subject area. Other elements of the wider ICT curriculum are taught alongside other curriculum areas, as a part of theme work. We follow the Teach Computing scheme.
MFL French is taught in KS2.
The original time allocations for subject areas given in the previous National Curriculum have been removed, and academies can organise the way they teach the foundation subjects much more flexibly. Rainbow Forge Academy has worked out time allocations to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum and this is reflected in the coverage over an academy year and within weekly timetables. Sometimes subjects and activities might be ‘blocked’ or run over successive afternoons, to support pupils to keep focussed on concepts or to consolidate skills and to allow practical work to flow. Other areas might be dependent on hall/room bookings and happen at a regular time each week.
Progression maps are devised by subject leaders to ensure spaced practice and interleaving of knowledge.
Medium term plans are devised with reference to the National Curriculum 2014, Early Years Foundation Stage and progression maps to ensure coverage, progression and high expectations.
To ensure consistency, short term planning is completed in phases. Teachers then personalise further to allow for differentiation, use of other adults and class context is taken into consideration.
All planning formats including the yearly and medium term planning grids can be found in the planning folder in the staff shared drive on the network.
Teaching assistants are involved in the planning process as much as possible and receive a final copy of planning by the Friday of the week before the lessons.
Learning Objectives & Knowledge
Teachers make learning objectives, knowledge and success criteria clear during each session or lesson, and refer back to them as necessary.
Please refer to the marking policy.
Endpoints for each theme have been identified. Staff evaluate against these statements at the end of a theme. This is recorded on the school’s assessment system, DCPro. This information is used to inform future teaching to ensure no gaps in learning.
Teachers set high expectations for all pupils. They use appropriate assessment to set ambitious targets and plan challenging work for all groups, including:
- More able pupils
- Pupils with low prior attainment
- Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds
- Pupils with SEN
- Pupils with English as an additional language (EAL)
Teachers plan lessons so that pupils with SEN and/or disabilities can study every National Curriculum subject, wherever possible, and ensure that there are no barriers to every pupil achieving.
Teachers take account of the needs of pupils whose first language is not English. Lessons are planned so that teaching opportunities help pupils to develop their English, and to support pupils to take part in all subjects.
Further information can be found in our statement of equality information and objectives, and in our SEN policy and information report.
Governors monitor whether the academy is complying with its funding agreement and teaching a “broad and balanced curriculum” which includes the required subjects, through:
- academy visits, meetings with the pupil parliament etc.
Subject Leaders will monitor the way their subject is taught throughout the academy by:
- observing lessons, conducting learning walks, book scrutinies, pupil discussions etc.
Subject leaders also have responsibility for monitoring the way in which resources are stored and managed.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Headteacher. At every review, the policy will be shared with the full Academy Governing Board.
7. Links with other policies
This policy links to the following policies and procedures:
- Teaching & learning Policy
- EYFS policy
- Assessment policy
- SEN policy and information report
- Equality information and objectives
- Pupil Premium policy
- SRE Policy