Ethos and curriculum intent
Our work is underpinned by the de Ferrers’ Trust vision
‘To ensure that all the children and young people in our care have the opportunity to fulfil their potential through achieving highly regardless of their ability or background.’
Our academy is reflective of the partnerships we have both within the Trust and within the wider local area. We have a shared aspiration for our children to be caring; resilient and honest with a personal ambition to achieve their very best.
We all aim to provide a safe, happy and healthy environment in which all children are encouraged to be creative, confident and enquiring individuals in an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect and support. We want our children to be successful, to love learning and to move onto secondary school with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to thrive.
The four primary academies within the Trust operate in different contexts. The Eton Park Junior vision is modelled in our curriculum, where we believe in advantage over disadvantage. As a school serving a community with high deprivation, we believe that our pupils deserve a curriculum that does not narrow life chances. It is our aim that no child is left behind, each individual is given the support and teaching to enable them to develop the skills and acquire the knowledge that will prepare them for the next stage of their school career.
Our curriculum has at its core the national curriculum which we see as the basis on which we have built the Eton Park curriculum. The Principals of the four Trust schools have worked closely together to agree a core curriculum structure based on skills, knowledge and understanding. This process began by identifying clear progression and sequencing within subject areas. Each school has built upon this core to meet individual needs and contexts, with the ability for staff across schools to work collaboratively.
The curriculum at Eton Park can be identified as having a knowledge- engaged approach. It is rich with knowledge based facts that are progressively taught. We also place an emphasis on developing the skills our pupils need for future learning, including resilience, growth mind set and perseverance. The strengths of our curriculum are that we identify and promote subject specific vocabulary, equip our pupils to build links and enhance their learning across other subjects and empower the children with skills and knowledge that are not practised within the home environment.
Curriculum design- implementation
Our curriculum model uses a thematic approach; all four Trust academies have identified subject leaders to ensure subject equity. We see learning as an ascending spiral with sufficient repetition to ensure that learning becomes embedded and secure. We know that children learn best when they are supported to make connections between the different areas of their learning building on prior knowledge. This approach makes the subjects more relevant and interesting for our pupils who have little experience of the world outside their immediate location.
Following the publication of the research into curriculum (HMCI 18/9/2018) we discussed the two terms knowledge and skills. Our shared understanding is that knowledge is facts and information and skills are the application of knowledge in a range of contexts. We adhere to the HMCI comment ‘knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill’ and we understand that both need to be developed alongside one another.
Eton Park underpins all its work with the PRIDE ethos (Partnership, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Excellence) we include valuable first-hand experiences to enrich the curriculum, with a wide range of activities taking place during lunchtime and after school to enhance pupil provision. We work hard to include the 'wow' factor to motivate and inspire our learners to prepare children for the world they live in today and for the future.
Eton Park is an inclusive school, therefore a range of strategies and resources are available to ensure that all pupils can be assessed effectively and given suitable targets. This includes support for learners who have English as an additional language (currently 13 different languages are spoken), gender difference, pupils with SEN and Gifted and Talented pupils. Curriculum and display materials are specifically chosen to reflect positives images of gender, disability and ethnic backgrounds.
We recognise the importance of making links between home and school and encourage parental involvement with the learning of homework. Termly homework activities are set and displayed on the website. This homework allows children to:
- Practise and consolidate their skills and knowledge
- Develop and extend their techniques
- Share their work with their family
Each class teaches a dedicated whole class reading session 5 times a week. Our English curriculum is delivered through the use of a quality text to ensure high expectations are in place, it drives the objectives that need to be taught alongside the promotion of reading for pleasure and enjoyment.
A daily maths lesson is timetabled using our Power Maths scheme; this promotes the skills of discovery and mastery of learning. We place great emphasis on teaching using apparatus to move the learning from concrete to abstract and thus embedding the knowledge acquired.
All subjects are explicitly timetabled throughout the week, topic themes are used to deliver cross curricular knowledge and skills. Religious Education and PSHCE are highly valued at Eton Park as we recognise the importance of developing the moral and social skills of our children with particular regard to their emotional health and wellbeing.
Progression and sequencing
The National Curriculum 2014 underpins the objectives of our curriculum. This is supported by our assessment system SPTO where objectives are tracked, and coverage ensured. The curriculum has been planned and mapped progressively throughout the Key Stage. A theme based approached is used as a vehicle, where relevant, to teach explicit facts and make links through cross curricular learning. Learning opportunities are planned to embed knowledge, skills and understanding across the curriculum.
Assessment of the curriculum
We use formative and summative assessment processes to enable us to make accurate judgements of both attainment and progress this enables us to identify any gaps in knowledge or skills and to adapt our planning to close these gaps. Knowledge gained by regularly reviewing our assessment processes and outcomes, enable us to continue to develop our school curriculum to inform and improve our future curriculum design.
Our English, Maths and Science assessments are made by continuous teacher assessment and supported by official assessments using the Cornerstones system. Results are tracked through the SPTO assessment system and analysed by subject leads. Gaps in learning are addressed through future planning, interventions and greater depth groups.
For the foundation subjects each year group has mapped the progressive skills into I know statements that are assessed through ongoing teacher assessment as a natural, integrated part of each lesson. These are compiled into termly grids that identify those to who are working at, below or above age-related expectation. The SLT and subject leads regularly monitor our classroom environments, books and pupil voice to ensure progress is evidenced.
Impact (the results and wider outcomes)
Through the curriculum at Eton Park we strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points of our children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering age related expectations. We intend that the impact is that children will be academically and physically prepared for life in their next school stage, in Modern Britain and the wider world.
We want our learners to become rounded characters with a clear understanding of complex values like equality, friendship, trust and many others. From this they will develop a character that prepares them for living in the community demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day in all learners on the playground, in corridors, and in the many roles we give them.
Our learners are to be guided by all staff on how to approach challenges every day. This could be on the playground, in a game or disagreement, or in class in a complex learning challenge. The impact should be that children don’t give up, are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this.
Our learners will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community. They will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others.