The Link Academy Trust Curriculum Statement
Empowering our pupils sits at the very heart of our curriculum design. We are passionate that every child who leaves any of our schools does so with a complete sense of self; with an ability to make informed decisions that reflect their own values and beliefs; a knowledge of where they sit in the world and the impact they can have. Curiosity is nurtured at every turn as we recognise that we are preparing our children for a future that will be vastly different to our current reality – a child who understands themselves will be well equipped to make choices that impact positively on themselves, others and their environment.
Building and reflecting our communities is an integral part of our thought process and we look to ensure our pupils recognise where they sit and the impact they can have on a local, national and global scale. Tolerance and an ability to recognise the views of others sit centrally to our curriculum ethos. In teaching children explicitly to articulate their views with respect, we recognise that every small moment and interaction can support them in developing a responsibility for their choices; where this sits with their own values and their impact on the world around them.
Our curriculum seeks to develop ambitious attitude for every pupil to place them in a position whereby their future choices are theirs to make. In considering a clear progression in skills, knowledge and experience, we equip children to be aspirational and the best possible version of themselves.
The Link Academy Trust values individuality and empowers Executive/ Academy Heads and their school teams to make personalised, school-based (local) decisions about the implementation of their own curriculums within the structure of our Trust curriculum model. The following diagram was generated by senior leaders (CEO, DCEO, EIT and Academy Heads) and underpins each setting.
- Each Academy’s overarching curriculum intent begins with the statement above, along with a personalised statement that reflects their distinctive nature and ethos.
A Trust agreed ‘Curriculum Statement Plan’ format ensures consistency of approach whilst allowing fluidity and evolution.
Subject specific statements of intent are driven by curriculum hubs and reported to the EIT for quality assurance and alignment in Trust message.
AH/individual schools develop how they make local decisions about their curriculum and implementation, in collaboration with curriculum hub expertise.
Our Trust commitment to cutting-edge pedagogy and cross-school collaboration leads to consistent excellence in the quality of education across our Trust.
Our Creative Curriculum
We are committed to providing a creative, high quality curriculum which provides memorable learning experiences and fosters curiosity, a love of learning and a desire to know more. We encourage the children to use and to value their imagination and recognise the awe and wonder of the world that is around them. We want the children to recognise that creativity can produce solutions to problems and, as such, creativity is a vital tool for life.
Each child, as they journey through our school, encounters experiences and challenges that take them out of the classroom both physically and imaginatively - to expand his understanding of the world, to encourage self-awareness and resilience, and to develop a sense of responsibility.
We exploit our diverse and rich local area to support curriculum learning wherever possible and we welcome and embrace the talents and support of the wider school community including: parents, carers, family members and local people.
The children are encouraged to make sense of the world by making connections to their own experiences. They develop a sense of place by building an understanding of the unique nature of our setting and how the geography and history of our area has influenced the development of our locality and national events. Our goal is that every child leaves Stoke Gabriel School confident in their own talents, with courage to face the future, and a recognition of their own potential.
How we deliver the Foundation Subjects
There is discrete subject teaching of PE, RE, PSHE, Computing, MFL and Music to enable subject specialists to benefit the education of our children.
The statutory National Curriculum for the remainder of the Foundation Subjects – History, Geography, Art and Design, and Design Technology is delivered through Enquiry Journeys. Within this approach, links are made to other subject areas when meaningful and purposeful - cross-curricular writing and reading being an excellent example.
The scope and focus of each journey is planned carefully to sit within the Long Term Planning of our school - a two-year programme to accommodate our mixed-year-group classes. This planning is shared with the Curriculum Lead to ensure coverage of the statutory curriculum, to ensure children build on their understanding of the features of each subject area, to monitor development of subject-specific vocabulary and acquisition of knowledge, and to ensure that there is a progression in the development of skills.
The Enquiry Journey Approach
Our Enquiry Journey approach to teaching the curriculum is based on extensive research, has been developed and improved over a number of years, and is designed to fully engage the children in their learning.
Enquiries are devised by the class teachers and can be both short and focused, predominately covering one or two curriculum areas, and long and varied, to immerse the children in a theme and involve them in learning objectives for several subjects.
All Enquiry Journeys follow the same series of Enquiry Journey stages:
- Activate Curiosity
- Discuss, Discover, Decide
- Let’s Do It!
- Share, Celebrate and Reflect
The Enquiry Journey is explicitly shared with the children so that they are able to connect to the big picture of their learning. In each classroom, there will usually be a Working Wall, with the Key Question headlining an active display that might include a range of photographs, pupil questions and ideas, Post-It note responses, pieces of work, key vocabulary and other useful resources... all of which may be discussed, described and explained by members of the class, expanded and developed in lessons, and readily referred to as the Enquiry Journey progresses.
There is a balance of teacher-directed tasks and independent learning opportunities and teachers use questioning effectively to stimulate higher order thinking skills. As they progress though our school, many children will learn to challenge their own thinking, seek evidence, develop arguments, and reflect critically on sources of information. For all children, the sharing of their experiences and the discussion of their learning is actively encouraged, and the ability to reason and to communicate effectively is thus fostered and developed.
Learning beyond the classroom is not uncommon, with teachers and children, making use of our amazing school grounds and our wonderful locality.
The final stage of the Enquiry Journey has huge value for the children as they take a moment to reflect on their achievements, to ‘Be pleased’, and to consider what they feel they need to get better at. They evaluate their experiences in terms of skills they have acquired or improved, the knowledge and understanding they have gained and the personal development they feel they have achieved. This gives the pupils a sense of ‘distance travelled’ and an awareness of themselves as learners, and they have a sense of discovery - of being actively involved in their learning - rather than seeing themselves as receivers of education. This is a key characteristic – and benefit – of the Enquiry Approach.
Active input from the children is integral to our Enquiry Journey approach. We want the children to be involved in their learning and, to this end, we encourage them to ask their own questions and, when possible, pursue their own ideas beyond the limits of the classroom.
Every child has a journal, called their Enquiry Journal. It is a place for any recording that forms part of the Enquiry Journey and contains a glorious mix of ideas, plans, labelled diagrams, annotated sketches, art work and photographs as well meaningful writing and ‘neat’, considered, pieces of work across a range of subject areas. It is our aim that every child should be proud of their journal and enjoy leafing through and remembering their learning.
How might we see the benefit of Enquiry Learning in our pupils?
- Children being active learners: excited, interested, involved, motivated and engaged.
- Children opening their minds and being curious, asking why, how, when, who?
- Children learning how to find answers, evaluate evidence and explore possibilities.
- Children making links and comparisons and developing their thinking.
- Children communicating their learning, and expressing their own ideas and opinions with clarity and confidence.
- Children using subject-specific vocabulary.
- Children learning about their world and about their place in it.
- Children discovering that it is good to question how we know.
- Children who are proud of their learning and pleased to share their journals.
- Children who know how to learn and remember information.
- Children making judgements about the importance or relevance of pieces of information.
Rationale: What does Enquiry Learning do?
- Stimulates natural curiosity and gives children confidence to be curious.
- Allows children to take risks, ask questions and learn for themselves.
- Provides a context and purpose for the learning of and application of skills
– real life questions, creative solutions
- Allows English and Maths skills to be given meaning.
- Is inspiring, varied, and involving – for children and teachers.
- Is underpinned by leading research about quality learning and brain-based learning.
- Encourages self-motivation and independence.
Computing Curriculum Plan EYFS-Y6
DT Curriculum Plan EYFS - Y6
Art Curriculum Plan EYFS-Y6
History Curriculum Plan EYFS-Y6
Geography Curriculum Plan Y1-6
PSHE Curriculum Plan EYFS-Y6
Maths Curriculum Plan Y1-Y6
Music Curriculum Plan EYFS-Y6
Physical Education Curriculum Plan EYFS-Y6
MFL Curriculum Plan EYFS-Y6
RE Curriculum Plan EYFS-Y6
PHSE SRE Vocabulary list for parents
The DfE have reinforced the 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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014. These values are reinforced regularly at our school.
According to Ofsted, ‘fundamental British values’ are:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.