The Curriculum at Woodwater
Key statutory curriculum requirements for academies:
Academies are required to have a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
For pupils in the Foundation Stage, academies are required to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
While academies are not required to follow the National Curriculum they are required to ensure their curriculum:
- includes English, maths and science;
- includes Religious Education, although the nature of this will depend on whether the school has a faith designation;
- includes sex and relationship education
We teach through topics and work with the children to take account of their interests, making links between subjects, developing knowledge, skills and positive attitudes to learning in a range of contexts. We provide a wide range of stimulating day trips and residential visits to enhance the children’s learning.
We recognise that learning is not just about subjects and knowledge, but also about developing a child’s personal and social qualities: consideration for others, empathy, compassion, resilience, honesty, respect, etc. These qualities are encouraged and modelled by staff, volunteers and visitors throughout the school day and beyond.
Below, you will find information about the areas of our curriculum. You can also visit our unit pages to see what we have been up to in class recently:
The EYFS curriculum at Woodwater Academy is taught through a mixture of purposeful child and adult initiated learning, both inside and outside of the classroom. The learning environments are well resourced and allow the children to develop their skills and knowledge across the required prime and specific areas of the statutory EYFS curriculum.
Initially, we focus on the prime areas of learning because they lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning and of life. The prime areas include; Personal, Social and Emotional development, Communication Language and Literacy and Physical development. Once the children become more confident in these areas of learning, we move onto the specific areas of the curriculum. These include; Literacy, Numeracy, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Our curriculum is planed carefully around the children’s needs, interests and abilities. We track each child’s individual learning very carefully and are always looking at what their next steps for learning are. The children’s learning is captured through Tapestry online learning journals, this provides the opportunity for parents to fully engage with their child’s learning experience. For more information on Tapestry please click here:
To see more about our learning in EYFS please visit: Foundation Stage
Our English curriculum focuses on developing the children’s skills of oracy, listening, reading and writing. A secure foundation in these areas is critical for success within English itself and the wider curriculum. We use the Babcock teaching and learning sequences to scaffold the planning of our English lessons; teaching is delivered through high quality texts offering rich opportunities to explore and develop oral and written language. Children enjoy writing for a wide range of purposes, becoming increasingly independent and ambitious as they move through the school.
We teach our children to read using synthetic phonics. The phonic scheme that we use in EYFS and KS1 is Little Wandle – Letters and Sounds Revised. Phonics teaching begins in Nursery with ‘Foundations for Phonics’; letter/sound correspondence and whole word reading is introduced in the first term of Recpetion, continuing into Key Stage 1.
Children identified in Reception and Year 1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
If you are a parent and would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations and other helpful resources.
A mastery approach has been adopted in order to deliver the three aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Underpinning this pedagogy is a belief that all children can achieve in Mathematics. We believe in promoting sustained learning and deepening understanding by employing a variety of mastery strategies; teaching for conceptual understanding is at the heart of everything we do. Our approach aims to provide all children with access to the curriculum and a ‘mastery in mathematics’. They are encouraged to be independent, confident and competent mathematicians who are well equipped to apply their learning to the wider world. Our teaching of Mathematics begins in EYFS as the children work towards the Early Learning Goals.
As the children enter Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 you will see:
- Maths lessons planned and delivered in line with the White Rose Mathematics Schemes of Learning and enhanced or adapted where appropriate.
- Fluency embedded into each lesson, with additional practice sessions outside of the lesson, to ensure that all children are competent and develop their rapid recall. These include opportunities to develop number facts, multiplication and division facts and fluency in the four operations. Fluency in multiplication is also provided through the use of Times Tables Rockstars.
- Use of manipulatives and images to expose the mathematical structure of the mathematical concepts being taught.
- Talk and discussion to encourage children to verbalise their thinking using mathematical vocabulary.
- Opportunities to investigate to deepen understanding.
- Differentiated learning to ensure that all children’s learning is deepened and broadened without restricting their potential attainment.
By the time children leave our school we aim for children to be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics with a conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. They will have the skills to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios. Children will be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof – using mathematical language.
The Science curriculum at Woodwater enables children to progressively build scientific knowledge and understanding whilst developing the key skills of scientific enquiry. We want our children to see themselves as scientists and engage with the world around them, and, wherever possible, their local environment. Through observing, pattern seeking, identifying, classifying, grouping, investigating and researching, children at Woodwater build up their understanding so they are equipped to understand the uses and implications of science today and for the future. Our science curriculum enables children to question, imagine and wonder. We want them to be curious and test ideas within the topics they study. As children progress through the school they are taught to independently draw conclusions and frame their understanding using precise scientific vocabulary and articulating precise scientific concepts.
SOCIAL, MORAL, SPIRITUAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
The development of children in this area is at the centre of our work and runs through our curriculum, culture and ethos. We also deliver a specific PSHE Curriculum from EYFS to Year 6.
PSHE (Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education and RSE relationships and sex education are essential elements of primary education. these key areas of learning are integral parts of the curriculum, not solely taught in isolation, but delivered through subject teaching in areas such as:
- Science, for instance, while learning about how bodies change as people grow and age.
- Computing, while discussing the risks and benefits involved in being part of an online world, and coming up with rules for internet safety.
- PE, while learning different ways of keeping fit, healthy and active.
- Design and technology, when discovering ways to make healthy and nutritious foods.
There are three core themes within our PSHE:
- Health and Wellbeing
3. Living in the Wider World: economic wellbeing and being a responsible citizen.
Specific learning about personal, social and health and economic education, is offered through discrete lessons which aim to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. Our aim is to make sure that we equip our children with the right skills and knowledge to stay safe and achieve their full potential. We believe that teaching our children to make informed decisions should lie at the heart of our teaching in PSHE.
At Woodwater, teaching across these themes is delivered in different ways, including through use of those from ‘1Decision’ platform, which provides an interactive bank of resources allowing students to experience challenging situations in a safe environment.
During their time at primary school, children will encounter many of life’s challenges for the first time. 1decision aims to provide children with the knowledge and skills needed to lead safe, healthy, and happy lives, by exploring ways to manage different influences and pressures.
PSHE is delivered implicitly as well as explicitly, through many areas of school life. Assemblies, circle time, campaigns like Anti-Bullying Week all teach children the principles of PSHE.
Parents can find out more about 1decision here:
For further information about the statutory Relationships and Sex Education curriculum which is delivered within our PSHE please see:
At Woodwater Academy, Physical Education is well established; we inspire children to love living a healthy life; and we implement high quality teaching from planning to lesson delivery. Children take part in a range of sporting activities (including residentials), festivals, inter-house competitions, clubs (that promote sport) and events across our family of schools and within our learning community. Whilst urging the children to do their best at all times, we also believe that children should learn to enjoy taking part and that winning is not the only mark of achievement.
The school uses an interactive primary Physical Education resource called ‘Complete PE’ to support the delivery of our curriculum. This resource is designed to support the implementation of a high-quality Physical Education curriculum. For more information about this scheme of work, please see: Complete P.E. Website.
We are also fortunate enough to have talented specialist teachers, provided through a proportion of our sports funding, that work closely with all children and staff. Both Andy Tyrrell and Mike Collinge offer continuing professional development for all staff; social, emotional, and mental health intervention for specific children; and provide extra-curricular opportunities for children. For more information about our specialist services of Tyrrell Sports, please see: Tyrrell Sports website.
At Woodwater Academy, we place great emphasis on encouraging children to learn to swim from an early age and are fortunate enough to have an onsite swimming pool. This is a 10metre fixed depth (1.1m) heated pool. The children receive lessons from qualified swimming coaches starting in Reception.
The main aims we wish to achieve are; helping children acquire skills and techniques which allow them to swim 100m; allowing children to benefit from genuine water confidence to support them in later life; endeavouring to develop blended water skills which allow children to enjoy playing games in the water and move efficiently; helping children make safe decisions in, on and around water; and ensuring children learn a range of water skills.
Within our school environment, we are fortunate to have carefully selected Sports Leaders that help assist with anything PE related at our school. Annually, children in Year 6 are given time to apply to become a sports leader and write a formal letter. Children are then shortlisted and invited to interview. Following a successful interview, ten children are selected to represent the school and help promote and support the provision of PE.
Woodwater Academy helps motivate children to participate in a variety of sports through quality planning, teaching and assessment that is both engaging and fun. From our range of lessons, children are equipped with the necessary skills and love for sport. Alongside our school values (TRACK), we hope that Woodwater children grow up to live a happy and healthy life utilising the skills and knowledge acquired through their Physical Educational experiences.
Religious Education (RE) has an important place in the primary school curriculum. It gives children space to develop their understanding of different people, cultures, faiths and religious communities, exploring the beliefs of people in our own locality and across the world. Children gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
Our RE curriculum follows the agreed syllabus for RE developed by the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education in Devon and Torbay.
The curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
- make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs,
- understand the impact and significance of religious and non-religious beliefs.
- make connections between religious and non-religious beliefs, concepts, practices and ideas studied.
Pupils study in depth the religious traditions of the following faith groups:
4–5s EYFS – Children will encounter Christianity and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it.
5–7s Key Stage 1 – Christians, Jews and Muslims.
7–11s Key Stage 2 – Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews.
The agreed syllabus sets out ‘detailed and extensive programmes that will enable pupils to gain a coherent understanding of religions and worldviews, preparing them for life in twenty-first century Britain.’ Devon and Torbay Agreed Syllabus for RE 2019–2024, p2.
People of different religious backgrounds are treated with respect and sensitivity and consideration of non-religious worldviews also features in the curriculum. We promote teaching in Religious Education that stresses open enquiry and first-hand experiences wherever possible for both staff and children. and children are encouraged to share their own experiences with others in a safe environment.
The History curriculum at Woodwater, inspires the children’s curiosity and provides them with a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. The curriculum is designed to aid the children in forming a history schema within their long-term memories. To build the schema, the subject is underpinned by four threshold concepts:
· Investigate and interpret the past
This concept involves comprehending that our understanding of the past comes from an interpretation of the available evidence.
· Build an overview of world history
This concept involves an appreciation of the characteristic features of the past and an understanding that life is different for different sections of society.
· Understand chronology
This concept involves an understanding of how to chart the passing of time and how some aspects of history studied were happening at similar times in different places.
· Communicate historically
This concept involves using historical vocabulary and techniques to convey information about the past.
Geography is about developing children’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the world’s diverse people, places and environments. Geography consists of the study of the Earth itself (physical geography), and of its people (human geography). The study of human geography builds tolerance and respect for people around the world, helping children to understand the interconnected nature of our planet. Studying the physical geography of the planet helps children to appreciate the wonder of our natural world and to understand the environmental issues that we now face.
Woodwater Academy’s geography curriculum is comprised of three key concepts.
- Investigating places: understanding the location and the physical and human features of a variety of places around the world. Children will learn about and compare where they live to life in a number of places around the world. Children enjoy learning about other places but also develop a deeper understanding and respect for people who might be different from them.
- Investigating patterns: children will learn about natural processes, the relationships between people and the world’s physical features, the impacts of human activity, and the use and distribution of natural resources. Through these lessons, children learn about the complex web of life on our planet. They will develop a deeper understanding of the environmental issues facing our world and become empowered to be caretakers of the environment.
- Communicating geographically: including foundational skills such as using maps, learning geographical vocabulary to talk about the natural world, and using a variety of data collecting strategies to undertake investigations of their own. These strategies will encourage children to become critical thinkers and will promote life-long skills.
A thorough foundation in geography helps the children at Woodwater Academy grow to be responsible global citizens who respect and care for the planet and the people around them. Through engagement with global issues, children can make choices that can improve the world.
During their time at Woodwater Academy, children will benefit from a rich, creative and engaging art curriculum. They will experience and experiment with a wide range of materials as they explore art and design to help them grow and flourish as artists and designers.
The curriculum is designed around three key concepts;
- Developing ideas – This concept involves understanding how ideas develop through an artistic process.
- Mastering techniques – This concept involves developing a skill set so that ideas may be communicated.
- Taking inspiration from the greats – This concept involves learning from both the artistic process and techniques of great artists and artisans throughout history.
Throughout their journey they will be taught to develop their artistic skills and express themselves through sketching, drawing, painting and sculpture. They will begin by learning the basic skills and techniques which they will master and refine as they progress throughout the school.
Children will be given the opportunity to be immersed in artwork from different historical periods and cultures including the work of well-known and local artists. The children will be taught to appreciate and critique the work of artists and will use work they have seen as inspiration for their own work.
DESIGN and TECHNOLOGY
Design and Technology is taught across the school from Early Years to Year 6. Throughout the children’s years at Woodwater they learn to develop practical techniques, take inspiration from a range of designs and learn the skills required for a successful design process (design, make, evaluate and improve).
The children are able to increase their knowledge of how design and technology is integral to our world by building on their skills year by year. These skills are built on through a range of projects such as making model chairs, building bathing machines, making soups, creating dips, combining textiles and much more. Our projects focus on the 5 strands of design and technology: including cooking and nutrition, structure, electrical systems, mechanisms and textiles.
Design and Technology fosters great links across the curriculum, the children can apply their skills and knowledge from science, maths, computing and art within this subject; as well as developing their communication and problem-solving skills.
Music gives children the opportunity to create, collaborate and celebrate. At Woodwater we aim to give all children a rounded experience of music covering the key areas of singing, listening, composing and performing.
We believe that music should be woven into any area of the curriculum in which it fits and endeavour to expose the children to music from a range of cultures, genres and time periods. Every week we focus on a specific piece as a whole school and the children are encouraged to express opinions in open discussions as well as identifying key features or instruments used. We use Charanga which offers a wide range of songs for the children to learn and all children have the opportunity to use instruments to play along with these songs and create simple compositions of their own. Throughout, children are encouraged to work together, sharing ideas and supporting each other’s development.
In Key Stage 2 all children learn a musical instrument, beginning to read music and develop musicianship, performing to others. Music has the ability to bring people together and through singing together once a week, the children have the opportunity to share something and feel part of something bigger.
1:1 or small group music lessons are offered by peripatetic teachers and children can learn piano, signing, violin, drums, guitar, brass or woodwind.
At Woodwater we recognise and embrace the growing importance of computing in the modern world and have aimed to design our curriculum to equip pupils accordingly. Based around the National Centre for Computing Education’s ‘Teach Computing*’ scheme, our school provides children with high quality opportunities to learn the knowledge and skills required of them to be successful at school and later in life.
Computing is taught throughout our school from EYFS where children begin to develop their understanding of technology and the role it plays in their world. Pupils begin to use key skills such as communication, curiosity and problem solving as well as the discussion and use of the technology around them.
In KS1 pupils are taught a range of fundamental computing skills that act as a foundation on which to build. They begin learning about the systems and networks around them and start to develop an understanding of how they function. They also begin to develop their ability to create media such as art and music as well as more functional skills such as digital writing and data handling. Pupils in KS1 are also introduced programming and coding.
As pupils move into KS2 they deepen their understanding of computing and build on the key concepts learnt in KS1. The children will learn how the utilise the systems and networks around them and more about how they are designed for an intended purposes such as their own school network. Pupils will continue to learn new data handling skills, preparing them for more advanced and professional uses of computing as well as furthering their understanding of code and how to use it.
MFL (Modern Foreign Languages)
The study of modern foreign languages (MFL) at Woodwater Academy begins when children enter KS2, starting in Year 3 and progressing to Year 6, with a particular focus on French and learning about the country of France. Woodwater Academy follows the milestones set out by the Essentials Curriculum which can be viewed here: https://www.essentials.uk.com/pages.php?id=11 we use these in conjunction with the MFL aims of the National Curriculum, and draw on Rising Stars: New Primary French to support our delivery of this subject.
Throughout the teaching of French, we focus on the process of learning a language by building a solid foundation for fluency, accuracy and confidence. Children will be equipped with a range of knowledge featuring key phrases of how to greet people, how to respond appropriately to key phrases such as greetings or questions about how one feels, numbers from 0 – 20, gaining an appreciation for the culture of the language’s native country and wider cultural life.
The main aim of MFL education at Woodwater Academy is to equip children with the enthusiasm, curiosity and skills to begin learning a foreign language, for them to understand and respect the varying cultures and behaviours of other countries, to learn strategies which can assist them in making links to their native language and to consolidate new learning, along with equipping them with a variety of words and phrases which they can apply to later life experiences.
LEARNING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Outdoor learning is important to the children at Woodwater, and they are given lots of opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge outside the classroom as well as applying what they already know. We offer a wide range of clubs at lunchtime and after school, including; football, gymnastics, martial arts, sewing, art, singing, chess, gardening, construction and dance. The children also have the opportunity to attend highly valuable and exciting residential visits throughout Key Stage 2. Experiences include: London, Grenville House Activity Centre, Wildwood Escott and local camping.