The Academy’s curriculum promotes and sustains a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning and contributes well to pupils’ academic achievements. Our motto is ‘Expect excellence. Achieve excellence’ and this embeds our curriculum. Different learning takes place throughout the day and this may include new learning, applying learning or consolidating learning. The focus of every lesson is on the pupils making progress in order to reach their highest level of attainment. No matter what each pupil’s starting point is they can achieve. We promote a growth mindset and ensure that we give pupil the necessary tools they need to meet their year group expectations.
For every subject each year group follows the 2014 National Curriculum Programmes of Study. These demonstrate the skills, knowledge and understanding expected for each year group by the end of the year. Each Year group has a long term plan where learning is set out for the year. Every half term more detail is included with topic diaries made available to parents to help them support their children at home.
We provide high quality learning opportunities for our children by basing learning around a core text. This enhances teachers’ and children’s pleasure in reading and raises children’s achievement through teachers’ knowledge of literature and its creative use in the classroom. Each class has a high quality whole text from which they work. Children and teachers become immersed in the text through which they focus on developing reading, speaking and listening and writing skills. Teachers adapt their planning to best suit the needs of individual children in their class and ensure that every child is progressing and attaining. They use a step by step Maple Court planning model to develop children’s understanding of reading and writing. Links are also made with other subjects.
Phonics, Spelling and Grammar
A secure knowledge and understanding of spelling and grammar is a vital part of improving children’s speaking, reading and writing. Phonics is at the core of our reading and writing. EYFS and KS1 have a daily phonics session with KS2 children also focussing on phonics in their spelling lessons and in their reading and writing. All children have spellings to learn at home and they then work on applying these to their work in school. We teach the children various strategies to help them to improve their spelling. Grammar is explicitly taught as well as being a vital part of everyday teaching and learning. Handwriting is taught through the pen pals handwriting scheme and is expected to be of a high standard across the children’s work.
We are building a community of readers. We teach the skills needed to read fluently and for meaning through a combination of phonics lessons and activities, guided reading sessions and follow-up tasks, bug club and by hearing pupils read their individual reading book. We ensure that the two dimensions of word reading and comprehension are taught to enable children to reach their full reading potential. In EYFS and KS1 children have reading books which are phonics based. Rigorous assessment systems are a central driver to ensure children make accelerated progress. Every child has access to the library and can choose books to read for pleasure. Every classroom has a reading celebration area.
Children need to expand and develop their understanding of a range of vocabulary in order to make sustained progress. The understanding of technical vocabulary, as well as continually uplevelling the range of vocabulary used across the curriculum, enables children to produce improved oral and written work across a range of subjects.
In KS1 and KS2 every child has a daily maths lesson. We teach the children to have ‘Maths sense’ which involves looking for patterns and making links in their maths thinking to allow them to find the most efficient methods and to solve problems. Reasoning, problem solving and fluency in maths are also vital skills which we focus on. We use visuals and concrete objects to help children with this. Various calculation methods are learnt (see our calculations policy). In Reception, KS1 and Year 4 children follow the ‘Mathematics Mastery’ system whilst the rest of the academy uses our step by step guidance for Maths. We ensure that every child experiences maths in a positive environment.
International Primary Curriculum
We use The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) to structure our provision for most non-core subjects and continue to excite pupils in all year groups. IPC topics are constantly updated and improved not only in terms of the National Curriculum statutory requirements but also in ways to assess and evaluate pupils’ standards of achievement.
French is taught in KS2 through stories, poetry, games and songs and focusses on speaking, listening to, reading and writing French. Crucially, the teaching of French will further develop our children’s understanding of Grammar and Spelling.
We follow the Agreed Syllabus for Stoke when teaching RE. We look at a range of religions and find out about belief systems and practises. Religious Education plays an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. Religious Education enhances pupils’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression.
‘A Lifelong Love For Physical Education’
Here at Maple Court our pupils challenge themselves by taking part in a wide range of sports. They have fun whilst getting fit and developing a lifelong love of being active. To develop their skills the pupils watch, listen, experiment and tackle physical activity independently. Through collaborative and competitive situations we aim to cater for the needs and strengths of every pupil.
To support our pupils further and to ensure that high quality activities are being completed in Acrobatics, Dance (Street and Disco), Football, Netball, Cricket and Orienteering, we use the external agencies: oPEn Network, ASM Sports and Faye’s Dance School.
Being an Inspiration
To encourage the pupils to participate in physical activity outside of school, we have athletes deliver assemblies to share their personal stories. The pupils have the opportunity to question to find out more and have a role model with a sporting background to aspire to.
Intra Sport Competitions
Within our Academy pupils experience an intra-sporting event each term. We take part in the Sainsbury’s School Games, and Change4Life days as well as the Inclusion For All events where the pupils get the opportunity to join in events such as Boccia, Goalball and Wheelchair-Basketball.
In addition to this, during the summer-term, our pupils participate in a sport day where parents, carers and grandparents are invited to attend. Our pupils strive to be the best that they can be. They learn how to work together as a team and how to nurture their individual skills.
Inter School Competitions
Our Academy takes part in many Inter School events, many of which are organised through the oPEn Network, School Games Organisers and The Discovery Academy.
In KS1 our pupils take part in Fitzy Fox Festivals and Change4Life days where they get to work with other schools and have fun whilst being active.
Competitive matches take place in Football, Netball and Cricket. This year our Football team came 2nd in their league – our highest ever finish!
All pupils in Year 3 attend swimming lessons throughout the course of the year. It is a perfect opportunity to develop water confidence and improve their existing skills. Our pupils also have the opportunity to achieve a swimming award. Our lessons are delivered by Fenton Manor instructors and are supported by the class teachers.
Pupils in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 enjoy Orienteering lessons within our school grounds. Year 5 pupils attend Stanley Head to advance further in this field and Year 6 have a residential visit to Stanley Head where they take part in outdoor activities such as Rock Climbing, Canoeing and Archery.