At Carrfield Primary Academy, we aim to have a curriculum that:
- Provides a broad and balanced education for all children that is coherently planned and sequenced towards ensuring children leave our school with at least sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.
- Enables children to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations.
- Supports children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- Supports children’s physical development and responsibility for their own health, and enable them to be active.
- Promotes a positive attitude towards learning.
- Ensures equal access to learning for all children with high expectations for every children and appropriate levels of challenge and support.
- Has a high academic ambition for all children.
- Equips children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
In addition, school leaders and staff recognise other key considerations, related to the context of the school, that we intend to promote through our curriculum and its design:
- The development of children’s social and emotional skills through effective communication; the use of PSHE as a driver for the school’s curriculum is important in ensuring this.
- Ensuring that children develop positive, caring and appropriate relationships, including those online.
- Promotion of a healthy lifestyle, including ensuring children are fully aware of the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
- Developing children’s multi-cultural awareness – 99% of children at Carrfield come from a White British background so it is important that children have experiences of other cultures to ensure they are prepared for secondary school and beyond.
- Establishing the new PSHE curriculum (mandatory from September 2020) and extending Sex Education work to Year 4/5 children as well as Year 6.
- Developing a love of Reading and Writing throughout school.
- Preparing children for life in the next generation and ensuring that they develop transferrable skills and dispositions essential for adult life.
- Ensuring that the school’s positive improvements in Reading, Writing and Maths attainment continue.
- Using the unique history and heritage of the children’s local area – Bolton-upon-Dearne, Dearne Valley, Barnsley and Yorkshire – to inspire children and ensure that this plays a part in their learning; we want children to be proud of their community.
The academic curriculum – what children are taught – clearly plays an important part of school life and we have carefully sequenced and designed this. Whilst Carrfield recognises the importance of Reading, Writing and Maths, we believe that other subject areas deserve equal importance and we endeavour to find the right balance for our children. PSHE is considered the driving subject for our children in order to develop positive relationships, ensure that children live a healthy lifestyle, inform children of how they can develop positive mental well-being and develop empathy for others. This also incorporates the Astrea Promise where the Astrea dispositions – resilience, empathy, aspirations, contribution and happiness – are developed through thirty activities during a child’s time at Carrfield.
Reading is a particular priority for school; developing a love of reading for pleasure is something school is constantly looking to do. Reading is taught daily using the “Love Reading” sequence where children explore a high-quality, challenging text, discuss in role and develop their comprehension skills. The sequence also involves being text detectives to work on vocabulary development as well as looking at non-fiction texts through the “In the News” work.
Writing is taught through the use of the Literacy Tree scheme of learning. This uses a high-quality base text for the unit and a number of written activities are completed where children are encouraged to write for different audiences, purposes and genres. This incorporates the grammar work that children also need to learn. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, the building blocks for achievement in Reading and Writing are put in place through daily Phonics work. Carrfield uses the “Letters & Sounds” programme for delivering Phonics in these year groups. In addition, regular spelling and handwriting sessions are used throughout school.
For Maths lessons, Carrfield follows the White Rose Maths scheme of learning that includes a focus on problem solving and reasoning throughout. In addition, SUMMS lessons are used to develop children’s mental maths skills, particularly in Key Stage 2, and Times Table Rockstars is used throughout school to develop children’s recall of times tables and division facts.
Schemes of work are also used for MFL, Music and PE lessons. In MFL lessons, Key Stage 2 children study French and school makes use of the Wakefield “La Jolie Ronde” scheme for this. The Charanga scheme of learning is used for Music lessons as well as weekly singing practice. In January 2020, school switched to using the Real PE scheme which, as well as developing children’s PE and sports skills, also focuses on children’s attitudes to sport, physical fitness and mental well-being. Each of these schemes provides the resources and support that allow non-specialist teachers to deliver high-quality French, Music and PE lessons.
Every half term, children will study a particular topic in their curriculum time – this will be an “Explore” topic (history-based), a “Discover” topic (Geography-based) or a “Create” topic (Art-based). Each topic type is delivered twice per year and the key focus is on the base subject whilst other subjects are included through cross-curricular opportunities. For example, during a Geography topic on Mexico, children may complete a Design and Technology unit of work about making Mexican food.