Curriculum

OVERVIEW

In designing the curriculum at Isaac Newton Academy we have asked two key questions:
How can we impart knowledge whilst instilling a love of learning and developing learning power?

How can we develop in our students the character necessary to translate that knowledge and learning power to success in life?

Delivering a challenging, academic, creative, interesting and inspiring curriculum is central to achieving our ambitious goals.

At Isaac Newton Academy it is important that the curriculum provides:

Depth so that students become proficient in Literacy and Maths skills and core academic subjects quickly                      

so that students develop the depth of learning required for success at the highest grades and to progress to more advanced levels

Breadth so that, building upon that foundation, students gain knowledge, skills, understanding and qualifications that demonstrate academic, aesthetic, creative, human, social, political, physical, manipulate, linguistic, literary, mathematical, moral, ethical, scientific, spiritual and technological qualities and awareness
Skills & Character development so that students leave the academy with the learning dispositions and character traits necessary for success in life
Academic rigour & knowledge acquisition preparing students to compete successfully against their highest performing peers nationally for places at top universities

 

Reception Year Curriculum Model

Isaac Newton Primary Academy comprises of three forms in each year group, from Year Reception to Year 6.  The 90-pupil intake is divided into the three class groups and mixed in terms of gender, ethnicity, month of birth and any information obtained from pre-school or home visits regarding attainment.

Pupils are taught in their class groups for most lessons, although the daily Read Write Inc. (RWI) phonics lessons are taught in set groups according to attainment.  All three class groups at taught RWI at the same time each day and taught by the class teachers and teaching assistants, allowing for 7 smaller groups to be created, based on attainment levels. This model ensures that every child is working at the correct level and pace according to their need, in smaller teaching group sizes; we also ensure no child is left behind.  Every child’s progress and attainment is monitored, tracked and discussed on a regular basis to enable flexibility within the set groups as we know that children progress at different rates throughout the year. Regular feedback is shared with parents/carers, along with resources and ways in which they can support their child at home.  Weekly homework is given to support the home/school learning.

The children’s progress and attainment across all 17 Early Learning Goals is assessed and recorded every half term.  A report is sent home and a Parent Progress Meeting takes place at the end of every term.

Weekly Subject Time Allocations:

5 x 45 minutes Maths Mastery, 5 x 45 minutes Literacy, 5 x 15 minutes Maths Meetings, 5 x 45 minutes Phonics (RWI), 5 x 20 minutes Handwriting, 1x 20 minutes of Guided Reading, 5 x 15 minutes of Story Time, 1x 30 minutes Show & Tell, 5 x 15 minutes Fruit & Talk Time.

Weekly Music and PE discrete lessons are taught by secondary subject specialists and a weekly discrete Art/Drama lesson (changed each half term) is taught by two Teaching Assistants.

All other subjects are taught through topic themes and incorporated within the Independent Learning time.

Every child participates in one enrichment club each week.  Each club runs for a half term, so ever half term the children have the option to choose a different club.

 

Year 1 Curriculum Model

Pupils are taught in their class groups for most lessons, although the daily Read Write Inc. (RWI) phonics lessons are taught in set groups according to attainment.  All three class groups at taught RWI at the same time each day and taught by the class teachers and teaching assistants, allowing for 7 smaller groups to be created, based on attainment levels. This model ensures that every child is working at the correct level and pace according to their need, in smaller teaching group sizes; we also ensure no child is left behind.  Every child’s progress and attainment is monitored, tracked and discussed on a regular basis to enable flexibility within the set groups, as we know that children progress at different rates throughout the year. Regular feedback is shared with parents/carers, along with resources and ways in which they can support their child at home.  Weekly homework is given to support the home/school learning.

The children’s progress and attainment across all areas of the National Curriculum is assessed and recorded every half term.  A report is sent home and a Parent Progress Meeting takes place at the end of every term.

At the end of Year 1, every child will have a phonics screening check assessment to ensure all pupils have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6.  Any pupil who has not made the required level of progress will retake the test again in Year 2.

Weekly Subject Time Allocations:

Core Subjects

5 x 60 minutes Maths Mastery, 5 x 60 minutes Literacy, 5 x 15 minutes Maths Meetings, 5 x 45 minutes Phonics (RWI), 5 x 20 minutes Handwriting, 1x 20 minutes of Guided Reading, 5 x 15 minutes of Story Time, 1x 20 minutes Show & Tell, 1x 10 minutes Spelling Test.

Foundation Subjects

1 x 30 minutes Music lesson taught by secondary specialists, 1 x 30 minutes PE lesson taught by secondary specialists and 1 x 30 minutes lesson of ADT. 

1x 60 minutes Science, 1 x 60 minutes Humanities, 1 x 60 minutes ICT, 1x 60 minutes Art/DT, 1x 30 minutes PSHCE, 1 x 30 minutes RE and 1 x 90 minutes PE.

Every child participates in one enrichment club each week.  Each club runs for a half term, so ever half term the children have the option to choose a different club.

 

The Structure and Guiding Principles of the Reception Curriculum

  • Provides opportunities for cross curricular links during planning
  • Helps pupils to transfer skills between different areas of the curriculum in order to encourage flexibility and resourcefulness and to enable them to use the their strengths in one area to overcome challenges in another
  • Ensures pupils are active, motivated and enthusiastic learners
  • Ensures pupils know what they are learning and why
  • Uses a wealth of relevant resources – in classrooms, outdoors, in the local community and in the wider area including visits and visitors
  • Allows for pupils to demonstrate their learning in different ways – not always in exercise books but through photographs, posters, products, presentations, performances

 

How the curriculum principles are applied

  • Pupils are taught Phonics, Literacy, Maths Mastery and Handwriting skills daily. There should be depth before breadth – all students need to master English and Maths in order to excel in other curriculum areas.
  • Students who enter the academy with weak speech and language, literacy and Maths skills have extra daily support in a 1:1 or small group setting. The curriculum is designed to teach students from their starting point and to achieve rapid catch-up for those who enter behind their peers in levels of attainment.
  • The specialisms of Maths and Music have a central place in the curriculum at Isaac Newton Academy. Maths and Music are disciplines in which the correlation between hard work and excellence are seen particularly clearly.

Maths: Fluent numerical skills give students access to a wealth of scientific and creative subjects. Mastery of mathematics develops students’ intellectual and logical reasoning capabilities, spatial visualisation, analysis and abstract thought. "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty" (Bertrand Russell).

Music: Music plays a central role in supporting young people in developing a range of skills and dispositions as well as enriching their lives.  We believe that every child can be a musician and that music has the facility to develop confidence, creativity, leadership, self-discipline and excellence. Our aim is for all students to have access to and participate in a breadth of music-making experiences that reflect the multicultural society in which we live. Through their engagement with high-quality curriculum and enrichment-related activities, we aim for students to become passionate and versatile musicians who will maintain an active relationship with music throughout their lives.

  • Every day is taught whereby academic subjects are balanced with practical and creative ones. The curriculum should provide a range of learning experiences and environments, academic and practical subjects and learning in and out of the classroom.
  • Building Learning Power (BLP) is reinforced by every member of staff through the BRIDGES framework.  Each week pupils are introduced to the new BRIDGES focus during the Monday assembly. This BRIDGES characteristic of the week becomes the focus around the school and will be visible in every classroom, around the whole school building and discretely taught and reinforced across the curriculum. Each week students focus on one of the 7 characteristics of the BRIDGES framework (covering all 7 each half term).  At all times the pupils will be given opportunities to explore the features and develop the skills related to the particular characteristic. The skills needed to be an effective learner and characteristics required for success in life should be developed and practised explicitly and the language of learning used by all in the school community. The awards assembly every Friday will congratulate pupils who have demonstrated the use of the focus BRIDGES disposition.
  • All staff, teaching and operational, are expected to deliver at least one enrichment session each week.  Each student is expected to attend at least one enrichment/support session after school each week.  An after-school enrichment and extension programme should provide the opportunity for students to experience new disciplines and activities, learn new skills and/or take part in more sport, music and creative activities than can be provided in the structured school day. These activities will also provide a safe and supported environment for socialising, having fun and getting to know staff in a different context.
  • All students are set, and expected to complete, independent/home learning tasks each week in preparation for their subsequent lessons. Learning to complete tasks independently, whether they be consolidation of earlier class learning or research/reading in preparation for future lessons, is an important skill and character trait for all students to develop in order to accelerate their rate of academic progression, to prepare them for advanced levels of educational study and to enable them to acquire life skills.