Our curriculum challenges and supports all pupils to reach their full potential in all subjects.
We develop their strengths and support them to progress in areas that they find challenging. Our team approach to topic learning ensures that our curriculum is broad and balanced, and that regular links are made between areas of learning as we know that this is how children learn best.
Our curriculum evolves each year to suit the needs of the children who are learning, and although topics may start with a similar stylus, we are more than happy for our children to work with their teachers to direct where their learning journeys take them.
Our primary aim at St Ursula’s for writing is to promote a love for writing and for this to permeate through all areas of the curriculum. Through our writing curriculum, we want our children to become fluent and effective communicators of the spoken and written word through an adaptation of Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing embellished with use of the FANTASTICS, BOOMTASTICS and GRAMMARISTICS from Jane Considine’s The Write Stuff.
A three-weekly cycle is followed with the first week largely focusing on immersing our children with a text in the style of the genre being taught; the disciplinary (the features of a certain genre of writing) and procedural knowledge (grammatical skills of writing) of which are taught using oral recitation with actions and drama and the use of WOW events to engage and capture the children’s attention and imagination. In the second and third week of the writing cycle, children are encouraged to become more independent writers and accurate editors. During the three-weekly cycle, our pupils will acquire wide-ranging vocabulary, a strong foundational understanding of English grammar and apply their phonic and spelling rule knowledge to show they are effective spellers. Knowledge progression is built in a hierarchical fashion ensuring all previous knowledge are embedded and feed into future ones. Linguistic knowledge is regularly revisited and integrated across wider curriculum subjects.
To ensure our children become highly skilled writers it is fundamental that pupils have: strong teacher modelling, shared writing, class discussions, opportunities for creative writing, debates and being exposed to high quality texts as a stimulus. Pupils are expected to write a wide range of: genres, purposes and audiences. Children then have the opportunity to write in context with text types linking to the year group curriculum subjects they are studying; building on their curriculum knowledge. This will ensure that learning will have a clear purpose and, allowing our pupils to communicate articulately with a broad and varied vocabulary and a deepened understanding of the audience they are writing to.
An extensive range of resources, both indoors and outdoors, will encourage play around number and stimulate children’s natural curiosity in the foundation stage. As children’s skills and understanding deepens, lessons will be complemented by more formal teaching, using a range of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving activities to allow children to become masters of the curriculum.
All children will be taught the relationship between physical activity and a healthy body and a healthy mind from an early age. This will include the development of an understanding of the key role that healthy eating plays in the development of a healthy lifestyle.
Our IT curriculum aims to provide a high-quality computing education. Equipping pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. At St Ursula’s we have a diverse set of parents who comprise of engineers, teachers and scientists so therefore we believe in delivering a high quality, engaging ICT Curriculum for all pupils We believe that every child needs to be able to be a part of the interconnected world in a safe way. Our curriculum will give the children to have the skills to be able to access the ever-expanding network, whilst challenging misconceptions and having the skills to keep safe online. It is our aim to ensure all pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. In summary, we want our children to enjoy using ICT and have the confidence to use it within a variety of different situations.
The curriculum that we follow offers full coverage of the KS1 and KS2 Art & Design National Curriculum as well as adding a focus of keeping safe online and becoming critical of information online. The curriculum has been split into 4 strands of core knowledge: Communicating and Using Technology (CT), Simulation & Modelling (SM), Film and Animation (FA) and Computing (C). Each strand has been specially selected to ensure that pupils have a broad overview of the subject whilst learning subject specific knowledge. During each year children are exposed to each of these key areas and the units have been thoughtfully sequenced within, as well as across year groups, to build on previous knowledge. By revisiting prior learning pupils are building on their learning, which in turn establishes knowledge in their long-term memory. By building upon prior knowledge and skills pupils are able to master the curriculum’s outcomes.
The curriculum is inclusive of all abilities as lessons are well-scaffolded and differentiated to ensure that all pupils are not only able to access the learning but are equally challenged. It has been designed to work in a variety of ecosystems as well as an unplugged version.
Communicating and Using technology
In year 1, the children will learn about different devices and what apps are whilst focusing on the online safety question of ‘Should I be online alone?’. In year 2 they build upon this knowledge to focus in specific apps and how they can support learning. In year 2 children will start to explore the internet and how it can be a tool for support. Year 3 sees the children look in depth at creating a presentation in detail. Children in year 4 then start to look at Hardware. With a focus on a network. By the end of the year they will understand the different components to a network but also the processes associated with it. Then, in year 5 the children will develop this understanding even further learning how devices communicate and the impact of search engines on the connected world. Finally, in year 6 the children are tasked with being critical thinkers assessing the quality of: online and off-line resources, applications and websites.
Simulation & Modelling
In year 1, children are tasked with the fundamental understanding of what numerical data is. This is then developed into an understanding of how to input data and what outputs could be created from this. Children in year 2 will build on this knowledge and start to recognise data in different contexts. This will follow onto collecting and displaying a variety of data sets and creating an output from the data in a given app. As part of this they will start to develop their understanding of creating, saving and opening new and old documents. In year 3, children learn to create links between data and different ways it can be visually represented. Children will learn how to manipulate data and the effect that has on the given outputs. The learners will look at ways that technology can be used to support data gathering. Learners will build on their understanding of commands by learning how to print documents. In year 4 children will learn how to use variables to create predictions or simulate real life situations. Learners will start to use spreadsheets to help calculate and create systems that will automatically change outputs. In year 5 again builds on the understanding and use of data. Children are challenged to think about where data comes from and why it is collected. Children will learn to collect data from multiple sources and start to present and explain the data that they have collected. Children will start to think critically about how to collect data effectively and what data is useful and what is extraneous. In year 6 children will use computers to create 3D modelling, simulate environments and changes.
Film & Animation
In year 1 will start to investigate cameras and video and still capturing equipment. The children will start to take photos for a purpose and make basic edits to them. Teaching them that a picture isn’t always a true reflection of the original image. Year 2 builds this by learning that animation is a series of still images. Learners start to learn about the different styles of animation and how to save and open files in specific apps. Children start to give their opinions respectfully and give feedback to others. Learners also learn about sharing videos and how to do it carefully. Year 3 develop their understanding of purpose for mixed media. Thinking about big concepts of why this content has been created and how to engage a given audience. Children will then create a plan to follow in relation to create content from a given set of criteria. In year 4 learners start to look at editing videos, extracting audio and adding bespoke audio. In year 5 children learn about films: their purpose, different roles required in creating them and how to analyse and review them. Year 6 builds on all this knowledge to create a short film with a given purpose.
In year 1 children learn that computers follow precise instructions and they are followed in a given order. Year 2 builds on this to understand an algorithm is a series of steps to solve a problem. Learners understand that an algorithm can exist as code. Learners start to understand that code is a series of precise instructions and learn that a bug is a basic error. Year 3 builds on this knowledge to create code that repeats itself and acts when triggered. The children will learn that triggers can come in a variety of forms. Year 4 will start to look at how variables can be created in code and code that creates a different output for a given input. In year 5 learners will start to look at programmes and their component parts including code for sprites and backgrounds. Learners will understand how to use functions and procedures in code to complete given tasks. Year 6 will embed the year 5 learning and apply all learning to create a basic computer program.
Online safety is visited at the start of every strand and throughout the year as is necessary. Online safety focuses on keeping the children and their information safe by challenging misconceptions with big questions. Each year has 4 strands and each strand has a big question. For example, in year one the big questions are: Should I be online alone? What happens with my data? Is it ok to take a photo of anything? Should I use a computer differently at home?
Our aim for RE is to promote the intellectual development of our pupils and help them to gain a greater understanding of themselves. In line with British Values we teach children to tolerate those of different faiths, beliefs and encourage individual liberty. We aim to educate children to have a sympathetic awareness of the needs of others and to support them to learn to understand the world and their place in it.
Through E-ACT’s Great Western Curriculum, we want to educate our children about the 6 main religions worshiped throughout the world, as well as teaching about those who do not follow a religion. The RE curriculum is designed to inspire curiosity and make meaning of the world surrounding our children. We use the National Curriculum and Discovery RE scheme of work as a starting point, as well as incorporating PSHE, RRS, E-Act Values and British Values. RE is a key opportunity for our children to develop morally, spiritually, socially and culturally. The study of Religion is closely studied with the fundamental British Values in mind, in particular tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and mutual respect. For many people, religion and belief forms a crucial part of their culture and identity, so it is important that children can explore, understand, respect and celebrate different religions.
Our RE curriculum is delivered through an engaging enquiry-based approach. This model develops pupils critical thinking skills, increases their knowledge and understanding of religions and supports them in showing empathy towards other beliefs.
Our RE curriculum provides children with awareness for their own identify, and a safe space for children to discuss concerns and share their personal knowledge and experience. RE can provoke challenging questions which is why it works in collaboration with the whole school Thrive approach. We encourage parental engagement when teaching RE as some of our families come from diverse religious backgrounds and can often share valuable insights. In addition to this, E-Act’s core strategy ‘Opening Minds, Opening Doors’ ensures that our pupils are exposed to a wide range of opportunities, and our pupils are equipped for society and life. Within our RE curriculum our pupils will have opportunities to build an understanding of our community, also celebrate and work within it. We will have opportunities to celebrate religious festivals, visit religious places and have diverse visitors into our school.
At St Ursula’s E-ACT Academy we provide our children with high-quality Science education by allowing pupils to gain coherent knowledge and conceptual understanding about their world and how it works through Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our teaching of Science will equip pupils to ask insightful questions, weigh up evidence and develop different perspectives by investigating and thinking critically. With this, at St Ursulas we hope to spark the curiosity of the young minds that we teach. In line with our career focus, during their time with us they will become astronauts, electricians, marine biologists and many more.
Through our knowledge-rich curriculum, the children develop a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. We want our children to become geographers, explorers and data analysists in their geography lessons. We want the children to love geography, to remember their exciting geography lessons and to create a detailed understanding not only of local processes, changes and impacts but also how the world has been shaped, for example by ancient river systems, volcanic eruptions and societal decisions.
Our Geography education helps pupils to understand the complexity of the physical world, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between human and physical processes; how they are impacted on each other and how children themselves impact on this whole process.
We celebrate a variety of geographical days to ensure the children are exposed to many aspects of geography including Fairtrade Fortnight, Earth Day, and whole school geography and eco days.
Modern foreign languages
At St Ursula’s E-ACT Academy our MFL curriculum develops a genuine interest and curiosity in foreign languages and enables children to recognise the benefit of learning a foreign language. Our ultimate aim is that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond KS2. Our MFL curriculum will enable children to celebrate and welcome differences in our world and understand different languages, countries and cultures. We teach the curriculum in such a way that makes the learning meaningful for children and allows them to make links across the curriculum as well as applying their knowledge and skills to real life situations. We have a French teacher who teaches each class from Year 3 to Year 6, learning about ‘en famille’, ‘les habitat’, ‘chez moi’, ‘au cafe’, ‘les romains’ and many more topics.
Since the beginning of time people have made art. People have played, doodled, explored, decorated their bodies and made items to adorn it or surround it. It seems to be an instinct of people to celebrate art either explicitly or implicitly. Our ongoing experiences and interactions with life confirm that there is, in people, a core need to create and/or enjoy art either visually, verbally, musically, or kinaesthetically. It seems to be one’s fundamental requirement to express one’s feelings, thoughts, experiences and beliefs through Art in its various forms.
As a school we believe it is our responsibility as educators and carers to provide a stimulating and nurturing learning environment where children can have outstanding knowledge and understanding of Art in its various forms. At St Ursula’s we have developed an Art curriculum that progresses in skills and knowledge both across every year group and year on year. We want our children to really feel that we as teachers and adults they trust, truly celebrate and value Art as part of learning and the world. The Arts should be seen by teachers as a vehicle into any area of the curriculum and we want to support teachers to feel confident to use it as such. We aim to support all teachers to have the confidence to enable children to freely explore a variety of media, learn a spectrum of skills and investigate art in an open-ended organic way.
It is crucial to our learners that they respect all areas of the curriculum, therefore learning respect for all skills/people in life, including themselves. We want every child to achieve the highest possible standards for themselves personally, educationally, behaviourally and emotionally. Making children feel respected and celebrated no matter what their strongest skills or greatest passions are, will support us as teachers and our pupils to achieve these aims
Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education
PSHE forms part of the thinking skills approach to learning across the whole academy. It is taught as discrete lesson each week with the aim to stimulate debate and reflection within a structured setting. The 6 themes of ‘Being Me in my World’, ‘Celebrating Differences’, Dreams and Goals’, ‘Healthy Me’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Changing Me’ are underpinned by the foundations of education in emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development.
Our Curriculum statement
relationship & Sex education
Should you have any further questions about the curriculum our academy follows please speak to your class teacher or phase leader who can be contacted via the academy office.