Our vision for the curriculum at Thurcroft Junior Academy
Thurcroft Junior Academy strives to be an inclusive community where children grow, learn and achieve together. We value each child as an individual with unique potential for learning. Through the creative and ambitious curriculum we deliver, we foster children’s natural curiosity, whilst providing them the necessary support and challenge to succeed. Our curriculum nurtures and prepares children educationally, socially, morally and physically to ensure they are ready for the next step within their educational journey. We inspire our pupils to become lifelong learners, who are resilient and able to ‘bounceback’. Supported by a culture of equity and aspiration, we aim to remove disadvantage so that every child believes in themselves and can thrive. Through the curriculum, children also develop an understanding of citizenship and are empowered to make valuable contributions locally and globally.
How our curriculum is designed
Curriculum design is viewed by subject leaders, senior leaders, governors and teachers as an exciting, continuous and fluid process, which takes into consideration the needs, characteristics and interests of our children; their prior learning and experiences; and the statutory curriculum (EYFS Statutory Framework and the NC). It is constantly evolving to ensure local, national and global contexts are topical; that approaches to ever-changing technologies are embraced; and current educational research and best practice informs pedagogy. Secondary subject specialists, subject leaders and senior leaders are largely involved in the design of the curriculum, as well as the views of pupils and parents being regularly sought to inform our policy and practice.
When designing the curriculum, the following factors influenced its development:
- Providing a coherent, structured and ambitious framework for teaching and learning, which is motivating and engaging for all learners of all abilities;
- Delivering a progression of knowledge and skills within our Nursery provision and from Year 3 to Year 6 with clear end points to measure against to ensure all pupils achieve as well as they can;
- Ensuring new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and sets the foundation for future learning;
- Encompassing a wide range of subjects and opportunities for academic, technical, creative and sporting excellence;
- Supporting a culture of resilience and positive mental health and wellbeing, where every child is safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included;
- Promoting children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
- Strengthening children’s capacity as a learner and developing their independence, determination, and love of learning;
- Equipping children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need for future success.
We want children to develop a love for learning enabling them to become lifelong learners. At Thurcroft, we take pride in celebrating that we are ALL learners; and that every child can achieve their full potential. Through a rich and challenging curriculum, our aim is to make all aspects of teaching and learning exciting, engaging, motivating and accessible for ALL learners.
Through careful and considered planning, we aim to provide:
- A broad and balanced provision that promotes aspiration and ambition;
- A structured and progressive framework for the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and the development of skills which leads to maximum progress for all children and long-term learning;
- Ensure that all children can read fluently and use these skills to access the whole curriculum;
- Ensure all children are literate and numerate, recognising that a focus on reading, writing, speaking and listening and mathematics is fundamental;
- High-quality learning experiences, which engage, excite and motivate children in the classroom and beyond;
- Enrichment experiences where learning and teaching can take place beyond the classroom and involve the wider community;
- Opportunities that promote pupils’ personal development and encourages them to extend their interests beyond school, for example, through a range of pupil selected after-school clubs;
- A wealth of relevant resources – in classrooms, outdoors, in the local community and the wider area, including visits and visitors;
- Development of children’s enterprise skills for them to grow into innovative, creative, strategic-thinking individuals who are equipped with skills that underpin employability;
- A self-reflective learning environment which enables children to know and understand what they are learning and why, and allow time to engage, reflect and review.
How our curriculum is delivered
Effectively supported by qualified, highly-skilled and enthusiastic teachers, the ambitious curriculum is delivered to all children. Knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill. We strive for children to learn new skills alongside knowledge, ensuring that both are explicitly developed. Recognising that knowledge and skills are intertwined, we teach individual areas of the curriculum discreetly, while supporting the children to see the natural links within the subject with the wider curriculum. We use every opportunity to capitalise on connections between subjects and develop and apply all important reading, writing, speaking and listening, and maths skills in a purposeful context.
What difference does the Thurcroft curriculum have on our children?
At Thurcroft, we strive for all pupils to reach their true potential by having the highest expectations of them all! From their starting points, children make good progress throughout their time with us in Foundation stage and from when they join us in Year 3 to the end of Key Stage Two. Our rich and challenging curriculum prioritises core skills in English, Maths and RSHE, whilst actively encompassing the acquisition of knowledge and skills across all area of the National Curriculum.
The consistent quality-first teaching across the academy provides a strong foundation for our children as well as opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills both indoors and out. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the classroom environment of high quality-first teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s outcomes. The impact and measure of our curriculum is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the curriculum but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points. In shaping our curriculum this way, progress is measured and evidenced for all children, regardless of their starting points or specific needs. Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and excellent behaviour.
When our children leave us, as well as being ready for a KS3 curriculum, they have a wealth of transferrable skills which have been developed throughout their time at primary school in an inclusive and nurturing environment. Regular monitoring tells us the children enjoy lessons and we believe this love of learning stimulates children to become life-long learners. Our work on promoting social skills and character traits through our RSHE which include resilience, responsibility, risk-taking, collaboration, curiosity and empathy, enables children to become excellent role models and aspire to be the very best they can be. Developing their independence, motivation and attitudes as learners, and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
We ensure quality-first teaching enables our children to develop their long-term memories and define their progress as knowing and remembering more. Teachers and staff work hard to plan a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum which is expertly delivered to ensure a child’s entire school experience enables them to develop a deep body of knowledge which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life in whatever pathway they choose.
Monitoring and Reviewing our curriculum
Our children are assessed formatively within every lesson, which helps the class teacher plan the next steps to be taught. Class teachers then use a summative assessment point at the end of each unit of work against key end point criteria which is based on subject specific skills and knowledge of the curriculum area.
We also rigorously track progress and attainment in Reading, Writing and Maths termly at three formal assessment points. Additionally, we track phonics half termly and use this information to set our phonics teaching groups. Progress and attainment is monitored termly by both subject and senior leaders with all children expected to make at least good progress by the end of the academic year. Information regarding progress and attainment is shared regularly with parents through Parents’ Evenings and within end-of-year Reports.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review and the celebration of good practice contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further. All subject leaders are given access to training and CPD opportunities to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and the professional practice of colleagues.
More information can be found about each subject area by clicking on the curriculum tab.