Curriculum Intent Statement
Creating Bright Futures
SLT Curriculum Lead
Mrs D Broadhurst
- Tel: 01782 881 480
Our curriculum is based on this philosophy; to study and learn from the past whilst preparing our pupils for their future. This isn’t limited to our history curriculum; we can learn so much from the past in all subject areas; how the world has changed over time environmentally, socially, morally and economically in geography, PSHE, RE; how art and design have both reflected the past and how innovations have changed the future; how science through the ages has driven ways of life and altered the course of history. Pupils can learn from the actions and mistakes of others as they strive to make sense of our world and play their part in shaping its future.
We have carefully designed our curriculum to meet the needs of our pupils, whilst covering the full scope of the National Curriculum. Co-op Academy Clarice Cliff serves a unique community which brings together children from many different backgrounds and increasingly from different countries around the world. They bring with them wide-ranging cultural experiences, enriching our school community. Our pupils speak many different languages. For many of our pupils, developing English language and vocabulary is a high priority, including pupils whose first language is English. For this reason, we have put language, literature and vocabulary at the heart of our curriculum. We take every opportunity to broaden our pupils’ language skills.
This begins straight away in our Early Years Department. Here, our pupils engage in a rich variety of experiences which encourage and develop confidence and communication. Our Talk Boost Programme ensures that any pupil needing an extra “boost” with their speaking skills gets the essential support they need. As pupils progress through the academy, they are exposed to increasingly complex vocabulary which has been carefully planned in all subjects to give our pupils the words they need to make sense of the curriculum and open the door to their learning in a much wider sense.
Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to ensure that key knowledge is built as pupils move through the school. This means that teachers are fully aware of the whole school curriculum and build in regular opportunities to revisit concepts and knowledge to help pupils to commit learning to long term memory and also address any missed learning. We use teaching principles based on sound educational research to ensure that our pupils experience the best educational practices to maximise their learning and are fully engaged and supported. Although there are many common principles in terms of pedagogy, each subject is taught in a way that allows for the best learning to take place.
Connecting with our Community, Locality and Heritage
At Co-op Academy Clarice Cliff, we build upon the contextual strengths of our community, making full use of the global nature of our pupils and families and use the rich artistic and strong cultural heritage which we are so lucky to have here in the Potteries. We want our pupils to be proud of their local area and understand the significance of the history surrounding the Potteries and how this has shaped the present and will continue to shape the future here in Stoke-on-Trent.
Our work with our parents and families is a strength. Our families play a key role as they work alongside us to provide improved opportunities for their children. Parents and carers are frequently invited to participate in academy events. Our family learning sessions are incredibly popular and support families in learning alongside their children. This engagement is fundamental to improving life chances and building the strong relationships that enable us to work in partnership. Our strong links with community organisations ensure that we provide our pupils with increasingly varied opportunities and experiences which directly support their learning and development.
The local area is identified as one of high deprivation, with high levels of unemployment. This makes our links with industry and the world of work essential for our pupils. We are passionate about improving life chances and creating opportunities outside of their usual experiences and environment. We aim to create pupils who are keen to play their part in making a positive difference to society and have strong work ethics.
With this in mind, our pupils study the Pottery industry through local history, learning about local pottery manufacturers such as Spode, Wedgwood and Emma Bridgewater, and how our local area has been influenced by this industry over the years. Pupils study significant people such as Josiah Wedgwood and the Meakin brothers, learning about their roles in making the pottery industry a thriving business during that period.
From nursery to Y6, all pupils take part in art based pottery topics designing and making a wide variety of clay products which involve a progressive range of skills and techniques. Our unique entrepreneurial project in years 5 and 6, offers children the chance to apply their pottery making skills through project work as they work alongside local business partners, learning how to research, design, advertise and sell their product. This provides children with valuable early experiences of the world of work and promotes essential skills in real life contexts which are also explicitly developed through our Skillsbuilder Programme. These essential skills are also clearly referenced as pupils study significant people throughout our curriculum to ensure that they understand the vital link between skills and success.
Pupils’ Personal Development
Creating ethically minded young people isn’t just about careers and employment; we are also determined to play our part in shaping pupils’ moral development. Our pupils need the courage and knowledge to make good moral choices in life.
We have structured our topics around enquiry-based learning to provide a rich curriculum that offers our children the opportunity to explore deeper social and moral issues alongside key knowledge. Each topic has a question that consists of two elements. The first part of the question focuses on key knowledge and skills that are taken from the National Curriculum. The second part of the question focuses on deeper critical thinking skills which range from applying their learnt knowledge to different situations to reflecting on social and moral issues linked to the areas they have studied.
It is essential to develop our pupils’ leadership qualities to prepare them to become confident young people, who aren’t afraid to get involved and take responsibility for things that will have a positive impact upon others. Opportunities to lead and take on responsibilities are built into our provision from nursery to Y6.
Our Philosophy and Pedagogy
In line with current educational research, lessons are carefully structured to ensure that real learning is taking place and new knowledge is embedded in children’s long term memory. Each lesson begins with an opportunity to revisit previous learning, followed by new knowledge and concepts which are introduced in small steps. Children are provided with lots of opportunities to practise what they have learnt, using shared models and examples. Children’s independent learning is then scaffolded as they demonstrate their application of new knowledge and skills. As children work, teachers routinely check understanding and give meaningful feedback to move learning forward. This is mostly immediate feedback to ensure that misconceptions are addressed straight away and pupils are supported in understanding their errors or ways to make improvements.
Our staff receive regular CPD to develop their pedagogical approaches and ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide high quality lessons and learning opportunities. Much of this has been centred on Rosenshine’s Principles. These principles underpin our approach to teaching and learning, however, they are adapted to suit specific subjects and the concepts and content being taught. For example, a science lesson on the water cycle might focus on the use of models to explain the concept whilst a maths lesson on the use of a particular calculation strategy might focus largely on repeated practice.
To ensure that key concepts are embedded in long-term memory, these concepts are repeated over time and new learning builds upon prior learning. For example, Y4 pupils learn about the concept of equality when learning what life was like for males and females in Ancient Greece and revisit this concept when learning about inequalities in Brazilian society in Y6.
At Co-op Academy Clarice Cliff we bring the curriculum to life in a variety of ways. Each topic is enhanced with carefully planned educational visits and experiences which ensure that our pupils explore the local area and beyond. Pupils apply their practical skills in real-life situations and contexts. For example, Y4 pupils visit a river setting to apply fieldwork skills to observe, measure and record so that they are able to understand river features and later explain their importance.
By planning for specific vocabulary progression across all subject areas, our pupils learn the vocabulary needed to understand increasingly complex key concepts and build their confidence in using the correct terminology across all subject areas.
Within our EYFS, pupils needing additional support in language and communication participate in our Early Talk Boost and Talk Boost interventions. Sessions are carefully designed to develop confidence in essential aspects of communication in small group settings.
Essential skills such as speaking, listening, teamwork, problem solving and leadership are developed from nursery to Year 6 through our Skillsbuilder programme. Skills are broken down into manageable steps which are explicitly taught using video stories and resources. Pupils are then encouraged to use these skills in other contexts throughout the curriculum.
Our pupils develop their speaking, listening and presenting skills further through participation in the English Speaking Board programme. Planning and delivering presentations, reading aloud and performing poetry ensure that our pupils develop skills and confidence through a progressive and supportive framework.
We believe in using the power of narrative to engage our children fully in their learning and encourage them to take a personal interest in the topics they study. We harness the many benefits of storytelling by using this approach to introduce new topics to our children, promoting opportunities for empathy, connection and context. Our teachers are trained in engaging children in subjects through the use of narrative and are able to capture children’s attention and interest in a meaningful way across all areas of the curriculum.
Reading is a key component of our curriculum. Every opportunity is taken to develop pupils’ reading skills and their love of reading. Our well-stocked library is a wonderful space in which to develop this love of reading. Pupils regularly borrow books to read for pleasure in addition to their reading development books. Guided and whole class reading sessions are carefully planned to build reading skills over time. English lessons are centered around rich texts chosen for the quality of language and their links to topics. Pupils explore text structures, features and language and learn to replicate these within their own writing.
Our timetable is structured to maximise the amount of time that children spend immersed in their learning experiences, with larger blocks of time in the afternoon being devoted to the foundation subjects. Our subjects are taught discreetly in Key Stage One and Two so that children are clear about the knowledge and skills they are learning and which area of the curriculum they are learning about. In the Early Years, a topic based approach is taken as our children link their learning experiences together through themes such as ‘All About Me’ and ‘Our Big Wide World’.
At Co-op Academy Clarice Cliff we make full use of the range of technology available to us to inspire and support our children’s learning. Our IT suite and portable devices are used to develop children’s computing skills through the Purple Mash Scheme of Work and enhance learning throughout the curriculum. We also use our devices as a powerful tool to gather individual and whole class feedback in real time, supporting our assessment for learning. Our intervention programmes also involve the use of IT to deliver programs such as Nessy Spelling and Reading, Numbots and Times Table Rock Stars.
Connecting with our Community, Locality and Heritage
Parents are regularly invited into school to ensure that they are fully involved in their child’s learning and development. For example, parents are welcomed into school to celebrate their child’s learning at an end-of-topic celebration. This is an opportunity to develop pupils’ speaking, listening and presenting skills as they share what they have learnt.
Our frequent family learning workshops are very well attended and strengthen the links between home and school whilst supporting parents with their child’s education. Other events include attendance assemblies, music concerts, performances and local community projects and events. Specific workshops such as phonics, ensure that our parents have access to the help and support they need to play a full role in educating their children. Parents are also supported through our online provision; videos, information and guidance are provided to support curriculum development.
Unique to our school, is our link with the local pottery industry and we are proud to be able to offer our students a curriculum which reflects this link across many of its subjects. Our history curriculum explores significant people who founded the local pottery industry and how this has impacted on the industry around the world. Our art curriculum is designed to explore the work of the famous local pottery designer, Clarice Cliff, with each year group completing a transition project based on her artwork and pottery, building their knowledge and skills each year as they progress throughout the school.
Linked with this, is our Entrepreneurship Project in upper Key Stage Two. Our children learn to apply their pottery making skills through project work, working alongside local business partners, learning how to research, design, advertise and sell their product. This unique project provides our children with valuable early experiences of the world of work and promotes our skillsbuilder values in a real life context.
Pupils’ Personal Development
We have prioritised moral development throughout our curriculum; in history pupils learn about gender bias when studying the Ancient Greeks and why personal choice in faith is important through their studies of the Anglo-Saxons and Scots. In geography, our pupils study the rainforests and the effects that humans have on them as well as learning about inequalities in wealth in Brazil and considering equity through Fair Trade. Our PSHE curriculum and carefully selected texts build in regular opportunities to explore moral dilemmas and issues within society.
Running through all of this, is our clear focus on values; our Co-op values and Ways of Being support our pupils in becoming well-grounded and caring young people who look to do the right thing at every opportunity. Pupils learn about each value through a carefully planned series of lessons from Reception to Year 6. This is called the Co-op Values Curriculum.
Pupils in our Academy have the opportunity to build the leadership skills they will need for the wider world by taking part in our Co-op Young Leaders initiative. Roles such as librarians, prefects, book monitors, reading buddies and school councillors all offer valuable experiences to develop communication, leadership, cooperation and a sense of responsibility.
Expected Curriculum Impact
As a result of our carefully planned curriculum, all of our children make good progress academically, socially, creatively, physically and emotionally. They are able to set high expectations for themselves and know how to achieve their goals through working towards specific targets that they have planned for themselves. Our children take pride in their work and realise their potential to achieve success in the world of work, recognising the value of hard work and determination.
By graduating from our Skillsbuilder Programme, children gain a bank of vital, transferable skills such as team work, leadership and positivity that will enable them to succeed at secondary school and beyond.
Our clear focus on our locality and heritage develops a deep understanding of the history of our local area and the impact that events and people have had on a national and global level and instills a sense of pride.
Pupils are confident in holding discussions about what they have learnt and how they have developed new knowledge and skills, identifying where they have linked new knowledge to existing knowledge and use a range of strategies to support their learning.
Our children demonstrate the Co-op Ways of Being through the behaviours we see everyday, in the classroom, in the playground, moving around school and in the many leadership roles that they choose to take on.
They recognise themselves as unique individuals who each have something special to offer and are able to show care and support for their peers. They see the worth of kindness and compassion and value friendship, trust and respect in their relationships.
Our pupils are able to consider information carefully and use this to make the right decisions for themselves, choosing to be resilient to influences that might not support them in achieving their goals. They can make choices that will have a positive impact on their local community and recognise small changes that they can make that will help them become responsible global citizens.