Organisation of the curriculum
We believe that, in line with the most current research in the field of Education, the importance of knowledge and a wide vocabulary can increase life chances of all pupils, including the most disadvantaged. Combining this with our REACH values (Respect, Enthusiasm, positive Attitude, Caring, Helpful) we have designed our curriculum at Wood End Academy around the principles of endeavouring to make learning fun and memorable for all pupils to give them the best chance of success in their future.
The curriculum at Wood End Academy is organised into a blend of discrete subjects and cross-curricular themes - these are categorised into core subjects (English and Maths), discrete subjects (computing, PE, RE, PSHE, Music, French) and Learning Journeys (cross curricular themes teaching History, Geography, Science, Art and Design and Design Technology)
English is taught every day through reading and writing and speaking and listening
Maths is taught through daily lessons of 1 hour. We have adopted a ‘mastery’ approach in maths, which reflects the latest research and encourages children to learn at a fast pace. Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material. All pupils are encouraged by the belief that by working hard at maths they can succeed. Pupils are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time, as happens in Shanghai and several other regions that teach maths successfully. This ensures that all can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind. If a pupil fails to grasp a concept or procedure, this is identified quickly and early intervention ensures the pupil is ready to move forward with the whole class in the next lesson. Lesson design identifies the new mathematics that is to be taught, the key points, the difficult points and a carefully sequenced journey through the learning. We use Power Maths Scheme, as recommended by The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics to support the teaching of Maths at our school.
Learning journeys incorporate Science, History, Geography, Art and DT. We also seek opportunities through the termly learning journeys to consolidate and make links with discrete subjects. Themes are chosen to reflect and promote local, national and global culture and events. Learning is designed around high quality core texts in order to stimulate and motivate learners while teachers develop a ‘journey’ of learning that the children can use to relate their learning across a range of subject disciplines.
Learning journeys begin with a ‘stunning start’ - an immersive and exciting introduction designed to hook the children in and start them thinking about the possibilities for learning that lie ahead. Over the course of a term, enquiry based learning opportunities, which are designed to develop independence and promote memorable learning, are woven together with knowledge input. Children record their learning in ‘Learning Journals’ through written work, photographs and art. Over the course of the year, learning journeys will ensure a balance between Science, history and geography based topics.
Discrete Subjects are those that are unique in their approach and have specific guidance for their implementation (computing, religious education, French, music, PSHE and PE) We follow the Ealing scheme of work for RE, PSHE and Music, Real PE scheme of work for PE and school developed schemes for Computing and French.
Visits, workshops, clubs and assemblies form an important part of our curriculum. Valuable general knowledge helps to develop a wider, richer vocabulary. These important enrichment opportunities can help to diminish the difference created by privilege. We proudly run our Children’s University scheme where all children are given a passport to learning and are celebrated for gaining depth of knowledge and understanding through taking part in learning enrichment opportunities both in and out of school. Our annual Graduation Ceremony is testament to the great passion and commitment of our school community to the value of and aspiration for lifelong learning.