We plan our context learning on the knowledge the children will need to understand the book they are reading. Teachers are expected to read the book and identify areas of knowledge that the children will need to know. This knowledge is then the basis for the medium term planning. The medium term planning takes the form of a learning sequence – ‘what do the children need to know in order to understand this part of the book?’ This sequence shows a progression of learning which can then be broken down into individual lessons. The learning sequence generally follows the plot outline of the book however some teachers may decide to teach certain contextual knowledge earlier in order to support the reading later on. Reception and Year 1 currently study one book per half term while Year 2 and KS2 have one book for a whole term. The context lessons will have a geographical or historical focus with the expectation that elements of both are taught throughout the course of the term. This is monitored regularly and updated when necessary in order to ensure a balanced curriculum. Alongside this, the planning of music, art, and RE links are to be made where appropriate. Teachers are also expected to identify educational visits or invite visitors into the academy in order to not only enhance the children’s learning but also to improve personal and cultural capital.
The same high-quality text is used in the whole class reading lessons. Across the whole school, specific reading techniques are used to ensure that all children join in with reading aloud. Additional scaffolding may be required for the slower graspers, for example, the teacher informs the child in advance which part they are expected to read. Teachers plan in advance which child reads which part of the text in order to push the faster graspers with more complex vocabulary or allowing opportunities for fluency for the slower graspers. As well as whole class reading aloud there are regular opportunities for ‘close reading’ and ‘art of the sentence’ where children are expected to answer questions and write specific sentences
about the passage of text they have just read. After writing, the class then have an in-depth discussion about the passage they have just read. We run our reading lessons in this way in order to expose children to high-quality literature and develop their fluency and prosody.
Using the same text, teachers plan a learning sequence for writing. This begins with identifying the purpose for writing – to entertain, to inform, to persuade or to discuss. The skills needed for each writing purpose are built and the children have time to practice and consolidate this learning in their English books. When the children are ready to write they then begin drafting in their Writing Progression books. They are reminded that their work is in draft form so they are ready to edit and improve. After conferencing with the teacher, the child is then expected to begin the work again – building on and improving their work based on the conversation with their teacher. If the teacher is unable to speak to them in that lesson, they are expected to respond to feedback the following writing lesson. If after professional discussions with year group colleagues the teachers feel they need to return to the skills building, they are able to stop the writing process and return to the skills building element at any time during the writing process. The cycle of write, correct, improve, practice is encouraged to continue throughout a unit of work. We do not give teachers a time frame on how long a writing sequence may take.
At Burfield Academy we teach reading through Linguistic Phonics. The rationale for Linguistic Phonics is that children are taught to understand the relationship between spoken language and written words. It starts with what the children naturally acquire, spoken language, and teaches them the relationship between sound-spelling correspondences. Teaching children to read through Linguistic Phonics allows them to develop their decoding skills; this supports children in learning to blend graphemes (letters) for reading, segment phonemes (sounds) for spelling and manipulate phonemes (sounds) to develop accuracy in reading and spelling. Linguistic Phonics teaches the concept that all sounds can be spelled. We therefore do not promote silent letters, magic letters, or memorising whole words by sight. We appreciate parental support and ask that you read with your children in this way, encouraging children to use their decoding skills to read and spell.
All of our teachers receive training to deliver the Sounds~Write phonics programme. Sounds~Write takes children through systematic, incremental steps to teach children the 44 sounds in the English language and their multiple spellings.
At Burfield Academy, we take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Fundamentally, this rests on the belief that all children can – and, indeed, must – be successful in the study of mathematics. We do not accept that ‘some people cannot do maths’; we do not accept that mathematical study is boring or unnecessary; we do not accept that prior attainment should limit what a child is capable of learning. Mathematics is for everyone at Hawkes Farm.
We plan our learning by designing coherent extended units of work in the medium term which take into account the relevant mathematical progression. This allows our children to master the area of mathematics being studied before moving on to new learning. To support us in our long and medium term planning, we use Mathematics Mastery plans from Reception to Year 2 and other mastery based resources for plans in Years 3 to 6. However, we adapt these plans to suit the needs of our children. We break our medium-term plans down into small steps which become our individual lessons.
At Burfield Academy, we provide a high-quality science education that provides children with the foundations to understand the world around them, through biology, chemistry and physics. Our approach to teaching science follows our very own science paradigm which places knowledge and enquiry at the centre of the learning. Through investigations, we develop our children’s scientific skills of predicting, observing and recording data. This aids our children to apply the knowledge learnt to formulate a conclusion.
Our history curriculum is linked carefully with our class texts. We ensure children have a broad and in-depth understanding of history both within and outside of working memory. Our children will develop a coherent and chronological narrative by studying significant events and individuals from various perspectives: world, British and from their own locality. They will explore recurring themes of causes, effects and changes across history and answer a ‘big question’ each term.
Our approach to geography is to expose children to different parts of the world through making careful links with the class text. In addition to studying the physical geography of a certain place, the children will also develop their understanding of the people that live in that area through the study of human geography. As their knowledge increases, they will also explore the environmental geography, looking at the effects people have on their surroundings. Each year group ends their unit of work by answering a ‘big question’, where they might present their answer through explanation, a list or by using a diagram.
At Burfield Academy, our children’s personal development is important to us. They will learn about the society they live in and how to make healthy lifestyle choices, all while becoming equipped with essential values such as kindness, tolerance and respect. Across the curriculum, the texts our children study are thoughtfully chosen to ensure they are exposed to a variety of cultures and beliefs. As a Rights Respecting School, the children will learn what their rights are and how their actions can affect the rights of others.
At Burfield Academy, our children will learn the basic principles and processes of computer science, such as how to write and debug algorithms and create simulations using a variety of programming languages. Through the information technology strand of the curriculum, children will be taught how to use technology effectively to analyse, evaluate and present data on a range of devices. Using a wide range of thoughtfully chosen resources, our curriculum approach ensures that children are equipped with the digital literacy skills needed to use technology respectfully, safely and responsibly.
Our art curriculum is designed to develop the children’s knowledge and skills in drawing, painting and sculpture. They develop their techniques while using a range of materials such as pencil, charcoal, paint and clay. Through studying famous works of a variety of artists, children are encouraged to develop the language to identify and explore many formal elements of art. They use this knowledge and key skills to plan and develop their own pieces of artwork.
Throughout their time at Burfield Academy, children will participate in a variety of different sports, including dance and swimming, in order to master basic skills and movements such as running, jumping, throwing and catching, while also developing their balance, agility and co-ordination. The children will engage in various team games where they will develop and use their skills and knowledge to plan simple tactics for attacking and defending. Our PE curriculum aims to not only improve physical fitness and promote healthy lifestyles, but also to improve children’s teamwork, focus and leadership skills.
The RE curriculum closely links with our ‘Global Awareness’ pillar of our curriculum rationale. Each of the six main religions are explored at length throughout their time at Burfield Academy: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism. This is so the children become well equipped with a broad understanding of the principles of each faith, as well as their accompanying rituals and practices.
Our music provision at Burfield Academy is designed to ensure that every child is taught how to play an instrument before they leave our academy. Currently, every child in Year 3 accesses recorder lessons from a qualified instructor. The children have weekly lessons which cover listening, appraising, singing and performing various different songs and instruments. This ensures that by the end of Key Stage 2 the children have a firm understanding of musical composition and can organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures.
Spanish is taught in selected year groups. Currently, children in Year 1 and Year 4 are studying the new language. In Year 1, the children are introduced to the new language in an engaging manner in order to develop their curiosity and confidence. As the children begin to build confidence in new vocabulary, they then move onto exploring sentence structure and grammar. As they progress through the curriculum, the children will develop an understanding of cultural differences and similarities. To help foster an interest in the new language, lessons are varied to ensure all areas of language learning are covered e.g. speaking, listening, reading and writing.
The DT curriculum allows for our children to use their creativity and imagination in order to design and make products which can solve problems within a variety of contexts. They will select and use a range of equipment and materials to create functional and appealing products as well as evaluate their ideas. As part of our DT curriculum, our children are taught how to cook various dishes while applying principles of nutrition and healthy eating.