The ‘Futures Curriculum’ is a unique curriculum designed exclusively for our children at Blackley Academy.
From Nursery to Year Six, children will have the opportunities, alongside their timetabled lessons, to take part in school visits, courses, events, activities and more importantly gain skills that will benefit them in future years. The ‘Futures Curriculum’ is designed to increase the future prospects of our children by providing the children with life skills. The children will have a range of different activities to complete by the end of every school year.
Literacy / English
At E-ACT Blackley Academy, we reinforce the strong links between reading, writing, speaking and listening in our approach to teaching English. The ethos within our Academy is to ensure children have plenty of time for discussion to develop and enhance their reading and writing skills within the context of a growth mindset environment.
In our Curriculum, we use a range of genres and topics to immerse our children into a world of creative language, imagery and enjoyable experiences in order for them to achieve their full potential in English.
As your child becomes a confident reader and writer, our literacy provision will change with them, challenging and nurturing their new skills. We will use a range of targeted intervention programmes for those children that would benefit from a little extra support. We will promote opportunities for children to practice these skills at home through a range of ICT software.
At E-Act Blackley Academy, we reinforce the strong links between reading, writing, speaking and listening in our approach to teaching English. The ethos within our Academy is to ensure children have plenty of time for discussion to develop and enhance their reading and writing skills within the context of a growth mind-set environment.
In our Curriculum, we use a range of genres and topics to immerse our children into a world of creative language, imagery and enjoyable experiences in order for them to achieve their full potential in reading.
Our vision for our young pupils is that they enjoy, achieve and become lifelong readers. We aim to achieve this by providing pupils with many opportunities to read for pleasure, working in partnership with parents to support home/school reading, teaching discrete daily phonics session and delivering high quality guided reading sessions.
Reading is a priority here at E-Act Blackley Academy and it is at the heart of everything we do! Reading is a core skill that allows children access to all areas of our Curriculum and is in fact an essential and rewarding life skill. Books are placed at the heart of every topic and reading is integral to everyday school life.
For children who are developing their reading skills we have a range of reading schemes and books for them to use. As children progress through different levels of reading and move towards becoming a free reader, we have a wide variety of classic and more modern texts available for them in each class for them to read and be enthused by.
Through reading and having stories read to them, children should learn about different audiences and purposes as well as improving their understanding of language and increasing their vocabulary whilst exploring a wide variety of texts.
We are really lucky to have a wonderful library within our Academy where Mrs Wall, our librarian is on hand to assist the children with all their reading needs and questions.
Each week, every class has the chance to go to the Academy library and enjoy the variety of text types and authors available. The children have the opportunity to sign up to read their chosen book in the classroom or to the other children. This encourages children to read aloud using expression and intonation and to be aware of the listener.
We have made some excellent links with the local Library over the years. This year, we’ve already had an author visit to the school and will be visiting the local Library throughout the year for many different reasons. These events are a great to encourage children to develop a love of books.
By now, every child should’ve sent their library membership application form back to school ready to pick up their library card when they next visit the library with their class. The aim of these sessions is to encourage all children to develop a love of books and have access to a rich, variety of texts that they can enjoy.
The children can also access an array of teaching and learning resources over the holidays, as well as reading a book in a safe, warm and fun environment.
Years 4 and 5 will be visiting the local library to take part in the equality and diversity educational sessions next half term.
We work closely with Manchester City to inspire children to read. Our children were very excited to read with some of the Manchester City players recently when they visited our school. You can look on our Twitter account to see all the exciting things that we got up to.
Throughout the Academy, every class has an assigned author for each term. The children research their class author and learn about their background into how they became an author.
Every class has an author display in their reading corners too. At the start of every term, children are immersed into the stories of their author by doing something exciting and engaging linked to the books and then this enjoyment and author study continues throughout the term. They also experience teachers modelling reading when they hear some of the stories being read to them in the class novel time at the end of each day.
Understanding the meaning of words is central to developing good comprehension skills. Therefore, we’ve introduced a Magpie Board in each class. The purpose of the board is for children to write down any words that they don’t understand and to place it on the board. The class will discuss and interpret the meaning of the word within the context of the sentence. This approach is working well in all areas of the curriculum.
During Guided Reading, the teacher works with small groups where they learn to apply their phonics and decode the words, use the pictures, segment and blend words, read around the tricky word, etc. They learn to ask and answer questions about the book to develop their comprehension of the text.
Each class runs a carousel of activities which includes dictionary work related to a text to help develop the children’s understanding of vocabulary, a chance to pre-read a text, reading with their teacher and some follow up questions based on what has been read and also simply enjoying their reading by choosing their own texts and reading for pleasure.
We plan for set questions that can improve inference skills to support the children with their reasoning skills. Children need to use inference in many aspects of their life and in other subjects also. They will make logical suggestion of what might be happening in the story or how a character may be feeling on the basis of what they have already read or observed in the text.
Whole class reading- Cracking Comprehensions
In addition to this, each class delivers a whole class comprehension session. Children will access the same text and work on language at a higher level than their reading age. This will immerse children in a varied vocabulary that they may not use in everyday life. Many of the objectives for the whole class Cracking Comprehension link to the Content Domain. which will prepare children for the SAT’s questions in year 6.
Guided Reading-Years 4-6
Guided Reading in Years 4-6 will be delivered as a whole class session. Children will read, discuss and interpret a text to develop their comprehension skills. They will be provided with many different activities relating to the text at their own level and answer questions linked to the Content Domain.
Reading at home:
We encourage all the children in our Academy to read at home daily with their adults. All children have been provided with their own school reading bag and are encouraged to change their book 3 times per week.
Our approach to home/school reading is for adults to support children with their decoding skills and phonic knowledge as well as supporting children with their comprehension skills. All parents have been provided with a question sheet to support them to be able to ask children the appropriate questions about a text. Comments in the children’s reading diaries should focus on both these skills to ensure that children progress in all area of reading.
Home/school Reading Encouragement
Every class has a record as part of their reading corners showing how many times each child has read at home with their grown-ups. The children will highlight the record sheet every time they have read at home and their adult has signed their reading record. When a child has highlighted 5, 10 and 15 squares they will receive a certificate. The first child to reach the end of their chart in a half term will receive their very own book. Here are some of our most recent winners:
What should reading look like at home?
- Establish a regular time and place for daily reading, such as before bed. Switch the television or games console off and listen to your child read in a calm, quiet environment. Use the reading prompts sent home to support your child with their reading and comprehension skills.
- Keep a variety of reading materials available (picture books, fiction, non-fiction, chapter books, atlases, dictionaries, magazines, newspapers, join the library and visit regularly).
- Role models – share your own experiences of books (eg. talking about favourite book) and read yourself – children will want to follow your example.
- Lots of talk! Ask questions encouraging children to think and make predictions about what they are reading.
- Involve children in reading/ writing for specific uses as well as pleasure (eg. shopping list).
- Respond positively to children’s reading and help them with things they find difficult.
If you need any help with any aspect of reading with your children at home, then please either speak to your child’s class teacher, Miss Spencer or Miss Hampson, but we cannot stress enough how important it is for children to read at home every night with their adults, so please support your child and help them make progress.
This is an excellent project that we set up last year and proved to be a great success to promote reading for enjoyment. We believe that children will make more progress with their ability to understand and enjoy a text when they enjoy the experience. Each class has chosen 2 reading buddies to take part in the project. The older children have been partnered with a class of younger children so that they have the opportunity to spend some time in the library together, listening to each other read and talking about stories and books that they both enjoy. They have each had some training and have reading buddy prompt cards to help them. We set up a cosy, quiet area outside the library so that the children can read in a quiet, calm environment. The feedback from the children on this project has been very positive and the children involved have made good progress with their reading.
Each week, a class delivers a class assembly about something they have been learning about to the whole Academy. Parents are invited to the assembly and are invited back to the classroom to share some reading time with their children. This is becoming increasingly popular with more and more parents attending each week. Please try and join us next time your child has a class assembly – we would love to see you!
Special Reading Events:
Whenever there are special reading events being held, E-Act Blackley Academy takes part!
So far this year we have dressed up for Roald Dahl’s birthday back in September. Every class chose their favourite Roald Dahl book to focus on and then used it for some really creative English lessons. Have a look at the class pages to see what everyone got up to.
As the year progresses, we are looking forward to celebrating World Book Day on 1st March 2018. Check out the World Book Day website for what will be coming up soon. http://www.worldbookday.com/ This year we will be doing things slightly different. Each class will be selecting a new or newly published author to focus on. Each class will plan a one week English Unit based around the book. You should’ve received a letter by now explaining what book and author your class will be focussing on and what they can wear on World Book Day.
Numeracy / Maths
In their early years at the academy we will use many resources – including indoor and outdoor play – to pique your child’s interests in numbers. As their understanding deepens, they will benefit from more formal teaching and number activities.
We also utilise ‘Mathletics’, an online resource which allows children to compete against others in the UK and overseas on a range of fun and exciting maths challenges. Pupils also benefit from targeted intervention programmes for those who require additional support.
It’s important to teach even young children about the relationship between physical activity and their personal wellbeing. PE lessons will also include education about healthy eating.
Information and Communication Technology
Computing runs through our whole curriculum, with even the youngest children in our academy becoming familiar with computers and concepts of safety online. Lessons feature interactive whiteboards, used by both teachers and pupils.
RE is an important part of our curriculum, for all age groups. Just as our academy is reflective of multicultural Britain, and inclusive for everyone, so our RE classes explore a wide range of faiths.
Science is an extremely important part of our curriculum from Nursery to Year 6. In the Foundation Stage, the children focus on ‘Understanding the World’ from the Development Matters document and Key Stage One and Key Stage 2 follow the units and objectives of the New Science National Curriculum Programme of Study. Science is taught as a subject in its own right but when designing our new two year long term thematic approach curriculum the science units were selected for each term with links to the topics where appropriate. The thematic topic based curriculum enables the children to make cross curricular links between subjects and the skills they use.
Modern Foreign Languages
We introduce modern foreign language lessons in Year 1, giving children the chance to acquire useful vocabulary, have fun playing games and singing, and discover from a young age the joy of learning a foreign language.
Creativity will be hugely important to the life of our academy, and we will look to link with and access the resources and expertise at another nearby E-ACT academy, The Oldham Academy North which specialises in Performing Arts. Music and singing will be encouraged in their own right, and used to enhance the rest of the curriculum.
Music Coordinator: Elizabeth Lilley
Musician in Residence
Key stage 2 children are developing their music skills through weekly music sessions with our Musicians in Residence. The children are introduced to musical notes, play many different instruments and develop their vocal skills. This is an amazing opportunity for the children to be taught by a highly trained music teacher.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to sing in our choir during lunch times. The choir is working very hard to perfect their singing and is progressing well. The children will perform for the whole school as well as performing to people in the community throughout the school year.
Key stage 2 children have the opportunity to learn how to play the steel pans with Mr Joe Yankey, one of our musicians in residence, throughout the year. Some children will be introduced to the steel pans for the first time and some children will continue to develop their skills from previous years. They will have the opportunity to perform to the whole school and to Parent/Carers during Christmas performances and other whole school events.
Key Stage 2 children also have the opportunity to learn how to play the violin. Our violin teacher comes in every Wednesday to work with our children.
Children in key stage 2 have the opportunity to play a variety of brass instruments if they express an interest. They can choose from many different brass instruments, including the trumpet, trombone, clarinet and flute.
Personal, Social and Health Education
PSHE boosts your child’s self esteem and emotional intelligence by exploring concepts that include confidence, resilience, tolerance and respect. Visitors such as health workers will come in to teach about healthy living and personal safety.
Long/Medium Term Plans
Parents or other members of the public can find out more about our curriculum via the button below or by calling into school and asking to speak to Mrs. Croke