At Epworth Primary Academy we view the word curriculum in the widest possible terms. “All that is experienced in school, whether planned or unplanned”. For us at Epworth it encompasses wider concepts such as ethos and Values, which we believe are crucial for our children to develop into life-long, inquisitive learners who will go on to positively contribute to society in the future, with good mental health and an awareness of people around them.
The nature of our school curriculum stems from our aims and values and is embedded in what all our school stakeholders believe is right for our children. As such the curriculum has been planned to allow our pupils journey through Epworth Academy to culminate in them being: Respectful, Kind and Generous, Honest Learners who will Strive, Believe and Achieve: becoming well rounded, inquisitive young people aspiring to great things and treating people from all backgrounds with kindness and respect.
With this in mind our curriculum has been constructed in such a way that it recognises that we need to teach about diversity and equality for all, alongside the more formal learning. This is at the heart of our curriculum through RSE, PSHCE, RE, Books and exposure to a diverse range of people who have excelled in their fields. We have built in to our curriculum wider experiences and offers such as: Live performances, trips to cities, parks and woods, riding a bike, ‘Focus weeks’, engagement with WE Day, visits to the Houses of Parliament as well as providing the children with an ‘Epworth Offer’ to ensure that everyone has as many positive childhood experiences as possible. Our curriculum embraces breadth and balance and we are proud to see and celebrate our pupils excel not only in the core subjects but in all areas.
The more formal curriculum is structured so that every child, regardless of their journey through our school will experience all aspects of the national curriculum and build on prior learning. These skills and knowledge taught through individual subjects, linked where appropriate, allow children to make links to prior knowledge but also link their learning back to where they live locally. Local studies build on this knowledge giving the children a picture of where they fit into the world. Real books are a priority in school to enhance the curriculum and encourage the children’s imagination and love of language. This commitment to ensuring that all pupils experience a breadth of education which is linked to our Mind-Set of Strive, Believe and Achieve. Learning goes fast and slow as necessary and is revisited where required to build on prior learning.
The national curriculum is a set of subjects and is organised into blocks of years called key stages (KS). At Epworth Primary Academy, we have three key stages.
- The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): Nursery and Reception
- Key Stage 1: Years 1 and 2
- Key Stage Two: Years 3, 4, 5, and 6
Within the national curriculum, there are core subjects and non-core subjects.
The core subjects are English, maths and science. The non-core subjects are art and design, computing, design and technology, history, geography, music, physical education (PE) and at Key Stage 2 only, modern foreign language. We also make provision for the teaching of religious education and personal, social, health, and citizenship (PSHCE).
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Nursery and Reception
At Epworth Primary Academy we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. The foundation stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. The foundation stage is about developing key learning skills, such as listening, speaking, concentrating, persistence and how to work and cooperate with others.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Playing and exploring
Through planning, curriculum enrichments and play provision we encourage our children to explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world.
We give them time to practise and build up ideas, using what they know, finding out and exploring, and being willing to 'have a go'.
Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence they learn to make decisions. Taking ownership of their learning provides children with a sense of satisfaction. They are encouraged to be involved, maintain concentration and enjoy their achievements and successes.
Creativity and Thinking
Children are encouraged to develop and share their own ideas, make links and choose ways to do things.
Areas of Learning and Development
The EYFS is made up of 7 Areas of Learning and Development broken in to 3 “Prime Areas” and 4 “Specific Areas”:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation. They are equally important and depend on each other.
In nursery the Learning and Development areas are delivered through a balance of child-led and adult led learning. We follow the children’s interests and adults observe and facilitate learning and development through questioning, suggesting, modelling, speaking and listening.
A weekly Forest School session in our small woodland area complements and enhances the learning experiences of children providing them with the opportunity to work as a team, develop problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills as well as having a positive impact on their health and well-being.
Children take part in a range of activities including:
- Den Building
- Woodland Craft
- Treasure and Scavenger Hunts
- Team Games
- Campfire and Cooking
All areas of Learning and Development are delivered through a balance of adult-led, adult-initiated and child-initiated activities. In each area the Early Learning Goal (ELG) defines the level of progress that the children are expected to have attained by the end of the Reception year.
Reception classes share an indoor space and an outdoor play area to which they have access on a 'free-flow' basis.
We work closely with the local pre-academy provision and we offer a range of transition opportunities prior to the children starting academy in September.
The programme includes :
- a parents' information evening.
- visits by Foundation Stage staff to other settings to meet the children and to talk to the staff.
- visits to Epworth Primary Academy.
- an offer of an individual home visit.
This programme enables children to settle in well and make a smooth and happy transition into our academy.
Phonics and Reading
The academy sees phonics as the cornerstone to helping develop a child’s reading skills to enable them to access the wide world of print. By teaching the sounds consistently from Nursery the children quickly pick these up, leading to blending and reading. We use Read Write Inc as a basis for our phonics teaching and supplement this in Years 1 and 2 with support from Letters and Sounds where required.
At Epworth we want to create readers; readers who read for pleasure, who understand what they are reading, who are challenged at the appropriate level and crucially who understand how the ability to read impacts on all aspects of their life. To support this the academy works with Accelerated reader to support its reading scheme. We also work closely with the local library and children are registered with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library scheme run by North Lincolnshire Council.
Religious education is provided for all children as part of the curriculum and in accordance with the Local Authority’s agreed religious education syllabus.
Assembly is an important part of the school day, during which we meet together as a community. It is a time when we place emphasis on the development of values and attitudes towards each other and the world around us. Assemblies are non-denominational, and although they are of a broadly Christian nature, due consideration is given to the multicultural society in which we live.