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Rivers Primary Academy, Livingstone Road, Blakenall, Walsall, WS3 1LY
Part of Windsor Academy Trust
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rivers primary academy curriculum v2

Curriculum

At Rivers Primary Academy,  we believe that all of our pupils need to feel empowered through our curriculum to be happy and successful learners in order to achieve their academic and personal potential.  We ‘inspire to aspire’ our broad and balanced, challenging curriculum meets the needs of our school and community.  Our children leave Rivers prepared for the next stage of their educational journey and are provided with the cultural capital to ensure that they succeed in life.  We believe that each of our pupils can be the best that they can be, which is driven by our trust-wide character virtues and learner skills which underpin our teaching and learning in the classroom.

WAT Wider Curriculum

Our Approach to Curriculum

Our curriculum exists to ensure all pupils, regardless of background and ability, can aspire to 'unlock their academic and personal potential'.  It empowers and equips pupils with the knowledge, character virtues and learning skills required to thrive in learning and in life and has been designed to provide access to a broad and ambitious range of subject experiences, anchored by high challenge for all. 

Its primary purpose is to enable our pupils to know more and remember more and be able to do more. 

Our curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum objectives which act as the foundations for our curriculum. Our subject leaders have then been empowered to take ownership of their subjects and lead with the support of the Curriculum Lead to create a fulfilling, ambitious, and challenging curriculum for our pupils. A curriculum, where we aim to inspire our pupils and immerse them in their subject content so that they are able to become meta-cognitive learners. 

aspire framework

Our curriculum exceeds the minimum requirements set out in the National Curriculum and The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Pupils have access to the following areas of learning / subject areas:

Pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage

Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Physical Development

Communication and Language

Specific Areas

Literacy

Mathematics

Understanding the World

Expressive Arts and Design

 

KS1 and KS2

Core Subjects

English

Mathematics

Science

Foundation Subjects and Wider Curriculum

Art and Design

Computing

Design and technology

Languages

Geography

History

Music

Physical Education

Religious Education

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) inc. Relationships and Health Education (RSE)

Curriculum design 

In order for our children to gain extensive knowledge in all curriculum areas, we teach all curriculum subjects discreetly. We feel that this also allows each subject to keep its integrity and enables subjects to be taught rigorously with a sharp focus upon the subject-specific knowledge and skills required. 

Subject

Implementation

Maths 

Ark Curriculum - Maths Mastery

Writing

The Write Stuff

Reading 

Whole class reading approach and domain focus lessons

Phonics

Read Write Inc

Science 

WAT Wider Curriculum

History

WAT Wider Curriculum

Geography

WAT Wider Curriculum

PE

Get Set 4 PE

MFL

Boost

DT

DT Association

Art

Access Art

Computing

Mr P D.A.R.E.S 

Music

RPA Music Curriculum

RE

Discovery RE

PSHE

PSHE Association

Votes for Schools

How do we deliver our Curriculum?

Our lessons are planned and delivered with the intention of ‘engaging and enthusing every day.’ This is identified as part of the sunshine model below, which is grounded in research in cognitive science to help underpin our approach. Our curriculum subjects are progressive in order to support our pupils to know more and remember more so that they can become lifelong learners. Within each lesson, teachers engage pupils through connecting and engaging with their prior learning. Throughout the lesson, higher level vocabulary is introduced and reinforced whilst deeper thinking is promoted through the key questions posed and regular learning checks. 

Within our trust, subject leaders have been given time to work with other leaders to identify the key progression of skills for their subject areas and have opportunities to work with lead practitioners and meet regularly to continue to monitor their curricular content. 

There is a strong emphasis on planning for, teaching and using tier 3 vocabulary throughout our curriculum. Pupils are expected to know and understand the vocabulary needed to access their learning. The vocabulary that all pupils are exposed to can be found on the individual subject overview and is shared with the children within their lessons. The expectation is then that all pupils use this vocabulary within the classroom to support their understanding and retention of knowledge. 

How do we assess our Curriculum?

The curriculum is our progression model which sets out the knowledge that we expect pupils to gain in each subject at each stage.  We deliver the curriculum in ways that ensure that pupils acquire and build knowledge that they need, to move on to the next stage of the curriculum. We use both summative and formative assessment:

Formative Assessments

Our lessons are structured and built in such a way that we are using formative assessment, continually checking whether children are learning the knowledge we intend them to. We use a range of strategies to formatively assess such as; AFL learning checks, smart starts, low stakes quizzes. For example, within our Science, History and Geography Curriculum we assess through quizzes at the start of each lesson (a thinking three) which involves recalling knowledge from the previous lesson, a previous unit and a previous year group objective. At the end of each lesson, there is an opportunity to allow the pupils to recall the key components of knowledge that they have learnt through quiz questions.

Summative Assessments

Summative assessments are planned half termly and termly depending on the subject. These assessments support us to check how well knowledge is embedded and how well pupils can apply it.

Year

Assessment

Frequency

    Reception

Phonic Assessments

Half termly

Year 1 - 2

Phonic Assessments

Headstart reading assessment

Ark maths assessment

Post learning assessment History and Geography

Key Assessment Tasks - Science

 

Half termly

 

No More Marking writing assessment 

Annually - comparative judgement

Year 3 - 5

Headstart reading assessment

Ark maths assessment

Multiplication Times Table Check

Post learning assessment History and Geography

Key Assessment Tasks - Science

Half termly

 

No More Marking writing assessment 

Annually - comparative judgement

Year 6

Headstart reading assessment

Ark maths assessment

Post learning assessment History and Geography

Key Assessment Tasks - Science

 

Half termly

 

 

No More Marking writing assessment 

Annually - comparative judgement

 

Pupils in Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6 also complete a range of national assessment, as listed below:


Reception

Early Year Baseline Assessment

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

Year 1

Phonic Screening Check

Year 2

Key Stage 1 SATs (optional 2024)

Year 4

Multiplication Tables Check

Year 6

Key Stage 2 SATs

Downloads

Our Approach to Learning Environments and Resources

A high-quality learning environment has the potential to shift possibilities, raise aspirations, and it demands a deep commitment to learning.  We believe that the environments that we create at Rivers Primary Academy are:

  • an enabler;
  • a model for greater depth thinking;
  • a carefully planned reference point for pupils to help free working memory slots by building long term memory associations;
  • a silent teacher;
  • inspiring to pupils and staff alike.

To achieve this, staff are responsible for ensuring classrooms are an exciting, stimulating and welcoming place to be. They do this by ensuring our Brilliant Basics are in place and :

  • Arranging furniture and space to create a safe, flexible learning environment, including a carpet focus area if appropriate;
  • Creating areas that stimulate interest in current learning and provide a useful reference point in the development of pupils’ knowledge and understanding;
  • Making sure that equipment is labelled and accessible to promote independent learning;
  • Creating a personal and purposeful space for each student to complete their work;
  • Teaching children to respect and care for their environment, and expecting them to do just that;
  • Ensuring classrooms are inviting and all areas are clear and clutter free;
  • Providing access to high quality texts

Promoting British values

The Department for Education states that there is a need: “To create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.

At Rivers Primary Academy, British values are at the centre of all that we do. We nurture our pupils so they become caring, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the wider world.

Our school rules: Ready, Respectful, Safe apply to themselves as individuals, others in our school, our local community and beyond. We use weekly Votes for Schools lessons to explicitly teach and promote British values. These lessons give a consistent and quality approach to ensuring that every student accesses and can engage in discussion around British values and can develop their critical thinking. British values are also promoted in many other ways as outlined below.

Democracy

  • Votes for Schools lessons have a weekly topic which the children debate and the vote on at the end.
  • Academy MPs are elected by their peers.
  • Pupils are asked to share their views through student questionnaires and pupil voice interviews.
  • Academy MPs share the views of the pupils within the school in regular meetings and are involved in decision-making processes.
  • Pupils are taught how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process.
  • The history of democracy is taught within the curriculum.
  • Pupils are taught how to express their views in all lessons, through the encouragement of reasoning.

Rule of Law

  • Our positive behaviour policy helps pupils to make good choices about their behaviour.
  • Pupils are helped to distinguish right from wrong in the classroom, during assemblies and on the playground.
  • Sanctions are used to encourage pupils to take ownership of their own behaviour.
  • Through PSHE and other subjects, pupils are taught to respect the law and understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals. 
  • Pupils are taught about how religious law is different from criminal law through the regular teaching of a range of religions in Religious Education and in school assemblies.

Individual Liberty

  • Pupils are encouraged and given the freedom to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Pupils are taught to understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms in a safe way e.g. in PSHE lessons.
  • Pupils are given the opportunities to have key responsibilities in school through joining one of the student leadership teams.
  • Pupils develop their own self-discipline through adopting the character virtues independently.
  • Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights.
  • Stereotypes are consistently challenged wherever they may occur in school.
  • There is a strong anti-bullying culture at Rivers.
  • Online safety lessons are taught as part of our computing curriculum.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance

  • Respect is one of our three school rules.
  • Pupils understand that respect is shown to everyone, both adults and children.
  • We help them to develop an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures through our curriculum and Religious Education lessons.
  • Staff and pupils challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
  • Links with local faith communities and visits to places of worship are promoted and people from different faiths are invited to the school to share their experiences in assemblies and in class.
  • Through the PSHE and RE curriculum, pupils are encouraged to discuss and respect differences and similarities between people.
  • Pupils are taught how to disagree in a respectful way.