At Springhill Academy, our curriculum motivates, engages and inspires the children through a series of learning journeys that we have titled ‘mini-adventures’. All of the curriculum areas are then delivered through this adventure. A ‘stunning start’ launches the learning and hooks the children from the very beginning. Children are also provided with an opportunity to choose an area of learning to explore in depth and create the basis for their mini-adventures.
The amazing learning journeys that the children go on, cover all subjects and are captured in one book. The adventures allow for clear coverage of the National Curriculum, evidenced in the schools’ curriculum coverage grid.
Teaching and learning is underpinned by cognitive challenge. Teachers use the model of ‘Basic, Advancing, Deep’ to ensure differentiation is appropriate and does not place a glass ceiling on learning for any child.
Differentiation occurs through careful and strategic task matching and questioning where staff create the correct conditions for learning by delivering learning centered around an Essential Learning Objective which provides opportunities for depth of learning.
The environment engages and inspires children, but is also language rich to support the children’s oracy and writing development throughout the mini-adventure.
The focus for our adventures is to provide contextualised, purposeful learning that develops ‘life skills’ so that children are ‘secondary’ ready by the time they leave. The journeys in learning foster the development of writers, mathematicians, historians and geographers etc.
A core driver for our curriculum is developing children’s learning attitudes and behavior for learning. Throughout the mini-adventures, children are given opportunities to reflect on how their learning attitudes are developing and children demonstrating these attitudes are recognised and rewarded within the classroom and the whole school celebration assembly.
At Springhill Academy, we do not show the children our essential learning objective or any success criteria, as we encourage children to be able to articulate this as we journey through the learning session. Teachers ask three questions as they embark on their journey to know that learning is secure and purposeful: What are we learning about? Why are we learning about it? How will we know if we have been successful? Children then return back to these questions during the learning sessions to allow them to reflect on their learning. We believe that this adds autonomy and purpose to the children’s learning and consequently immerses the children in the learning journey.
At Springhill Academy we believe the bridge between teaching and learning is assessment. Therefore, our marking policy is an integral aspect to the curriculum. The marking policy ensures that learning is addressed and celebrated or moved forward in accordance to the essential learning objectives. Through the use of ‘Read And Respond’ (RAR) time, children are given time to reflect on and respond to the feedback that the teacher gives. Feedback at Springhill is positive, reflective, challenging and provides opportunities for a teacher to communicate how successful a piece of work is and how this can be further improved.
At Springhill we aim to provide children with a secure understanding of all mathematical concepts that will help them in their everyday lives. Children are encouraged to use and apply their knowledge in a range of contexts and to problem solving scenarios in a practical way.
All children take part in a daily Maths lesson and follow the structured programme of work as prescribed in the Renewed Primary Framework from Years 1-6 and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Teachers plan for progression, so that learning is pitched at the child’s level and not their age so there is sufficient challenge and opportunities for pupils to reach their potential
The importance of reading cannot be underestimated as it is the tool by which children will learn in almost every other curriculum area. To enable all our students to reach their full potential in reading, it is taught specifically to small groups every day, ensuring that all children are given high quality reading sessions. We have invested in a large number of high quality class texts for each class to be the basis of our English teaching. In addition, each class has a shared chapter book or classic novel, which is read aloud to the class at the end of a day whilst they can follow the text in their own version if available. A key part of the children’s homework is regular reading at home. We encourage the children to read aloud with someone every day and to discuss the book
Building Learning Powers
Running in synergy with our creative curriculum, we aim to promote positive learning attitudes and behaviours. At Springhill Academy we place learning at the heart of all that we do. We are devoted to developing independent, reflective learners that can question, investigate, work together and talk about their learning effectively.
Our approach to creating a positive ethos within the school is to treat children positively, by constructively praising them, offering them encouragement and consistently acknowledging their efforts and achievements.
We will ensure children know that their effort, achievement and good behaviour are recognised and valued by means of a range of rewards linked to Captain Reach and his Learning Crew:
- The Questioner
- The Determinator
- The Collaborator
- The Reflectortron
- The Explainer
At Springhill we teach one hour of phonics every day to the children in the EYFS and KS1. The children are streamed depending on their levels. We have eight different groups, each with its own trained adult. Each group consists of approximately eight to ten children, so lessons can be very intense and support given throughout.
Read Write Inc.
Read Write Inc. is our Key Stage 1 daily literacy session. It is also used as a Key Stage 2 intervention when necessary. The aim is to help the children learn many of the phonics (sounds) used in the English language to assist both reading and writing.
Examples of how each letter and groups of letters (“special friends”) are said can be found at Oxford Owl. The children are encouraged not to add the ‘uh’ sound after a letter. They are encouraged to say the pure sound. See links for parental help understanding and using RWI. http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/
These are common words that cannot be sounded out in ‘Fred Talk’ (Fred is a frog toy used in RWI – he can only speak in sounds!)
Simple Speed Sounds Chart
Complex Speed Sounds Chart
Below is a table of the sounds being taught at each level.
|Level||Sounds Being Taught
(each group reviews previous sounds)
|A||m a s d t i n p g o c k u v f e l h r j v y w v x z|
|B||th sh ch ck (learning to blend)|
|C||Building on the blending in B|
|D||ay ee igh ow oo oo|
|E||ar or air ir ou oy|
|F||Teach letter names|
|G||a-e i-e o-e ea|
|H||u-e ai oa ew oi ire ear er aw ow ure are ur|
|I||Review all sounds|
|J||Off the scheme|
If you’re the parent of a beginning reader, chances are you’re hearing a lot about phonics. Here’s what you need to know about how your child will learn phonics and how you can teach phonics at home:
What exactly is phonics?
Phonics is knowing that sounds and letters have a relationship — it’s that simple, and that complex. It is the link between what we say and what we can read and write. Phonics offers your beginning reader the strategies she needs to sound out words. For example, she learns that the letter D has the sound of “d” as in “doll.” Then she learns how to blend letter sounds together to make words like dog.
Why is it important?
The ultimate goal of reading is good comprehension. But in order for your child to understand what he/she reads, he/she must be able to do it quickly and automatically, without stumbling over words. Phonics facilitates that process.
How does your child’s school teach phonics?
Systematically and sequentially. Teachers give children plenty of practice before moving on. Your child will read short, easy books, containing the particular letter sounds or words she’s working on.
To teach at home, reinforce schoolwork with easy activities:
- Team up with the teacher. Ask how you can highlight phonics and reading. If you have concerns, share them.
- Listen to your child read daily. If your child stumbles on a word, encourage him/her to sound it out. But if he/she still can’t get it, provide the word so he/she doesn’t get discouraged.
- Boost comprehension. Ask questions like, “What do you think will happen next?” or “What did he mean by that?”
- Revisit familiar books. It’s okay if your child wants to read favourites from earlier years.
- Read aloud. Choose books on topics that excite your child, and read with gusto, using different voices for the characters.
- Spread the joy. Show your child how much you value reading by having plenty of books and magazines around the house. And visit the library and bookstores often. You’ll teach phonics as well as cultivate a lifelong love of reading in your child
Promoting British Values and social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding
- Nursery and Reception classes – Christmas
- Reception – Chinese New Year and Easter
- Year 1 – Harvest, Christmas and Easter Assemblies
- Year 2 – Eid, Harvest, Christmas and Easter Assemblies
- KS2 – Diwali, Christmas, Sikh celebrations, Chinese New Year and Easter Assemblies
- Reverend Mark from the St Marys church visits the school monthly to speak to the children on Wednesday Assemblies and also holds regular ‘Messy Church’ sessions at the church for the pupils.
- Close links with the Parish council and the local Care Home are established.
- Displays around the school celebrate the diverse cultures and languages in the school.
- Religions week (1 per term) - each week focusing on different religions and cultures from around the world.
- Assemblies – sharing a story and working through the moral
- Reinforcing the importance of good behaviour
- Circle Time/PSHE/ P4C topics enables children to recognise the difference between wrong and right
- Class charters are agreed by the children
- The behaviour policy is shared with parents in Newsletters and a school/ home agreement to ensure that they are clear of all procedures
- The importance of democracy is taught through British Values lessons and topics.
- The School Council is a whole school process to demonstrate democracy in action to our children and allowing them to air their views
- Children participate in the Children’s Cancer Trust fundraising, Children in Need, Visits to our local care home to sing songs and have talk time with the residents.
- Currently working with Year 4 and 5 children from a neighbouring school in a joint D & T project and last year completed a joint project with local primary schools and the High school for Y5.
- Year 1-6 have worked on a British Values project to show what makes us proud to be British.
- Children respect each other’s beliefs and racist comments have not been reported to date between the children.
- Grandparents day which was well attended
- Father’s Day and Mother’s Day lunches
- Craft Afternoons/ Morning workshops where family and friends are invited into school to learn with the children happen every half term.
- Good links with the Local library where all the children get registered at the library and have opportunity to spend the afternoon there.
- Cultural diversity is celebrated throughout the school in displays and programmes of learning.
- Children participate in a range of activities – Aston Villa and Progressive sports develop children’s sporting skills, Artist in residence has created a vibrant learning environment which depicts the Learning behaviours and characteristics we instil in our children, Tennis Whizz is offered to Reception children, Rock It provide music lessons – children learn to play the keyboard, and take part in a steel band.
- Celebrate success – Celebrations Assemblies, attendance awards for individual children and classes.
- Reader, Writer and Mathematician of the week.
- Monster points or Team points for behaviour – Headteacher awards
- School values are reinforced through displays and well done stickers are awarded for each value/ behaviour displayed.
- Whole school approach to elect the school Council
- Half termly focused topic on Democracy and enterprise
- World war 1 centenary and the poppy appeal – Remembrance Day assembly
- VE day celebrations
- Lessons on the Monarchy and structure of our democratic country
- ‘Inspirational people’ topic – in our country and around the world.
- P4C sessions that includes discussions around cultural and spiritual beliefs and stereotypes
If you'd like to discuss anything regarding our curriculum please contact the office to make an appointment on: 01543 225620 or email email@example.com