At St Stephen Churchtown Academy our curriculum aims to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding to achieve to their full potential academically, socially and emotionally. This takes place in the context of a safe and nurturing school environment where each child’s learning journey is unique to them.
The children are taught in 3 key stages – the Early Years Foundation stage, Key Stage 1 and Key stage 2. In the Foundation Stage the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 the children follow the National Curriculum.
Further details of all the Key Stages in a primary school can be accessed by following this link:
English is held at the core of our curriculum. Our aim is for our pupils to be confident and enthusiastic speakers, readers and writers. We embed opportunities and activities for the development and consolidation of these skills throughout all aspects of each day. Included in this provision are opportunities for speaking and drama activities as well as reading and writing in different styles and for different purposes and across cultures.
We place a high priority on speaking and listening because children need a fluent command of language in order to understand the cultural, intellectual and spiritual aspects of the world. To develop this, they need exposure to language through first-hand experiences, quality conversations and access to quality literature.
We follow the highly successful Storytelling Approach to teaching writing throughout our Academy. Developed from Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing approach to teaching fiction, non-fiction and poetry
Pupils learning to tell stories from memory is a great way to learn all sorts of essential skills. Children who fill up with stories by listening and retelling create an inner store of language, ideas and imagination. They will then draw upon this store in their work and life. Speaking, listening, confidence, empathy, ideas, facts, sequences, plots … you name it, storytelling can teach it. All pupils are taught a repertoire of stories for every year that they are in the school. This is often linked up to their topic . This is planned out as one story/ text every mini-term, from Foundation through to Year 6, so that students finish primary school with a repertoire stories and texts that they understand and can draw upon to support their writing.
- tell stories/texts to your class;
- teach your class to retell the stories/ texts;
- develop and innovate from a learned story/ text;
- use storytelling to improve writing standards;
Our Phonics programme to teach our children to read, write and spell successfully supports our pupils to do well in the phonics screening check and by Year 2, the majority are fluent readers with the best chance of success in the KS1 tests. This is supported by Rapid Phonics intervention. In Key Stage 2, children continue to develop and apply their phonic knowledge through a carefully structured and progressive programme of spellings. Intervention and differentiation are targeted for those children who require additional support. We use Accelerated Reader, Better Reading Partners and Fischer Family Trust literacy support programme to further support children’s engagement and development in reading.
We focus on the Mastery approach to teaching and learning
Mastery in Mathematics: Since mastery is what we want pupils to acquire (or go on acquiring), rather than teachers to demonstrate, we use the phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ to describe the range of elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering mathematics.
Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable him/her move on to more advanced material.
From National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics
The National Curriculum focuses on 3 key areas;
Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving
and these are the core building blocks used for teachers to plan with small, clear careful steps to develop children's mathematical understanding
Cross curricular links are developed whenever possible, especially in science and ICT are woven throughout each term’s learning. We use the Inspire Curriculum to support the structure and delivery of the new National curriculum; This has been written by teachers and other education professionals in Cornwall. It uses the context of Cornwall for much of the learning which we feel is important. It is very cross curricular in structure making as many links between areas of learning as possible. In additional, topics are also chosen for their relevance and interest for our learners.
A focus on sport and being active are also characteristics of our curriculum. We know from our parents and from our children that this is important to them. Our curriculum is supplemented by a wide range of clubs, many of which are sport linked. A large percentage of pupils in both Key stage 1 and 2 participate in at least one extra-curricular activity.
We also believe that learning is an active collaboration between home and school. In addition to regular homework such as reading/ comprehension, spelling, handwriting and Maths (tables and number bonds) we encourage parents to become involved in project work and topics whenever possible.