The 2015 curriculum promotes teaching that recognises and responds to the developmental needs of the individual child. Gorton Mont Primary Academy’s curriculum gives all pupils, regardless of background and circumstance, the essential knowledge and skills needed to succeeded in education and life. We are committed to educating the child intellectually, physically and emotionally in equal parts. The 2015 curriculum insists on high expectations of what all pupils should know and be able to do by the time they go to high school. This curriculum has a high level of challenge and rigour, with the aim of accelerated and sustained progress for every child. Sammons, Hillman & Mortimore (1995) report that setting high expectations for all pupils is a key driver in improving standards. Therefore, we must ‘set the bar high’ for our pupils. The curriculum creates coherence and continuity in what is taught throughout Gorton Mount Primary Academy. It ensures that all pupils are taught the essential knowledge in key disciplines within a skills based, practical curriculum. Emotion development and the development of thinking through Philosophy for Children (P4C) is the key driver behind the curriculum, allowing children to refine, expand and explore their natural curiosity of the world. The 2015 curriculum is founded on the belief that children have innate capacity to learn. Our function as educators is to make learning irresistible to young people.
Emotional Literacy (E.L)
This is the bedrock of all teaching and learning. Emotional development is a cycle that needs to turn with the teaching and learning cycle. either cycle on its own will be only half successful. Our approach enables children to interact socially and so take advantage of the opportunities available to them. Teaching emotional skills explicitly allows Executive Function to develop and an impaired Executive Function to be repaired. Explicit E.L teaching helps children develop their working memory and to self regulate. We have an emotionally literate environment that is restorative and based on good relationships so providing a fertile climate for learning. This approach will mean that children feel ownership of their school and will take care of it and will give their opinions more readily. Along with Therapeutic Interventions the E.L curriculum removes barriers to learning created by life circumstances. People who are more emotionally intelligent have the edge and are higher achievers than those who have a high IQ only; the most successful people have E.L lessons taught discretely and the ‘Feeling of the Week’ must reflected throughout the child’s learning experiences. The E.L curriculum cannot stand alone and must influence all areas of teaching and learning. For instance, as a child, if you are afraid to make mistakes, you cannot learn. If you cannot let someone else take the penalty, the football team will lose.
A Thinking School
Each Foundation Subject Unit has a Suggested Stimulus. This can be changed to follow the interests of the teacher, children, parents or events in the local or wider community. All skills must be taught at some point throughout the year to ensure curriculum coverage. Teachers will use the Suggested Stimulus (or another stimulus) within a P4C session to assess and identify pupils’ knowledge, understanding and interests within the topic. P4C sessions will be held weekly to review work, address misconceptions or ‘issues’, stimulate further learning and create a spirit of inquiry throughout the school. The quality of sessions will depend on the attributes of the stimulus. Some stimuli will work better than others but they will fail if teachers do not take into account pupil need and interest when planning. The curriculum must assist children in making their thinking clear to themselves and others. Teachers need to build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy misconceptions. Teachers must understand the elements of thinking and learn how to question assumptions and how to extend ideas for children.
Supporting individual needs
Every child is an individual and our curriculum aim is to allow each child to succeed, removing barriers so every pupil achieves. The curriculum is flexible and must NOT be seen as a document that can be picked up ‘off the shelf’ and followed slavishly. It is the teacher’s responsibility to determine the support and interventions their pupils need to participate fully in all parts of the school curriculum. Lessons must be tailored to suit the needs of individuals and differentiation is the key to successful learning and teaching. Teachers have the freedom to make reasonable adjustments to the curriculum to guarantee pupils’ specific needs are met and progress is rapid. Level descriptors should be used to differentiate so that every child can access the curriculum.
Children new to the school
When children arrive at Gorton Mount Primary Academy they are assessed. This assessment should be used as a starting point to plan for the needs of each child. If children enter the school below National Expectations for their age the aim is that, through targeted teaching to accelerate progress, children should be at National Expectations within two years of joining the school though this is dependent on their starting points.
New to English and English as an Additional Language
The skills continuum for acquiring English as an additional Language (E.A.L) should be used to support children who are new to English or have E.A.L. Key vocabulary needs to be taught specifically to all children. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital in developing children’s confidence and competence in spoken language and listening. This curriculum reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum: cognitively, socially and linguistically.
Phonics and Reading
At Gorton Mount, we teach phonics using a Montessori approach teamed with the letters and sounds programme. We also provide Reading Recovery in KS1.
If you require any further information, or would like a copy of the schools curriculum, please contact Hew Ting Yuen (Vice Principal) or your child’s class teacher.