Our curriculum challenges and supports all pupils to reach their full potential in all subjects. We develop their strengths and support them to progress in areas that they find challenging.
We have worked in collaboration with the other five E-ACT academies in Bristol to produce E-ACT’s Great Western Curriculum. Our curriculum statement for this can be found here:
Year group Curriculum overviews
Foundations of Learning
At Ilminster Avenue, we believe in creating strong foundations of knowledge and skills for all of our pupils, allowing them to build on their learning. We track the performance of all, enabling us to challenge lack of progress and support when needed, closing gaps in attainment.
We are passionate about how we approach this and use everything from drama, music and art to immerse children into everything they do. Making links and connections between areas of learning, developing new skills to a mastery level is an integral part of the National Curriculum.
Using an engaging and exciting curriculum called E-ACT’s Great Western Curriculum, we are able to support each child to discover and develop their interests and talents. Through regular communication we are able to work with our parents and carers to assist pupils both at home and at school.
Our teaching staff work in curriculum teams to plan the sequence of learning and to ensure that our curriculum is broad and balanced, and that regular links are made between areas of learning; we know that this is how children learn best and retain that knowledge.
Our curriculum evolves each year to suit the needs of our pupils, and although topics may start with a similar stylus, we are more than happy for our children to work with their teachers to direct where their learning journeys take them.
To find out more about the curriculum our school is following please contact the office or speak to your child’s class teacher.
Reading success for every pupil is a Ilminster Avenue priority.
At Ilminster Avenue, we recognise that Reading: is a key life skill; underpins much of learning in other subjects; can support the development of a wider vocabulary; can result in memory improvement; can support the development of analytical thinking; can improve focus and concentration; can lead to improved writing skills; and can bring about inner peace.
Therefore, with fun, engaging texts; structured reading lessons; one-to-one support, a focus on skills-based teaching and robust assessment & intervention, we aspire to ensure that all pupils have a range of strategies to decode new words and read fluently with good understanding; become confident and independent readers, seeking out new authors and genres; are equipped for the next stage of their education and have a lasting understanding of the importance of reading, and the pleasure it can give. Our Guiding Principles* outline how we aspire to develop and maintain a whole-school reading culture that will have a lifelong impact on our pupils.
At Ilminster Avenue E-ACT Academy we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Through phonics children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words.
We follow the Letters and Sounds programme to ensure that our phonics system is well-organised. Phonetic knowledge is taught directly through phonics lessons and when children are heard read with in Early Years, Ks1 and Ks2. Teachers are ambitious in their expectations of the sounds and words children should be able to read by the end of each term.
At Ilminster Avenue, we promote a love for writing in all areas of the curriculum. We want children to succeed in writing to become effective communicators of spoken and written word. Our pupils will acquire a wide-ranging vocabulary, a strong foundational understanding of English grammar and apply their phonics knowledge to be effective spellers.
Writing is taught in a three-weekly cycle through an adaptation of Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing embellished with the use of the FANTASTICS from Jane Considine’s The Write Stuff. The first week largely focuses on immersing our children with a text in the style of the genre being taught as well as introducing key concepts. In the second and third week of the writing cycle, children are encouraged to become more independent writers and accurate editors by applying the concepts taught in the first week.
It is fundamental that pupils have strong teacher modelling, shared writing, discussions, presentations and debates using high quality, fun and engaging texts as a stimulus. Pupils are expected to write a wide range of genres for particular purposes, audiences and contexts with text types linking to the year group curriculum subjects they are studying to build on their scientific, geographical or historical knowledge.
At Ilminster Avenue, we are continuously striving towards teaching for mastery in Mathematics. There is a focus on the 3 over-arching aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving, while also considering the Five Big Ideas of teaching for mastery. This ensures that children have a deep understanding of concepts before progressing onto new learning.
Mathematics is a highly connected subject; each piece of learning influences the next. The mathematics curriculum should be taught through a mastery approach, not moving quickly through content but exploring deeply the links between the maths. This is achieved through a thorough decomposition of each composite element of the curriculum into specific components; by doing this, it enables each piece of knowledge to be mastered, ready for children to move onto the next area of learning. It is the aim to provide children with a secure foundation, which will enable them to meet the three main aims of the maths curriculum to: work fluently; have the ability to reason mathematically and be able to apply these skills to solve problems.
We use Times Tables Rockstars to promote the fluency of multiplication skills. Your teacher will give your child their login username and password – you can login by clicking here.
Through our knowledge-rich curriculum, Year groups progress from studying recent Bristolian history to the history of Britain and then are given opportunities to look at world history comparing significant European and non-European civilisations often underappreciated in history such as the ancient Egyptians, the Vikings and Mayans.
Each topic has been specifically chosen to further develop children’s knowledge of how the current world was shaped, with each year group travelling further back in time.
Each topic is framed with an enquiry-based question that challenges stereotypical narratives of history. This helps prepare children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.
Through our knowledge-rich curriculum, the children learn about diverse places, people, resources, human and natural environments.
We help our children to understand the complexity of the physical world, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between human and physical processes. How we impact the world and the impact the world has on us.
Through this we hope they will gain an underlying respect for the human and natural world and a sense of awe and social responsibility towards it.
Computing skills and knowledge are developed across the whole curriculum. From the very youngest age, children become familiar with technology and develop their computational thinking through play.
In KS1 and KS2, computing sessions are taught in blocks:
- Communication & Using Technology
- Simulation & Modelling
- Film & Animation
Every year group explores every block of learning each year, building upon their skills and knowledge. Online safety is taught explicitly and discretely within every block.
RE education is not only a window into other peoples’ views and beliefs but an exploration of our own. Our aim is to develop our pupils’ knowledge and understanding of beliefs and the world around them. In line with British Values, we teach our pupils to be respectful and tolerate those of different faiths, beliefs and encourage individual liberty. We provide ambitious enquiry questions which encourage children to reflect and share their own judgements. We use the Discovery RE scheme of work as a starting point then incorporate elements of PSHE, RRS, E-ACT Values and British Values into our lessons.
Science at Ilminster Avenue is about giving children the tools to develop their ideas and ways of working, whilst also understanding the world in which they live. We want our children to be scientists within their science lessons, whilst also making STEM links into the wider curriculum and their everyday lives. We want the children to love science, to remember the concepts they have learnt and to utilise this knowledge and vocabulary to understand the world they live in and how it works. Children at Ilminster Avenue are taught our science curriculum in a carefully structured order to ensure that they are developing their scientific knowledge and their understanding of working scientifically, whilst expanding on their ever-growing vocabulary.
Each topic has been specifically chosen to further develop children’s knowledge of how biology, physics and chemistry is intricately woven throughout their world. Year groups progress through nature, processes and methods of science and then get opportunities to look at these concepts in their own world, such as materials, Earth and Space and Animals including humans. Each topic is framed with an enquiry-based question that challenges stereotypical misconceptions in science. This therefore prepares children to ask investigative questions, think critically, weigh evidence and draw conclusions to help answer and understand scientific lines of enquiry.
The teaching of the arts and creativity is an important aspect of the curriculum at all ages. Art and pictures will underpin the development of literacy from the youngest age and will continue to influence pupils’ speech and writing as they mature and their skills develop. Music and singing will be encouraged not only in their own right, but also to enhance other areas of the curriculum.
“Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.” – National Curriculum
We believe children deserve a broad and ambitious music curriculum which is both rich in skills and knowledge. With this in mind, our music curriculum has been designed to ignite a child’s curiosity and inspire their creativity as they embark on their musical journey to become confident, reflective musicians.
Music is taught progressively and is divided into three categories: singing, playing instruments and composition. As children progress through the school, they will increasingly understand and explore how music is created and communicated through the interrelated dimensions of music: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure. These are integrated within each lesson and are regularly revisited to embed the knowledge.
At Ilminster Avenue, we love music and place a high value on the teaching of this subject. We are lucky to have Preludes leading the teaching of music. Every week the children have a music lesson with musicians from Preludes. We hope to foster a life long love of music within every child by encouraging them to not only listen and respond to a diverse range of music styles and genres but to find their voices and singers, performers and composers too.
Music lessons are funded by the school and match funded by charity grants sought by Preludes. Children have the opportunity to learn Violin, Cello, Brass instruments and drums.
Art and Design
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up” Pablo Picasso
Our intent is for a curriculum which promotes a curiosity and love of art and design whilst developing pupil’s knowledge and skills; it will ultimately enable them to create their own works of art and critique others. Through Art and Design children will develop their individual creativity, express their ideas and understanding and have opportunities to work both individually and collaboratively with others. We aim for all children to leave Ilminster Avenue as artists.
Art is taught progressively and every year the skills and techniques are revisited. For every year group term 1 and 2 is drawing and colour, term 3 and 4 is collage and photography, and term 5 and 6 is 3D sculpture. This gives the children the opportunity to engage with a range of media, techniques and experiences but also to build and develop upon previously learnt skills which will deepen their knowledge.
The sequence of lessons is also revisited every year so that the content is clear to learners and teachers alike and the knowledge can be built upon throughout every child’s journey at Ilminster Avenue.
Our intent is to give pupils a solid foundation and broad experience of ‘designing’, ‘making’ and ‘evaluating’ through a variety of media and materials. The curriculum is divided into five categories which are: cooking and nutrition, structures, mechanisms, electrical systems and textiles. Children will gain knowledge and skills within each of the categories and have opportunities to use them to explore their own ideas as well as the ideas of others.
Children will learn the importance of planning, testing and reviewing ideas in order to improve them. The curriculum is taught in a way that builds on knowledge and skills each year in order to develop and master each category.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Ilminster AvenueE-ACT Academy our MFL curriculum develops a genuine interest and curiosity in foreign languages and enables children to recognise the benefit of learning a foreign language. At Ilminster Avenue we teach children Spanish from KS2. We want to ensure all children develop language skills and knowledge that will open up a wide range of possibilities in further education, jobs and life experiences. Our ultimate aim is that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond KS2.
Our MFL curriculum will enable children to celebrate and welcome differences in our world and understand different languages, countries and cultures. This will enable children to show respect to other cultures and play a valuable part in our global society.
We teach the curriculum in such a way that makes the learning meaningful for children and allows them to make links across the curriculum as well as applying their knowledge and skills to real life situations.
A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness as well as developing values and transferrable life skills such as fairness and respect. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. At Ilminster Avenue E-ACT Academy, our aim is to ensure all children enjoy and are engaged in Physical Education and Sport. Through Physical Education we aim to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding, so that they can perform with increasing confidence and competence in a range of physical activities. We aim to improve health and well-being, promote active participation and lifelong learning, and for each child to fulfil their potential. We aim to ensure that the children’s experience of Physical Education is positive and motivating and that children’s attitudes to a healthy lifestyle are firmly embedded in our curriculum.
Jigsaw PSHE Programme
Jigsaw PSHE brings together Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in a lesson-a-week programme.
Designed as a whole school approach, Jigsaw provides a comprehensive scheme of learning for Foundation Stage to Year 6. It actively promotes and teaches the five core British Values within it; there is a very clear progression in the teaching of:
- Rule of Law’
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect, and
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
A link to these values by year group and each puzzle piece can be found here
Jigsaw holds children at its heart and its cohesive vision helps children understand and value who they are and how they fit and contribute to the world.
If you would like any more information about our curriculum then please contact the office: