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Teaching Aims and the Curriculum

The Academy’s aim is to enable every child to reach their full potential across the curriculum by providing a rich and relevant curriculum that embraces a range of teaching styles and experiences and is based upon direct first hand experience.

As an Academy within the Astrea Academy Trust, children will benefit from a continual focus on innovation and creating best practice by fostering a collaborative approach within and between our schools.

The curriculum follows the requirements of the National Curriculum and is organised in a way that engages and interests pupils as they develop and apply their skills and knowledge. The content and delivery of the curriculum will be matched to children’s needs and to their levels of maturity. Children will be helped to understand the world they live in and taught the skills they will need in their next stage of schooling and beyond. The curriculum will reflect the local context of the school and use opportunities for first hand learning in the local area.

The use of new technologies will be continually developed to support and enhance learning as part of a curriculum for the 21st century. In addition to the traditional curriculum areas children will experience personal, social, health and emotional education to help them leave a full, safe and happy life.

Children’s progress will be closely monitored so that their curriculum experiences and the support they receive will help them to meet their potential.

Religious education will be taught separately and will follow the guidelines of the Local Agreed Syllabus. Parents and carers have the right to remove their child from religious education or from the daily act of collective worship. They should first discuss this with the principal so that they can understand clearly how these areas are tackled in school. If they then wish to withdraw a child, this should be confirmed in writing.

The Curriculum

(If you require more detailed information about what your child will cover please ask the class teacher)

Please click on the link below for a 2016/17 curriculum map.

whole-school-topic-map

At the beginning of the academic year 2015-2016 Carrfield, implemented a new ‘Cornerstones’ curriculum. A scrutiny was conducted after 5 weeks of implementation, which was based on observations in the classroom environment, teaching and books.

Cornerstones is a cross curricular approach to learning, which provides children with the opportunities to learn and respond in a variety of ways, following on children’s interests and needs based on to National Curriculum 2014. Cornerstones has four main areas of learning:  Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. During each stage, children have the opportunity to develop and improve skills learnt to enable them to reach their full potential.

In the Engage section, children have the opportunity to begin with a memorable first-hand experience. They observe, research and set questions to engage and learn skills for their new topic.

In the Develop section, children improve their knowledge and understanding in relation to their topic.  They develop and practice new skills learnt and have time to explore and create in relation to their project.

In the Innovate section, children apply the skills and knowledge learnt to real life contexts. They solve real or imagined problems through their learning and gain inspiration from their creative projects.

In the Express section, children have the opportunity become performers, experts and informers. They have learnt skills, developed and practiced them and are now ready to become experts and informers – demonstrating a real understanding to what they have learnt. During this section, children have the opportunity to share and celebrate their achievements, showcasing their work.

Maths

Maths at Carrfield contains the key pencil and paper procedures. Our Calculation Policy has been written to ensure consistency and progression throughout the school and reflects a whole school agreement.

Although the main focus of the policy is on pencil and paper procedures, it is important to recognise that the ability to calculate mentally lies at the heart of the Numeracy Strategy.  The mental methods in the Framework for teaching mathematics will be taught systematically from Reception onwards and pupils will be given regular opportunities to develop the necessary skills.  However, mental calculation is not at the exclusion of written recording and should be seen as complementary to and not as separate from it.

In every written method there is an element of mental processing.  Sharing written methods with the teacher encourages children to think about the mental strategies that underpin them and to develop new ideas; therefore, written recording helps children to clarify their thinking and also supports and extends the development of more fluent and sophisticated mental strategies.

During their time at this school, children will be encouraged to see mathematics as both a written and spoken language.  Teachers will support and guide children through the following important stages:

•          Developing the use of pictures and a mixture of words and symbols to represent numerical activities;

•          Using standard symbols and conventions;

•          Use of jottings to aid a mental strategy;

•          Use of pencil and paper procedures;

•          Use of a calculator.

This policy concentrates on the introduction of standard symbols, the use of an empty number line as a jotting to aid mental calculation and the use of pencil and paper procedures.  It is important that children do not abandon jottings and mental methods once pencil and paper procedures are introduced; therefore, children will always be encouraged to look at a calculation/problem and then decide the best method to choose – pictures, mental calculation with or without jottings, structured recording or a calculator.  Our long-term aim is for children to be able to select an efficient method of their choice (whether this be mental, written or in upper Key Stage 2 using a calculator) that is appropriate for a given task.

They will do this by always asking themselves:

•          ‘Can I do this in my head?

•          ‘Can I do this in my head using drawings or jottings?’

•          ‘Do I need to use a pencil and paper procedure?’

•          ‘Do I need a calculator?

Phonics and Reading 

We use ‘Letters and Sounds’ to deliver high quality phonic teaching within a language rich curriculum. ‘Letters and Sounds’ is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of four, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. At Carrfield children are grouped throughout Reception and Key Stage 1 according to the letter sounds they know to ensure that all sounds are learned can be applied when the child is reading.

Reciprocal Reading at Carrfield refers to an instructional activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Teachers model, then help students learn to guide group discussions using four strategies: predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising. Once students have learned the strategies, they take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading a dialogue about what has been read. Children in Upper Key Stage 2 take on the role of the leader as part of the Carrfield Literacy Trust. They spend sessions supporting younger readers in school in order to develop their reading skills as well as securing their own understanding to a ‘mastery’ level.