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’, for example being a Scientist or a Geographer.
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.
Retrieval practice is planned for across every subject and year group in the form of “speak like an expert.” Every lesson children are expected to retrieve learning previously taught to move learning from the short term to the long-term memory.
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we aim to develop and encourage children’s natural curiosity so that they can become confident and enthusiastic scientists:- posing questions, observing and recording, evaluating their findings and investigation. We believe that children should be given concrete learning opportunities to develop these skills.
It is essential that the Science 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 to maximise individual needs, strengths and their next steps are used to build upon to ensure no child, including those who are pupil premium or disadvantaged fall behind. Home learning is planned in line with the progressive and developmental curriculum in school. Sticky knowledge and vocabulary are an integral part of the home learning so that children do not fall behind whilst at home.
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. “Speak like an expert” is a feature at the beginning of every lesson whereby every child is expected to retrieve previous taught knowledge and skills. Children are expected to use subject specific vocabulary to communicate their understanding and shift learning the long term memory.
The impact of the curriculum is assessed at 4 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.
The teaching and learning of Science encompasses:-
All of these scientific skills are used across a range of programmes of study. Children are expected to transfer these skills and communicate to an audience both verbally and in written forms using the correct scientific vocabulary.
Children will be engaging in concrete learning opportunities learning across the science curriculum
Sequential learning sequences with clear planned learning objectives for all Science lessons allows children to build on prior knowledge and skills both at school and as part of home learning. 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.
Spacing and interleaving of Science topics ensures children knowledge is transferred from their short term memory to their long term memory and also seek meaningful connections during concept learning.
‘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. This is also an integral part of home learning to ensure children do not fall behind whilst at home.
Home learning opportunities have been carefully planned and resourced, to ensure children who are learning remotely from home, receive the same carefully planned and progressive curriculum that is on offer at school. All children have a right to an education and we will not allow any child to fall behind. There is an expectation that home learning is shared with class teachers to ensure progress is being made. Children will be expected to share their learning with their class teacher via Tapestry or Class Dojo. Children will receive bespoke feed-back in response to their learning, in line with what they would receive in school, to ensure that excellent progress is being made and the ‘even better if’ culture that is being developed in school is being consistently applied and installed in all pupils.
A variety of strategies are taught at GIA in order to allow ALL pupils to become successful scientists, 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.
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.
Suspended learning – When the normal lesson timetable is suspended, take place during the year. These days allow children to learn in different ways such as off site, with external providers or using different curriculum approaches. These days’ cover subjects such as Staying Safe, British Values, hook days/trips/visitors etc
Children are tracked throughout the year ensuring they are on track to reach the national expectations within the subject, focusing on a triangulated approach of knowledge, skills and communicating their learning both verbally and in written form.
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 are clear about their learning and can communicate in a variety of different contexts and for a variety of purposes and audience as a scientist. Children can confidently communicate their learning as a scientist 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