Curriculum


Curriculum Intent

Linden Road is an enquiry driven school; we believe that learning is much more than just retaining knowledge and we recognise that our role is to develop learners for the 21st Century. Our students are very well prepared for the next stages in their education as we aim to give them a secure grounding in basic skills, including reading, writing, spelling, grammar, secure mathematical understanding and confidence in the use of ICT. We firmly believe in furnishing our young people with a set of learning tools, attitudes and habits that they will be able to use throughout their lives, even when faced with unfamiliar challenges.

We believe in delivering a curriculum that is designed to meet the needs of our students and serves to challenge them to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally. Above all, we strongly believe our work in developing independent thinkers and learners ensures excellence throughout all curriculum areas.

Curriculum Content

As an academy, Linden Road Academy is not legally required to follow the new National Curriculum introduced in September 2014. However, we have chosen to devise a skills based curriculum in line with the skills promoted in both, the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework as this suits the needs of our pupils.

We have a whole school themed approach to the curriculum, which is driven by enquiry questions, specific to each cohort. We ensure that all learning is purposeful and aimed at a real audience. In this respect, children organise and deliver end of term projects and/or performances which aim to include parents and the wider community.

Curriculum Planning

Learning teams work together to plan the curriculum for the term, ensuring that there are fun and exciting ‘hooks’ to generate questions to lead learning. There are a range of real life, hands on experiences or visits out of school to reinforce learning in the classroom. The timing of each topic, and the length of time each topic lasts for, is driven by the needs of the children.

Summer 2018 Curriculum

- Early Years
- Key Stage 1
- Lower Key Stage 2
- Year 5
- Year 6

Spring 2018 Curriculum

- Early Years
- Key Stage 1
- Lower Key Stage 2
- Year 5
- Year 6

 


Mathematics Curriculum 

At Linden Road, we approach the teaching of mathematics by starting with our children. Instead of using plans that teach the whole class together, we look at where the child is up to with their maths learning and set targets to help them achieve their next steps. These targets are then taught, and learned, in a variety of practical ways to make sure that the children understand and are ready to move on. At Linden Road, it is typical to see at least three different areas of maths being taught in a single lesson. The children are supported by teachers and teaching assistants.

Our approach to mathematics teaching and learning is quite different to other schools. We find that our approach helps to create independent learners and good problems solvers, two traits which are key to developing good mathematicians. 

Within the Foundation Stage, mathematics is taught through practical play activities based on the EYFS (Early Years Foundations Stage) curriculum. Opportunities are planned to cover numbers, counting, calculating, shapes, measures as well as lots of investigative and problem solving experiences. As in the rest of the school, the children’s next step targets are key, even in the foundation stage.

In years 1 to 6, daily mathematics lessons begin with arithmetic practice and development. Children need to have a good recall of number facts and to be able to do sums ‘in their heads’. This daily practise allows the children to develop these important skills and continue to improve their speed. During maths lessons, teachers in years 1 to 6 plan for children to discuss their thoughts and ideas, as well as for children to mark their own work (self assessment) and their partner’s work (peer assessment). The children learn to use Tickled Pink and Green for Growth in the same way the teachers do, to show what they or their partners have done well and to say how they can improve their learning .

Any child that requires additional support in their learning is provided for. In addition we also plan for extra maths sessions, known as intervention programmes, to make sure that every child makes the great progress that we expect at Linden Road. Parents are notified about their child’s progress every half term with a report card, which shows how much progress children are making and if they are ready to move onto new targets.

 

English
Writing   

At Linden Road, our approach to writing, helps us to develop inspired, creative and enthusiastic writers.

We do this by immersing pupils in rich and diverse experiences, stimulating texts, and the work of a wide range of authors, poets and playwrights. We develop language through music, media and drama so that when children put pencil or pen to paper they want to write, linking writing to real life experiences and other curriculum work.  They are made aware of the basic skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling whilst at the same time appreciating the subtleties of syntax, structure and flow which makes their writing come alive. Non Fiction texts are developed through real experiences. For example  pupils are encouraged to write letters, news reports, keep diaries, send e-mails, contribute to blogs, write persuasively when working on theme projects, science and maths enquiry, international links, school council projects and many more, using links to topic work. 

Within the Foundation Stage, writing is taught through mark making practical play activities based on the EYFS (Early Years Foundations Stage) curriculum. Opportunities are planned to cover a range of skills needed to write. As in the rest of the school, the children’s next step targets are key, even in the foundation stage.

In years 1 to 6, daily literacy are made up of sentence, word level work, interrogating texts and writing opportunities. Drama and speaking an listening activities also make up lessons and a daily basis.  During literacy lessons, teachers in years 1 to 6 plan for children to discuss their thoughts and ideas, as well as for children to mark their own work (self assessment) and their partner’s work (peer assessment). The children learn to use Tickled Pink and Green for Growth in the same way the teachers do, to show what they/ or their partners have done well and to say how they can improve their learning .

Any child that requires additional support in their learning is provided for. In addition we also plan for extra literacy sessions, known as intervention programmes, to make sure that every child makes the great progress that we expect at Linden Road. Parents are notified about their child’s progress every half term with a report card, which shows how much progress children are making and if they are ready to move onto new targets.

Reading 

We believe in the merits of incorporating Guided Reading particularly in Key Stage 1 as well as for those children who show reading readiness and phonological skills in Reception.  The benefits of guided reading to accelerate progress in both word level reading and the ability to comprehend what has been read had been highlighted following the assessment of reading levels in Year1.
Word-level reading is the ability to recognise and understand the words on the page.  Comprehension is the ability to understand language.  Neither is sufficient on its own as both are necessary to reading.  Reading comprehension is a product of word recognition and language comprehension. 

All staff involved have been  given training  This will encompass the basic requirements for children to be ready to access texts, and as children develop in their reading show them how attention should be paid to the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

This is a team push, has increased the levels of reading attainment by challenging the high ability readers and supporting the basic skills with greater regularity of those children for whom reading is a challenge.

The reading assessments and level of reading book of the children are monitored closely. All staff  study and make professional judgments based on the information they have.  Children have made significant leaps in their home reading level.

The impact of letters and sounds continues to be considered.  For children in lower Key Stage 2 an intervention programme has been set up in order to revisit sounds that the children are struggling to retain and to ensure that this knowledge is applied consistently within reading and writing work.

At Linden Road, we encourage children to read widely from newspapers to novels, reading for extended periods of time. During guided reading sessions, children are asked a range of questions. They develop skills to ask their peers literal, deductive and inference questions about the text they are reading.

Any child that requires additional support in their learning is provided for. In addition we also plan for extra reading sessions, known as intervention programmes, to make sure that every child makes the great progress that we expect at Linden Road. Parents are notified about their child’s progress every half term with a report card, which shows how much progress children are making and if they are ready to move onto new targets.

 

Phonics

Phonics is taught through the Letters and Sounds synthetic phonics system. Across EYFS and KS1, children are grouped into phase appropriate groups to ensure targeted teaching and learning that maximises progress.

Alongside phase 6 in Year Two, the new National Curriculum documents (September 2013) for Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation are also followed within phonics sessions.

Although the vast majority of children will leave Key Stage 1 having progressed up to phase 6, children in Key Stage 2 who have gaps in their phonics knowledge are supported by a phonics intervention group until their understanding is secure.

Phonics is assessed and monitored to enable progression through the phases. In Year One, all pupils are tested through the Phonics Screening Test in June. Results are recorded and used for assessment purposes. Any Year One pupils who do not meet the required pass rate for the test re-take the test when they are in Year Two.

In FS1 there are two weekly sessions of phonics. From FS2 up to Year 2, phonics sessions are daily.

 

For any further information about the Curriculum at Linden Road Primary Academy, please ask the front office, or use the Contact Us form.