The National Curriculum 2014 sets out what children should be taught and, as an Academy School, we have taken full advantage of the curriculum freedoms offered to us. A great deal of thought and planning has gone into developing our Mount Hawke Academy Curriculum, and it is on a regular review and evolution following feedback from children, parents and staff. We have ensured that we meet any legal requirements placed on us under the terms of the current National Curriculum, and take any elements from it which we feel are beneficial to the learning needs of our children. This may include specific content such as topics, or simply key learning objectives.
The result is a rich and varied curriculum which provides daily teaching and learning of English and Mathematics, but also includes provision for the delivery of Science, Physical Education, Computing, Art and Design, Design Technology, Geography, History, Religious Education, Modern Foreign Languages, Music and Personal, Social and Health Education. This is done through a wide range of topics over the different year groups.
English and mathematics skills are taught discretely each morning and are rehearsed during afternoons using other subjects. For example, the class teacher may use the morning’s English lesson to teach a new skill, for example why we use apostrophes and how to use them correctly. The teacher may use a series of engaging methods to teach this. Then, in a geography lesson, the children will practise applying their new apostrophe knowledge to their writing, for example in explaining how the water cycle works. The teacher will then assess the child's progress during the afternoon activities based on the national curriculum objectives for history but also English. This is what we refer to as a 'cross-curricular' approach to learning English and mathematics.
We have a specialist instructor to support the teaching of PE because our evaluations confirm that an extremely high quality learning experience is provided. All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Themed weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. Additional whole school programmes and approaches support quality teaching and learning, and the school is well resourced in terms of learning materials, books and technology. The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our children. The school grounds have been developed so they can enrich different curriculum areas too.
Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and 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 teachers ensure that creative, challenging work is planned and that skills, concepts and knowledge are transferred between different areas of the curriculum. The themes selected for study are balanced both across the year and key stage. Links are made to ensure that children develop the self-confidence to move from the familiar to the unknown and challenge themselves in a secure and supportive learning context.
Members of staff meet regularly to share ideas and analyse data, in order to establish areas of strength and development; as a result, we are able to offer a curriculum which is appropriate and relevant to the needs of our children. This includes introducing intervention programmes to provide targeted support.
Our team of dedicated, enthusiastic teaching staff is devoted to delivering high quality teaching and learning. In doing so, they are well supported by an experienced and motivated team of support staff, who are committed to providing the best opportunities and guidance for the children they work with.
Our Curriculum aims to: