Ilminster Avenue ACADEMY Curriculum statement
- To immerse the children of Ilminster Avenue with a rich experiential curriculum that supports and challenges every child.
- To implement a curriculum that inspires learning both inside and outside of the classroom and promotes our belief that all children are lifelong learners.
- To ensure our academy values (success, compassion, respect, responsibility, enjoy and community) and our wider E-ACT values of ‘thinking big’, ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘team spirit’ underpin all that we do in developing our curriculum.
- To remove significant barriers to learning to enable all pupils to reach their potential, no matter their starting point.
- To ensure that children who start midway through the academic year of their educational career are fully supported to make at least good progress from starting points.
- All teachers at the academy recognise the importance of high quality teaching and provision in the core subjects. There is a designated reading slot at the start of each English lesson where the children focus on a wide range of reading skills. The Talk for Writing strategy has been introduced this year to help build children’s stamina for writing and their knowledge of different text types. The introduction of Maths Mastery means the children now focus on developing their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills in equal measure. A recent Pupil Voice survey showed that children thoroughly enjoy maths lessons and feel confident when talking about their learning and tackling challenges.
- Significant changes have been made this academic year to strengthen and improve the teaching of foundation subjects across the academy. There is now a much bigger onus on ensuring the children are developing both their knowledge and skills, particularly in subjects like history, geography and science.
- Bespoke Knowledge Organisers are created by teachers in every year group and distributed to the children each term. These documents outline the curriculum content for that term in the foundation subjects. As Knowledge Organisers are sent home, it means the children have the opportunity to share their learning with parents and carers and carry out extra research about the topics they will be learning about.
- Each term, the children participate in a ‘Wow day’ on their first day back which immerses them in their new topic. Each classroom door is decorated with something appropriate to their new topic which acts as a clue about what their learning will focus on. The children thoroughly enjoy these special days and are often eager to get to class on their return to school to discover what wonders await them!
- The academy has recently received the coveted Gold Artsmark Award and regularly receives special recognition for the exemplary music provision which every child in the school benefits from. Music is taught by a team of specialists and children attend at least one session per week. By the time the children reach KS2, their understanding of musical terminology is well-established, along with their ability to read music. In addition to the weekly music lessons, children are also offered extra sessions during and after school.
- Enriching activities such as clubs, trips and camps are offered regularly to children across the school. The wide range of clubs on offer means all tastes and interests are catered for. Examples of clubs on offer at the academy include: Arts & Crafts, String Club, Brass Club, Dance, Choir and a wide variety of sports such as football, basketball, netball and running.
- The academy creates regular opportunities for parental involvement and recognises the benefit in strengthening links between school and home. One of the most popular and well-attended events in the calendar is the annual ‘Christmas Art Day’, where parents and carers are invited to create festive decorations with their children across a whole school day.
- Children’s achievements are recognised and celebrated regularly. Children attend two different assemblies each week where various achievements are celebrated. Children are awarded with a range of prizes, including: house points, stickers, certificates and badges. The incentives on offer motivate the children to achieve highly in all areas of school life and create a positive climate where pupils often congratulate and encourage each other.
- The children benefit from the investments the academy has made in purchasing high-quality resources. Science equipment, fiction and non-fiction books, musical instruments, PE equipment, arts & crafts supplies and computing equipment are available for children to use in lessons and clubs. This enriches the children’s educational experience and helps to promote an enjoyment for learning.
- Current attendance is 95.2% and continues to rise towards our whole school target of 97%. Persistent absenteeism is also falling and currently stands at 7.7% for 2017/18, down from 15.3% in 2016/17. These percentages support the view that our pupils love coming to school and enjoy learning.
- Our data shows positive progress scores in all three core subjects at the end of KS2. A high percentage of our pupils achieve well at our academy; in line if not above national average.
- Pupils are engaged in their learning, like to talk about what they are learning and continue their learning beyond the classroom. They speak enthusiastically to any visitors; showing huge pride in their work and school.
- Pupils engage well in all aspects of academy life and are very well behaved. Data shows Fixed Term Exclusions (FTEs) for negative behaviour have dramatically reduced:
2017-18 = 114.5 days
2018-19 = 11 days
Our aim is to have Fixed Term Exclusions down to zero in the next academic year and support further evidence that we have developed a behaviour for learning culture based on our E-ACT and academy values.
- Lunchtime behaviour incidents have reduced due to positive engagement in play and games through the use of our PlayPod and activities promoted by our play leaders.
- Through our connected curriculum we ensure that Fundamental British Values and SMSC are embedded. This takes place during our Jigsaw PSHE sessions, workshops and assemblies as well as being linked into other subjects through cross-curricular learning. We are a pilot school for the JIGSAW families project; an accolade rewarding our status as a flagship school for JIGSAW.
- E-ACT passport targets are being achieved alongside our curriculum to ensure our children are developing the skills to become well-rounded, lifelong learners.
- Our parents are demonstrating a greater involvement in the school community and feedback from our community would support this view. The findings from a recent survey were very positive with many parents and carers commenting on the impressive progress their children have made.