Curriculum & Phonics
High expectations for all learners – a Mastery Approach to the Curriculum
The Hearts Academy Trust is developing a Mastery approach to the curriculum consistent with the New National Curriculum. We have very high aspirations for all our children in Hearts schools and we employ the Mastery approach to help children to become fluent and confident in the skills and knowledge they need.
We believe that all children are capable of making good progress in learning and we reinforce a “can do” attitude and approach to learning . The expectation is that the large majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Depth of understanding is prioritised, alongside high expectations of every child.
However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources.
Some children will grasp a skill or concept particularly rapidly and teachers ensure that there is always challenge for these children to engage them and ensure that they are making good progress. The challenge will not usually be to accelerate them through new content but will be an activity to broaden their understanding and encourage them to think more deeply about what they have learnt or to apply the skill fluently in different contexts.
Some children may need support or different strategies to help them to keep up with the class’ learning. This can include giving different resources, additional practice to consolidate their learning or extra teaching support either during the lesson or outside the lesson.
In most lessons in Hearts schools, all children will access the initial teaching together with teachers targeting questions to check and move on each child’s understanding. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge, and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring intervention so that all pupils keep up.
We have developed an assessment system that enables us to track what children can do and what their next steps are in the most important things in each subject. Teachers continually adapt teaching of the whole class and additional support for individuals to meet needs identified in these assessments.
Education needs to open up a world of possibilities for all children.
Our school curriculum is holistic, relevant and engaging and encompasses all learning experiences. In order to implement our mission statement, our school curriculum is all- inclusive to ensure our learners are equipped for life and can succeed in the 21st century. Everything that happens in school reflects the school ethos and culture and so everything that happens in or through school is part of our curriculum.
We have been updating our school curriculum. It is constructed using a range of components such as imagination, curiosity, values, personal development and a balance of these three building blocks:
Successful learners use the key competencies in every learning area. When we apply our learning through these competencies, subject understanding becomes deeper. These are therefore taught and embedded throughout lessons in our school curriculum using our thinking mats.
In order to address our principles, we use ‘whole school’ themes which provide a meaningful context in which to include all areas of our school curriculum. Through the school council, ideas for themes have been collected from each class. There is a new theme every term, which has a specific outcome at the end. The teaching staff uses the theme idea to develop a ‘Big question’ and through the term the pupils consider and try to answer the question.
The school has developed progression documents for each subject. For these or any further information about our curriculum please contact the school.
The school uses the ERR phonics scheme in KS1. The reading scheme is ORT supplemented by wider reading materials that use the colour banded system.
Waterman Primary School
Tel .01702 546237
Enquiries: Miss T Browne
Inclusion Lead: Mrs J Fincher
Monday to Friday
8.50am - 3.10pm/3.15pm
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