Our curriculum is driven by the need to prepare our children for lifelong learning. At Roydon Academy, we offer a rich and vibrant curriculum which is ambitious for all learners. Through our curriculum, we develop the essential knowledge, skills and understanding which are the building blocks for later life. Our curriculum encompasses not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but goes beyond the experiences of the classroom to ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide.
The curriculum enables us to respond to national and world events, enabling the children to see different perspectives and develop their own opinions within an ever changing world. The curriculum is enhanced by our commitment to Values-based Education (including British Values) and, through this, we provide learning experiences which promote confident, self-motivated children, eager for lifelong learning.
Our curriculum is designed to enable children to make deep connections between learning and understanding the world that they live in, leading to children connecting taught knowledge and skills with agency and purpose. It promotes thinking as a global citizen and develops character so that our children can make meaningful contributions to society.
The curriculum enables children to form meaningful relationships with their learning, see patterns and apply skills into a context where learning can make a difference. They understand that their global learning is relevant to future decisions and the active contribution they can make to the world.
Learning at Roydon Academy is ‘deep’ rather than shallow. Deep learning requires planning for and modelling behaviours and actions associated with:
• deeper thinking
• deeper purpose
• active and collaborative engagement
It is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. We have designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure every child receives an appropriate mix of academic and personal development, which means in practice our curriculum places equal importance on core and foundation subjects.
We place priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental well-being are met. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure, therefore we designed our curriculum and adopted a flexible approach to timetabling to ensure we can meet and respond to any issues that arise.
At Roydon Academy, we have used the National Curriculum alongside specific year group topics to allow our children to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed. We recognise that the curriculum encompasses all areas of learning and we provide learning which makes links across all subjects to give children a clear rationale for completing their work.
Planning focuses on different themes in each year to enable children to achieve depth of thinking and learning. Each year group is exposed to a number of high quality core texts. These are used to bring the themes to life for our children and to promote a connectedness with the learning.
Learning journeys are active, engaging and inspiring leading to a deeper understanding of the curriculum areas. Carefully planned sequences promote the affective and cognitive domain whilst allowing children the opportunity to develop skills such as research, collaboration, innovation, presentation, evaluation and reflection.
In order to allow children to remember key skills, children revisit them over the course of a key stage. Wherever possible, reading, writing and Maths activities are linked across lessons and reading is used continuously to discover and explore. The same quality of work is expected across all subjects which leads to higher standards and outcomes.
For some subjects, outcomes are recorded through large topic presentation books. These represent the children’s best work but also demonstrate the independence of learning which we expect from our children.
Lesson may take various formats. These may include:
– Independent research, information gathering and summarising
– Direct teacher led lessons, teaching new skills and knowledge
– Presentation lessons, where children apply their basic skills
– Challenge and deepening activities which add depth to learning.
We require the children to work in these ways so that they build their resilience and can then independently apply their skills and knowledge once a topic is complete.
At the end of a block of work, opportunities for assessment are taken through the use of “big questions” which demonstrate what has been learnt and can be applied. Teachers use the responses to these questions to address misconceptions or to extend learning further. Children do not move on until misconceptions have been addressed, so that learning is embedded.
On the first day of a new topic, each class has a “Launch” day. These act as a hook for the children and invigorate the curiosity about what is to come.
Towards the end of a topic, staff plan “publishing” days for the children which engage the parents and local community. These are an opportunity for the children to show pride in what they have achieved and to reflect and consolidate on their learning through discussion of what they have learnt and achieved.
Trips booked for the children will be of high quality. The intention of such trips is to provide the children with cultural capital and to give them experiences that enhance their learning.
Through deeper thinking and reflection our children are able to make links between topics so they are learning to think systematically. Teaching our children how to reflect, explain, justify, question is key to lesson design. Feedback is integrated into the curriculum design and sequencing. A wide range of feedback is used throughout the curriculum.
The learning environment is planned for in fine detail because this is space where learning is completed. The learning environment is intertwined with the curriculum, planning, teaching and learning. The learning environment gives us the opportunity to blend content and pedagogy so that an understanding of how learning is organised, represented and adapted is made visible.
We pride ourselves in constantly improving our school and value feedback from all stakeholders. We give our parents and the Local Governing Board many opportunities to share and celebrate the outcomes of our curriculum.
All classes invite parents to a termly celebration of topics where children will showcase their outcomes. Each class will also celebrate their work through a class performance. Year group pages on the school website will also inform parents of the termly topic for their class.
An important aspect of our curriculum is inspiring children from the very first week of the term. Our staff plan exciting educational visits/visitors or tasks which ‘hook’ and inspire children into their learning for the coming term. In all of this we will ask for feedback from all stakeholders and senior leaders will monitor and evaluate the impact that our curriculum has on learning.
Regular and robust triangulated monitoring is used across the BMAT. It is used to gauge the impact of our curriculum design. Leaders at all levels review learning, talk with our children and provide feedback to move practice forward.
We ensure that our pupils’ attainment and progress are in line or exceeding their potential. This is measured using national data (where appropriate), our curriculum maps, KPI documents and monitoring evidence.
Our curriculum develops well-rounded citizens with a clear understanding of values such as love, responsibility and friendship. The curriculum addresses negative stereotyping through investigating similarities and differences, and promoting acceptance, diversity, citizenship and human rights.
Our children will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will be able to make sense of an increasingly globalised, complex and rapidly changing world. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of our community.
Our pupils will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong and will be resilient to the influence of others. Our pupils develop an awareness of how their own actions can impact others and the wider community. Our pupils will step out into the world with the skills to make a difference in their own life and to others.