Castleford Park Junior Academy

Our Curriculum

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At Castleford Park Junior Academy, our core Trust values of ‘care, aspire and succeed’ are at the heart of everything we do. We set high expectations, inspiring every pupil to excel during their time with us. Our intention is to ensure that all pupils make outstanding progress and that the curriculum removes any potential barriers to learning, delivering a bespoke offer that meets the needs of our community. We want our pupils to leave with knowledge which will not only creates excellent life opportunities but will also prepare them exceptionally well for life beyond our academy.

We view the design of the curriculum as an evolving and fluid process, always being evaluated and improved, which takes into consideration:

We have designed a curriculum which teaches what matters to our children so that they know more, remember more and understand more. Learning is sequenced in such a way that children are provided with opportunities to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded over time in their long-term memory. We also enrich our curriculum with wider opportunities, in order to build the cultural capital that our pupils need in order to become successful and well-educated citizens.

Our stakeholder vision for our curriculum offer is:

At Castleford Park Junior Academy, we strive to ensure that our school is child-centred and our pupils have the self-belief, motivation and confidence to achieve their most aspirational goals – knowing how to overcome challenges along the way. They will understand the importance of being independent and resilient, taking responsibility for and showing commitment to their learning in order to become self-motivated individuals who will achieve their potential in real and virtual worlds. They will understand the importance of being inquisitive and how this curiosity can broaden their understanding and ability to investigate and find out more. We expect our pupils to see the value of taking pride in everything that they do and the importance of being able to work cooperatively to achieve this. We will also build tolerance and respect within our pupils, reflecting the growing diversity of our community, within a safe and caring environment. By cultivating such attitudes and beliefs, we aim to provide them with everything they may need to lead a successful life and become a valued member of society.

Curriculum Intent: How is our curriculum designed?

We intend to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all, is inclusive for all and will maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. Our five key intentions that drive our curriculum are:

Intention 1: Having strong numeracy and literacy skills. We spend time securing pupils’ fluency and automaticity. There is a progressive learning sequence, building incrementally, within phonics, arithmetic, handwriting and spelling teaching which supports this. The small steps – regularly practised and built upon- are designed to release cognitive load so that pupils can access the more complex concepts of the curriculum we offer and will ultimately allow pupils to know more, remember more and understand more. Securing reading fluency for all as quickly as possible, also unlocks access to a range of rich texts and the ability to interpret and understand resources used to build understanding in all other curriculum areas.

Intention 2: Being able to communicate with confidence using precise vocabulary. Specifically chosen vocabulary is explicitly taught across the curriculum, which helps pupils to explain their reasoning. We plan for pupils to present, explain, debate and collaborate with a range of audiences, so that everyone is valued and knows that their opinion is important. Oracy is taught progressively across the curriculum in order to give pupils the tools to express themselves whenever they might need it, now and in the future.

Intention 3: Fostering a sense of pride and resilience that working towards a high quality outcome and having high expectations can bring.  We want pupils to see the importance of re-drafting and critiquing their work in order to create the best outcome that they can possibly achieve: in digital, written or spoken form. We strive to help pupils understand that using the correct ‘learning muscles’ and with practice and determination, they can achieve amazing things, instilling a good work ethic for life. This is echoed by the experts who teach alongside our staff in some subject areas.

Intention 4: Widening our pupils’ curiosity and tolerance of the world around them. Rich reading and debate that focuses on the perspectives of aspirational people from around the world influences our teaching across the curriculum, raising awareness of the importance of equality and diversity and contributing to our pupils’ personal development. We teach our pupils to have empathy and respect for the many beliefs and cultural traditions that they may encounter.

Intention 5: Being mentally and physically healthy with an ability to self-regulate at difficult times. In order to meet the needs of our diverse school community, we specifically teach our pupils how to recognise and respond to a range of emotions in ways that best support them. Having an understanding of themselves and the way their body may react in differing circumstances, ultimately increases self-esteem and self-awareness, as well as promoting empathy for others. The strong PSHCE curriculum and nurturing, trauma aware provision we have in place in school supports this.

How is our curriculum implemented?:

We believe that a carefully planned and sequentially structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built.  Using the National Curriculum as a basis, curriculum planning builds on prior knowledge from the previous key stage and also looks forward towards what is most important that pupils understand to help them continue their learning successfully in Key Stage 3. This effectively prepares pupils for the next stage in their education. This is complimented by a learning philosophy which ensures that lessons are engaging and suitably scaffolded, enabling all pupils to access the curriculum content and able to spend the large majority of time in lessons striving to achieve the ambitious outcomes intended.

Our pedagogical principles are based on research and include:

•direct teaching of the most relevant vocabulary

•’revisit and recall’ in each lesson to reactivate prior learning

•regular practice to increase automaticity

•questioning that diagnoses misconceptions and checks understanding

•precise modelling 

•critique and re-draft where appropriate to refine and develop independent work further

• live marking and feedback to respond to misconceptions and errors as quickly as possible

•same day intervention where possible

•regularly reinforced sentence stems that influence speaking and writing in a range of subject areas

•bringing knowledge learnt together under an overarching question to cement the purpose and allow the pupils to reason about what they have learnt. For example:

A growth mindset approach

We directly teach our pupils to consider the ‘learning muscles’ most useful to help them develop an independent and resilient attitude towards their learning. They are introduced progressively, so that our pupils understand what dispositions and attributes help you to become an effective learner.

Specialist teaching at CPJA:

Forest Schools – Forest School is an inspirational process, that helps all learners develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in our purpose-built, natural environment.  Children experience opportunities to garden, build fires and dens and carry out outdoor learning which links with their current study themes. Our forest school teacher also works with a small nurture group each half term, working with specifically chosen pupils to increase their confidence, resilience and pride in themselves.

French Teacher – Our pupils have the opportunity to work with a specialist French teacher during their time in school, alongside the lessons taught by their class teacher. They will develop their listening and oral ability through mastering new vocabulary and practising using conversational French, before moving on to reading and writing French as they become more confident​.

​Drama – Throughout their school journey, pupils have the opportunity to work with Sarah, Director of Yew Tree Theatre company and also an author and drama specialist. Within these workshops – as well as helping them grow in confidence – the children develop their understanding of team work, speaking and listening and empathy. The vocabulary they develop and the activities they take part in unlock their imagination and enhance their writing. Our pupils also practise communicating with a range of audiences – developing their oral skills further.

Music – Pupils will have an opportunity to work with a music specialist in Year 3 and in Year 5, who will develop their knowledge of performance and composition linked to their current topics. Learning from a talented musician raises aspiration and confidence for our pupils.​​ In Year 3, pupils start learning the ukulele and will consolidate on this in Year 5 taking the next step by using their ukulele to compose with, as well as continuing to develop their performance potential.

Nurture – ​When needed, our children can experience additional opportunities to help build their confidence, communication and vocabulary ability. These include having a chance to work in lego therapy groups, with our Forest School teacher and in socially speaking groups designed to build self-esteem. Some pupils also have an opportunity to work in our nurture unit for a six-week block, helping them access intensive support to understand and celebrate themselves and apply this confidence to learning challenges.

PE – Gymnastics and games coaches teach our pupils for a period of time each year, helping them build sequenced procedural knowledge that allows them to work towards being an accomplished performer. Having an expert teacher model each stage of development, alongside the class teacher, ensures that high standards can be achieved and aspirations can be fostered for the future.

To learn more about how each subject is implemented, please read our long-term plans below:

What is the intended impact of our curriculum?

Intention 1: Having strong numeracy and literacy skills.

Our pupils will know more, remember more and understand more.

Our pupils will make at least expected progress from their statutory assessment point with a growing number making better than expected progress to achieve excellence.

Our pupils will leave our academy ‘secondary ready’.

Our pupils demonstrate automaticity in key skills, ensuring that they are able to focus on mastering the knowledge they are taught across the curriculum

Intention 2: Being able to communicate with confidence using precise vocabulary.

Our pupils can confidently and appropriately use technical vocabulary, which is specific to each subject

Our pupils have an awareness of their audience and can adjust their presentation skills to meet this need

Our pupils can confidently give reasoned opinions with evidence, justifying their point of view and explaining precisely

Intention 3: Fostering a sense of pride and resilience that working towards a high-quality outcome and having high expectations can bring. 

Our pupils are resilient to the struggle that comes with learning something challenging and are prepared to help each other to achieve the ambitious outcomes set

Our pupils experience the pride and confidence that comes with achieving something difficult, knowing that they deserve it

Our pupils understand that often in life, to really create amazing outcomes, this takes time, editing and revisiting – and this prepares them effectively for the world of work and a range of job opportunities

Our pupils know that with practise and perseverance, they can achieve amazing things, encouraging them to strive for this after they leave us

Intention 4: Widening our pupils’ curiosity and tolerance of the world around them.

Our pupils have the reading skills to help them access rich and varied texts, opening up a world of possibilities beyond what can be tangibly seen

Our pupils are inspired by the inspirational visitors they meet and read about, reminding them that their dreams are possible

Our pupils have respect, tolerance and empathy for everyone. They treat all equally and support each other to feel safe, valued and considered. This will influence their value in the community in later life

Intention 5: Being mentally and physically healthy with an ability to self-regulate at difficult times.

Our pupils recognise the triggers which can make them feel dysregulated and can respond to this in an effective way to help manage their feelings at important times

Our pupils can independently choose strategies that help them feel physically and mentally positive and healthy and happy when they need this

Our pupils have empathy for others when it is clear they are finding something hard. They are able to help -or give them space – when it is needed

Our pupils know that all people are unique and can explain what is special about themselves that they should celebrate.