Curriculum

The Curriculum at Ivanhoe Academy

At Ivanhoe, we recognise that children deserve a curriculum that has breadth, depth and balance and that is an exciting curriculum, personalised for our children; so that when children leave our school they will have had a great start, with opportunities and experiences that will be embedded for life.

Since Coronavirus came into our lives in 2020, we have had a radical rethink about our 'offer' and have agreed that we need to put a new focus on mental and physical health and well-being as well as a more profound understanding of our place in the world and the need to actively love what we do: our curriculum is not just about the quality of education, but the quality of life.

Ask any teacher at school, from the oldest to the youngest, and they can describe vividly their memories from their own primary school days. The primary school influences a child for life and our ambition is that Ivanhoe offers an experience that will do this by setting them off on the right path from the minute they enter our doors. We want our children to be shaped by their primary school experience so that it is still with them into adulthood - still helping them engage with the world and still guiding them; the experiences still alive in them.

We are not afraid to say that our ambition is for children to love what they are learning - we want to inspire children and to see beauty all around them; thus they will value the world around them and engage richly and meaningfully in all they do.

In Conisbrough, we have a rich heritage that we use to support our curriculum. Our History teaching is blessed by the fact that we have the oldest church in South Yorkshire (St Peter's) and the wonderful Conisbrough Castle that inspired Sir Walter Scott to write 'Ivanhoe'; we focus on these by visits and using other visits to contrast our castle with another castle, and our church with a Cathedral, thus we can personalise using our locality, but also expand by taking the children further afield to contrast their experiences. We have tried to approach our whole curriculum in the same manner, for example, by seeing how we can apply 'next steps' to what we teach - using local pathways in our music teaching so that those who enjoy our brass music lessons can access the brass opportunities in the wider community, and those who wish to do so in sport can access the pathways to local sports beyond the school - and this is an area rich in brass music tradition as well as sport. Obviously, we have been constrained by Coronavirus, but these are certainly our intentions, all other things being equal.

Our focus on cultural capital marries with our desire to give our children experience of the best that has been thought and said. With that in mind, our children will read classic English texts which otherwise they would probably not access - and they will see that you can enjoy Robert Louis Stevenson as much as you can David Walliams.

At Ivanhoe, we understand that our children will have far better life chances if they are highly literate and numerate, but we are determined not to pursue those aims if it leads to a curriculum that is narrowed and starved of opportunities to develop the whole child. By understanding our children and by recognising how we can help them to be fully rounded citizens we can redress any social disadvantage that may have chained our community in the past. Our children are the future and our curriculum will give them the very best chances in life and the very best chances to appreciate and enjoy their lives and the opportunities that come their way.

The National Curriculum in England

Art

At Ivanhoe Primary Academy, we believe that children deserve a broad and balanced curriculum. In order to achieve this we provide an excellent art and design curriculum which helps children to produce high-quality projects they can proudly reveal during our annual art exhibition.

Children are taught a range of skills and techniques which can be used across all medias; thus providing children with the knowledge and skills needed to produce outstanding art work in all areas. The children are given a range of opportunities to work with local artist using a variety of different media. This including; a Graffiti artist who has designed and painted walls at the local youth and library and an author who sketches her own illustrations.

We feel it is important for children to understand the benefits and opportunities available in the creative arts both during their education and beyond. As part of their education of the arts, the children are introduced to both past and present artists and are shown how art and design has changed the world. Many of our art projects are linked to other topics to enhance and broaden the children's understanding.

Computing

A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems.

Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate - able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology - at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Design and Technology

At Ivanhoe Primary Academy, we believe that children deserve a broad and balanced curriculum. In order to achieve this we provide an outstanding design and technology curriculum which gives children different opportunities to design, make and evaluate a range of different projects. The projects are designed to ensure the children are challenged, encourages them to take risks and teaches them to evaluate the work they have done. These are all skills which can be utilised across all subjects.

As part of the designing stage, children will look at present and past designers and will be encouraged to use and improve current designs and develop an understanding of how designs have an impact on both their daily lives and the world around them. Design Technology also allows children to use a range of subject knowledge in a variety of subjects such as maths, science and computing as they solve the problems put to them.

A large part of Design Technology involves the design and production of different food, this allows children to develop life skills, learn the importance of a healthy diet and taste food they would not necessarily have access to out of school.

English

At Conisbrough Ivanhoe Primary Academy, our Literacy curriculum is extremely important to us. We are passionate about ensuring that children are given the opportunities to read, explore and utilise the best that has been thought and said, by introducing them to classic and timeless texts. Some of which they may never have heard of or had the chance to read otherwise. It is important to us that children are able to read and enjoy modern texts by authors such as Dahl and Walliams alongside definitive writers such as Dickens and CS Lewis. Our discrete teaching sessions of vocabulary will help children not only to understand these texts, but give them a broader lexicon in which to enrich daily conversation and integrate within their own written pieces.

We also acknowledge and appreciate the breadth of experiences on our doorstep and in our surrounding area for us to incorporate into our curriculum. Giving children personalised experiences which they might not have been able to participate in otherwise, will ensure our pupils are able to write meaningful and individual pieces which have been enriched by their memories and imaginations.

We strive to ensure that the children who enter our care have mastered the subject to the best of their abilities by the time that they leave us, and they are able to use these skills to further their own learning within secondary school and beyond. We have unpicked our curriculum and looked at each strand in depth to ensure that it is relevant and meaningful to our teaching and it is given the attention that it deserves.

Geography

At Ivanhoe Primary Academy, we believe that a rich geography curriculum is essential for our children, as geography plays a crucial part in helping children to understand their place in the world and how their actions can influence the human and physical environment. It should inspire a curiosity and a fascination for world and its people that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Geography teaching needs to provide pupils with knowledge about the Human and Physical environment and the interactions between these. We will also equip children with the skills needed to gather and interpret information. Our geography curriculum will be provided through an enquiry approach giving children the ability to ask relevant questions. Geography is a multi-disciplined subject with strong roots in science and mathematics, children will collect data, analyse it and will be able to reach conclusions about their findings.

History

At Ivanhoe Primary Academy, we believe that children deserve a broad and balanced curriculum. To provide this, we include a high-quality history education to assist pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain's past as much as that of the wider world. As a community that is rich in heritage, we want to embrace that through our local history teaching, as well as global historical events that have shaped our world into the world that we live in.

We feel that it is important to develop our planning to make our topics engaging and relevant to our pupils by incorporating local historical study. It should inspire pupils' curiosity to know more about the past, for example, why Sir Walter Scott decided to use Conisbrough Castle as his inspiration for writing the novel 'Ivanhoe'. We want children to understand and respect the area in which they live, by studying locally relevant history, such as coal mining and how it shaped this village.

We will endeavour to make sure that children gain a variety of first hand experiences of different time periods through significant school visits and historical experts sharing their knowledge within school.

Mathematics

Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history's most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.

A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

MFL (Modern Foreign Languages)

At Ivanhoe we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our children. It helps them to develop communication and listening skills, whilst extending their knowledge of how language works.

In addition, learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others to assist them in an increasingly multicultural society in which the UK is becoming.

Music

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.

PE

At Ivanhoe we aim to inspire and engage children's interest in sporting activities by providing a wide variety of opportunities and experiences both in school and off site. Through physical education and sport we aim to teach our pupils new skills and show them how to improve in a fun, safe and motivating environment. We strive to give children the opportunity to compete internally, and with other schools to encourage values of determination, respect, friendship, courage, equality and inspiration.

By creating experiences, broadening sporting opportunities and instilling a passion for P.E our pupils will become healthy, determined, confident and active young people ready for the next stage of their lives.

PSHE

Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an important and necessary part of all pupils' education. All schools should teach PSHE, drawing on good practice, and this expectation is outlined in the introduction to the proposed new national curriculum.

At Ivanhoe, teachers will use 'Cornerstones' as a starting point for our PSHE delivery and planning across the key stages. As a school, we have developed a host of learning behaviours which are instilled in every year group.

The progression of essential PSHE skills will be linked to the learning behaviours to demonstrate how as an Ivanhoe student, we promote our learnt behaviours in the world around us.

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Science

At Ivanhoe, we provide the children with high-quality science education. This gives children the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world's future prosperity, and all pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Speaking and listening is highly valued throughout science lessons, as this not only encourages children to explore scientific vocabulary but also share and develop their ideas with others.

An emphasis is placed on 'Working scientifically' through inspirational and engaging activities. We strive to develop a love of science where questioning and an exploratory attitude is at the heart of learning.

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