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 our pupils learn effectively.
In each lesson, children revisit prior knowledge allowing teachers to assess how deeply the knowledge is embedded, as well as supporting the children to lock the knowledge into their long-term memory. New vocabulary is introduced in each lesson to ensure children sequentially build their knowledge of keywords and have opportunities to use new language quickly. New knowledge introduced within a lesson, builds on what they were previously taught. By doing this, the children make strong links between the knowledge and are able to know and remember more. Within this lesson structure, teachers are free to be creative in how they revisit knowledge, introduce vocabulary and share new knowledge thus ensuring a high level of interest is garnered from students.
Our mixed age class structure requires us to implement a two-year rolling curriculum. We have built this curriculum carefully to ensure our children have an 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.
Our Curriculum Intent:
‘Extraordinary and exceptional knowledge that changes the world.’
At West Row Academy, we shape and structure our curriculum to ensure 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, 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 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). In this way 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 our children come to West Row Academy with differing experiences of life. This requires us to link with our local, national and international 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 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.
Our Curriculum Implementation:
'Pastoral needs must be met in order for a child to be ready to learn effectively.'
At West Row Academy, all leaders are key to ensuring progress is made in all areas of learning. All staff are committed to implementing a holistic approach to develop the whole child as well as securing essential knowledge and skills.
Our curriculum is meticulously constructed to deliver essential knowledge in a sequenced manner consequently children build their knowledge cumulatively. Links in knowledge are made within and between year groups, so children can build strong schematas. In turn this allows them to draw on their knowledge and skills, applying them to a variety of contexts. Additionally, we build our curriculum to ensure all children have equality of opportunity in all areas of learning, enrichment and extracurricular 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 reading is a priority, without losing the breadth and balance we believe pupils are entitled to.
As much as possible, and when most relevant to the learning, we take our children out to and 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 and our children can make their own discoveries and discuss the best ways to apply their knowledge and skills.
Our locality influences our curriculum. 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. This provides opportunities to enhance their memory of knowledge rather than provide them with memories; and allows our children to use their knowledge and skills in a real world setting. 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 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 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 our pupils are supported in being ready to learn. They work with the pastoral team to make this a reality. In addition, we believe 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 on play-based learning, which is informed by topics, essential knowledge and the children’s interests. This is complemented with a balance of child initiated and adult led tasks. This approach to teaching ensures 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 in our early provision, with the sharing of stories, rhymes and poems. An immediate start to learning phonics, makes certain our 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 children’s academic and personal gains from both in and out of school, with a special focus on our school values. This way, 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. High expectations of all our children and staff lead to ambitious aspirations and a belief that anyone can achieve excellence in all that they do.
Our Curriculum Impact:
'A wealth of transferrable skills.'
At West Row Academy, the impact and measure of our curriculum is ensuring our pupils acquire the age appropriate knowledge (linked to the curriculum) and the skills that will empower them to progress from their starting points as well as support them to manage their behaviour and emotions. By consciously shaping our curriculum knowledge and skills to build progressively we are able to measure pupil progress by checking they know and remember more. They are building a bank of exceptional knowledge that has the power to change the world!
Through our teaching, we ensure we alter pupils’ long-term memories. 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. This will support them in the next stages 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 creativity can be suppressed and wellbeing compromised, at West Row Academy, we encourage pupils to be creative. This approach fosters independent learners who know their work and learning has impact beyond the classroom. We embed approaches that ensure the social and emotional wellbeing of every child to support them in becoming resilient adults.
When our children leave us, as well as being ready for a Key Stage 3 curriculum, they will 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; exposed to rich vocabulary; have high aspirations and self-belief, and are able to self-sooth. All this is reliant on the teaching of our broad and balanced curriculum and the understanding, care, strength and purpose of the West Row Team.
Our curriculum plans for each year group and key stage can be found below.
Long Term Plans and Termly Overviews for Summer 1 2022
Find a subject progression document by: clicking on a subject below, scrolling to the bottom of the new page that opens and clicking where it says 'progression'.
If you would like further support in understanding our curriculum design, please contact our school office and our team will be able to support you further.