Overview and Key Principles
Our purpose is to create learners who can think, reflect, question, connect and be self-aware and determined. We support this by providing opportunities for children to build knowledge and skills, make meaning and apply their understanding.
It is our intention that pupils at Ormiston Herman Academy will be able to think well and feel well so that they can contribute and develop a sense of belonging to their community and the wider world around them. We want them to leave our academy with the academic knowledge, understanding and skills they will need to succeed at Secondary School, but also to have a love of learning and a sense of their own agency and importance in the world. We want our pupils to feel that they have a voice and a stake in the future.
We have built a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they will need to succeed in life. Pupils study the full curriculum, based upon National Curriculum expectations.
Our curriculum provides an appropriate balance of knowledge, skills and understanding. It is coherently planned and sequenced towards accumulating knowledge and skills for future learning and beyond. Subject Leaders support the wider planning of the curriculum as well as leading CPD to develop teachers’ subject knowledge and pedagogical practice, as well as monitoring the impact of the curriculum.
The acquisition and development of vocabulary and language is placed at the heart of all learning and underpins the curriculum.
High expectations of academic achievement are supported by a rich and varied wider curriculum, including enrichment opportunities, which enhance learning and also serve to support pupils’ personal development.
How does our curriculum organisation support pupils’ acquisition and retention of knowledge, understanding and skills?
Whole school timetabling and mapping and careful sequencing ensures not only coverage, but a broad and balanced curriculum, through which knowledge, understanding and skills have been carefully considered across key stages to support breadth and balance. Links between areas of knowledge are maximised and made explicit.
Systematic and overt opportunities for children to revisit, apply and extend previous knowledge and skills are interwoven throughout the curriculum.
Progression, both within and across year groups, is carefully planned to ensure that pupils are able to develop and build upon their conceptual understanding over time. Emphasis upon assumed knowledge and direct teaching approaches serve to maximise the impact of teaching.
A range of assessment measures (formative and summative) are outlined in our Teaching and Learning policy.
How does our curriculum reflect the culture, climate and values of our school?
Our curriculum has been carefully designed with our children in mind and based upon what we feel education should provide. In designing our curriculum, we considered the following:
It is our belief that wellbeing needs to be taught and explored explicitly (through aspects of the curriculum such as healthy eating, Mental Health Week, etc.) and implicitly through the way that all members of the school community are expected to care for each other, listen to each other and respect each other. Our approach to supporting positive behaviour mirrors this and encourages pupils to develop their emotional literacy and to be able to acknowledge and discuss their feelings and emotions. A combination of a highly structured PSHE and RSE curriculum and a wider programme of whole school focus days and weeks directly supports and contributes to pupils’ personal development.
A research based curriculum
A range of educational research has been utilised to develop planning, pedagogy and practice within our curriculum. Our provision has been influenced by the Kagan Model and the work of neuro-scientists around the development of schemata and the transference from short to long term memory. Our whole-curriculum emphasis upon the importance of the development of vocabulary and language has been influenced by the work of Alex Quigley and we have drawn upon many of the key messages from the EEF Toolkit as we have developed our provision over time. In addition, our Curriculum Network Teams at OAT East are comprised of a wide range of colleagues with additional research qualifications (such as the Maths MAST qualification) and this directly supports the development of practice throughout our academy.