Our Curriculum at Beacon Academy
We are part of the family of schools in the Academies Enterprise Trust and we share the Trust vision for our children which is 'To provide our pupils with a wide body of knowledge and skills and an exceptional character to live a remarkable life'. At Beacon, we place emphasis on the skills and knowledge needed for their futures; we want the children to be life-long learners and be able to access further education and employment opportunities. We are also committed to offering our families learning opportunities.
Intent - the aims of our curriculum
At Beacon, we recognise the fast changing world our children face demanding greater resilience, communication and teamwork. These learning behaviours are embedded in our rich, inclusive curriculum, which provides first hand learning opportunities and challenge, whilst motivating each and every child to be a lifelong global learner
At Beacon Academy, we believe that our curriculum is rich, creative and challenging in order to engage and motivate our children. We strive to meet the needs of all our pupils and ensure each and every child is able to fulfill their potential. The need for higher expectations for all pupils has been emphasised and their respect for all people and the world around them.
Our curriculum is one we believe to be as broad and balanced and ambitious as the National Curriculum. We use the curriculum Programmes of Study to guide our sequencing of learning and ensure it has coverage for knowledge and understanding at every key stage. New knowledge and skills build on what has come before leading to a rich and deep subject knowledge.
Learning throughout the school has a key focus on personal development and social skills so children can develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepared for life and work. We believe our focus on PSHE will have an impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
The curriculum is planned through a whole school approach to curriculum planning, taking into account progression and differentiation; all pupils, irrespective of their circumstances, this ensures that the national curriculum is taught in ways that enable all pupils to have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Through our exciting curriculum we ensure that our pupils are socially responsible and confident British citizens with a high degree of empathy. There are opportunities to take part in democratic activities and be active citizens building respect for themselves and others. The school council allows children from across the school to voice their opinion in making the school a place where they want to feel valued and supported. All pupils have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the school and to grow in their understanding and appreciation of their place within the local community. At Beacon, we have placed an emphasis on having appreciation for different cultures and building respect and tolerance in all that we do.
Implementation - how we will deliver our curriculum
We deliver a knowledge rich curriculum in each year group for each term throughout the year. The curriculum is planned so that as many real life interesting learning experiences as possible are linked to this theme; this allows our pupils to see that their skills are all connected. The contexts are challenging; leading to creative thinkers and problem-solvers who demonstrate resilience, collaboration and independence. Every pupil understands the purpose and value of their learning and can see its relevance to their past, present and future.
The work for some children is supported by IEPs which teachers use as part of their daily planning with reasonable adjustments for pupils’ specific and individual needs. Additional support and intervention is provided for identified groups and individuals. Children with EHCP and Statements of Special Education needs are supported in accordance with their needs. The curriculum is enhanced by using visits and speakers whenever possible. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions and the curriculum is adjusted accordingly to ensure appropriate deeper learning.
Proud pupils will contribute positively to the school and the community. Their achievements will be shared and celebrated: weekly in assemblies, throughout the year at special events such as whole school celebrations, and through parents’ events and evenings.
Implementation of the curriculum through specific subject areas:
(For English and Maths, please see separate pages)
Science stimulates pupil’s curiosity, develops their sense of inquiry and their understanding of the world around them. Children learn to work as scientists, planning and undertaking practical investigations on their own and with others.
How we deliver the teaching of Science at Beacon:
How we teach primary science in our academy:
Teach scientific ways of thinking.
Actively involve students in their own learning.
Help students to develop a conceptual framework as well as to develop problem solving skills.
Promote student discussion and group activities.
Help students experience science in varied, interesting and enjoyable ways
The benefit of this is:
It allows an inclusive approach, where all children work at their own level
that teachers will work from carefully structured Schemes of Learning which inform them of prior and future learning
that children will be able to embed their knowledge and develop critical thinking skills, as they work through each flow from representation to rich tasks.
During the teaching there are built-in opportunities for continual knowledge and vocabulary assessment, ensuring misconceptions are addressed immediately.
Experiential learning is also built into each unit, enabling staff to assess scientific skills.
Our Computing curriculum addresses the challenges and opportunities offered by the technologically rich world in which we live. We use computing to enrich our curriculum across the key stages and ensure coverage of the national curriculum expectations.. We aim for the children to confidently and independently use and apply information technology skills to support and extend their learning. We develop a culture where the use of computing becomes second nature to our pupils, thus ensuring they are ready and able to embrace the technological advances of the future.
In each year group, the children learn how to navigate the Internet safely and communicate respectfully through emails and the virtual learning portal through Google Classrooms.
Our Computing curriculum will enable pupils to:
Use and express and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology
Create simple algorithms and programmes
Debug programming errors
Create, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content using a mixture of word processing, paint packages, digital photography and video packages.
Be aware of their responsibilities online and know what to do if they have any concerns.
Know how information is stored on computers and how it travels, connecting people across the world through the use of the World Wide Web.
Explain their thinking behind their programmes
Explore how search engines work
Consider how their online actions can impact on others
Know when and how to report an online concern.
Use technology safely and respectfully,
Identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
Our children study a wide range of ancient, British and world history, learning about famous historical figures and exploring how and why they have influenced our lives today. History fires childrens’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Children consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, pupils develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people.
We enable opportunities for our children to explore the past through the use of a variety of sources of information to find clues and evidence and take part in discussions with their peers before reaching their own conclusions.
In history, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this, they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view – skills that are valuable in adult life.
Our History Curriculum will enable pupils to:
Develop a sense of time (chronology), recognising how time is measured and that some things change and some things stay the same;
Investigate how and why events happen and how they may be linked;
Consider what it was like to live in different periods and what motivated the people who lived then – and that we cannot think in the way they thought;
Recognise that there are some things we can never know about the past and that history has to be constructed from the bits of the past that have survived;
Understand that people interpret the past differently and use different ways to present their ideas;
Make thoughtful use of a variety of sources to find out about the past;
Communicate their ideas in a variety of ways and with clarity and independence.
Geography develops children’s knowledge and understanding of people and places. At Beacon Academy, we learn about the wider world as well as local areas, looking at the physical, social and economic issues surrounding each case study. Use of maps, atlases, photos and the internet ensures a well-balanced and interactive method of learning for all pupils.
For us Geography is about our children becoming naturally curious to find out more; question and investigate. Through our knowledge rich curriculum pupils find out about the Earth's land, water, air, and living things and people. We ask thought provoking questions where children discuss environmental issues and the impact of human behaviour to the Earth.
Our Geography curriculum will enable pupils to:
Develop the ability to make sense of information
Observe and interpret the environment
Develop and secure map reading
Understand and interpret secondary data
Communicate findings in drawings, charts and diagrams
Record and analyse data using ICT
Discuss issues and problems with others
Develop critical and creative thinking
Develop an awareness and understanding of distant places and environments
Recognise how people from all over the world are linked through travel and trade
Build a framework of place knowledge
Investigate major rivers, mountains and cities
Develop an appreciation of other peoples and cultures
Recognise the need for a just and equitable society
People and places
Describe and analyse the spatial patterns and organisation of people, places, and environments on Earth.
Undertake fieldwork, enquiries and an active exploration of the locality
Explore landscapes, settlements and human activity
We encourage children to use and develop their skills in RE and to participate in critical and reflective thinking. Within our RE curriculum we study the background and practices of a range of faiths practiced in Leicestershire that include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
RE lessons also contribute to pupils’ personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance. Our curriculum allows for personal reflection and spiritual development, deepening the understanding of the significance of religion in the lives of others.
In the early years, RE is taught through topics based upon children’s own lives and their experiences. The children participate in real life experiences through celebrations and festivals in a variety of cultures.
PSHE education is a planned programme of learning through which children acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives. As part of a whole school approach, PSHE develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.
PSHE is delivered from Year 1 to Year 6 through the PSHE Association. PSHE education is to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepared for life and work.
The Programme of Study for PSHE aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team working and critical thinking in the context of three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world.
Through our music curriculum we provide opportunities for pupils to immerse themselves in the world of music through singing, dancing, playing instruments and learning about great composers. We work closely with Leicestershire Music Service to ensure we get the right support and expertise from music specialists.
Our Music curriculum will enable pupils to:
Singing and performing
Learning about the terms ‘pulse’ and ‘rhythm’
Read musical notation
Learn about composition
Have knowledge of musical terms such as chord, melody, quaver, strumming
Listen and appreciate music
At Beacon, we want to inspire children to be curious, confident and critical artists. We recognise Art and Design contributes to the development of the whole child emotionally, aesthetically, physically, socially and cognitively. It provides all children with the opportunity to express themselves imaginatively, creatively and develop their understanding of, and respond to the world around them. At Beacon Academy we provide opportunities for children to work with professional artists; children having the opportunity to work with a local artist has been invaluable as it has provided children with an appreciation for local art, making links with the community and has provided enrichment within the curriculum.
We provide opportunities for pupils to:
To research and find out about artists / artwork.
To experiment with a variety of skills, painting, drawing, sculpting, sewing, collaging and working with fabric
Imitate the work of artists
Create high quality art pieces
Reflect, evaluate and critique their work
Be confident to create and design, making informed aesthetic choices
Expressively use a repertoire of artistic knowledge and skills, incorporating a range of media
Appreciate the diverse nature of art and artists
Understand the power of visual communication
Be visually literate: communicate & collaborate artistically; express reasoned opinions;
respect a variety of approaches.
We aim to provide children with a DT education that is relevant in our rapidly changing world and a curriculum that embodies our school intent: we intend to provide a wide range of inclusive opportunities, that ensure our children have a secure body of knowledge which enables them to lead life with the highest of aspirations. Design and Technology provides our children with an opportunity to tackle problems of a practical nature. Working with a variety of materials aims to help children learn important life skills. children learn independently and in groups, learning to cooperate, plan, design and make and evaluate their work. They learn to make their own decisions with help and encouragement
Through our design and technology curriculum, we aspire for our pupils to be unusually brave and think critically. We aim to provide opportunities for pupils to discover what is possible through designing and making innovative products. We strive to push the limits and ask children to use their research to design and make innovative, creative products and want our pupils to be problems solvers.
Our Design and Technology curriculum will enable pupils to:
Conduct research and look at similar models.
Acquire skills of cutting, making, constructing, gluing and making
Create detailed designs with annotations for products they will make
Review designs and create final designs
Use Computer Aided Design
Evaluate their products
Develop their knowledge of products and designers
Consider the impact of products on the environment
Explore audience, purpose and function
Understand the importance of aesthetics when designing products
Physical Education develops children’s physical skills, confidence, capabilities and potential. It gives opportunities for children to be creative and competitive while learning to work with and respect others. At Beacon Academy children learn how to plan, perform and evaluate actions, often in pairs and small groups, helping them to develop the quality and effectiveness of their work. We promote a positive attitude towards active lifestyles and aim to introduce children to lifelong physical activity.
In addition to being taught by their class teacher, children across the school are also taught by PE teachers and coaches who are specialists in their field. We are fortunate to have a swimming pool on site; all children from Year 1 to Year 6 gain the experience of swimming at a young age. The children in Special Provision also get the opportunity to take part in weekly swimming lessons.
We aim for each pupil leave Beacon:
Performing safe self-rescue in different water based situations
Swimming competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
Use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke.