E-Act Blackley Academy Curriculum Intent Statement
At E-ACT Blackley we offer a “knowledge-rich” curriculum which maintains high expectations for all learners and deliberately and explicitly builds knowledge and vocabulary. We believe that knowledge and vocabulary are the nourishment on which learning behaviours depend. Each school subject area carefully considers the substantive, disciplinary and procedural knowledge required to grow excellent learners.
Substantive (Declarative) Knowledge: The content that teachers teach as established fact within the subject
Disciplinary Knowledge: What pupils learn about how knowledge was established, its degree of certainty and how it continues to be revised by scholars, artists or professional practice.
Procedural Knowledge: These are the steps and formulas undertaken to perform a task or answer questions. No deeper meaning is required.
Our curriculum has been organised in a way which enables pupils to developing schema and patterns of repeated behaviour and tasks which allow them to explore and express developing ideas and thoughts through their play, exploration and work. This allows them to build depth of knowledge and understanding.
Curriculum topics provide pupils with vocabulary and communication skills to effectively communicate with peers and adults in different situation. Scaffolding enables all children to gain knowledge and progress throughout the curriculum regardless of starting points.
The organisation of our curriculum helps pupils make meaning of the world, develop their vocabulary and broaden their horizons. Through careful and thorough evaluation of subject curricula, subject leads hone and adjust their areas to ensure that it is always relevant and has high impact for all.
Our curriculum is underpinned by the research-based practise on how pupils learn and build long term memory (Schemas). We use reliable evidence and our own evaluations to inform a cycle of development to ensure we provide the best education for our children.
OUR CURRICULUM TREE
Using research by Dylan Williams, we visualise our curriculum as a Tree.
Four ‘roots’ anchor our curriculum with equality and inclusion at its heart: Personal Empowerment, Cultural Transmission, Preparation for Citizenship, Preparation for Work are rooted deep in everything we do.
To provide subjects with the nutrients required to build a robust curriculum we include, Powerful Knowledge, Explicitly Taught Vocabulary, Research-based Practise and Developing Schema.
Strong values act as the core of our curriculum and our children grow and blossom, creating the fruits for future learning and life.
Our approach to the curriculum prepares children for future life challenges by promoting resilience, critical thinking, empathy, reflection, collaboration, independence and confidence. These lifelong learning behaviours are taught throughout the curriculum as declarative knowledge is built and procedural knowledge practised.
Through problem solving activities, addressing misconceptions, closing gaps in learning and fluid interventions we aim to increase learner resilience and promote a positive attitude to learning.
Our curriculum aims to empower our pupils to take control of their own lives by giving them powerful knowledge needed to make informed decisions. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to ensure key powerful knowledge is retained in schemas and developed over time which helps pupils to know more and understand more, so that they are able to read more fluently and with greater understanding so that the gap between disadvantaged children and non-disadvantaged children is narrowed. High and mid-level planning empowers all our children including those with limited cultural capital and poor vocabulary by carefully choosing content, teaching vocabulary explicitly and allowing time for pre-learning. Intervention is given early to close gaps before any child is left behind and curriculum content caters for lower and higher attaining pupils as well as those with specific gaps.
Our curriculum builds on the diverse cultural knowledge of our pupils and their families as well as providing powerful knowledge bases across the curriculum. Our curriculum educates learners through a progressive understanding of diverse cultures and aims to foster an ethos of respect for beliefs and views throughout society. Themes within subjects and across the curriculum are carefully chosen to reflect our community and its varying cultures. We recognise and respect the declarative and procedural knowledge of each subject specifically. Because we respect subject disciplines, we have organised our curriculum so that the subjects are taught discretely. Why? Because this ensures that the unique contribution that individual subjects make to a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world is foremost in our curriculum thinking.
|Preparation for Citizenship
Our curriculum is threaded with the values and knowledge required for pupils to become well-rounded members of a democratic society. Topics across the curriculum have been chosen to prepare children to make informed decisions, such as ‘Climate’ in Year 3 Geography and ‘Internet Safety’ in computing. Carefully designed PSHE lessons provide children with an understanding of the world they live in and prepare them for society. This includes staying safe online, developing healthy relationships and making healthy choices.
Assemblies and themed days are chosen and planned to encourage pupils to consider local, national and global current affairs further adding to children’s cultural capital and allowing them to practise sharing their views with people outside the educational setting and becoming good citizens. The E-Act values, that are designed to prepare our pupils for life, are apparent throughout the curriculum.
|Preparation for Work
Our subject curricula and whole school wider curriculum prepare children for future work challenges and future lives by promoting resilience, critical thinking, empathy, reflection, collaboration, independence and confidence. Transferable learning behaviours are taught throughout the curriculum as declarative knowledge is built and procedural knowledge practised. The E-Act Passport widens children’s experiences and shares opportunities some of our pupils may not encounter. Research carried out by organisations such as EEF is used to guide closing the gap for our most vulnerable pupils.
Through problem solving activities, addressing misconceptions, closing gaps in learning and fluid interventions we aim to increase learner resilience and promote a positive attitude to learning and work. Our academy behaviour policy focuses on reflective practice which actively encourages learners to develop a growth mind set and make positive choices.
Children with SEND have access to the school curriculum. For some children this is in class and for other children this learning takes place in our SEND provisions (Saplings, Willows and Hazel Hub). These provisions are in place to help ‘fast track’ children to their age expected levels in a nurturing environment with specialist adults. There is a heavy focus on Reading, Writing and Maths within these groups and alongside personalised learning plans, the curriculum helps all pupils to achieve the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability that they may have.
Feedback from staff and peers provides support for children to identify their own strengths and what they need to improve so that they can continue on their own paths of individual success/greatness. Children are asked to respond to feedback and then create evidence of their own learning journey through this reciprocal feedback loop.
We believe that making progress is something that happens over a sequence of learning opportunities. We have defined progress as the extent to which pupils have learned or are successfully learning our intended curriculum and how well they are able to understand, retain, recall and enact declarative and procedural knowledge they have been taught. Learning components are broken into composites to allow schema to be built and remembered across a sequence of learning.
Within each subject, career paths, work options and visits from different professions enriches the children’s understanding of the subjects and provide opportunities for children to consider their own futures. Every opportunity is given for children to develop their schemas across the curriculum and between curriculum subjects. At each stage of the curriculum, children are prepared for their next transition.
Knowledge organisers are used by each year to support and deepen the learning over each half term. Key vocabulary is listed along with a definition to ensure learners are helped to retain this information. Main themes and ideas are also listed to support deep learning. Knowledge organisers are displayed on working walls, pupil books and are shared with parents/ carers.
BIG Questions drive our foundation curriculum. Much like questions in the real word, they are a starting point for a journey discovering new ideas, concepts and knowledge to gain necessary vocabulary and a deep understanding to fully engage in their own lives. Critical thinking is enshrined in the curriculum through the use of BIG Questions. Learners are able to use their deep knowledge taught within the curriculum to debate, deconstruct and answer problems and develop as productive citizens.
Quizzes, discussions, personal reflections and essays are used to inform learning throughout topics as well as at the beginning to ensure that prior-learning is available to build upon. Time is given to revise previous learning and rehearse new vocabulary as well as opportunities to tackle common misconceptions.
Assessment in EYFS use the ELG framework.
MLPs include details of end of unit summative assessment (this may be the reflections in RE or a quiz or a discussion point).
Teacher assessment (based on formative and summative assessments) are collected at the end of each term via OTrack using a four-point scale (below).
- Successfully learning all or nearly all of the curriculum, demonstrating a strong understanding of the knowledge and skills expected (1)
- Successfully learning most of the curriculum, demonstrating a good understanding of the knowledge and skills expected, although there may be some gaps (2)
- Successfully learning some of the curriculum, demonstrating a satisfactory understanding of the knowledge and skills expected, although there may be a number of gaps (3)
- Not successfully learning the curriculum, with important gaps in the skills and knowledge expected (4).
Click on the ‘Our Curriculum’ to find out what children learn in each subject as they grow at E-ACT Blackley Academy.