At Balby Central we want to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of all children. Through our curriculum we want to enable children to meet their full potential, make progress through their learning journey and develop in to well rounded citizens.
At Balby Central we recognise the importance of developing children’s general knowledge and understanding of the world. The school’s curriculum is developed from evidence based research on how children learn and how knowledge is transferred in to the children’s long term memory. We believe that our children deserve and need us to provide more than just the National Curriculum. The journey through life is a wonderful thing and the children have so much more to learn and experience through each stage of their school life. With this in mind, we have prioritised the things we wanted out children to experience during their time with us. We use our curriculum drivers to underpin the learning we do in all areas of school life and to ensure that the curriculum we offer is personalised to our children, community and context.
The curriculum at Balby Central Primary Academy is organised into discrete subjects – as opposed to cross-curricular themes – and are categorised as: core subjects, curriculum based subjects and ‘other‘.
- The core subjects are English and maths, and hold a priority position in the school day. English is taught through high quality texts to immerse children in imaginary worlds that provide the basis for stimulating and connected learning. Maths is taught using the Mathematics Mastery principles.
- Curriculum-based subjects are humanities (alternating history and geography) science and creative (alternating art & design and design & technology). The teaching of these subjects is focused on the teaching and learning of key knowledge.
- ‘Other’ subjects are those that are unique in their approach and have specific guidance for their implementation (computing, religious education, French, music, and PSHE)
To ensure progression in the curriculum we follow a Milestone approach. During Year 1 and Year 2, the children will follow Milestone 1. In Year 3 and Year 4 they will follow Milestone 2 and finally in Year 5 and Year 6 they follow Milestone 3. Across all Milestones the children will learn through key threshold concepts. This will allow children to see links between the knowledge that they cover. For a more detailed look at our curriculum coverage please read the Essentials document below.
Our curriculum aims to:
- Provide a broad and balanced education for all pupils
- Enable pupils to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations
- Support pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
- Support pupils’ physical development and responsibility for their own health, and enable them to be active
- Promote a positive attitude towards learning
- Ensure equal access to learning, with high expectations for every pupil and appropriate levels of challenge and support
- Promote the learning and development of our youngest children and ensure they are ready for Key Stage 1
- Ensure that as children leave the school in Year 6 they are ‘secondary ready’
These subjects are not intended to be a complete curriculum and other aspects may include personal and social education as well as health education and swimming.
The Curriculum Drivers
We want our children to aspire to do new things and encounter new opportunities. We aim to broaden the children’s horizons, developing their knowledge of the world of work and encouraging children to want to know more about the unknown.
We want our children to develop a sense of pride in themselves and respect for others. We believe they need to have a highly developed emotional literacy and excellent manners in order to experience positive relationships. We believe in the power of the school community to change and enhance lives.
We want our children to become eloquent orators, speaking with confidence and fluency in a variety of situations. We believe that helping our children find their voice is as important as them becoming avid readers or great writers and will work to broaden vocabulary and encourage talk in all areas of learning.
It is vital that we nurture the natural curiosity of our children, enabling them to become independent in thought and action and encouraging them to imagine, enquire and become increasingly enterprising. We will give children opportunities to think critically, by solving problems and making choices
We believe our children need to know about and understand the world that is beyond their immediate doorstep. They need opportunities to experience the richness of its diversity and show they care about its management and sustainability.
We are passionate about the health of our children. We want our children to lift their eyes from the screen to be excited by the real world, engaging in rich experiences to develop imagination. We will use competition to develop confidence and allow them to manage real risks by having fun and a little danger.
An overview of our curriculum can be found at the bottom of this page.
Every year group and children are hooked in to their core text through an exciting launch activity. It is wonderful to see children immersed in their core text as they complete reading, writing and art activities linked to its theme.
At Balby Central we are using the Maths Mastery approach to teaching mathematics. We are aiming to improve pupils’ understanding, enjoyment and attainment in mathematics The key principles underpin all that we are doing. We have high expectations for every child. We teach fewer topics in greater depth. We emphasise problem-solving and conceptual understanding. The programme pulls together many established ideas and methods into one rigorous teaching approach. Children are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols. Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils a richer and deeper learning experience. We are focusing on narrowing the achievement gap between different groups of students, as well as raising standards overall. We want all learners to share the enthusiasm for mathematics. The approach is based on research and internationally recognised practices, and underpinned by key principles.
The children will be discretely taught key fundamentals of the Science curriculum and key learning is interleaved throughout the school year to ensure that the children’s scientific subject knowledge is stored in their long term memory. The five fundamental ‘Working scientifically’ approaches embedded within our curriculum and teaching include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources.
History and Geography
History and Geography are taught discretely and are interleaved each week. We aim to provide the children with a broad knowledge of history and geography and this is taught progressively throughout the year. The children learn about History and Geography through both Britain and the wider world and, where it is felt relevant, first hand experiences are provided to support the children’s understanding.
When the children enter Key Stage 2 they begin to learn about the French language and culture. This is a statutory part of the national curriculum and helps the children to improve their understanding of how language works and helps to broaden their horizons. We follow a structured scheme of work which is based on real life communication situations using role play and lots of talking.
As a school we recognise that technology plays an integral part of our children’s lives and their future. Our aim is to equip children with the skills, knowledge and attitudes that will allow them to use such exciting advances in technology in a safe, secure and respectful manner. We provide discrete e-safety sessions using the Gooseberry Planet curriculum. The sessions are taught twice a half term in every year group. The teachers follow a clear overview which maps out progression and ensures that the children’s depth of understanding develops. Our curriculum makes direct links with our SMSC scheme (Jigsaw), the Prevent agenda and the promotion of British Values in school.
Through assemblies and focused events such as Internet Safety Day we ensure that children know how to stay safe on line.
As a school we understand that computing prepares children to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. We recognise that a secure understanding of computing is an important tool in both the society we live in and in the process of teaching and learning. Pupils use computing tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination.
As a school, we follow the Doncaster Agreed Syllabus. During the year the children will explore 4 key questions and learn about different religions. We have a close links to our local church. Reverend Price is regularly in school and children always enjoy partaking in his half-termly assemblies.
If parents have any questions about our RE teaching please ring the school to make an appointment with our RE leader.
Art, Design & Technology
We deliver a high-quality art and design curriculum which will engage, inspire and challenge pupils; equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As children progress through school, they should learn about and be able to comment on a range of inspirational artists. The children will learn specific skills linked to the medium they are learning about and then apply these skills or knowledge to produce an overall outcome. We endeavor for children to become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.
At Balby Central we follow a scheme of learning that brings together all aspects of Music with the aim of developing children love of music. During their time in school, the children will listen and respond to different music and be able to comment on and appreciate a range of musical genres. Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. We teach them the disciplined skills of recognising pulse and pitch. We often teach these together. We also teach children how to work with others to make music and how individuals combine together to make sounds. We also teach them musical notation and how to compose music.