Curriculum at The Wisdom Academy
Policy to be reviewed
Date policy approved
September 2019 by Headteacher and Proprietor
1.1 The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of our curriculum which is based on the National Curriculum, but also the extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential.
2.1 Our school curriculum is underpinned by the Islamic moral values that we hold dear at our school. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.
2.2 We value the way in which all children are unique, and our curriculum promotes respect for the views of each individual child, as well as for people of all cultures. We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
We value the importance of each person in our community. We organise our curriculum so that we promote co-operation and understanding between all members of our community irrespective of their religious background.
We value the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We aim to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all the children in our school.
We value our environment, and we aim, through our curriculum, to teach respect for our world, and how we should care for it for future generations, as well as our own.
3 Aims and objectives
3.1 The aims of our school curriculum are:
- To provide an Islamic environment and ethos within the school
- to enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability;
- to promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school, and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
- to teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and information communication technology (ICT);
- to enable children to be creative and to develop their own thinking;
- to teach children about their developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time;
- to help children understand and appreciate Britain’s cultural heritage;
- to enable children to be positive citizens in society and add value to their neighbourhood;
- to teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to understand right from wrong;
- to help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all;
- to enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to be able to live and work co-operatively with others.
4 Organisation and planning
4.1 We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage. This indicates what topics are to be taught in each term, and to which groups of children. We review our long-term plan on an annual basis.
4.2 With our medium-term plans, we give clear guidance on the objectives and teaching strategies that we use when teaching each topic. We take our medium-term planning directly from the curriculum documents. We utilise the schemes of work primarily from Pearsons, The Abacus scheme is used for Maths, Wordsmith for literacy and Science Bug for Science. Our Art schemes are from Twinkl. The Islamic Studies curriculum is from Safar Publications.
4.3 Our short-term plans are those that our teachers write on a weekly basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each session, and to identify what resources and activities we are going to use in the lesson.
4.4 At Key Stage 1 We plan the curriculum carefully, so that there is coherence and full coverage of all aspects of the National Curriculum and there is planned progression in all curriculum areas.
4.5 At Key Stage 1 the curriculum at our school places greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy than it does at Key Stage 2.
4.6 We allow our teachers flexibility in the way that the schemes of work are implemented, giving priority to pupils understanding core topics over completing units within a given time frame.
5 Key skills
5.1 The following skills have been deemed ‘key skills’ in the revised National Curriculum:
Application of number;
Information communication technology;
Working with others;
Improving own learning and performance;
Speaking and listening;
5.2 In our curriculum planning we highlight these skills, so that the children’s progress in all of these areas can be identified and monitored. All subject areas contribute to a child’s progress in these skills. Our school believes that all children need to make good progress in these skill areas in order to develop to their true potential.
6 The role of the subject leader
6.1 The role of the subject leader is to:
- provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject;
- support and offer advice to colleagues on issues related to the subject;
- monitor pupil progress in that subject area;
- Provide efficient resource management for the subject.
6.2 The school gives subject leaders non-contact time each term, so that they can carry out the necessary duties involved with their role. It is the role of each subject leader to keep up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local level. They review the way the subject is taught in the school and plan for improvement. This development planning links to whole-school objectives. Each subject leader reviews the curriculum plans for their subject, ensures that there is full coverage of the National Curriculum and that progression is planned into schemes of work.
6.3 From January 2013, the school has opted for a thematic approach to what was previously taught as Geography and History from Year 1 to Year 6. The school has carefully selected six topics to be taught throughout the year, these topics have been selected carefully ensuring that they cover the core skills of Geography, History and PSHE and tie in with the Islamic character building ethos of the school.
6.4 As from September 2014, the school has opted to separate PSHE from Islamic Studies, and to teach it separately. The curriculum that we decided to follow was that from the Wiltshire Healthy Schools Learn for Life syllabus.
6.5 The school uses and subscribes to the Pearson schemes of work for English, Maths and Science. For the rest of the subjects we use personalised schemes of work for our children that are reviewed regularly.
6.6 The curriculum for PSHE and Topic is reviewed annually to make adjustments to suit our pupils, the school (pupils, parents and staff) agree on the topics to be studied for the upcoming year.
6.7 New 2014 Curriculum for Maths and Literacy – the new curriculum is embedded in the schemes that we use in our school.
6.8 Literacy Changes – KS1 and KS2 now include SPAG – Spelling, punctuation and Grammar, as part of their weekly lessons.
6.9 The school is using the following schemes of work, which are adapted to the needs of our pupils:
Abacus – from Reception to Year 6
Science Bug – Science from Year 1-6
Wordsmith – Literacy from Reception to Year 6
Reading Bug – Our Reading schemes, allowing pupils to access over 500 books online.
SPAG – the school uses the SPAG from Pearsons Primary for Year 1-6
EYFS – Collins Foundation stage, Letters and Sounds and Abacus and Wordsmith.
7 Equality Act 2010/ British Values
7.1 The school always endeavours to ensure that it complies with the Equality Act 2010. We believe that the Act contains principles which are advocated by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and should be used to teach children about his noble practices in treating people fairly, as well as the value that such an Act adds to a cohesive British Society.
7.2 Naturally, our curriculum will provide opportunities for our students to explore how in history (and today), people’s rights have been compromised on the basis that they belong to a particular group or share a certain characteristic. It is important to use these opportunities to help pupils reflect on why this is wrong. Furthermore, pupils should be given the opportunity to empathise with people who suffer inequalities, especially those with whom the pupils do not necessarily posses the same characteristics. The Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) biography should be referenced to demonstrate how he made moral and legal judgements without prejudice.
7.3 We are not required to teach about particular actions of anybody who possesses a particular characteristic. For example, we are not required to teach about homosexuality in our curriculum content. We should, however, ensure that nothing in our curriculum vilifies or demonises any individuals in society, including homosexuals. If a topic is raised where the acceptability of British Law contradicts our moral principles, e.g. drinking alcohol, adultery or homosexuality, we should use the opportunity to reinforce the view to our children that legality in British law provides a choice of actions for individuals and communities to make choices according to their own moral framework. As Muslim citizens of this country we also have the choice to follow our religion’s moral code as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others to follow theirs. Wherever there are legal issues to be resolved, British Law has to prevail.
8 Monitoring and review
8.1 The head teacher is responsible for monitoring the way the school curriculum is implemented. He reviews each subject area in his annual review and development.
8.2 The head teacher is responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum. The head teacher monitors the weekly plans for all teachers, ensuring that all classes are taught the full requirements of the National Curriculum, and that all lessons have appropriate learning objectives.
8.3 The head teacher and deputy head teacher monitor the way their subject is taught throughout the school. They examine long-term and medium-term planning, and ensure that appropriate teaching strategies are used. Subject leaders also have responsibility for monitoring the way in which resources are stored and managed.