Curriculum

Curriculum Intent:

Our curriculum vision is; to provide our pupils with a wide body of knowledge/skills and an exceptional character to live a remarkable life.

Our curriculum vision is to provide our pupils with a wide body of knowledge,skills and an exceptional character to live a remarkable life.

Helping our children find their remarkable starts with a simple premise, we are devoted to the whole child. Offas’s Mead Academy is a happy and caring school, very much involved with the local community.

At Offa’s Mead, we celebrate our mix of civilian and service families. We want our curriculum offer to build on the rich tapestry of lifestyles and the journey our families have taken to bring them to our school.

Our cultural diversity is enriched by being situated on the border between Wales and England and we welcome the opportunities our geography gifts us.

We offer a safe, nurturing environment with clear and consistent boundaries which allows our children to thrive as active and thoughtful citizens with mutual respect for and tolerance of those from different cultures and with different beliefs.

We offer a stimulating and structured creative environment in which our pupils can develop their social, emotional and academic skills. We will make this possible possible by supporting an amazing team to work tirelessly, collaboratively and consistently to drive progress whilst fully understanding the unique nature of our cohort and the wider community we serve.

Our Approach:

At Offa’s Mead Academy, the curriculum is specifically tailored to meet the needs of all children in order to prepare them fully for the future lives they are going to lead. We believe that the curriculum we offer should fire children’s imaginations and be challenging yet enable all to experience success, regardless of their ability or interests. It should promote in children a self- belief and confidence which will enable them to reach their full potential. We embrace the diversity of our service and civilian communities as well as celebrating the cultural importance of being uniquely positioned on the border of Wales and England.

To ensure curriculum quality we have addressed the following:

  • Developing sequential learning where pupils know more and can do more
  • Local context and filling the gaps from pupils’ backgrounds
  • Focus on subject disciplines even when topics are taught
  • Considering depth and breadth and curriculum content
  • Seeing the curriculum as the progression model
  • Having a clear purpose for assessment
  • A mastery approach
  • Listening to the pupil voice
  • Reviewing and evaluating curriculum design
  • Clear curriculum leadership and ownership

Curriculum Aims

We design a curriculum which is ambitious for all children.

We recognise that not only is each child an individual but also each class and each member of staff have unique interests, skills and talents. Our curriculum is designed flexibly to meet the needs of these groups.

Our four values are at the heart of our curriculum and are interwoven into all learning opportunities.

Students will develop their character traits based upon our four values, which are the key drivers behind our curriculum design. These are:

  • developing self-esteem and confidence in their abilities
  • making a positive contribution to the school and local community
  • enabling children to reflect on and evaluate their learning, striving for excellence all the time
  • learning outdoors and have an awareness of environmental concerns
  • recognising right and wrong and respecting the law; understanding consequences; investigating moral and ethical issues and offering reasoned views

Implementation

In order to promote and develop these skills we will be using the Cornerstones Primary Curriculum. This is split into four learning stages which will enable all students to develop their character traits, whilst simultaneously allowing them to deepen their thinking, understanding and knowledge.

Engage

During the Engage stage children will :-

  • have memorable first-hand experiences - for example going on a visit outside the classroom or inviting a specialist visitor into the classroom taking skills and experience from our diverse local communities and beyond
  • have WOW experiences
  • be introduced in exciting ways to the new topic or theme
  • begin initial research and set enquiry questions
  • have lots of opportunity to make observations
  • develop spoken language skills
  • take part in sensory activities
  • have a great deal of fun, allowing them to fully 'engage' with their new topic

Develop

  • dig much deeper to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a topic across the curriculum
  • practice their newfound skills
  • compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes, read across the curriculum
  • research their own questions and those posed by others
  • follow new pathways of enquiry based on their own interests
  • complete homework activities that support their learning in school

Innovation

  • apply previous skills, knowledge and understanding in real life contexts
  • be challenged with real or imagined problems and situations to solve using knowledge and skills from the earlier stages
  • be inspired with imaginative and creative opportunities
  • have time to revisit skills, knowledge and understanding not grasped during the develop stage
  • have the opportunity to take on different roles

Express

  • become the performers, the experts, the informers
  • share their achievements with others in many different ways.......parents, classmates and the community
  • evaluate finished products/processes
  • tie learning back to the beginning
  • celebrate

Each term, children will take part in school wide projects in order to develop their skills further. This will be through the themes of:

  • British Values and Parliament
  • Diversity and Equality
  • Sport and Health
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)
  • Art

In Maths we follow a mastery approach where all pupils are taught to their year group expectations with challenge for the more able and support for those who need it.

Reading is given a high priority in our curriculum as it the ability to read and understand which opens up learning for children. We run a weekly buddy reading sessions with our older children reading alongside our younger children, we have library sessions and book nooks to enjoy reading and being read to. We also set challenges through reading homework and have an after school book club. We also enjoy story time sessions with our parents and carers at school and at the Army Barracks.

We strive to make reading as much fun as possible as we believe the development of children’s vocabulary is a vital tool in learning and understanding the full curriculum.

In their first year in school our Reception children follow the Early Years Foundation Curriculum and develop their knowledge, skills and understanding through a combination of both play-based learning and more focused teacher led sessions. Pupils learn to share, work independently and play with others.

At Offa’s Mead Academy, we are keen to promote the diversity of life and celebrate difference and promote respect for all. Through our teaching, learning and behaviour expectations, we give pupils the knowledge and understanding of how discrimination and prejudiced behaviour is dealt with, including the prevention of bullying and the understanding of their and others emotions.

Pupils with special needs are well-supported in school with extra support and/or resources deployed where necessary to help close individual learning and emotional gaps.

Assessment is used to identify children’s progress and find out areas where they are less confident. These assessments inform teacher’s lesson planning. Assessment is carried out across the curriculum through questioning and low risk quizzes. Children complete summative assessments termly to show progress in reading, writing and maths.

At Offa’s Mead Academy,l we follow the National Curriculum and strive to enrich the curriculum wherever possible with PSHE and SMSC punctuated throughout learning opportunities. Our children are taught in classes, small groups or individually, according to their needs, within the framework of the National Curriculum. A variety of teaching styles are used in school, based on good practice and teachers continually reflect on their teaching and teaching and learning is monitored regularly.

Impact

Our curriculum is carefully planned for progression; it is designed to be challenging and relevant to our pupils and their local identity and builds upon their prior knowledge and understanding. Our curriculum is inclusive; it gives all children opportunities and experiences needed to go forward to be successful in their education and future lives, enabling them to achieve and fulfil their dreams and all of their aspirations.

If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making the expected amount of progress we expect and are therefore working at the expected standard for their year group.

See our Curriculum offer for more detail