Curriculum

Intent

Ark Byron aims to equip every pupil with the knowledge, learning power and character necessary to give real choices in future life. We want every child to leave Ark Byron as a curious learner, ready to explore further learning, endeavour and excel in further learning.

We believe in the potential of every child who joins Ark Byron Academy and will strive to create a school which provides each pupil with the best possible start in life. Our school values of Courage, Exploration, Endeavour and Excellence are central to our mission to support our pupils to develop positive attitudes and become life-long learners, in the broadest sense. We believe that pupils leaving Ark Byron, embodying these values, will have real life choices and be well equipped to pursue future success.

This fundamental principle underpins the design and implementation of the Ark Byron curriculum.

To achieve Excellence and provide life choices, we seek to build social skills and emotional literacy. Children are supported to build their Courage to Explore new experiences and to learn that success comes from constant Endeavour.

Ark Byron Primary Academy has at its core the pursuit of Excellence, the highest standards possible in education. We believe in high aspirations, high motivation and high achievement for all. Through our extended curriculum and community life we seek to meet the needs of the whole child.

We have developed a curriculum that motivates and inspires pupils to Explore the world around them. When learning is irresistible, pupils are motivated to Endeavour to secure the knowledge and skills that they need.

Our pupils come from a wide range of backgrounds that makes for a rich school community. The curriculum is designed to be broad, relevant to all pupils yet deepening their knowledge of the wider world beyond their own experiences and the locality, providing rich cultural capital. We believe that a secure grounding in core subjects of English, Maths and Science is essential knowledge.

Our unique location within the park promotes Exploration. We are increasingly making use of the park to inspire an understanding and love for the natural world and our environment.

Ark Byron's curriculum:

Promotes our school values of Courage, Exploration, Endeavour and Excellence,

aims to excite our pupils’ love for learning and imaginations, making learning irresistible through enriching experiences; such as the regular trips out of the academy, learning outdoors, motivating experiences, inspiring visits and using Skillsbuilder projects.

is based on the National Curriculum,

is progressive, ensuring knowledge and skills are developed consistently from Reception upwards,

uses as its starting point a humanities, science or British values-linked theme each half term to provide motivating and inspiring subject matter for units of study that will build knowledge and skills and develop the cultural capital of all children,

integrates Reading and other subjects with the topic so that there is a holistic, cross curricular approach that is relevant and meaningful,

builds pupils' character and citizenship,

Is broad for all year groups. Subjects which cannot be meaningfully linked to the key theme still receive true emphasis, in order to provide a real breadth of learning to our pupils. For example, all pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2 learn a modern foreign language.

Implementation

Our goal is to help transform the lives of pupils. To achieve this, we use our network “pillars” of High Expectations, Excellent Teaching, Exemplary Behaviour, Depth for Breadth, Knowing Every Child and Keeping Learning.

Our curriculum is driven through Humanities themes and questions with the aim of establishing relevance and motivation. Subjects are linked where possible (for example most Humanities themes are complemented by linked, high quality literacy texts in English) in order to enhance connections and to better transfer learning to long-term memory.

In our pursuit of providing Ark Byron pupils with a balanced and rich education, we have developed a curriculum based on:

Knowledge

A rich base of factual knowledge helps pupils to make connections; this leads to further learning and supports the transfer of knowledge to long-term memory. Knowledge is at the heart of the design of each unit through the years. We understand the importance of transferring key knowledge to long term memory in order that working memory can be freed to explore, apply and extend what has been learned. The framework for each year group aims to set out the key knowledge that will be taught, and how this knowledge develops cumulatively throughout the unit. Knowledge builds through the years with a careful progression of teaching, drawing on the national curriculum. We are developing our maps of progression across all subjects to track and codify the progress for our pupils.

Skills

Once pupils have a secure knowledge base the curriculum allows them to explore, practise and master skills to allow them to apply it in a meaningful way. The Ark Byron curriculum develops skills and gives pupils opportunities to apply them. As part of this we use philosophy (P4C) to build critical thinking and debating skills through the curriculum. It is important to us that our pupils are clear on how content relates to real life so, for example, we use “SkillsBuilder” projects to support the building of character and the development of lifeskills for real life projects.

Experiences

We aim to make learning “irresistible” and instil a love of learning for life. Pupils’ experiences are of paramount importance in the delivery of the Ark Byron curriculum; providing a meaningful context to learning. They inspire, motivate and make the learning ‘sticky.’ The curriculum sets out experiences to enrich and complement each unit that will enhance pupil understanding. These are usually trips out of the academy but can also be workshops and visits from others. Experiences allow our pupils, who come from differing backgrounds, equal opportunity to experience people and places that they may not have access to otherwise. Through these experiences, they will also develop key life skills that we can take for granted - how to use transport systems, how to interact with others and how to conduct themselves in public, all essential development of them as both pupil and as active citizens in our society.

 

The Ark Byron Curriculum is a framework of content that we are continuing to develop, in particular to codify progression within each subject to ensure every pupil can make measured progress to achieve sound foundations of learning. The curriculum can be moulded and shaped by teachers and pupils alike because, whilst the knowledge content is specified, how this knowledge is explored and is extended upon may reflect the interests and needs of individual cohorts. We will continue to review and refine our curriculum each year so that our pupils are offered an outstanding education that is motivating and meets our local needs.

Measuring Impact

Impact of the curriculum will be seen by how our pupils conduct themselves, their interest in learning and through the knowledge they retain and apply.

Attainment and progress in terms of building knowledge is monitored through pupil conferencing, tracking to the National Curriculum, outcomes in books, writing pieces and tailor-made assessment quizzes. Qualitative data will be collected from pupils, teachers and parents in order to review and refine the curriculum.

Please see the individual subjects for more information or read below for details of the Reception, Key Stage 1 and 2 curriculum.