Curriculum Overview

Our whole curriculum is shaped by our academy vision which aims to provide inclusive, high quality educational experiences in and beyond the classroom. At Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy we aspire to develop pupils who show empathy, have perseverance, be inspirational and challenge themselves. We support this by providing opportunities for children to build knowledge and skills, make and apply their understanding both in the classroom and in the wider world. 

It is our intention that our pupils will be able to think well and feel well so that they can contribute to their community and the wider world around them. We want them to leave our academy with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed at Secondary School, but also to have a love of learning, a resilience to overcome challenges and the ability to access the choices and opportunities available to them. 

We have built a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they will need to succeed in life. Pupils study the full curriculum, based upon National Curriculum expectations. 

Our curriculum provides an appropriate balance of knowledge, skills and understanding. It is coherently planned and sequenced towards accumulating knowledge and skills for future learning and beyond. Our curriculum supports acquisition and retention of this knowledge through: 

  • Placing vocabulary and language development at the heart of all learning and underpins the curriculum. 
  • High expectations of academic achievement are supported by a rich and varied wider curriculum, including enrichment opportunities, which enhance learning and also serve to support pupils’ personal development. 
  • Whole school timetabling, mapping and careful sequencing ensures not only coverage, but a broad and balanced curriculum, through which knowledge, understanding and skills have been carefully considered across key stages to support breadth and balance. 
  • Links between areas of knowledge are maximised and made explicit. 
  • Systematic and overt opportunities for children to revisit, apply and extend previous knowledge and skills are interwoven throughout the curriculum. 
  • Progression, both within and across year groups, is carefully planned to ensure that pupils are able to develop and build upon their conceptual understanding over time. 
  • Direct teaching approaches serve to maximise the impact of teaching. 
  • A range of assessment measures (formative and summative) are outlined in our Teaching and Learning policy. 
  • Subject Leaders support the wider planning of the curriculum as well as leading CPD to develop teachers’ subject knowledge and pedagogical practice, as well as monitoring the impact of the curriculum. 

It is our belief that well-being needs to be taught and explored explicitly (through aspects of the curriculum such as healthy eating, Mental Health Week, etc.) and implicitly through the way that all members of the school community are expected to care for each other, listen to each other and respect each other. 

Our approach to supporting positive behaviour mirrors this and encourages pupils to develop their emotional literacy and to be able to acknowledge and discuss their feelings and emotions. As a pilot school for the RESET project we are developing an outstanding relationships education provision that supports our pupils to develop healthy and respectful relationships. 

A range of educational research has been utilised to develop planning, pedagogy, and practice within our curriculum. Lesson structure has been designed around the work of Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction. Metacognition is explicitly taught. Children are taught how to organise, plan and organise their work with increasing levels of independence. Over time pupils hone their skills and the way they approach learning and think becomes habitual. They create their own internal scaffolding to approach new learning. They are taught ways of evaluating their work and using successful strategies in other contexts. 

Teachers regularly model their own thinking to help pupils develop their own metacognitive and cognitive skills. Through explicit teacher modelling, the teacher provides students with a clear example of a skill or strategy. The time it takes to model a concept or skill is dependent on the size of the task pupils are being asked to do. Modelling some skills may take just a few minutes while other, more complex skills, may take extended teaching time. Modelling is planned for so that the pupils know understanding and expectations. 

In recognising that the capacity of the working memory is limited we recognise the importance of reducing cognitive overload. Some of the ways we do this form part of our lesson structure include: using structured planning template, rehearsing the components of more complex tasks, breaking down tasks into more manageable chunks and consistency in our routines, sayings, and approaches. 

Our whole-curriculum emphasis upon the importance of the development of vocabulary and language has been influenced by the work of Alex Quigley. In maths we follow a mastery approach, developed by Dr Helen Drury, and evidenced by EEF research. In addition, our Curriculum Network Teams at OAT East are comprised of a wide range of colleagues with additional research qualifications and this directly supports the development of practice throughout our academy.   

A range of assessment measures are used to measure the impact of our curriculum, including: 

  • Statutory testing in EYFS, Year 1, Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6 
  • PiXL assessments and data 
  • Regular core team meetings (pupil progress meetings) 
  • Formative assessments during lessons 
  • Parent voice surveys 
  • Pupil voice surveys 
  • Behaviour, safeguarding and attendance data 
  • Parent meetings 
  • Monitoring by SLT and subject leaders, including planning scrutiny, learning walks, work scrutiny and lesson observations 

Information taken from these activities is analysed and evaluate informing our ongoing academy priorities.