Stalham Academy Curriculum
Promoting effective communication
Inclusion and meeting the needs of all children
Providing a wide range of experiences and opportunities outside of the academic curriculum
Develop the whole child and preparing them for Secondary education
Mentally healthy and emotionally literate children
The curriculum at Stalham Academy is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children and gives them the skills, knowledge and understanding to prepare them for their future lives.
It ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, reliability, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health, are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning.
The curriculum enhances children in a way that develops key life and communication skills through a cooperative approach to teaching whilst also supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
It prioritises the development of children’s verbal communication skills to communicate effectively about themselves, their feelings and learning: it allows them to articulate their own opinions, listen to others and provide reasoning behind their judgements and decisions.
We are committed to offering as many high-quality opportunities in sport, music and the creative arts, as our financial capacity allows.
At Stalham Academy, we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each year group.
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of all children in our school.
The aim of our curriculum is for children to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education.
Communication has been centrally placed within our model. It is the foundation that allows children to both demonstrate and develop their knowledge, as well as being fundamental to learning, self-expression and to enhance life chances for all our children.
We organise our curriculum ensuring individual subjects are given plentiful coverage resulting in the unique disciplines and amazing development opportunities. For example, our Geographers study the world, looking at how places have been and are shaped by people, climate and the natural environment. Our Historians are curious about the past in Britain and the wider world. They consider how the past influences the present. Our Scientists ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way Science will affect their future on a personal, national and global level.
We believe that every child should have fantastic childhood experiences. At Stalham Academy, we want to give the children experiences to cherish and to help develop happy, interesting individuals. Our ‘Stalham Sixty’ ensures that all pupils leave Stalham Academy with the necessary independence, skills and understanding to move to a secondary school with confidence.
It is important to us that the curriculum considers the development of the whole child as well as their academic success.
Theme & Focus events
Throughout the academic year, a range of special whole school theme events or weeks are held. These enable staff to amend the regular school timetable so that children can spend time concentrating their attention and energy on one particular area of learning. The purpose is to broaden children’s opportunities and to add some additional spice and excitement to their school experience. These special events/weeks also provide an opportunity for children to enjoy an intensive, in-depth, deep and satisfying learning experience.
Central to our curriculum and learning is our focus on children developing key communication skills and working co-cooperatively together. We use the approach of cooperative learning within our lessons to promote this. When our teachers design the learning opportunities, they look for ways for us to develop good learning behaviours.
The teaching of our curriculum is delivered through highly focused lesson design with sharp objectives, high demands of child engagement with their learning, high levels of interaction for all children, passionate teachers who are experts in what they are teaching, appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explanations, an expectation that children will develop resilience and accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently and regular use of praise and encouragement to motivate children.
The curriculum consists of many planned experiences in school and out: lessons, topic days, school council, assemblies, clubs, sports, trips and visits, workshops, residential camps, fund raising, and community work. Outcomes may be designed to meet the requirements of the new National Curriculum but also to develop the skills needed for learning and for life.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and most make very good progress in most subjects and areas of learning. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
Further to this, is the learning and provision in place to ensure our children are emotionally literate and mentally healthy young people. Through structured curriculum, awareness days, high profile mental health work and learning as well as a team of mental health professionals we support children to be resilient and aware of themselves and their own feelings.
A varied timetable for extra-curricular activities is offered by the school, with clubs that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as guitar and drum tuition, whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences.
Curriculum 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 curriculum leaders are given training and the opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school.
First and foremost we want to instill in our children a love of learning and an understanding that the learning is part of a journey they are on. We want them to feel safe, to express and celebrate their learning achievements and recognise their own personal and academic growth.
How we know we are successful in this is through:
Teacher assessment – formative – through ongoing questioning, dialogue, verbal and written feedback, informal quizzes, practical tasks, day to day work, reasoning. Summative tests, end of topic learning tests, Big Writes in writing
Learner Voice – pupil questionnaires, self and peer assessment, school council, learning dialogue in the classroom that encourages self-evaluation
Parental Feedback – parent questionnaires, parent café, parent/teacher meetings, Twitter involvement, informal meetings before and after school, PTA
Data Analysis – internal with SLT, curriculum leadership, pupil progress discussions, governors, Director of Education (MAT), external data (SATS)
Quality Assurance – lesson observations, drop-ins, learning walks, book looks
Positive Attitudes to Learning – children engaged and inspired by their learning, posing own enquiry questions, taking the initiative, B4L Statements
Respect – visibly demonstrated through their school environment, their work, interactions, moral responsibility
Participating in Community – proudly representing their school through School Council, intergenerational events, sports tournaments, community events, invited guests
Case Studies – to measure the academic, personal, social and emotional progress of our most vulnerable children through case studies
The impact of what we do and what the children achieve cannot always be measured in data sets and numbers so we always try to look holistically at the whole child. We consider our children as individuals who are facing future challenges and ultimately leave us high school ready having enjoyed and embraced their learning experiences along the way.