Curriculum

The National Curriculum

At St. Michael's CE Academy, we have designed and planned our curriculum to make full coverage of the National curriculum for England which has to be taught in all local authority maintained schools and academies. Click here for more information.

Please see the sections below about our intent regarding the curriculum and how it has been mapped out for the long term and planned in each subject.

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Our Curriculum Intent

Our commitment to a curriculum that is rich with challenges and opportunities for investigation and problem solving, both indoors and out, enables all our young people to develop the cultural capital they need to succeed.

The design of our curriculum reflects the profile of our school community. With over 42% of our pupils identified as pupil premium and our school identified as one of the most deprived areas of Wakefield - we place a huge emphasis on giving our children experiences that they may otherwise never encounter and which we know will broaden their understanding of the world and raise their aspirations.  As an example, we do this through frequent and heavily subsidised educational visits and appropriate staffing to support needs.

The design is influenced by the interests of children and staff - e.g. a strong focus on Art, Dance, Drama and Outdoor Learning came through research conducted through questionnaires, pupil interviews etc. 

Our curriculum is carefully constructed to ensure key knowledge, concepts and skills are taught systematically and are built upon across the year and throughout school.  This has been supported through intensive work with a national consultant (Chris Trevor) to ensure depth, breadth and continuity.  We also use the Chris Quigley framework to support structure.  Core skills of reading, writing and maths are taught in both discrete lessons and through a rich wider curriculum offer.  Pupils' achievement is improving every year as standards rise, but we ensure that due attention is given to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural growth.

Playtimes are learning times - outdoor spaces are designed to maximise opportunities for learning through engagement in lunchtime games run by a sports specialist and pupil sports leaders.  A redesigned dining hall has been established to facilitate social interaction during meal times.  All of our children receive two hours a week of specialised Physical Education - delivered by a specialist PE teacher and professional dance teachers.  All our pupils in KS2 receive a weekly Drama session delivered by a professional Drama teacher (Yew Tree).  All of our children in KS2 receive an hour of weekly learning in French from a professional MFL Teacher (Lingotots).   All of our children receive a minimum of an hour a week of Art learning in a specialised and well resourced art room.  We have an Outdoor Learning Specialist (Rosie Taylor) who works with our children and staff periodically through the year to support gardening skills, survival sessions, den building etc.    Professional musicians from the Local Authority are contracted to work with Y3 teaching guitar and then groups of children for various instruments - including singing.

SEND provision varies according to need - the majority are taught through quality first teaching with TA support.   All children receive a challenging and inspiring curriculum offer. Inclusion is a high priority.  Differentiation within the classroom is supported by the use of task boards for some children that supports independent learning and eliminates dependency.  Task boards support SEN pupils to engage with meaningful learning within an inclusive context.  Some children are withdrawn for interventions as and when needed - enabling them to access provision not available in their current year group.   Most children with EHCPs are supported 1:1 usually within the classroom but have timetabled sessions for work within our well resourced unit.  We have a well resourced  unit to support learning for older children with additional needs that can be accessed throughout the day. This provision is managed by our SENDCO to ensure that our most vulnerable pupils get the specific support they need as advised by SEND specialists from the Local Authority (e.g. Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy).  We have employed a Speech and Language therapist who works with a caseload of children once a week.  Small groups and individual children with SMSC and behavioural needs attend individual counselling or nurture groups at varying times during the day (e.g. lunchtime group).   We have employed a mental health leader within school to plan individual support programmes for children with significant need.

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Our Long Term Plan - A Map of the Learning Journey at our Academy 

At St Michael's, we have worked together as a staff team to establish a long term plan and vision for our curriculum.  This is to ensure that learning in all areas and at all levels is well sequenced and demonstrates progression and continuity throughout the academy.  Our Individual subject leaders have worked together to create a logically sequenced and inspiring curriculum that affords opportunities to make horizontal and vertical links in knowledge throughout a child's learning journey at our academy. 

The plan demonstrates the guide that teachers use to plan specific sequences of learning for individual subjects whilst making appropriate links to other areas of learning.  As an example, we all ensure that core books in reading are clearly identified for all year groups and these subsequently reflect other areas of learning and the building of knowledge and vocabulary.  Similarly, educational visits and visitors to school are used as vehicles to inspire and teach many aspects of our curriculum.

The long term strategic plan for our curriculum is also carefully designed to ensure that our children build on learning over time.  All units of learning have been carefully arranged to ensure that there is plenty of opportunity for consistency, repetition and routine from EYFS to Y6 so that a child's learning can progress through a focus on developing their long term memory so that they can know more and remember more.  Take a look at our curriculum plan below to see how we have organised our learning.  The EYFS version of the plan is structured slightly differently but does link with the main LTP - please click the appropriate link to view the EYFS document below.  In addition, The writing Long Term Plan is included in the section below 'Our Curriculum Subjects' under English.

 

 Please CLICK HERE for the Long Term Plan Years 1 - 6.

Please CLICK HERE for the Long Term Plan EYFS.

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Our Curriculum Subjects

At St Michael's, we try wherever possible to make links in learning.  This is something that is a core focus for all of our Subject Leaders.  Each Subject Leader has established a progression of learning document for their subject and curriculum mats (knowledge organisers) that demonstrate the learning content for individual sequences of learning.   The curriculum mats provide a guide for teachers about the learning content of individual sequences and identify key knowledge and vocabulary that must be covered as a minimum standard in any given sequence.   

Each Subject Leader establishes an action plan that is reviewed termly to ensure that their subject continues to develop and improve.

Our time allocations for subjects can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Please click on any of the subjects below to see how they are developing.  You will find a copy of the subject progression document, examples of curriculum mats (knowledge organisers) and subject action plans.