Glasshoughton Infant Academy
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy experiences are at the heart of all learning where children have ‘hands on’ learning opportunities through real life objects, visitors or visits. Children are immersed in thematic learning based on an interleaving curriculum where new knowledge is taught, learned, remembered, revisited and applied by children ‘being’ a Geographer or Historian.
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we believe that language development is vital for all children. We have high aspirations and support them to ‘be’ in their learning. The experiential and interleaving approach ensures that language is used by all stakeholders, including parents. Children develop good comprehension of the words they are using and are able to use them in context and accurately as part of their real learning.
We are a ‘talk rich’ school: talk is central to our curriculum and to the way our pupils learn. Children learn through talk. We believe oracy (the ability to communicate effectively) is a central means of extending pupils’ linguistic, social, emotional and cognitive development; it is key to the progress and attainment of all pupils across all areas of the curriculum.
Retrieval practice is planned for in each Humanities lesson through ‘speak like an expert’ where children are expected to retrieve knowledge regularly that has been previously taught as a strategy to support them to move learning from the short term to the long-term memory.
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we aim to provide a stimulating and enriching Humanities curriculum where children are inspired to find out about the world and the past. We believe children should explore their understanding of the world through a cross curricular approach, where their knowledge, skills and understanding grow through questioning and higher order learning activities.
It is essential that the Humanities curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the opportunity to learn expected behaviours and be successful in their learning so that we can deliver our mission and aims.
The breadth and depth of the curriculum is designed to:
Aspirational high achievement culture
We have developed two curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and respond to the particular needs of our community:
Coherently planned academic curriculum
Underpinned by our two curriculum drivers our academic curriculum sets out:
Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way.
The curriculum is designed for all children to maximise their potential through carefully planned and targeted teaching, where assessment for learning provides vital intelligence on what the next steps need to be for individuals to succeed in their learning. Pre-teaching and Same Day Intervention are two strategies that are consistently applied across school to support children to experience success. The developmental progressive curriculum is designed in such a way that individual needs, strengths and next steps are built upon to ensure no child, including those who are Pupil Premium or Disadvantaged, fall behind.
Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long term memory. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term. Assessment therefore answers two main questions: How well are pupils coping with the curriculum content? And how well are they retaining previously taught content? This is assessed throughout the lesson on a daily basis through assessment for learning where children’s understanding of key concepts is revisited, feedback is given and acted upon and whether children have remembered is checked in future learning.
The impact of the curriculum is assessed at 3 assessment points:
This will support teachers to highlight clear next steps for individuals and support leaders in school in their professional dialogue around progress, CPD, subject knowledge, outcomes and lines of enquiry to follow. Impact of the curriculum is triangulated through skills, knowledge and the ability to communicate the learning.
We have a very broad Primary Curriculum covering 12 subjects meeting all the national curriculum requirements.
As Geographers, children will investigate and compare a variety of places, both local and internationally, through a variety of map work, questioning and different sources of information. They will investigate geographical patterns, understanding the difference between physical and human features, identify seasonal and daily weather patterns and identify land use around school. Children will communicate geographically, identifying compass directions, describing physical and human features and devising and interpreting maps and suitable symbols for these. Through their growing knowledge and understanding, children will gain an appreciation of life in other cultures, motivating them to find out about the physical world and recognise the importance of sustainability.
As Historians children will investigate and interpret the past by asking and answering questions generated from handling a variety of artefacts, looking at photographs and carrying out research. By doing so children develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving. We aim to build an overview of World History, highlighting key events and people and the reasons behind their actions. We teach children a sense of chronology and children order and compare events and items and relate these to changes in their own lives, developing a sense of identity and cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus, they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today.
Classroom displays support learning consistently throughout school and celebrate children’s achievements as Geographers or Historians. These encourage children to reflect on their knowledge and skills as a Geographer or Historian.
Emphasis on vocabulary that is Geography or History specific is shared with all stake holders including parents. This is shared with parents termly. Substantive knowledge that children may struggle to understand or interpret is taught in a variety of ways including drama. Children are taught that verbal and written communication skills are imperative in order to access learning opportunities from across the curriculum.
Technology is used within Humanities lessons to enhance learning and ensure that learning is accessible for all children, no matter what their ability. We use a variety of apps and websites to broaden how children communicate and record their learning. Children are also taught how the internet can be a vital source in finding out information to develop their historical and geographical knowledge.
Additional support is provided for children who are not meeting their targets through bespoke small group intervention led by highly skilled professionals. This is monitored through pupil progress meetings and SMART targets to ensure the impact of the intervention is as anticipated in a timely manner.
Children are given enrichment opportunities to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. This may be in the form of theme days, trips, visitors etc.
Sequential schemes of learning with clear planned learning objectives for all Humanities lessons allow children to build on prior knowledge and skills. A progressive curriculum ensures that current learning opportunities are based upon children’s previous learning, knowledge they have retained from previous lessons or the previous year group and links to year group expectations.
‘Sticky knowledge’ is carefully planned for each lesson across the curriculum, linked to the learning objective, and is progressive across a sequence of learning. This ensures that children are explicitly clear about what they are learning during each session and how previous learning will help them to develop new knowledge and skills. Children’s learning is communicated to them clearly to allow them to develop an understanding of why they are being taught what they are being taught at that particular time; how previous learning will help them and what the learning intentions are at the end of the sequence. ‘Sticky knowledge’ also provides children with the correct vocabulary and terminology needed in order to effectively communicate their learning.
A variety of strategies are taught at GIA in order to allow ALL pupils to become successful Geographers and Historians as we have an understanding that not all children learn in the same way. This ensures that no children, including Pupil Premium and Disadvantaged are left behind and achieve their full learning potential.
The impact of the curriculum is that by the end of the year, the vast majority of children have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it. Some children will have reached a greater depth of understanding where they can apply their learning.
Children across school and from different groups can speak confidently about Humanities learning and talk about work displayed in classrooms, in books and on Seesaw or Tapestry during regular pupil voice discussions.
Children are clear about their learning and are able to confidently communicate this using accurate vocabulary and terminology from across the curriculum.
An impact of a curriculum whereby children are taught to communicate in a variety of different contexts and for a variety of purposes and audiences, allows children to confidently communicate their learning as a Geographer or Historian, both verbally and in the written form, using accurate vocabulary. A developmentally progressive curriculum, whereby children build upon they prior learning and knowledge, ensures that no child, including Pupil Premium and Disadvantaged, are left behind. All children have the tools to reach their full learning potential.
© Castleford Academy Trust 2020