Our curriculum is designed to enable children to understand their place in the world, which they exploit because of a developed sense of self and agency that is built on an ability to seek meaning and make connections based on evolving understanding secured through a foundation of knowledge and skills.
The underpinning Intent of the Cabot Learning Federation 3-19 Curriculum
At Minerva Primary Academy we have recently introduced a new immersive curriculum where children learn as Scientists, Artists, Historians, Authors, Designers and Geographers. The children are very excited, and this had made coming to school irresistible as a result. We have a Growth-Mindset Culture where mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn and where hard work and determination are the qualities that we value.
Our immersive curriculum starts with a key question for the children to explore and learn from. It has a planned ‘hook’ into new learning and a celebration or showcase at the end. These are some of our key questions across different states of being
Y1 What makes me unique? (Being self-aware)
Can I explain my own personal history? (Being an historian)
Y2 What makes an effective twisted fairy tale? (Being an author)
What do animals and humans need to stay alive and healthy? (Being a scientist)
Y3 Where do I fit within Europe? (Being a geographer)
What does it mean to belong to a religion? (Being a philosopher)
Y4 What made the Mayan civilization creative? (Being a historian)
How do authors create imagery through words? (Being an author)
Y5 What do all organism have in common? (Being a scientist)
How should we live and who inspires us? (Being a philosopher)
Y6 How might our future look if there was no democracy? (Being an author)
How did human life advance though the stone age to the bronze age? (Being a historian)
Learning at Minerva Primary Academy
Whilst we use the National Curriculum 2014 as a frame of reference, we are committed to providing further opportunities:
Learners are encouraged to develop their learning dispositions that are called ‘Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory’ (ELLI) We praise and celebrate these dispositions in class and through our weekly assembly. We focus on the following characters below
The owl who plans to use what they know already
The chameleon who is adaptable when at first, they don’t succeed
The tortoise who perseveres and uses a growth mindset
The monkey who asks questions to develop understanding
The phoenix who is creative to find solutions
The spider who makes connections across different concepts of learning
The bee who develops learning relationships and collaborates with others
In our early years’ foundation stage, they start by learning and using the dispositions of
- Curious monkey
- Persevering tortoise
- Teamwork bee
Reading, Phonics and Spelling
At Minerva Primary Academy, we teach and celebrate reading across all years and see it as one of the main foundations in a child’s learning. In addition to this, we see that both fluency and enjoyment in reading are an integral part of a child’s academic progress and success. We value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. At Minerva Primary Academy it is our intention that our reading curriculum covers the key skills needed to become a great reader. We put a high level of thought into the range of texts our children read, both within whole class reading sessions and as independent readers, as our school encourages the use of a wide range of exciting and interesting vocabulary to develop our children’s understanding and communication skills. The curriculum aims to provide reading opportunities linked to states of being in all year groups.
Children who need extra help with reading may be offered additional support from our reading intervention teacher in order to help them make progress quickly.
We use No Nonsense Spelling programme. This is designed to specifically meet the needs of the National Curriculum in a manageable and flexible way. The programme is used from year 2 to year 6 within dedicated lessons.
We follow ‘Letters and Sounds’ to teach phonics. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. Letters and sounds sessions take place in reception, year 1 and year 2.
We use White Rose medium term and lessons to plan from and we make the most of the resources available. Objectives are taken from White Rose and are expected to be covered in the time assigned to the unit.
We teach and encourage children to develop their mathematical habits of mind to enable confident mathematicians. These skills include
- Pattern sniffing – looking for patterns in the maths
- Visualising – drawing images, diagrams and representations to help see the maths
- Experimenter – asking questions and then experiment before recording and analysing results
- Conjecturer – making predictions about pattern before trying to prove
- Tinkerer – Investigating and playing with number and maths ideas
- Guessing – Making sensible guesses based on what I already know
- Inventor – Modelling the maths to others and use it to find solutions
- Describer – Using mathematical language to describe the problem, method or strategy.
Ms Archer- our Lead Learning Mentor- leads on extra curricular events which serve to add enjoyment and further celebration to our curriculum provision. If you have any other ideas of things you’d like celebrated or opportunities that you (or someone you know) can offer our children please speak to any of us.