Aims and Overview
Aims and Approach
At Cleadon Church of England Academy, we identify strongly with the Church of England’s Vision for Education, in particular the idea of educating the whole child. Our intention is to provide not only academic rigour, but excellence in all areas, including spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
By the time children leave Cleadon Church of England Academy, they will be:
Through the enjoyment of learning, develop enquiring minds in order to process information, reason, question and evaluate, enabling all children to achieve the best they can now and in the future.
Become increasingly independent, are able to take the initiative and organise themselves, showing a willingness to try new things and making the most of opportunities.
Are enterprising, well prepared for life and able to work co-operatively in a diverse, multi-faith/ cultural society.
They take account of and respect the needs of present and future generations in the choices they make and know that they can change things for the better.
To achieve this the Academy helps pupils:
- Attain a high standard of achievement, satisfaction and enjoyment in all areas of the curriculum.
- Grow in self-confidence, have a sense of personal worth and be able to adapt to the changing world in which they live.
- Mix with their peers and adults, to communicate feelings and share experiences, building a better understanding and mutual respect for each other.
- Apply themselves to tasks individually and as contributing members of a team.
- Develop a set of moral values, understand the world in which they live and respect the views of others, tolerating different opinions and beliefs whether racial, religious or political.
- Develop lively, enquiring minds with the ability to communicate their findings.
- Be aware of and take an interest in the beauty and wonder of the world around them and recognise the need for conservation.
At Cleadon Church of England Academy, we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced, engages and inspires children, yet builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. It ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, respect, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning. The curriculum celebrates diversity and utilises the skills and knowledge of the whole school and wider community while supporting the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
The aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated lifelong learners in readiness for their next stage of education. To best meet the needs of all pupils, a knowledge-rich yet skills-based curriculum is delivered.
The school begins on a child’s first day in Nursery and is developed throughout their school life with us. Across EYFS, the curriculum is sequenced and progressive over the two years the two-year period. It is delivered through broad topic work around a high-quality text and also through the interests of the children and current themes.
Staff support children in their choices and provide them with a rich and well-resourced environment. Children across the Foundation Stage are encouraged to become independent learners. Staff challenge children through questioning, specific tasks and independent learning. In Nursery, we build on the foundations to give our children the skills they need when transitioning into Reception. In our Reception class, activities are planned with a variety of adult directed, adult supported and independent work. We tailor our curriculum to meet the needs of our children. Where children are ready for a more formal approach, staff will plan for this through directed teaching. Those who still need a play-based approach will be supported by all staff through scaffolding and modelling.
Pupils are still working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as they enter Year 1. There is a period in the Autumn Term where most children progress to the National Curriculum. Throughout this period and beyond, all children are still developing their phonic knowledge using the Letters and Sounds document.
The curriculum is delivered using an integrated themed approach, although some subjects are taught discretely. Assessments are made both on a formative and summative basis using the Sonar tracker system to ensure coverage and progression of skills throughout the school. More able pupils are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success. National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school in a progressive document. Individual year groups then plan the curriculum for their pupils accordingly.
At Cleadon, we have a highly effective, carefully planned and tightly structured program for phonics teaching called Essential Letters and Sounds. This enables our children to learn phonic knowledge and skills with the expectation that they will become fluent readers, having secured word building and recognition skills. Our children are also taught harder to read and spell words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns.
Reading is a vital life skill that will support children’s learning across the whole curriculum. As an Academy, we strive to ensure that our children are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding using a variety of high-quality texts during English lessons, a fully developed whole school reading spine and learning opportunities across all subject areas. We want children in our Academy to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers who have a love of Reading.
The Mathematics curriculum is delivered using a whole school scheme based around the White Rose Maths which is developed around the CPA approach (concrete, pictorial and abstract). This is supplemented by a range of other materials to meet the needs of all pupils. In all year groups, there are small group interventions to support pupils in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians.
The RE curriculum is provided as part of each child’s entitlement to a broad and balanced education contributing to their spiritual, moral and cultural development.
RE within our curriculum promotes:
- religious Literacy
- the chance to think and ask questions
- the development of empathy skills
- a broader understanding of different values
- an awareness of diversity through looking at major religions and beliefs in the UK and beyond
Specialist teachers and instructors support some Music and Physical Education. All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to develop their subject knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure curriculum development provides progression and sequencing of concepts across the Academy. This also enables them to provide high quality support to colleagues to improve pupil outcomes. Subject leads manage their subjects carrying out lesson visits, scrutinies, pupil voice activities, data interrogation and termly monitoring activities / tasks.
Themed days / weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning.
Our aim is that all pupils have access to a broad, balanced, engaging and enjoyable curriculum. Teachers set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Children are encouraged to apply skills learned, particularly in English and Mathematics, across the curriculum. Assessment is used to inform teacher planning for the next steps in learning. Potential areas of difficulty are identified and these areas are addressed at the outset through intervention, differentiated resources and targeted teaching to remove barriers to pupil achievement. This results in our curriculum being accessible to all. Provision for the Most Able pupils is a mixture of depth and mastery with opportunities for independent working and reflection. Where appropriate, Most Able pupils are provided with an individual activity or challenge which reflects a greater depth of understanding and higher level of attainment
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. The school grounds have been developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas. A Forest School area was developed in 2022 with two staff leading on this area. Children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 have weekly sessions in the Forest School. Commando Joes has been embedded in Years 3 and 4 with children working with staff to complete a range of team building missions.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents, carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
Our staff attend regular training for their curriculum area and staff development (CPD) focuses on sharing best practice from evidence-based research (e.g. EEF - Education Endowment Foundation).
Through our broad and balanced curriculum, we aim to provide children with skills, knowledge and experiences that will grow their cultural capital.
What is Cultural Capital?
It is not one element of education. Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, values and skills that a pupil can draw upon throughout their life. It demonstrates their cultural awareness and appreciation. Cultural Capital is one of the foundations a child will draw upon to be a successful member of society.
Cultural Capital is woven throughout our curriculum. It will draw upon a child’s own experiences and culture. It will nurture a child’s talents, whilst developing their skills and knowledge within a strong Christian ethos and shared British Values. It will help children to be conscientious, resilient, aspirational and successful in life.
Ofsted define cultural capital as:
“As part of making the judgement about the quality of education, inspectors will consider the extent to which schools are equipping pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
Our understanding of ‘knowledge and cultural capital’ is derived from the following wording in the national curriculum: ‘It is the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’”
At Cleadon CE Academy we know the importance of educating the whole child; we strive to provide experiences that enrich them educationally, personally, physically, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.
For students to aspire and be successful academically, and in the wider areas of their lives, they need to be given rich and sustained opportunities to develop their cultural capital. We do this in many ways: our curriculum, school projects, community engagement, extra-curricular activities, trips, visits, residentials, careers work and much more.
We focus on five key areas of development that are interrelated and contribute to building a child’s cultural capital:
- Personal Development
- Social Development
- Physical Development
- Spiritual and Moral Development
- Creative Development
By developing the children’s cultural understanding, broadening their knowledge, fostering Christian values and giving them a wide range of experiences, we strive to allow every child to achieve their potential, share talents and live ‘Life in all its fullness.’ (John 10:10).
Click on the link below to gain a snapshot of how our curriculum helps our children to share and grow their cultural capital: