We employ a linguistic phonics approach throughout the school to teach early reading and spelling. In reading lessons, children are exposed to a broad and varied range of aspirational texts, with authors from Julia Donaldson, to William Shakespeare, to George Orwell studied. Children are taught to analyse literary elements and techniques to allow them to uncover layers of meaning and a comprehensive understanding of the text. Handwriting, sentence structure, grammar and punctuation are explicitly taught in writing lessons, and learners apply their knowledge within fiction and non-fiction written tasks linked to the texts studied and our wider curriculum. Children are given opportunities to read, analyse and perform poetry in every year group.
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.
A key component of our children’s primary education is the development of their mathematical knowledge. At Burfield Academy, our aim is for children to become resilient and confident mathematicians who are able to work fluently, solve problems and explain their reasoning. Through the mastery approach, they will develop a deep and lasting understanding of mathematical procedures and concepts. This includes procedural knowledge of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), as well as the development of other mathematical topics (e.g. fractions, geometry and statistics). In every classroom, children are taught to use technical mathematical language to accurately express their understanding. Teachers ensure the cumulative progression of previously taught materials through a consistent whole school approach.
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. This begins in EYFS when children identify common animals and name arts of plats, to studying evolution and plant reproduction in year 6. Our approach to teaching science follows our 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.
We want all our children to have access to powerful knowledge about our world, the complexity of people’s lives, and how we got where we are today. We have devised a broad and engaging history curriculum that inspires curiosity and develops knowledge and understanding of our past. Children will study significant events such as the World Wars and the Battle of Hastings, and learn about the lives and impact of key historical figures. They will investigate how ancient civilisations, such as the Greeks and Romans, changed the course of human development, and investigate how diverse societies around the world expanded upon this knowledge. By revisiting historical concepts such as war and peace, monarchy, government, and civilisation, children will be able discuss the process of change through time and make strong links across their learning. Our history lessons will enable children to ask insightful questions, analyse sources, and discuss cause and effect. We aim for our children to become critical thinkers who can engage with their society and the wider world.
At our academy, children develop an understanding of both the physical and human world, focusing specifically on the key geographical knowledge children need to understand the world around them. Children learn geography in a systematic way, starting from their own personal geography and local area, before zooming out to focus on their country, continent, and the wider world. Understanding will be deepened through the study of relevant and significant case studies from across the world further consolidated through the context of the texts being read.
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 engage in a variety of different sports during weekly PE lessons. They are taught to master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility, and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities. They will also participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending and perform dances using increasingly complex movements. In KS2, children learn to swim confidently whilst learning to use a range of strokes. The sports and activities that our children participate in aim to not only improve physical fitness and promote healthy lifestyles, but also to improve children’ 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.
At Burfield Academy, the teaching of music allows our children to perform, listen to, review and evaluate a wide range of musical genres. In EYFS, children build a basic understanding of music through sound-making, singing simple songs and recognising basic rhythms. In Key Stage 1, children develop their use of voice and percussion instruments and in Key Stage 2, children learn an instrument in depth with increasing accuracy and control. Throughout the music lessons, children are encouraged to produce music as an ensemble which supports their listening and performance skills.
We believe that learning a foreign language provides valuable educational, social and cultural experiences for all children. Our high-quality Spanish education fosters children’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. It enables children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and gives them the opportunity to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in 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.