Unity Primary Academy provides a rigorous and broad curriculum to support pupils' learning. We ensure coverage of the objectives from the National Curriculum as well as tailoring our curriculum to meet our pupils' needs and developing responsible, respectful and active citizens.
Curriculum Statement – Unity Primary Academy
Unity Primary Academy is a two-form entry primary school that serves the community of Greenstead – a large housing estate situated on the edge of Colchester. The school has served the community for over 50 years – originally as an Infant and Junior School. The school was unified over 5 years ago and became Unity Primary Academy – at this point it became part of Reach2 Academy Trust. The demographic of the school is diverse – over 50% of the pupils are pupil premium, 25% are EAL and 22% are SEND.
Our vision ‘Giving Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day’ encompasses what as a school we believe in. Every child deserves the best education and the best chance everyday – our curriculum enables our vision to be bought to life.
At Unity Primary Academy we believe it important that the curriculum in place reflects the community which we serve and builds on the locality as a starting point thus making it relevant and accessible for all pupils.
Our chosen curriculum works in tandem with our core values of Respect, Engage, Aspire, Care and Honesty and as mentioned above our vision. It supports the development of capital culture with a diverse enrichment programme that runs alongside and enhances it. The Reach2 initiative of 11b411 also enriches the curriculum providing pupils with a range of real-life experiences. All these together ensure pupils develop a deeper understanding of the world around them and gain wider experiences therefore resulting in greater recall and depth of knowledge.
At Unity we follow the CUSP Curriculum for English, Geography, History, Science, DT and ART as well as for Music and MFL. CUSP is:
CUSP is underpinned by evidence, research, and cognitive science. Modules are deliberately sequenced for robust progression.
There is an emphasis on oracy and vocabulary acquisition, retention and use to break down learning barriers and accelerate progress. A rich diet of language and vocabulary is deliberately planned for.
Specific skills are discreetly taught and practised so that they become transferrable. The sequenced modules activate prior learning, build on skills, and deepen knowledge AND understanding. Learning, vocabulary, and content is cumulative; content is learned, retrieved, and built upon.
We use Get Set for PE, Jigsaw for RSE/PSHE, and White Rose for Maths.
As a school, we are committed to teaching a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum that is stimulating, motivating and encourages pupils to become independent and aspirational learners.
Our curriculum is vocabulary focused and aims to equip pupils with the technical language required to talk about their learning in a precise manner, across the curriculum. Knowledge organisers are utilised within learning modules to support vocabulary development.
Ultimately, the overarching intent of our curriculum is that it ensures that pupils are ready for each new stage of their education -
EYFS – KS1- KS2 = Secondary ready.
This means that throughout everything that we do we put early reading and literacy skills at the heart of the curriculum. This is to ensure that pupils can access the wider curriculum and develop independent learning skills from a young age. It enables all children to learn and develop their skills effectively. If pupils cannot read, they will not be able to access the curriculum, thus putting them at a disadvantage and at risk of not achieving. Substantial focus is given to reading throughout the school – whether it be early reading or reading for pleasure.
At Unity Primary Curriculum we implement our curriculum in the following ways:
- High quality CPD provided to staff to ensure they fully understand the expectations and how to teach the content.
- Clearly structured timetables to ensure that a broad and balanced curriculum is delivered with ample time given to reading.
- A clear approach to the teaching of reading – we use Read, Write Inc to teach early reading – this is delivered daily across EYFS and Key Stage 1. We also teach phonics at Key Stage 2 for those children who did not pass the phonics screening. Across Years 1-6 we use CUSP Reading to develop comprehension skills using high quality texts – pupils are exposed to high level vocabulary through the studying of the texts and supplementary texts. Reading is taught daily for 30 minutes.
- We follow an increased frequency model which means that each subject is taught every week apart from History, Geography and Computing – these are taught across a 3-week block. Art and DT are taught across a 2-week block
- Each curriculum area is taught in a series of modules which are regularly revisited within each academic year and built upon in subsequent years. Pupils access mini quizzes at regular intervals within modules, challenging them to recall their learning. Research shows that both the ‘Spaced Practice,’ and ‘Retrieval Practice,’ embedded within the curriculum, enhance pupils’ learning.
- Each curriculum area is taught using knowledge notes and organisers to support the development of knowledge and understanding and recall.
- Every subject has its own book where pupils are able to build on their previous learning. Computing, Music and PSHE have floor books where a record of each lesson is kept with an overview, photos, and samples of pupils' work.
- The curriculum is vocabulary rich, and each lesson taught has an emphasis on the key vocabulary. The vocabulary is frequently revisited, displayed and modelled across the units.
- There is clear ‘How to’ guides on how to teach Reading, Writing and Handwriting. Alongside these there is a two-page Teaching and Learning expectation document that outlines what a typical lesson should look like, the importance of chunking and modelling. This leads to higher quality and quantity of work.
- The overviews below clearly map the curriculum across each group to ensure progression but plenty of opportunities to revisit and recall key knowledge.
- The curriculum is reviewed annually and monitored closely by Subject Leaders across the year. Each Subject Leader has written Intent, Implementation and Impact statements for their subject making clear the expectations for that subject and how it should be taught.
- Assemblies, PSHE and other learning opportunities such as outside agencies, trips and visits are used to develop the whole child and ensure that pupils know how to keep themselves safe. These wider opportunities also allow pupils to learn compassion and how to empathise with others whose experience may differ to their own and fully appreciate the importance of British Values including tolerance and respect.
- The Marking and Feedback Expectation document supports the delivery of the curriculum through the use of live marking in lessons. This ensures that misconceptions are dealt with quickly and gaps are not allowed to widen. Pre and post teaching is employed as a successful strategy to ensure all pupils are accessing the curriculum.
Meeting the Needs of all Learners
Across the curriculum, the needs of all pupils are considered and catered for. Staff have received tailored CPD on meeting the needs of all pupils and the Teaching and Learning Expectation document clearly outlines the strategies that can be employed to ensure that the top 20% and lowest 20% of pupils' needs are met. One of the strategies used across the school is scaffolding and the use of manipulatives to ensure that all pupils can access the learning in each lesson. Alongside this, pre and post teaching is a tool that is used to close gaps so that pupils have the confidence to move their learning forward.