West Row Learning:
At West Row Academy we have developed what is known as ‘West Row Learning’, a distinctive and effective structure to our lessons in order to ensure that children can learn effectively. In each lesson children revisit previous knowledge so that teachers can continually assess how deeply the knowledge is embedded and so that children can lock knowledge into their long-term memory. We introduce new vocabulary in each lesson to ensure that children can build their knowledge of key words sequentially and use new language quickly and we ensure that the new knowledge introduced in each lesson follows on from the knowledge they were previously taught. Doing this helps the children to make strong links between the knowledge and helps them to know and remember more. Within this lesson structure, teachers are free to be creative in how they revisit knowledge, introduce vocabulary and new knowledge, ensuring that a high level of interest is garnered from students.
Our mixed age classes require us to implement a two year rolling programme of knowledge and we have built our curriculum carefully to ensure that children have the opportunity to revisit knowledge, but not repeat it.
For more information about our rigorous, knowledge-based curriculum, please read our Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact statements.
West Row Academy Curriculum Intent:
‘Extraordinary and exceptional knowledge that changes the world.’
At West Row Academy, we shape and structure our curriculum so that it is fully inclusive of every child, empowering each child to progress academically, spiritually, morally, socially, emotionally and culturally. We provide them with rich opportunities to learn extraordinary and exceptional knowledge that is meaningful, that will be valuable, will have an impact on their local and global community and on their understanding of the world around them.
To this end, our curriculum intentions are clear: to make certain that every child makes progress from their starting points; to ensure that we instil in every child a passion for learning; a determination to make a difference to others; the realisation that knowledge will give them the power to make extraordinary and exceptional things happen and to cement our connections with our community, ensuring that we transform lives together.
We intend to motivate our children to be ambitious with their learning; to know and remember more, empowering them to do so by planning to teach subjects in a naturally coherent manner (i.e chronologically and considering prior and current knowledge) so that knowledge is taught in relation to all of our children’s natural cognitive loads and is built cumulatively over time.
Our rural setting, yet diverse community, means that our children come to West Row Academy with differing experiences of life, requiring us to link with our local and national community and broaden our children’s experiences beyond our locality, placing aspiration and understanding of others at the heart of everything we do. Therefore, our curriculum is designed to reflect all-embracing beliefs, rooted both in traditional British Values and those of our Academy, placing a high demand on pupils in terms of knowledge, skills, quality of work and attitudes to learning.
Enrichment through strategically placed trips, visitors and experiences will enable children to make links between and meaning of the knowledge they are taught and provide them with opportunities to use and develop skills with a purpose that goes beyond work in school books. A commitment to developing our children’s vocabulary, reasoning skills, oracy and understanding of the world around them will prepare our children to be resilient citizens, able to solve a wealth of problems with confidence and creativity.
We want to make certain that all of our children are securely prepared for the next stages in their educational careers and allow them to develop their ambitions for an extraordinary and exceptional adult life in an ever changing world.
West Row Academy Curriculum Implementation:
At West Row Academy, all leaders are key in ensuring that progress is made in all areas of learning. All staff are committed to implementing a holistic approach that develops the whole child as well as securing essential knowledge and skills.
Our curriculum is meticulously constructed to deliver essential knowledge in a sequenced manner so that children can build their knowledge cumulatively. Links in knowledge are made within and between year groups so that children can build strong schematas, allowing them to draw on their knowledge and skills, applying them to a variety of contexts. Additionally, we build our curriculum to ensure that all children have equality of opportunity in all areas of learning, enrichment and extra-curricular activities.
A thematic project based approach, with key essential elements leads the learning of our wider curriculum. A challenging problem or question is set and all knowledge and skills subsequently taught empower the children to generate a solution, options or discussion points that they can then take to a wider audience via a variety of mediums, such as presentations and product making. Our reading culture means that reading is a priority, without losing the breadth and balance that we believe pupils are entitled to.
As much as possible, and when most relevant to the learning, we take our children out of the local area to provide them with rich learning experiences, which they can talk about with their friends and family and make links with their learning in school. As often as possible and when most effective, pupils will produce work for a real audience and purpose, which will be shared and displayed beyond the classroom; a focus on authenticity is important within our project based learning as is the facilitation of learning so that children can make discoveries and discuss the best ways to apply their knowledge and skills.
Our locality influences our curriculum and we use it to enhance the learning opportunities for pupils and to inform us of where we need to widen our pupils’ view of the world. We utilise our local area judiciously to support our pupils’ learning, providing them with opportunities that will enhance their memory of knowledge rather than provide them with memories; and allow them to use their knowledge and skills in real world settings. Making links with local councillors, museums, parks, gardens, geographical features, professional bodies, people of interest and experts in their fields enables us to develop our children’s music, science, art, history and geographical knowledge and skills. We have good relationships with our local churches, shops and businesses all of which contribute to our unique curriculum throughout the year.
We recognise that some of our children face barriers to their learning. We adopt a multi-agency approach to closing the gaps of our most vulnerable learners. Being a THRIVE accredited school, we understand that a child’s pastoral needs must be met in order for the child to be ready to learn effectively. All staff are trained to ensure that pupils are supported in being ready to learn and work with the pastoral team to make this a reality. In addition, we believe that family and community engagement is the key to breaking down the barriers of any possible pre-existing negative school experiences and to welcome families in our happy, lively school.
The Early Years team focus highly on play-based learning, which is informed by topics, essential knowledge and the children’s interests and is complemented with a balance of child initiated and adult led tasks. This approach to teaching ensures that there is a high level of engagement for all children throughout their early years education and creates positive learning experiences in readiness for Key Stage 1. The focus on reading begins here, with the sharing of stories, rhymes and poems, and an immediate start with the teaching of phonics so that children are well prepared for the future curriculum and are lovers of reading.
Drawing together our teaching and assessment into regular opportunities to celebrate our children’s successes, progress, talents and passions supports the threading of our school values throughout the children’s academic and social and emotional learning. Weekly celebration assemblies celebrate the children’s academic and personal gains from both in and out of school, with a special focus on our school values so that children learn to celebrate the journey of learning and personal development as much as the destination. Our mission statement, ‘empowering everyone to achieve excellence’ drives our interactions with all children and adults, so that high expectations of all our children and staff lead to ambitious aspirations and the belief that they can achieve excellence in all that they do.
West Row Academy Curriculum Impact:
At West Row Academy the impact and measure of our curriculum is to ensure that children acquire the age appropriate knowledge linked to the curriculum and the skills that empower them to progress from their starting points and to manage their behaviour and emotions. By shaping our curriculum so that the knowledge and skills build progressively, we can measure pupil progress by checking that they know and remember more and that they are building a bank of exceptional knowledge that has the power to change the world!
Through our teaching, we ensure that we alter pupils’ long-term memories and we define progress as knowing and remembering more. Teachers and staff work hard to plan a broad and balanced curriculum, which is expertly delivered to ensure a child’s entire school experience enables them to develop a deep body of knowledge about themselves and the world around them, which will see them through to study at the next stage of their education both at West Row Academy and beyond. We pride ourselves on not just pushing our children through a SATs driven curriculum, where their creativity is suppressed and well-being is compromised – at West Row Academy, we encourage pupils to be creative in the approach they take to their work with the aim that it has impact beyond the classroom and we embed approaches that ensure the social and emotional well-being of every child so that they become resilient adults.
When our children leave us, as well as being ready for a KS3 curriculum, they have a wealth of transferrable skills which have been developed throughout their time at primary school in an inclusive and nurturing environment. We are proud that once the children from West Row Academy have left, they have been supported through their transition; have been exposed to rich vocabulary and have high aspirations, self-belief and are able to self-sooth all through the teaching of this broad and balanced curriculum and thanks to the love, care strength and purpose of the West Row Team of staff.
Our Curriculum Plans for each year group and key stage can be found here:
Autumn 1 2021
Long Term Plan
- Early Years - 2021 - 2022 - LTP
- Year 1 and 2 - 2021 - 2022 - LTP
- Year 3 and 4 - 2021 - 2022 - LTP
- Year 5 and 6 - 2021 - 2022 - LTP