Teaching across the wider curriculum develops and deepens pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills, enabling them to make consistently strong progress in subjects other than English and mathematics.
At Maple Court Academy, the National Curriculum content underpins our curriculum which has been well planned to ensure a broad, balanced curriculum with clear progression of the knowledge and skills taught in each year group. A broad and balanced curriculum will provide our children with the skills, knowledge and understanding that they need to develop into well-rounded, informed individuals. We want our children to be fascinated and inspired by their learning. Therefore, we strive to deliver a wide and varied learning experience for every child. We believe that our children should not only reach their best academically, but also develop a thirst for knowledge, foster a love of learning and leave our school with transferrable, independent learning skills which will prepare them for life and learning in secondary school and beyond.
Our wider curriculum has evolved from the use of the Cornerstones curriculum as a vehicle for planning. It incorporates all of the National Curriculum subjects which are all equally valued. All subjects are taught discretely to ensure clear and concise progression is not lost. However, where appropriate, clear links are made in learning and across subjects. This ensures that our children are exposed to a wide variety of connected learning concepts and activities. Teachers make subjects explicit using subject names to ensure that our children recognise how knowledge and skills are subject related but also how they can be interrelated to support different areas of learning.
Each unit of learning is designed around a main Geography or History theme.
From the long term plan and the objectives in the termly overviews, teachers plan a wide range of activities and experiences which stimulate and excite our children. This enables them to learn well and ensures that content is delivered progressively and at the appropriate pace to allow for depth. Real life opportunities and regular educational visits are provided to enrich and extend the learning that takes place within the classroom.
Each term, the new topic is launched as a whole school ‘wow’ event in order to excite, inspire and engage the children.
At the start of each topic, a ‘front cover’ will be glued into the children’s exercise books. This will include the topic title, inspiring pictures and the definition of the subject. These definitions are consistent across each Key Stage. A knowledge organiser will also be used. These are made and adapted by the class teachers to convey the key subject specific knowledge and vocabulary for that topic. Teachers will actively encourage the children to refer back to these throughout the sequence of sessions.
Within a sequence of lessons, regular opportunities are provided for reading as this is a skill that underpins the whole curriculum. In fact, reading is the gateway to the curriculum. Reading opportunities are not solely provided as reading comprehension question and answer sheets. Teachers are creative and link them with opportunities to revisit and embed key knowledge. For example, true or false statements, odd one out, ‘Quiz, quiz, trade’, teachers write the answers and children pose the matching question.
All sessions will begin with a 5 to 10 minute starter activity that revisits prior learning and knowledge.
All topics are planned with an end point in mind. The aim of the ‘Showcase’ event is to celebrate the children’s learning in an exciting way and, if appropriate, to share their achievements with their parents and carers.