Curriculum


Curriculum Strategy

 

1. Principles upon which the curriculum is based

The key focus of the Armfield Academy will be on developing the basic skills of reading, writing and Maths, so that students can make excellent progress whatever their starting points. Continuing Professional Development and resources will be focused on high attainment in literacy and numeracy. Students will be expected to be able to listen, speak and read well so that they are able to access other areas of the curriculum. Students will also be taught how to apply their basic skills in other areas of the curriculum. Assessment information will be critical in ensuring children’s needs are correctly targeted and appropriately met. The quality and accuracy of assessment data will be a major focus of development. Robust systems and methodologies for target setting and tracking will be implemented immediately the Academy opens and will take advantage of the data systems and personnel already established within this area of work within the Trust.

Further to this overarching emphasis on literacy and numeracy the curriculum will be constructed at all learning stages to ensure breadth, balance and coherence. To succeed it is essential that our students are engaged and enjoy their learning.

The underlying philosophy of the academy is encapsulated in the following statement.

Our students learn best when, in a climate of high expectations, they work hard and are engaged in acquiring and applying knowledge which deepens understanding.

Within this statement emphasis is placed on high expectations, engagement and the application of knowledge. Implicit in all these features of understanding and good learning is the requirement for a very carefully developed and challenging curriculum which promotes and fosters a lifelong love of learning.

Armfield Academy will provide a personalised curriculum offer which will reflect their needs based on ability, particularly with regard to literacy and numeracy skills. A balanced curriculum offer will include an appropriate mix of academic and vocational lines of learning. Clear progression pathways that are tailored to individual need and take account of prior learning will exist for all students. The curriculum will be underpinned by key concepts that identify the larger themes and enable students to connect their learning.

Application of essential personal learning skills (PLTS) will be delivered through the entire curriculum which facilitates: Critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication, working with others, leadership, creativity and innovation, work ethic, personal and social responsibility, confidence and positive identity and healthy habits.

The Early Years Foundation Stage will base its curriculum on the Early Learning Goals, but will still have a strong emphasis on the basic skills.

2. Curriculum structure

The all-through academy will commence in September 2018 with the following phase structure.

Phase 1 will provide for Nursery to Year 1

Phase 2 will provide for Year 2 to Year 4

Phase 3 will provide for Year 5 to Year 8

Phase 4 will provide for Year 9 to Year 11

The rationale and purpose of this structure is as follows:

Phase 1 (Nursery to Y1)

Phase 1 will incorporate two strands, Nursery & Reception and then year 1. Nursery/Reception will focus on ‘school readiness’ through child initiated learning, teaching the children to be critical thinkers and learning through play in a range of practical ways.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework focuses on three Prime areas of learning, Personal Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. These areas then feed into four specific areas of learning Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. The Early Years Foundation Stage work focuses on the development of children from 22 months to 60 months. Work will then be set from The Early Learning Goals.

During Year 1 children will work towards a more formal style of learning that will be delivered in an extremely creative way, offering rich learning opportunities for all children at all times.

Throughout Phase 1 children will be assessed and will work towards a GLD score of 80%+ at the end of Reception (2019) and successfully passing the Phonics Screening testing in Year 1 85% by 2020.

Further information regarding the operation of the Armfield Nursery can be found in Nursery information tab on the website.

Phase 2 (Years 2 to 4)

During this phase students will follow a daily structure in which numeracy and literacy form the taught curriculum in all the morning sessions, a learning block of three hours. In the afternoon a creative curriculum will develop knowledge and understanding in science, technology, the humanities and the arts. The day will be constructed to facilitate teaching from subject specialists during the first and last hours of each day. At each year change ‘minimum expectations’ will be clearly set in terms of levels and rates of progression. Staff at each stage will be accountable for these attainment and progression rates. To ensure accuracy of data a meeting between the previous year’s teacher and the new year’s teacher will be held prior to the October half term to agree the attainment levels for the previous year. Where disagreement occurs the senior member of staff overseeing this phase will adjudicate and decide upon attainment levels.

Phase 3 (Years 5 to 8)

This phase is designed around the curriculum strategy as part of the Blackpool School Improvement Board strategic plan. It is intended to be the case that students in Y5 see themselves in their final year of primary education and are prepared for transition to a secondary school style of day from Year 6. Year 5 therefore is crucial in terms of transition. Year 6 will follow a Year 7 curriculum and will be taught by both primary year 6 teachers and subject specialists. It is recognized that some transition on staffing will be required over time to fully permit this increase in specialist teaching. Priority staffing decisions will be given to Maths and English. Year 6 students will be prepared for the SATs by their year 6 teacher and English and Maths teachers. It is intended that the adoption of a year 7 scheme of work will cover all the learning goals of the traditional year 6 and will avoid the classic dip in performance that occurs in Year 7. We recognize that students who join the academy in Year 7 may require support and intervention to allow assimilation onto this accelerated programme of study. However the year 5 -8 curriculum being developed across the town will reduce potential issues here. All online resources for KS3 from FCAT will be made available to the teachers of Armfield Academy.

Students will make option choices in Year 8 and will conclude their ‘Key Stage 3’ programme of study at the end of that year.

Phase 4 (Years 9 to 11)

This is the our ‘Key Stage 4’. Options will commence for Year 9 students and GCSE / Vocational Courses will be allocated three years of study time in line with the other FCAT Academies. High quality assessment systems and tracking will be essential to ensure progression of learning and to keep students ‘in the know’ about their progress. A full and balanced offer of GCSE and Vocational courses will be available. Teachers from Armfield will have full access to all the on-line resources, support and networking from within the Trust. Alignment of the school day with others within the FCAT will facilitate sharing of resources, the cross-fertilization of ideas and the sharing of specialist teachers.

3.

ICT will be used to improve learning at all phases. The Trust has a clear vision for the use of ICT to which the Academy will adhere to. Consideration will be given to the extension of classroom use of mobile devices, but at all stages the key question will be ‘does this resource promote improved learning’? Technology will be funded, deployed and used where learning is enhanced.

4. Identified Student Groups

Great attention in all phases will be afforded to the development of learners with identified needs. Rates of progression will match those of other students and where gaps exist; intervention will be required to close them. These progression outcomes will reflect the provision of additional and personalized support though the school. The deployment of Teaching Assistants and support staff will be monitored and evaluated in the first year to determine effectiveness and value for money. All support will be required to have IMPACT on learning and to enhance progression.

  • We will ensure targets set for SEND / GAT / LAC are sufficiently and appropriately challenging, ensuring expectations are high for these students.
  • The attainment and progress of all students identified with SEN, particularly those requiring external support will be tracked regularly and effectively so that targeted and timely action can be taken to raise their achievement.
  • Analysis of the attendance and exclusion data will take place as persistent absence and exclusions are high for SEN, particularly those requiring external support, when compared with national data.
  • Transience is an issue affecting learners, hence tailored support for this group of students will be made available in the core subjects.
  • Analysis of all data with SEN need by type, MLD, BESD and SLCN will take place.
  • The curriculum, particularly at KS4 will be kept under review to ensure it is appropriate for the needs of the learners.
  • Differentiation will be a key developmental ‘teaching and learning’ theme ensuring tasks are matched precisely to the ability of students.
  • Catch up programmes for literacy and numeracy will be carefully constructed and monitored to ensure high impact on learners. Accelerated reader and SOUND training will be used within the Academy.
  • IEPs will be taken into account in lesson planning and their impact will be evaluated.

Armfield Academy will actively pursue reducing the significant gaps that presently exist in the performance of disadvantaged students in comparison to that of other students in the town. Through explicit use of the Pupil Premium, disadvantaged students will benefit from increased learning support through targeted intervention and accessibility to extra learning resources. This would be available and delivered both within the curriculum itself and through enhanced opportunities outside the “normal school day”. Specific tracking of the progress of these students will take place ensuring all staff are aware of which students meet the designated criteria. Students who qualify for free school meals (ever 6), are “looked after” or belong to families where a parent is deployed in the current services, will be specifically monitored. The need to further raise aspirations and remove barriers to success will be specifically targeted for these groups and will include developing specialized programmes in improving self-esteem and social skills and include shared study support activity from members of the Fylde Coast Teaching Alliance.

5. Curriculum Plan 2018-2019

Reception - 2 classes - * denotes specialist teaching in the following tables

22 Hours 2 Hours 1 Hour
Continuous provision to address ELG of Communication and language PE* addressing ELG of Physical development Dance and Music*

Physical development

Personal, social and emotional development

Literacy

Mathematics

Understanding of the world

Expressive arts and design

Phonics programme

   
6. (subsequent years)

 

Year 1 - 2 classes

7.5 hours 7.5 hours 7 hours 2 hours 1 hour
Literacy Numeracy

Creative curriculum including:

Science

Art

History

Geography

Technology

RE

PSHE

ICT and Computing

Citizenship

PE* Dance and Music*

Year 2 - 2 classes

7.5 hours 7.5 hours 7 hours 2 hours 1 hour
Literacy Numeracy

Creative curriculum including:

Science

Art

History

Geography

Technology

RE

PSHE

ICT

Citizenship

PE* Music*

Year 3 - 2 classes

7.5 hours 7.5 hours 7 hours 2 hours 1 hour
Literacy Numeracy

Creative curriculum including:

Science

Art

History

Music*

Geography

Technology

RE

PSHE

ICT and Computing

Citizenship

PE* French*

Year 4 - 2 classes

7.5 hours 7.5 hours 7 hours 2 hours 1 hour
Literacy Numeracy

Creative curriculum including:

Science

Art

History

Music

Geography

Technology

RE

PSHE

ICT and Computing

Citizenship

PE* French*

Year 4 - 2 classes

7.5 hours 7.5 hours 7 hours 2 hours 1 hour
Literacy Numeracy

Creative curriculum including:

Science

Art

History

Music

Geography

Technology

RE

PSHE

ICT and Computing

Citizenship

PE* French*

Additional intervention in terms of Read, write, ink; 1:1, Numicon, Wave 3, Fresh Start, punctuation boosters, spelling boosters, speech and language, Jigsaw, Nurture provision, EAL support, physical development intervention, daily readers take place during creative curriculum sessions

Year 6 (25 hour model)

5 x 1 hour specialist English

5 x 1 hour specialist Maths

1 x 1 hour specialist French

2 x 1 hour specialist Science

2 x 1 hour specialist PE

1 x 1 hour specialist Performing Arts

9 x 1 hour specialist primary provision covering creative/humanities/SATs preparation

7. Years 7-8 first two years of Academy operation

 

Subsequent Years 9 - 11

 

 

8. The Extended Curriculum

Through access to the widest possible range of extra-curricular opportunities students will develop as emotionally intelligent, tolerant and healthy individuals. Our extended curriculum will support the Academy’s Core Values and will:-

  • Promote aspiration and achievement
  • Promote care and respect for others
  • Ensure enjoyment and motivation
  • Inspire a love of learning in the less formal environment
  • Develop independence and creativity
  • Encourage participation
  • Nurture personal development

A programme of activities will be offered on a termly basis. The initial programme follows:

Armfield Academy Extra-Curricular Activities Autumn Term 2018 (to be added to match staff skill set/availability)