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Amberley Primary School

Nurturing Innovation & Aspiration

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  • Amberley Primary School,
  • East Bailey,
  • Killingworth,
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
  • Tyne and Wear, NE12 6SQ
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Curriculum

Welcome to our curriculum page!

Welcome to our curriculum page! 1

Our Curriculum Intent

 

At Amberley we have designed an inclusive curriculum which supports and promotes the culture and climate of the school. In all areas of our curriculum, we seek to include and promote our core values:

 

 Nurturing  Innovation  Aspiration

 

Nurturing: Working together with care, support and encouragement.

Innovation: Looking for new and exciting way to learn and teach.

Aspiration: Always expecting the very best of our staff and our pupils.

 

We have designed and planned our creative curriculum to offer a range of experiences which contribute to every child receiving a broad, balanced, deep and rich curriculum which stimulates and engages all pupils effectively. 

 

The range of experiences we offer support and champion our culture and ensures that our children benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities. We believe that these activities enrich pupils’ lives and make them proud of their British Values and diverse society to which they belong and play an active part. We are proud that our creative curriculum gives our pupils the skills, knowledge, confidence and self-belief resulting in lifelong passionate learners who are well prepared for life in modern Britain and who aim high and work towards their goals.

 

We believe that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. We believe that through the curriculum we can impact on what is in children’s heads and how they feel about themselves so that they feel knowledgeable, confident and ready to tackle any challenges that they may face.  At Amberley, we place high priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental well-being are met as we understand that pupils will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure. We therefore adopt a flexible approach to timetabling for those pupils with SEMH needs to ensure that we can meet and respond to any issues which may arise. Children’s physical and well being are as valued and important as academic development. This, alongside our thoughtful approach to SMSC helps to ensure that every child is well cared for and supported.

 

Amberley is proud of its continued focus on eco-education and sustainability and we have our own wind turbine which provides power for our school. Our Eco Warriors have recently celebrated the successful renewal of our Green flag for the third time.  We have an Eco Warrior team from Y2 – 6 and the team meets every half term to discuss current issues and how they may be addressed in school. Every new project undertaken at school takes environmental consequences into consideration as we try to minimize the impact on our environment. Our eco-team /school have also taken part in the following projects: working with charity Enviroclothes, installing clear air pods within the school grounds, taking part in Outdoor Classroom day and Amberley Grand Spring Clean as well as regular litter picks. They have also visited O’Brien’s Waste Recycling Centre, been part of the Amberley garden transformation and worked alongside Miss Reid and Mrs Hurst in our invention shed. 

Further links below show our annual long term plan overviews for every subject in every year group and our medium term cross-curricular plans for the topic being covered in the current term for History / Geography and Science. 

 

If you wish to find out more about our curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact us. You will find our assessment policy and teaching and learning policy on our ‘policies’ page.

Curriculum Implementation

As mentioned above in the intent section, Amberley is proud of the rich curriculum we offer our pupils. In Y 1-6, teaching in the morning centres around Maths and English to ensure that our pupils can succeed in the next phase of their learning with a view to reaching their full potential and gaining successful employment in the future.

 

Our afternoons are dedicated to our foundation subjects and intervention programme, with spelling teaching taking place for the first 15 minutes of each afternoon.

 

Whilst some of our foundations subjects are taught discretely, some of our geography and/or History units are taught with a cross-curricular approach to learning with a topic title used to explore predominantly history and/or geography but also other subject areas where appropriate and where they link in. Such topics engage and enthuse our pupils and teachers ensure the needs of all pupils are met through appropriate differentiation to support and challenge.

 

Teachers carefully plan out what will be covered in each unit or topic across a half-term for every subject to ensure that they are both meeting the statutory requirements of the national curriculum as well as providing an engaging, personalised curriculum which is broad and balanced. Following on from this long-term plan jigsaw, staff then plan their medium term plans, many of which centre around a topic title. This topic may last anywhere from half a term to a full term. Their plan considers what the intent of the topic / unit is ie what we want children to be able to do / remember by the end of the unit, how it will be sequenced and how impact will be judged. It also details the hook into the learning, which national curriculum objectives will be covered, how the topic develops SMSC and which visitors or visits will take place. We also place a large importance on vocabulary and look at how the topic will include both subject specific vocabulary and transferable vocabulary.

 

Prior to any History or Geography topic beginning, pupils are given a ‘Knowledge Organiser’ which details the key facts and information which children will need to access the topic. It contains the essential facts about the topic, key vocabulary or technical terms and their meaning and often maps or pictures to facilitate understanding. We use the Knowledge Organiser as a regular retrieval tool, particularly at the start of the unit. Teachers often use short, low stake quizzes on Kahoot, play games or use partner discussion to discuss anything ‘extra’ that pupils may have found out on top of the Knowledge Organiser to deepen knowledge. Over time, pupils will build up a core bank of knowledge and vocabulary that will help them excel in their achievements and understand the world around them. The revision and learning of the Knowledge Organisers will also help pupils embed their knowledge and support them as they access more complicated content in later years.

 

All long term jigsaws, medium term plans and Knowledge Organisers are sent home to parents to ensure that they are aware of what their children are learning about and working towards.  

 

Extra-Curricular Provision

Here at Amberley, we are committed to offering a range of extra-curricular clubs both during and after school to enrich the experiences of our pupils and they are encouraged to attend these clubs to try new things or to practise skills they already have. We therefore provide a rich and varied extra-curricular programme, with a mixture of school staff and external providers. Examples of activities that we offer include French club, Science club, Drama club, Choir, Lego coding club, cross-fit, tennis, multi-skills and football.

 

We believe that learning takes place outside of the classroom as well as inside and therefore are passionate about providing opportunities for pupils beyond the curriculum. These include: residentials both nationally and internationally, cultural visits to galleries, museums and the theatre, opportunities to cook and bake and visits to local places of worship.

 

Our children take part in topic activity days such as World Book day, Castles day, Antartica day, Pirate day and many other specially themed days where the children can dress up, create projects and models and experience a different type of school day immersed in their topic. Pupils also present their learning to parents through class assemblies throughout the year.

 

Communication to parents

Communication to parents about how their child is performing in school as well as what they are experiencing is of upmost importance to us and we do this in a number of ways:

 

  • We hold parents evenings during the Autumn and Spring terms and send out pupils annual reports in the Summer term.
  • Phonics workshops to parents (recording of this is also available on school website)
  • Reading and maths workshops to parents (recording of this is also available on school website)
  • Website tutorials to help parents understand different calculation methods used in school (helping hands videos)
  • Back to school open afternoons in September for parents to attend and come to their child’s new classroom with their child
  • Class assemblies where pupils get to share their learning as mentioned above
  • Christmas performances
  • Long term jigsaws
  • Medium term plans and knowledge organisers for geography and history
  • Homework for pupils in Y1-Y6
  • School website and class pages
  • Twitter – whole school account and individual class pages
  • Reading challenges which encourage and foster links between home and school reading.

 

Governors

 

We have named governors for each subject, Early Years and Special Needs. The governors liaise with the subject leaders of these areas and monitor the way the school teaches these subjects. We also invite Governors into school to meet with subject leaders and take part in curriculum walks, book looks and pupil interviews.  Curriculum updates are generated by SLT termly which are presented in a report that is shared with the full governing body. Specific subject leaders may be requested to present details of initiatives, or development to the governing body at various points of the school year. Governors can also review each subject via the school development plan and/or subject action plans.

 

Assessment

 

Assessment is a key part of embedded practice at Amberley and using assessment to check pupils’ understanding in order to inform teaching as well as staff checking pupils’ understanding and identifying and correct misunderstandings are two essential factors. We believe that when used effectively, assessment helps pupils to embed knowledge and use it fluently and assists teachers in producing clear next steps for our pupils. There is a clear emphasis at Amberley to use formative assessment to see the learning that is taking place in the classroom. This may take the form of finding out what prior knowledge pupils have so that is can be built upon, unpicking misconceptions, checking learning within and at the end of lessons and providing effective feedback to move learning forward.

 

Feedback at Amberley is meaningful, motivating and manageable and can take many different forms depending upon the age of the pupil, the subject area and individual needs. In all instances, the outcomes of feedback may well lead to targets being set for pupils future learning, and may lead to adaptation of future lessons through planning, grouping or adaptation of tasks. It is vital that teachers evaluate the work that children undertake in lessons, and use information obtained from this to allow them to adjust their teaching. Feedback occurs at one of four common stages in the learning process:

1. Immediate feedback – at the point of teaching.

2. Summary feedback - at the end of a lesson/task.

3. Next lesson feedforward – further teaching enabling the children to identify and improve for themselves areas for development identified by the teacher upon review of work after a previous lesson had finished.

4. Summative feedback – tasks planned to give teachers definitive feedback about whether a child has securely mastered the material under study.

 

All staff use their own personal mark book which contains whole class feedback sheets for all English and foundation subjects. Using these forms teachers should highlight: Work to praise and share (based on the objective of the lesson); Misconceptions/ children who need further support; Basic skills work to address (presentation, spelling and grammar) and any further notes for the next lesson. The following lesson will then start with a 10 minute feedback session. Within this time children receive whole class feedback about strengths and areas for development and direct teaching to help them identify and address their own areas for development based on the whole class feedback form completed at the end of the previous lesson.

 

Within a Maths lesson, time is often allocated to allow children to access the answers to their work and therefore self mark their work. The timing of this is decided upon by the teacher but happens at a time to allow a child to be further supported if needed, or further challenged. Once a child has marked their work, they may opt for further support. Throughout the lesson, teachers will use their observations and discussions to challenge children. Teachers will look at Maths books at the end of a lesson, check that individual questions are marked, and, if necessary, direct a child towards a same day master class, or to work with adult support in the next lesson.

 

Target Tracker is the assessment system we use to record all formative assessments which are based on taught learning objectives. All class teachers are responsible for inputting accurate data, both core and foundations subjects, that can then be used by teachers, curriculum leads and SLT to analyse pupil data, identify gaps in learning and deliver genuine impact.

 

End of unit or termly assessments to determine how much children have remembered are also used across the full range of subjects and are used in conjunction with Target Tracker data to provide a holistic view of how our pupils are progressing across the curriculum in each subject. We also work collaboratively with a local group of schools to closely moderate pupil work and share good practice.

Curriculum Impact

We use regular and robust triangulated monitoring to gauge the impact of our curriculum design. This impact is evidenced as followed:

 

Leaders at all levels review learning through learning walks and lesson visits.

 

Effective feedback to pupils is used to move practice forward.

 

We strive to ensure that our pupils’ attainment and progress are in line or exceeding their potential. We measure this using local authority and national data.

 

Rigorous assessment and tracking of children’s performance takes place to inform classroom practice, allowing pupils to make good progress and close attainment groups. Particular attention is paid to vulnerable groups within this termly data analysis. Pupil progress meetings with the HT, DHT and class teacher are then held to unpick the data further and analyse individual pupil performance. This allows us to identify where pupils are not making sufficient progress and thus take immediate action.

 

Subject leaders are aware of the strengths and areas for improvement through monitoring and evaluation activities including book looks, learning walks and data analysis and use this information to produce purposeful action plans that continue to develop the curriculum offer. Staff also take part in self-scrutiny book looks and shared whole staff book looks to share good practice. The Deputy Headteacher also meets with year group teams / subject leaders to hold termly curriculum clinics where the intent, implementation and impact of the curriculum is discussed and reviewed. A specific focus is decided upon each time.

 

Peer mentoring takes place across the year where staff pair up to observe one another teaching across a series of lessons and share good practice.

 

The curriculum is discussed with pupils who tell us that they enjoy their leaning and we believe that it is this enjoyment and enthusiasm for the curriculum that promotes achievement, confidence and focussed learning.

 

The design of the curriculum ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching, supported by targeted interventions where appropriate. This has a positive impact on children’s outcomes and is reviewed regularly.

 

Our curriculum ensures that we develop well-rounded citizens with a clear understanding of values such as nurturing, innovation and aspiration as well as friendship, resilience and respect. Our curriculum also addresses negative stereotyping through investigating similarities and differences and promoting acceptance, tolerance, diversity, citizenship and human rights. Pupils will be motivated by a strong sense of morality. They will be able to make sense of an increasingly globalised, complex and rapidly changing world and will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong and will be resilient to the influence of others.

 

Learning dispositions are also developed which leads to both success now and in the future. Pupils demonstrate greater levels of resilience, motivation and a growth mindset when faced with different types of challenge. They develop attitudes and dispositions to make positive contributions to the world they live in. Our daily interactions provide a regular check on this. 

 

Staff are exposed to high quality CPD, delivered both internally and externally, which is carefully chosen by the SLT to match the priorities of the school.

 

A high proportion of pupils participate in extra-curricular clubs, trips and activities that widen experience and develop self-confidence.

 

Each year, a school development plan is produced which has been formulated using the information gathered above. The purpose of the school development plan is to review and evaluate the impact of previous developments, identify key areas for school improvement over the coming year and to outline the action to be taken in key areas. The school budget is matched to the priorities for the school development plan.

Teaching and learning, Curriculum and Assessment Action Plan 19-20

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