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.
All pupils in KS1 (Years 1 and 2) and KS2 (Years 3,4,5 and 6) have a daily English lesson. We provide high quality learning opportunities for our pupils by basing learning around a core text. This enhances teachers’ and pupil’s pleasure in reading and raises pupil’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. Pupil’s 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 pupil in their class and ensure that every pupil is progressing and attaining . They use a step by step Maple Court planning model to develop pupil’s understanding of reading and writing. Links are also made with other subjects. The high quality writing produced by pupils in English lessons is expected to be used across the curriculum and one English lesson a week is dedicated to this.
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 pupils also focusing on phonics in their spelling lessons and in their reading and writing. All pupils have spellings to learn at home and they then work on applying these to their work in the Academy. We teach the pupils 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 pupil’s work.
We teach the skills needed to read fluently and for meaning through a combination of phonics lessons and activities, guided group reading sessions and follow-up tasks, accelerated reader and by hearing pupils read their individual reading book. We ensure that the two dimensions of word reading and comprehension are taught to enable pupils to reach their full reading potential. In EYFS and KS1 pupils have reading books which are phonics based. Rigorous assessment systems are a central driver to ensure pupils make accelerated progress. We use termly standardised assessments, half termly STAR tests and weekly data from accelerated reader, to tailor provision to meet the changing needs of all learners. Every pupil has access to the library and can choose books to read for pleasure. Every classroom has a reading area which is linked to their IPC topic and encourages pupils to read.
Pupils 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 up leveling the range of vocabulary used across the curriculum, enables pupils to produce improved oral and written work across a range of subjects. Every pupil has a vocabulary book and each classroom has a specific vocabulary display.
In KS1 and KS2 every pupil has a daily maths lesson. Mental arithmetic is taught every day, with extra 10 minute sessions every afternoon. We teach the pupils 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 and fluency in maths are also vital skills which we focus on. We use visuals and concrete objects to help pupils with this. Various calculation methods are learnt (see our calculations policy) and maths is used in a cross-curricular way in other subjects. In Reception and Year 1 pupils follow the ‘Maths Mastery’ system whilst the rest of the academy uses our step by step guidance for Maths. We ensure that every pupil experiences maths in a positive environment.
International Primary Curriculum
The IPC curriculum teaches a range of subjects. These are History, Geography, Science, Music, PE, Art, Technology, ICT, International and Society. Every half term pupils follow a topic. The scheme of work starts with a hook to capture the pupil’s interest as well as a knowledge harvest and a ‘big picture’ lesson to put the learning into context. They then study each subject in a block, focusing on their skills, understanding and knowledge. This approach helps the pupils to become ‘artists’ and ‘historians’ as well as providing cross curricular opportunities for English and Maths.
French is taught in KS2 through stories, poetry, games and songs and focuses on speaking, listening to, reading and writing French. Crucially, the teaching of French will further develop our pupil’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, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures, for example by looking at themes such as compassion, forgiveness, service, charity, sharing, friendship and understanding.
‘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.