Our Academies have developed a curriculum which puts our pupils at its core. We believe our pupils learn best through first-hand experiences, making the most of the local environment and beyond. Our curriculum is designed to engage and inspire our pupils, giving them a broad range of experiences, knowledge, skills and understanding which will form a strong and lasting foundation for their future education.
Our pupils learn best when learning is linked, meaningful and has a purpose. Therefore our Academies take a thematic approach to the curriculum which is linked to a key high quality text. A cross curricular approach is taken, linking the theme and the text in a meaningful way to other areas of the curriculum to ensure our pupils have the opportunity to apply knowledge, skills and understanding in a range of contexts. Allowing our pupils opportunities to apply their learning in other areas is vital to ensure a depth of learning. Subject areas which do not link directly with the topic are taught discretely.
We want our pupils to have the opportunity to celebrate their learning as this gives their learning purpose and meaning. It also allows them to share, discuss and teach others what they have learnt, deepening their understanding.
We provide opportunities during the academic year for parents and carers to spend time in the classrooms learning with the children. For any further information about the curriculum, please contact the school office.
Our approach to English
Our English curriculum is driven by a canon of high-quality texts. This is the stimulus for all reading, writing and context work.
We plan our context learning on the knowledge the children will need to understand the book they are reading.
The same high-quality text is used in the whole class reading lessons. Across the whole school, specific reading techniques are used to ensure that all children join in with reading aloud.
Using the same text, teachers plan a learning sequence for writing. This begins with identifying the purpose for writing – to entertain, to inform, to persuade or to discuss.
Formative assessment takes place in every lesson through regular quizzing of the children to check their understanding.
Our approach to teaching Phonics
We teach reading through Linguistic Phonics. The rationale for Linguistic Phonics is that children are taught to understand the relationship between spoken language and written words. It starts with what the children naturally acquire, spoken language, and teaches them the relationship between sound-spelling correspondences. Teaching children to read through Linguistic Phonics allows them to develop their decoding skills; this supports children in learning to blend graphemes (letters) for reading, segment phonemes (sounds) for spelling and manipulate phonemes (sounds) to develop accuracy in reading and spelling.
Linguistic Phonics teaches the concept that all sounds can be spelled. We therefore do not promote silent letters, magic letters, or memorising whole words by sight. We appreciate parental support and ask that you read with your children in this way, encouraging children to use their decoding skills to read and spell.
All of our KS1 teachers receive training to deliver the Sounds~Write phonics programme. Sounds~Write takes children through systematic, incremental steps to teach children the 44 sounds in the English language and their multiple spellings.
Our approach to Mathematics
We take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Fundamentally, this rests on the belief that all children can – and, indeed, must – be successful in the study of mathematics. We do not accept that ‘some people cannot do maths’; we do not accept that mathematical study is boring or unnecessary; we do not accept that prior attainment should limit what a child is capable of learning. Mathematics is for everyone.
We plan our learning by designing coherent extended units of work in the medium term which take into account the relevant mathematical progression.
We do not set or stream by ability. Similarly, we do not group children by their prior attainment, except for where significant gaps in learning exist.
Meeting children’s needs
We aim for all children to move together through the learning in order to avoid gaps in understanding from forming.
Children who do not meet the learning objective for a lesson are identified in the lesson and are given a same-day intervention where possible to ensure that they are ready to move on to the next day’s learning.
At Phoenix Academy, we provide a high-quality science education that provides children with the foundations to understand the world around them, through biology, chemistry and physics. Our approach to teaching science follows our very own science paradigm which places knowledge and enquiry at the centre of the learning. Through investigations, we develop our children’s scientific skills of predicting, observing and recording data. This aids our children to apply the knowledge learnt to formulate a conclusion.
Our history curriculum is linked carefully with our class texts. We ensure children have a broad and in-depth understanding of history both within and outside of working memory. Our children will develop a coherent and chronological narrative by studying significant events and individuals from various perspectives: world, British and from their own locality. They will explore recurring themes of causes, effects and changes across history and answer a ‘big question’ each term.
Our approach to geography is to expose children to different parts of the world through making careful links with the class text. In addition to studying the physical geography of a certain place, the children will also develop their understanding of the people that live in that area through the study of human geography. As their knowledge increases, they will also explore the environmental geography, looking at the effects people have on their surroundings. Each year group ends their unit of work by answering a ‘big question’, where they might present their answer through explanation, a list or by using a diagram.
At Phoenix Academy, our children’s personal development is important to us. They will learn about the society they live in and how to make healthy lifestyle choices, all while becoming equipped with essential values such as kindness, tolerance and respect. Across the curriculum, the texts our children study are thoughtfully chosen to ensure they are exposed to a variety of cultures and beliefs. As a Rights Respecting School, the children will learn what their rights are and how their actions can affect the rights of others.
At Phoenix Academy, our children will learn the basic principles and processes of computer science, such as how to write and debug algorithms and create simulations using a variety of programming languages. Through the information technology strand of the curriculum, children will be taught how to use technology effectively to analyse, evaluate and present data on a range of devices. Using a wide range of thoughtfully chosen resources, our curriculum approach ensures that children are equipped with the digital literacy skills needed to use technology respectfully, safely and responsibly.
Our art curriculum is designed to develop the children’s knowledge and skills in drawing, painting and sculpture. They develop their techniques while using a range of materials such as pencil, charcoal, paint and clay. Through studying famous works of a variety of artists, children are encouraged to develop the language to identify and explore many formal elements of art. They use this knowledge and key skills to plan and develop their own pieces of artwork.
Throughout their time at Phoenix Academy, children will participate in a variety of different sports, including dance and swimming, in order to master basic skills and movements such as running, jumping, throwing and catching, while also developing their balance, agility and co-ordination. The children will engage in various team games where they will develop and use their skills and knowledge to plan simple tactics for attacking and defending. Our PE curriculum aims to not only improve physical fitness and promote healthy lifestyles, but also to improve children’s teamwork, focus and leadership skills.
The RE curriculum closely links with our ‘Global Awareness’ pillar of our curriculum rationale. Each of the six main religions are explored at length throughout their time at Phoenix Academy: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism. This is so the children become well equipped with a broad understanding of the principles of each faith, as well as their accompanying rituals and practices.
The DT curriculum allows for our children to use their creativity and imagination in order to design and make products which can solve problems within a variety of contexts. They will select and use a range of equipment and materials to create functional and appealing products as well as evaluate their ideas. As part of our DT curriculum, our children are taught how to cook various dishes while applying principles of nutrition and healthy eating.
Our music provision at Phoenix Academy is designed to ensure that every child is taught how to play an instrument before they leave our academy. The children have weekly lessons which cover listening, appraising, singing and performing various different songs and instruments. This ensures that by the end of Key Stage 2 the children have a firm understanding of musical composition and can organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures.
Spanish is taught from Year 1 up to Year 6. In Year 1, the children are introduced to the new language in an engaging manner in order to develop their curiosity and confidence. From Year 2, the children begin to build confidence in new vocabulary while also exploring sentence structure and grammar. As they progress through the curriculum, the children will develop an understanding of cultural differences and similarities. To help foster an interest in the new language, lessons are varied to ensure all areas of language learning are covered e.g. speaking, listening, reading and writing.