Glasshoughton Infant Academy
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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’ theologists.
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 RE lesson through ‘speak like an expert’ where children are expected to retrieve sticky 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.
Sticky knowledge is taught then retrieved each lesson as children communicate their learning using accurate subject specific vocabulary. Sticky knowledge and vocabulary are built upon as sequences of learning progress, and simultaneously, previous knowledge is retrieved.
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we aim to strongly support the personal, social, spiritual, moral, cultural and religious development of every child. We believe that children should be given opportunities to learn about the 6 main religions 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 RE 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 has it been remembered is checked in future learning. The use of cold and hot assessment tasks support assessment of progression and further next step identification.
The impact of the curriculum is assessed at the end of each unit taught. This information 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.
The Wakefield Agreed syllabus is followed across school ensuring that there is progression of RE knowledge and skills. The syllabus is used as a planning tool allowing teachers to make use of suggested resource ideas and cross curricular learning intentions.
RE taught in a cross curricular manner- evident across school, with some specific topics taught in isolation. Regular RE themed days provide memorable learning experiences for children as they learn through a variety of methods and learning styles, making cross curricular links to other subject areas.
Children will learn about Christianity and one other world religion in each year group at GIA. This is outlined in long term planning to ensure progression and also to ensure that RE topics are revisited to commit knowledge to long term memory.
Whole school assemblies that cover the topics of the 6 world religions are planned and delivered weekly. Children will meet members of a variety of religious communities and learn about their beliefs first hand from them.
Children in KS1 visit a place of worship e.g. Church, Mosque or Temple in each year group. They will learn through first-hand experience that people of different faiths follow different religions, and that there are many similarities and differences between places of worship.
Classroom displays support learning consistently throughout school with and incorporate SMSC, British Values and Picture News alongside evidence of RE topics. These encourage children to reflect on their ideas, beliefs and values regarding religious and world issues.
Emphasis on vocabulary that is RE specific is shared with all stake holders including parents. The vocabulary and definitions are shared with parents termly. Children are taught that verbal and written communication skills are imperative in order to access learning opportunities from across the curriculum.
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 RE 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 theologists 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 RE learning and talk about work displayed in classroom and in RE books, on Seesaw or Tapestry, during regular pupil voice discussions.
They will communicate a good understanding of British Values which include showing respect, tolerance for others, and acceptance of different faiths, beliefs and religions, thus preparing them well for life in modern Britain.
Children are clear about their learning and 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 in RE, 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.
Links in the Curriculum Section
© Castleford Academy Trust 2020