Curriculum

Curriculum Statement

INTENT

Our vision is to deliver an authentic education for the 21st century for children from the age of 4-11. The aim of the curriculum is to ensure all children are inspired with a passion for learning and achieve high levels of  academic success in a broad range of subjects whilst at the same time equipping them with the knowledge and skills required to play an active and successful role in today’s highly competitive and fast-changing world ensuring they acquire cultural capital.

Central to the philosophy of the curriculum delivered at Jewell Academy, is the provision of an authentic education for the world today, so that all children can participate in the full richness of the human experience.  To this end, the curriculum allows for the development of the knowledge, skills and qualifications required for success in the world today. Additionally, all children in Jewell Academy learn in a challenging, engaging and supportive environment through a well-thought-out curriculum which encourages creativity, celebrates diversity and utilizes knowledge, skills and cultural experiences of the local community to be active citizens in modern Britain

 

Curriculum rationale:

  • Jewell Academy is situated in an area of significant deprivation. It is our goal to provide our children with the keys to a successful life. We want to ensure that our pupils and families have high expectations and aspirations for the future.
  • Our curriculum is supportive of children whose life experiences may contain chaos and uncertainty and reflects the culture of attachment and trauma sensitivity. The academy has a personalised, individualised approach to all children. The knowledge of each child’s needs across the developmental spectrum underpins relationships, interaction and planning.
  • The curriculum at Jewell 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, creativity and problem solving, reliability, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning.
  • The curriculum allows for the development of the knowledge, skills and qualifications required for success in the world today. Additionally, all children in Jewell Academy learn in a challenging, engaging and supportive environment through a well-thought-out curriculum which encourages creativity, celebrate diversity and utilise knowledge, skills and cultural experiences of the local community to be active citizens in modern Britain.
  • In addition to supporting the children to achieve academic success, our aim is to equip our children and staff with strategies and tools to support their mental health and emotional well-being. To that end, the school aspires to be a ‘Mentally Healthy School’.
  • A Mentally Healthy School is one that adopts a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. It is a school that helps children flourish, learn and succeed by providing opportunities for them, and the adults around them, to develop the strengths and coping skills that underpin resilience. A mentally healthy school sees positive mental health and wellbeing as fundamental to its values, mission and culture. It is a school where children, staff and parent/carer mental health and wellbeing is seen as ‘everybody’s business’.
  • Our curriculum has been designed to foster a culture of compassion and nurture and helps them to achieve a state of ‘learning readiness’, giving them the best opportunities for success. The school was awarded the Bronze Attachment and Trauma Sensitive Schools Award (ATSSA) 2019 in recognition of our work.
  • Our curriculum is designed to be inclusive. Inclusion promotes equal opportunities for all pupils, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, attainment and background. It pays particular attention to the provision made for, and the achievement of different groups of pupils within our school and any pupils who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion.

Aim:

Jewell Academy’s curriculum aims are to:

  • Ensure a broad curriculum coverage
  • Develop a knowledge rich curriculum
  • Ensure that knowledge acquisition is enhanced through being effectively applied to real-life situations and problems
  • Widen knowledge acquisition through single discipline and transdiscipline learning
  • Ensure all learning is challenging and engaging
  • Develop transferable future skills through the application of knowledge into actions for success.
  • Ensure high rates of progress for all children.
  • Promote teacher planning that is integral to the success of the curriculum and is also manageable.

Jewell Academy like any Aspirations Academy shares a common philosophy but has a distinctive approach to education. There are three guiding principles that all Aspirations Academies adhere to. The following principles are central to the curriculum:

  • Self-worth
  • Engagement
  • Purpose

Jewell Academy’s core values underpinning our curriculum are:

  • Safe - in everything we do
  • Ready - for anything
  • Respect - to all

In applying knowledge to real-world contexts and allowing young learners to take the lead in using this knowledge to find solutions and to deepen their learning, Jewell Academy follow nine Core Principles clearly featured in every element of the academy’s work.

  • High Expectations - Being the very best you can be in your school and community
  • Opportunity - Matching your interests with activities that will help you to leave school well-rounded and confident
  • Challenge - Making your learning exciting and relevant to the real world
  • Talent Development - Enhancing your natural strengths and abilities so you thrive in school and beyond
  • Innovation and Enterprise - Supporting your creativity by encouraging you to ask ‘Why?’ and ‘Why not?’
  • Makers and Creators - Being a creator, not just a consumer, of technology in our digital world
  • Global - Having a cultural awareness needed to communicate in our interconnected world
  • Employability - Equipping you with the skills and abilities you’ll need to excel in our ever-changing world
  • With Big Dreams and Hard Work - Aspirations means to dream about the future while being inspired in the present to reach those dreams.

Our curriculum has been developed to meet the needs of children so that they have both embodied and institutional cultural capital with Employability and Future Skills as the centerpiece of our educational provision:

  • Resilience
  • Cross-cultural competency
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creative and adaptive thinking
  • Cognitive load management
  • Sense-making
  • Media literacy
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Productivity and accountability

1

Implementation of the curriculum

  • All topics are designed to be fun and engaging, linking to both the children’s interest and the National Curriculum. Each topic is skilled based with the aim to link to the ever changing world that we share. Class based learning is both independent and collaborative- providing these opportunities allow the children to develop skills that will support them in the future. Learning approaches will include talk partners- turn taking, debating, sharing and adding ideas, drama activities- performing in front of people, empathy, cooperation in group work- delegation, taking on different roles, independent activities- completing learning on own credit, following instructions and presenting. Using the outdoors as a classroom is fundamental to our values and this can be school based or with enrichment visits to other locations. Trips/activities and experts are all vital to the enhancement of the learning opportunities we offer our children.
  • Home Learning at Jewell is aimed to engage families with school life. Children are asked to present their learning in the form of projects  so that families interact and communicate about the topics being taught. Alongside creative projects children are expected to develop their reading, math and writing skills through the practice of spelling, times tables and Accelerated Reading. We actively seek ways to encourage Home Learning with the use of technology; Apps and ICT which supports our families and their lifestyles within an evolving world.
  • Planning includes clear learning outcomes which are shared with all children at the start of each session. Learning outcomes link to the National Curriculum and Class Ambassadors share these with visitors ensuring there is a clear understanding of their learning. Outcomes allow the children the opportunity to build on existing skills and show an inquisitiveness about the world around them, preparing them for a developing world as well as for their future employability. With our No Limits Curriculum, learning will be directed and other times more open-ended enquiry based approach through big questions posed by the teacher. With a mix of both practical and written work embedded. We see the local community as so valuable to our children’s learning so we thread these links into the curriculum throughout each year group.
  • Whole school discussions with all staff regularly take place through our Personal Development Meetings and in school and Trust CPD. In addition to our whole school curriculum statement, subject leaders are developing their own curriculum statements for their subject ensuring accountability for breadth of coverage, opportunity for skill development through visits and trips, exposure to experts in their field to encourage and promote high aspirations and achievement in all areas of a broad but balanced curriculum.  Whilst we recognise we have expertise in different key stages and curriculum areas, we ensure that staff work collaboratively as a school,and wider Trust, to ensure confidence and high quality delivery of the whole school curriculum.
  • Assessment for Learning features in all sessions as per our Marking, Feedback and Presentation policy. At the start of each topic, teachers assess prior knowledge and misconceptions so these can be addressed through the teaching of the topic. Children complete a grid at the start informing teachers what they know, what they want to know / what questions do they have, where can they find the information and finally what they have learnt. As a class, group or individually children then prioritise the “What I Need to Know” so they begin to think more deeply about the topic and which questions they should focus on to answer their “big question”. In addition, there are three assessment points across the year where summative assessment is recorded based on teacher judgement and formal assessments. The use of Tapestry, PIXL and regular teacher assessment, check the children’s knowledge and understanding, allowing teachers to clearly identify gaps in learning and plan for high quality interventions to plug any gaps and misconceptions. All staff have training on the assessment tools and are competent in using them, ensuring accurate recording and reporting takes place. Fortnightly Phase Meetings (led by SLT) ensure that moderation and assessment are discussed and monitored effectively in and across year groups and that effective deployment of staff occurs to meet the needs of all children. This allows for confident and accurate teacher assessment to take place. Regular Pupil Progress Meetings ensure that teachers analyse and understand the data they are producing and what the next steps are for children. It also ensures focused and effective monitoring of vulnerable groups to ensure the gap is closing.
  • Drop ins by SLT, Subject Leaders and as part of ongoing CPD through PPA ensure staff have secure subject knowledge. Subject leaders ensure that there is clear progression in the skills and knowledge that is taught across the school. They monitor this through book looks, pupil voice, planning, data analysis and achievement and progress of individual pupils monitored. Teachers identified with gaps in their subject knowledge are supported through internal CPD with subject leaders, through the Aspirations Trust with visits to other schools or externally. Teachers identified as “experts” within curriculum areas are used to support teachers where gaps in subject knowledge are apparent. As with the children, revisiting and reviewing subject knowledge through our Professional Development Meetings enables us to ensure teachers have the subject knowledge they need. Skills and knowledge and reviewed and revisited across the school. Teachers use this to develop their planning within their year group. A clear understanding of where they need to be at the end of their year group and key stage ensures children have the opportunity to reach greater depth understanding. Subject leads are given directed subject leadership time to ensure the progression of skills is planned for and delivered across the school, supporting teachers where necessary or asked to.
  • The Trust’s SLE programme ensures that we can develop experts within our own setting as well as draw on the support of other Trust based SLE’s as required. Year 2 and Year 6 teachers have regular Local Authority based training in the areas of moderation with the Vice Principal also being a Local Authority Writing Moderator. These staff are used to help develop the confidence and accuracy of other staff when it comes to writing assessment.
  • Children take pride in their learning and following our ‘Presentation, Feedback and Marking’ policy; teachers and pupils are in communication via live marking as to the progress of their learning; the successes and areas of development. Children are safe in the knowledge that we learn by our mistakes and therefore will draft, write, edit and publish our work- acknowledging that learning is a process.
  • Due to our setting, 32% are considered Disadvantaged and/or SEND. A highly skilled SEND team work together with class teachers to assess and ensure Quality First Teaching takes place through diverse planning and differentiation. Those children who may need additional support are assessed and outside agency involvement bought in to advise further and in some cases, support the EHCP planning and implementation. For those children who require a more bespoke curriculum, Coral Class is designed to meet their needs fluidly.  With a high focus on stage not age, encouraging the development of key skills and life experiences to promote independence in their future lives. These children, for belonging and attachment reasons, also spend time in their classes to aid their social and emotional development with their peers and class teachers.
  • The world is ever changing and we must reflect this in what and how we teach our children. In 2019/20 we are developing a creator space, giving children access to VR, a 3D printer and app making software. In 2018/19 we introduced Chrome books to our year 6s and recreated the collaborative work our teachers do within the “Google Classroom.” We shall be rolling this into Years 4 and 5 in 2019/20 as we implement the No Limits curriculum to year 4. In addition, visitors to the school who are experts in their field,  trips (including residentials), careers fairs, enable our children to develop their increasing awareness of a broader range of experiences and opportunities in an ever evolving world.
  • Resilience is a skill the children work on throughout their time at Jewell, without this, they would not achieve. Teachers plan for all abilities with an open ended outcome enabling achievement for all. Teacher knowledge of the children enables them to stretch the more able and provide scaffolding for those who may need it. When a child says “I can’t do it!” another child will always be heard adding, “Yet, you can’t do it yet!”

Impact

At Jewell Academy, we believe that a well thought-out curriculum which meets the needs of children should lead to at least good results for children which reflect what they have learned. The impact of the curriculum is evaluated through the following measures:

  • The percentage of students who achieve at least expected academic progress and high levels of attainment in national assessments and examinations such as KS1 SATS, KS2 SATS.
  • Progress and attainment of current children across key stages
  • Reading Test data
  • ‘Cultural Capital’ for disadvantaged and children with SEND
  • The range of high level 21st century skills developed by students
  • Destinations data - The percentage of students entering skilled employment or higher levels of study
  • The percentage of learning that is challenging and engaging
  • Attendance data
  • Engagement in enrichment activities
  • Pupil Voice

Curriculum Content

The curriculum incorporates the national curriculum 2014 statutory requirements and Department of Education guidance. Supplementary, the curriculum of the school reflects the local context and development needs of children.

Presently, Aspirations Academies Trust has introduced an exciting and creative curriculum which means the curriculum is implemented is two-fold:

  1. The ‘No limits: Curriculum for success in the 21st century’ is being developed and will be introduced in all Aspirations Academies in September 2019 initially in Years 4, 7 and 12. The intention is that the main features of this curriculum will eventually inform a common curriculum approach from the ages of 4 to 18. The expectation is for each academy to follow the collective curriculum outlines and philosophy whilst also putting its own personal and local stamp on their own curriculum which meets the needs of their particular body of students. The shared, collective curriculum will enable sufficient commonality of subjects, topics and assignments to enable cross-Trust moderation and raising of standards.
  1. Currently in the other year groups (not 4, 7 and 12) the curriculum is unique to each academy. In the primary phase there is some commonality in that the focus is on English, maths and the Aspirations (creative) curriculum, whilst in secondary phase there has been a move towards using the same GCSE and A level subject specifications in order to drive the curriculum across all year groups.  The Early Years Foundation profile along with the National Curriculum form the basis of the curriculum plan in all Aspirations Academies. The knowledge and skills development required in each subject are carefully sequenced and mapped out within each year group and across each Key stage. As a Multi-Academy Trust that educates children from the age of 2 to 18, we also make sure to ensure that there is clear sequencing and progression of knowledge and skills between each Key Stage so there is a clear progression pathway from the age of 2 to 18.

2

In order to ensure the development of a curriculum that ensures a depth of knowledge, the application of knowledge and the development of future skills, the central feature of the ‘No Limits’ model is the development of a curriculum that fully embraces both single-discipline learning (CORE) and trans-discipline learning (APPLIED). Both have a place in the curriculum. The CORE learning sessions occur both as regular timetabled single-discipline learning sessions as well as during the ATL assignment sessions as specific knowledge workshops. The APPLIED Trans-discipline Learning (ATL) assignments combine several subjects and run from 3 to 11 weeks in length for at least 2 hours most days for up to 8 hours a week. These assignments are designed to apply CORE learning to real-world situations across different domains to ensure student learning is relevant, engaging and challenging. The curriculum structure:

  • Core learning (single discipline subjects): English, Maths, Science (single sciences), Computer Science, MFL, Art and Design, Geography, History.
  • Transdiscipline learning: Incorporating a combination of the following subjects: English, Maths, Science (single sciences), Computer Science, Citizenship, MFL, Art and Design, Geography, History.
  • Performance: PE*, Music, Drama and Dance
  • Assessment, Presentation and Personal Education (APP) weeks: The presentation of high quality transdiscipline subject assignment, assessment of all core subjects, PSHEE*, sex education*, food education*, citizenship* and Religious Education.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Our Early Years curriculum is designed to meet every individuals growing and changing needs from the very beginning and throughout their foundations of learning. In addition, we are devoted to supporting and extending the differing needs which reflect the area and home environments that our children arrive from. Our curriculum is depicted at the very beginning of our children's learning journey, we plan a staggered transition which involve close links with previous settings and find out about our children's interests. Additionally, all children in Early Years are able to learn within a challenging, engaging and supportive environment through well-thought-out provision which encourages creativity, celebrates diversity and utilizes knowledge, skills and cultural experiences of the local community.

We are committed to providing play-based and active learning and believe this to be pertinent towards providing our children with the opportunities to connect with the real world. Children have access to all areas of learning within the classroom. Children will engage in self-chosen activities as well as carefully planned adult directed sessions, including phonics. Our curriculum consists of rich and memorable contexts that explore every avenue of our children’s interests. Our shared vision is to ensure that children experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live, through the seven areas of learning to excel during their early years experience and learning at Jewell.

Both Preschool and Reception classes use the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as the basis of their curriculum. Our teachers plan for children to develop skills in the ‘prime areas’ of learning; Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development. They also plan for the specific areas of learning; Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design.

The skills and knowledge the children develop through following the curriculum help them to make progress towards achieving ‘The Early Learning Goals’ and gaining a ‘Good Level of Development’ at the end of Reception which will give them a good start as they enter into Key Stage 1.

Curriculum implementation:

  • At the beginning of every child’s learning journey, we provide relevant provision according to their interests, nurture and provide intervention care to support individual learning styles and needs.
  • The EYFS curriculum at Jewell 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. We pride our staff on their ability to use recognised social and communicational support programmes such as ELSA, TRICKBOX, Social stories and Speech and Language link to meet specific needs.
  • We visit children in their home environment, meet with parents and closely work with the information from previous settings to monitor and plan for individuals next steps. We often plan lessons around festivals and relatable events for our children. 
  • We use Tapestry online profiles to track children's learning journeys, inform parents and to monitor progress.
  • The curriculum is planned to expose children to the real world around them and children have ownership of their learning, providing them with the motivation to use their independent learning skills and their creative, imaginative and investigative thinking.
  • We recognise that children need both a sense of valuing themselves, and developing aspirations for their future and for their community. We have designed termly curriculum events to provide a breadth of experience within a subject area, drawing on outside speakers, involvement of parents and developing a sense of curiosity.
  • Children explore their learning through risk taking, real and relevant opportunities. We follow the characteristics of young children's learning to enable children to become effective lifelong learners.
  • Children use practical experiences such as wood working and exploration of height and risk in our outside area to support their individual resilience and risk taking skills.
  • Our classroom environments are set up to actively encourage and offer children the opportunity to play, explore and investigate using open ended activities. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.
  • We give children more autonomy in how they approach tasks and focus on the process of problem solving and not just the final outcome.
  • Home Learning in the EYFS is aimed to engage families with school life and support their child's prima areas of learning. Our ‘Bags of fun’ are sent home to stimulate and provide children with the opportunity to work collaboratively with their parents to develop their Prime skills such as their personal, social and emotional as well as their communication and language development.

Key Stage 1

This is the expected curriculum coverage to be planned:

KS1

Compulsory national curriculum subjects at primary school are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Design and technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and design
  • Music
  • Physical education (PE), including swimming
  • Computing

Schools must provide religious education (RE) but parents can ask for their children to be taken out of the whole lesson or part of it. Schools often also teach:

  • personal, social and health education (PSHE)
  • citizenship

 

Key Stage 2

 

This is the expected curriculum coverage to be planned:

KS2

Compulsory national curriculum subjects at primary school are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Design and technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and design
  • Music
  • Physical education (PE), including swimming
  • Computing
  • Ancient and modern foreign languages (at key stage 2) French

Schools must provide religious education (RE) but parents can ask for their children to be taken out of the whole lesson or part of it. Schools often also teach:

  • personal, social and health education (PSHE)
  • citizenship