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. 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.
In years 1 to 6 the curriculum is carefully mapped so that the termly topics weave key learning across the curriculum.
At Linden Road Academy, we strive to create a love and passion for maths. Our curriculum is carefully planned to ensure coverage is balanced, structured and allows for deep learning. We use White Rose as our curriculum spine, and supplement this with additional resources if we feel necessary. Our lessons are planned through five main domains: Variation, Fluency, Mathematical Thinking, Representation and Coherency. We use pedagogy developed in Shanghai to structure our ‘small steps’ lesson design. We believe that by working alongside pupils, teaching staff are able to guide pupils through ‘small steps’ of structured progress within a lesson. Whole class teaching is carefully differentiated through targeted questioning and different levels of support structures. Pupils will often work reciprocally, enhancing their reasoning skills as they support their peers.
All maths lessons explore elements of reasoning and problem solving, which provide fantastic opportunities for our pupils to use their Growth Mindset and resilience skills. Teachers model and encourage verbal reasoning with peers and pupils evaluate mathematical strategies debate their efficiency.
Fluency skills are developed through arithmetic sessions at the beginning of maths lessons over the course of a week. We have adopted pedagogy developed by Ron Berger in ‘Leaders of Our Own Learning’ by asking pupils to track their own arithmetic progress and subsequently, set themselves aspirational goals. Our pupils work together to close their gaps in arithmetic progress, learning from their peers in order to succeed.
To complement our fluency skills, pupils also engage in RRR (Recap, Remember, Retain) which allows for opportunity to revisit prior learning, and thus, commit learning into long-term memory.
We aim to instil a love of reading in all of our students with the intent they become lifelong readers. By the time they leave Linden Road Academy, we strive for all pupils to read fluently, confidently and understand a wide range of texts, which will prepare them for Key Stage Three.
Throughout their journey through school, pupils are exposed to a carefully selected range of culturally diverse and highly engaging texts. Our selected texts accompany our termly topic theme, which encourages pupils to draw together their learning, vocabulary and knowledge of the world.
Our immersive classroom reading corners shelve high quality, age appropriate and topic related texts for children to enjoy and freely engage with.
In addition to our in-class reading corners, our Learning Zone is a vital resource for pupils to visit and explore. Here, pupils select books to read in class or at home with the support and guidance from their teacher. We encourage teachers and pupils to recommend books to each other, which further promotes a culture of enjoyment and reading for pleasure.
Learning to read at Linden Road begins in our Early Years Foundation Stage. Here, pupils begin their phonics programme of study by using the Jolly Phonics’ actions and songs as well as the explicit teaching of a carefully structured phonics programme. Pupils are taught phonics in targeted intervention groups, where pupils are streamed and taught at their phase. Phonics in EYFS lays the foundation to ensure that all pupils are given the tools to begin their reading development. Pupils continue with the phonics programme in Key Stage One, where they continue to progress up the phonics phases in targeted intervention groups.
Alongside phonics, reading sessions are taught in a variety of ways to ensure pupils develop deeper understanding including: specific vocabulary development, drama activities, creative responses and ‘book talk’ which take a deeper look at the author’s intent.
Vocabulary development is fundamental to our teaching practice. We ensure that vocabulary sessions are taught explicitly to enhance their understanding and to broaden their retained language which can then be applied verbally and in their writing.
We teach verbal and written comprehension skills through VIPERS questioning (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise). By using VIPERS, pupils become familiar with the question types and are encouraged to respond thoughtfully and thoroughly. From KS1, we also begin to deepen answers by using APE (Answer it Prove it Explain in) and PEE (Point Evidence Explain)
Throughout the year we also host additional reading events such as:
- World Book Day
- Poetry week
- Traditional tales Assembly
- Summer Reading Challenge
- National Share a Story Week
- Book Exchanges
- Library visits
- Parental engagement reading sessions
- Author visits
You can follow our Reading learning by searching on Twitter #LindenEnglish or #LindenReading
English Writing Intent
When our children leave Year 6, we strive to have pupils who are passionate about writing and see it as a way to express themselves. We wish to inspire children and set their imaginations free, whilst being able to set their pens (or pencils!) to a wide range of genres. Throughout school, we engage pupils with exciting stimuli - whether it be through trips, objects, mysterious events occurring or transporting them all over the world using our Immersive Classroom. High quality, topic related reading text underpin the writing opportunities for our pupils and this is essential in order to achieve depth, flair and stylisation of writing.
Teachers model writing through shared writing and text interrogations. The teaching of grammar and vocabulary that is genre specific and allows pupils to understand how authors manipulate punctuation, tense, sentence structure and language for impact. Pupils also have regular opportunities to collaborate with peers which supports them to apply their new learning. Following this, both teacher and peer feedback form an integral part of our writing process. After receiving specific feedback, pupils edit and improve their writing independently.
PSHE is arguably one of the most important lessons we teach at Linden Road Academy. Our curriculum intends to support pupils on their journey through life and provide them with the skills, knowledge and experiences to help them through the challenges of modern society. We intent to give our children the tools to make their own informed opinions, choices and decisions and help them to develop their own set of values that they will take with them through life.
Ultimately, staff and parents want the children to be happy and we understand that many factors can influence a child’s emotional well-being. Our curriculum has a strong focus on mental health and well-being, self-esteem, feelings, identity and belonging to support children with their understanding and management of emotions.
Our curriculum also supports children to develop their understanding and tolerance of others – hoping to encourage pupils to be respectful, considerate, empathic and understanding of people’s differences. Our aim is that children are brave and empowered individuals who celebrate individuality and are confident to be themselves.
Throughout all of our PSHE themes there is an overriding emphasis on tolerance and respect – our aim is that children and staff have mutual respect for each other. We advocate kindness and celebrate this throughout school, praising children for acts of kindness and for being supportive to others.
Safety is paramount and our curriculum covers many aspects that aim to keep children safe. Themes such as Respect and Privacy and Family cover complex and sensitive content, which aim to educate children on forms of abuse and where they can find support networks if they are worried about anything in relation to this. Online safety is a growing concern that our curriculum aims to tackle, supporting children to keep safe online as well as in the real world.
Many of our themes within our PSHE curriculum at Linden Road are taught within the context of a fiction book. These books are used as a stimulus to start conversations in the classroom. Children empathise with the characters in the books to talk about their own experiences in a safe environment. Whilst the fiction books provide a starting point for our learning, it is vital that our children are able to apply this to real life so we ensure that we make explicit links to real life contexts to support children in their development.
Staff, parents and the safeguarding team at Linden Road work closely together to support children in every aspect of their lives and we hope that our bespoke programme of study helps us to achieve this.
Our Science curriculum aims to develop our pupils’ inquisitive natures and a curiosity in how the world works. Our curriculum is taught through our themed topics, which immerse pupils into learning, giving it purpose, focus and context. Content is carefully planned to be progressive, with an aim to consolidate learning and build upon prior knowledge and skills. We strive to go beyond the National Curriculum to ensure that our pupils have a foundation of knowledge which is then developed and deepened. Science is assessed through Enquiry Questions which have been written to encourage pupils to draw on their science learning to formulate a structured, informed and scientifically accurate response.
Working scientifically is a theme which runs throughout our Science Curriculum. We support pupils to work scientifically, carrying out tests and experiments with increasing accuracy and precision.
We teach science weekly as well as dedicating a term to a science topic. Our annual ‘Science week’ is an additional opportunity for pupils to engage in a range of experiments and have fun!
You can follow our Science learning by searching on Twitter #LindenScience