Curriculum

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Curriculum Provision at Simpson’s Lane Academy

Our curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum (2014), we enhance this with other opportunities and experiences that make up the wider school curriculum. We aim to ensure learning is always exciting and delivered in a meaningful context for children. The rehearsal and application of basic skills learned in both the core and foundation subjects is a driver for the entire curriculum, ensuring children have the opportunity to master key skills and knowledge. Where commonality exists between subjects and aspects, learning is linked and lessons taught using a cross-curricular approach. Where this is not achievable subjects are taught discretely.

We place a strong emphasis on the development of the basic skills necessary to be confident independent learners and successful adults, and recognise the importance of developing language acquistion and communication, reading, writing and numeracy skills across a range of subjects.

Foundation subjects are planned across Key Stage 1 and 2 to ensure not only full curriculum coverage but also mastery of key skills within each subject to enable children to learn, practise and apply their skills, knowledge and understanding across each year group.

Specialist teachers and coaches are employed for Music and PE to ensure children have access to the best possible teaching and to also support the professional development of teachers and support staff. All children in Key Stage 2 have the opportunity to learn to play a different instrument in Year 3, 4 and 5 as well as vocal coaching in Year 6.

At Simpson’s Lane Academy we strive to develop a strong sense of moral purpose in addition to a respect and understanding of people who have different characteristics to themselves, whether that be age, disability, gender, race or sexuality. A rigorous, well planned curriculum, delivered by excellent staff in an ethos of care, love and support enables our pupils to be well rounded, empathetic young people who have a thirst for learning and respect for all around them.

Religious Education is delivered through the Wakefield Agreed Syllabus.

Sex and relationship education is taught to all children, mainly in Years 5 and 6 in Key Stage 2. If parents do not want this taught to their child, they can withdraw them from these sessions.

In Years 5 and 6 children go swimming and the aim is to ensure that all children learn to swim before they leave the school. The school uses Knottingley Swimming Pool. There is no cost for parents.

The curriculum at Simpson’s Lane Academy aims to:

  • Inspire children to develop a love of learning 
  • Embed skills to prepare children for further learning and productive adulthood
  • Take learning beyond the classroom
  • Develop children to become reflective learners who have a sense of responsibility for their own learning and development
  • Build confidence and motivation within our children
  • Grow children who understand the importance of perseverance, resilience and tolerance
  • Enable children to use their acquired skills and knowledge to observe, question and think
  • Learn to value others, their views, cultures and beliefs

Children rapidly begin to develop their phonic knowledge and skills and begin to apply this in their reading and writing in our Reception class by following a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Phonics Bug.' All children engage in daily Literacy lessons where they develop their speaking and listening, writing, reading and comprehension skills in addition to developing a command of all aspects of the English language and daily Maths lessons. 

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Other Curriculum Activities and Clubs

The school runs a wide range of activities which enrich the curriculum.

All classes regularly go out of school on educational trips. These trips are usually linked to the topic or theme that is being studied at the time. For example if a class is working on a topic on animals they may visit a Farm.

We also often invite visitors to the school to support the topic work. These include, for example, specialist teachers, theatre groups and story tellers. Occasionally the school will ask parents to make a voluntary contribution towards the costs.

The school provides a range of after school clubs for Key Stage 1 and 2 children. These include football, netball, Art, Music and ‘Cook It’. There is usually no charge for these clubs, although we ask for those children who attend ‘Cook It’ to make a small contribution towards ingredients. From time to time the school hosts clubs run by outside agencies such as football coaching. For these clubs there is usually a small charge.

Phonics Scheme – Phonics Bug (Pearson) - Phonics Bug is a Foundation and KS1 reading programme that makes teaching synthetic phonics fun and easy, and is approved by the DfE for match-funding. Phonics Bug also include 134 decodable readers and ebooks which children can access both in school and home.

Guided Reading – Phonics Bug and Bug Club (Pearson) – Phonics Bug and Bug Club work seamlessly together providing the opportunity to practise and apply phonic and tricky word knowledge within reading. All books are matched to the Letters and Sounds phases and Book Bands and all books are also available as ebooks.

Bug Club is a whole school scheme ensuring continuity and progressions for all readers throughout school.

Phonics Catch-Up – Rapid Phonics (Pearson) - Rapid Phonics is a phonics catch up programme designed for struggling readers, EAL readers, and readers with SEN or dyslexia from Year 1 and up.

 

Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) 

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. We provide children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences that are appropriate to their needs. EYFS is about developing key learning skills such as listening, speaking, concentrating, persistence and learning to work and co-operate with others.

The ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

The seven areas of learning and development in the EYFS are organised into the Prime Areas and Specific Areas:

Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Physical Development

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

simp16.jpgWe recognise the value of play as the principle and most effective method of learning. Play allows for discovery, creativity and problem solving. It is purposeful, absorbing, open-ended and enables children to communicate with each other. It is the vehicle by which we gain access to the curriculum.

The outdoor environment is also a very special part of the EYFS curriculum. As such it is carefully planned for and available each day. Learning in the EYFS follows the needs, experiences and interests of individual children. Learning is mainly through active, play based activities indoors and outdoors all the year round.

Observation and assessment is integral to EYFS practice and staff will spend time observing children to identify their needs, interests, progress and next steps. Staff use a range of systems including photographs, post-it notes and samples of work to record children’s learning and development.

During the Reception year more emphasis is placed on developing and applying literacy and maths skills so that children are ready to learn in Key Stage 1. At the end of the Reception year children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) and a best fit judgement is made as to whether children are ‘emerging’, ‘expected’ or ‘exceeding’ against the ELGs.

 

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