We are very proud of our curriculum at Dereham Junior Academy!
Using the National Curriculum as a starting point, we have identified key content and moulded what we teach to specifically suit the needs of the children of Dereham. In order to do this effectively, this means not only taking time to consider what the children learn but also how they learn it. With this in mind we always keep up to date with the latest educational thinking so we know what to teach and how best to teach it.
For the children to learn and commit what they have taught to memory, their learning has to be memorable. We have structured our curriculum very carefully, ensuring that what is delivered in each year group builds within the year and on previous years. So, as well as being engaging and interesting, our curriculum is also challenging, linked closely to prior learning and promotes deep thinking at all levels.
English and mathematics
English and mathematics are core subjects and account for most of the morning sessions.
Our English curriculum consists of reading, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting. Where possible, we link the learning in English to the topic the children are working on at the same time. For example, when Year 5 are learning about Ancient Greece in their topic lessons they also write a story in the style of a Greek myth as part of their English work.
Our mathematics curriculum is broad and built around the principles of ‘mastery’. While we use White Rose to help structure what we teach when, we alter how long we spend on each key area depending on the needs of our children.
For more information on our English and maths curriculum, as well as the National Curriculum for both subjects, click on the ‘Maths and English’ tab on the left-hand side under ‘What We Are Learning’. You can also find more information on how to support your child in these areas by clicking on the ‘Supporting Learning’ tab under the ‘Parents’ section.
Science and the foundation subjects
Much of our wider curriculum, including science and many of the foundation subjects, is taught through a topic-based approach. The topics in each year group vary in length depending on the key content that needs to be covered. This is often referred to as being ‘cross curricular’, where two or more subjects of the curriculum are covered together under one topic. For example, in Year 3’s Stone Age topic, they do not only study history. The children also make Stone Age tools and their own clay cave (Design Technology and Art) and look at geographical changes in the world since the last ice age (Geography).
While we explore links between different subject areas, we ensure the children know that ‘Topic’ is not a subject! Our bespoke curriculum also stresses the importance of the individual subject areas the children are learning. We have identified key concepts in each curriculum area and made sure these act as an integral thread from year 3 through to year 6. Whether it is the concept of ‘Legacy’ in history, ‘Scale’ in geography or ‘Delivery’ in PE, the pupils will be familiar with what is crucial to each curriculum subject and will build on their knowledge in each area as they progress through the school.
To find out what your child will be learning through these topics, click on the relevant year group tab on the left-hand side under ‘What We Are Learning’ and select the relevant year group. Here you will find an overview of what is taught when during the year and if you click on the topics in the table, you will find the ‘Knowledge Organiser’ and ‘Topic Headers’ we use to support the children.
Not all subjects will be taught through topics as some curriculum areas do not link with any relevance. In these instances, subjects may be taught discretely rather than being linked to other subject areas. This is the case for all or the majority of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) and Life Skills, RE, French, PE and maths.
Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) and Life Skills
Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) and Life Skills is an integral part of our curriculum. As well as a weekly lesson, which is taught discretely, the key areas we cover also permeate other areas of the curriculum. Our RSHE and Life Skills curriculum is bespoke to us and by using data pertinent to our school and immediate area to inform our practice, we have created and deliver a RSHE and Life Skills curriculum that will help our pupils to navigate through childhood and into adult life.
To see our medium term plans (MTPs) for each year group’s RSHE and Life Skills curriculum, click on the relevant tab on the left-hand side under ‘What We Are Learning’.
Religious Education (RE)
As a Church of England school and an academy in the DNEAT ‘family’, Religion and Worldviews plays a major part in our curriculum. We choose to teach this subject in weekly blocks throughout the year. This enables the children to fully immerse themselves in the area being studied.
To see our RE curriculum, click on the ‘RE’ tab on the left-hand side under ‘What We Are Learning’ or delve deeper into the Religion and Worldviews weeks on the year group page.
British Values are promoted throughout the year. Some elements are taught discretely. Whereas, on other occasions, they may be referred to in topics (for example, learning about the birth of democracy when studying Ancient Greeks); through collective worship (‘respect’ is one of school’s Values and central to our behaviour code) or through other school processes such as School Council and creating class charters.
To see our British Values statements, click on the ‘British Values’ tabs on the left-hand side under ‘What We Are Learning’
‘Cultural Capital’ is often misinterpreted as only being the trips and visits children enjoy and the clubs they attend before and after school. It is so much more than this. Our understanding of what Cultural Capital is, is derived from the following statement in the national curriculum:
‘It is the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’
And this all starts with the curriculum. A GREAT curriculum provides GREAT Cultural Capital as it enables pupils to learn about and name things that are, for many, outside their daily experience.
Our rich and broad curriculum explores all subject areas and arts. It promotes character building qualities that, we believe, will lead to creating well-rounded contributors to society. We prioritise the experience of the learners and see this as key to achieving our goals.
Whether it’s the rich language of our curriculum; the resources we use to bring the curriculum to life or to explore it; the sequenced, coherent nature of what we learn or the opportunity to find out what it’s like to be a geographer (or historian, scientist, etc), our aim is to introduce our children to what is out there in the big wide world so they can decide how they will contribute.
Cultural Capital is in nearly everything we do; a golden thread throughout what and how we learn.
To explore the ‘Cultural Capital’ our school provides, click on any of the tabs in our ‘What We Are Learning’ section! The ‘Cultural Capital’ tab gives a small flavour of how our topics are supported by additional visits, visitors and activities, as well a list of just a selection of some of the things that we feel will help our pupils become educated citizens.