At Underwood West Academy literacy is at the centre of our curriculum. Children are given many rich and varied opportunities to read, write, speak and listen. They are given opportunities to acquire a wide vocabulary and perform with confidence and enjoyment. All children are encouraged to work to the best of their ability, presenting work to a high standard which they can be proud of.
All children are encouraged to become fluent writers, who are able to express their feelings and opinions creatively in a variety of genre both fiction and non-fiction. Every opportunity is given for the children to base their writing on a memorable experience and write for a specific audience and purpose. In KS1, we undertake a weekly Big Write and follow Talk for Writing, a process that enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. In KS2, we follow the IPEELL approach;a structured approach enabling opportunities for self and peer assessment and independent goal setting.
A love of reading is promoted through our high quality class texts, used as a stimulus for lessons and around which we base all our learning. These stories are chosen to engage and inform the children and lead to our Best Book work. Reading is enhanced through the use of our school library, regular guided reading sessions, inference training and our volunteer reader scheme. Children are encouraged to read daily at home, this is promoted through our “reading stars” reward system. We endorse a balanced approach to the teaching of reading and draw on resources from a range of sources and various texts. We use different reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Oxford University Press, Lighthouse stories, Collins Big Cat and PM Stories.
Drama plays an important role in our Literacy curriculum and is incorporated into our lessons to support children’s speaking and listening, writing and performing skills. Imaginative play, role play, hot seating and Helicopter stories are also used to enhance speaking and listening skills.
Poetry is a key element in our curriculum. Children learn to recite and perform poems across the key stages as well as creating their own.
We aim that all our children will become confident communicators who are able to listen to and respect the opinions and thoughts of others.
Children from Reception to Year 2 are taught phonics daily using the Letters and Sounds scheme. Lessons follow the model of Review, Teach, Practice and Apply. Children in KS2 are taught spellings using the Babcock scheme. During the week, phonics and spellings are reinforced through independent learning, guided reading and guided writing sessions, as well as being reinforced at home
At Underwood West Academy, numeracy lessons incorporate a mixture of practical experiences, problem solving and formal written method work. We have developed an approach to our teaching where children use key problem solving strategies to acquire an understanding of the important concepts and an ability to make connections within mathematics. They develop the ability to reason, generalise and make sense of solutions through talk time opportunities within the lessons and improve on their use of a wide range of mathematical vocabulary. This approach helps children to foster an ability to think independently and to persevere when faced with challenges, showing a confidence of success. These strategies are at the heart of our children’s mathematical development and provide the foundation stone for secure mathematical knowledge. By linking our mathematical learning to everyday situations, wherever possible, the children increase their understanding of the subject, improve their problem solving skills and develop further their knowledge in all areas of mathematics. This provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, and a curiosity about the subject. Throughout school, Maths Missions provide opportunity for children to practically explore mathematical concepts and skills linked to their Best Book theme. We use the website ‘My Maths’ to support families at home in practicing concepts taught in school through online homework.
Underwood West Academy is proud of the curriculum it delivers in science enabling children to lead and learn through fun, practical investigations, inside and outside the classroom. The children look forward to engaging science lessons that equip them with the best skills for their future education and careers. The children regularly undertake scientific experiments that are teacher or self led and that help them to develop their skills in aspects of scientific enquiry.
Science games for all ages and topics:
The body websites
Solids, liquids and gases websites
Computing has replaced Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The Department for Education wants children to be ‘computer doers’ not just ‘computer users’.
At Underwood West Academy we recognise that Computing is an important STEM subject, and so it will be very important for our pupils future careers.
Gone are word processing and databases, now your children will learn, by the end of key stage 1, what an algorithm is, how to create and debug a simple program and how to use technology to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.
In the new curriculum there is a strong focus on e-safety and what to do if a child has concerns about content or interactions online. Each year we run E-safety days and Parental workshops to support this.
At Underwood West Academy religious education makes a distinctive contribution to preparing children for life in modern Britain. This subject is taught by specialists who provide opportunities for hearing and reading stories from many world faiths in accordance with the local authority agreed syllabus. Children are introduced to the ways in which people around the world and in Britain celebrate important events such as through festivals. They are also able to handle artefacts, learn about important religious figures and visit places of special importance for believers.
Children are encouraged to develop respect for other people, their beliefs and life styles, and are supported when raising questions and making their own decisions.
The creative curriculum provides the opportunity for learning to be centred around a historical theme. Using this creative approach History is brought alive through the use of educational visits. Primary and secondary sources are used to discover more about the past and deepen the children’s knowledge and understanding. Children learn about changes over time and how that this is relevant to modern society; they explore ancient civilisations and significant people and periods. By learning about different civilisations across the world the children can appreciate diversity both in the past and in the modern world. History is widely used across the curriculum to make meaningful links for the children; for example the use of Maths Missions which allow the children to explore mathematical concepts in a cross-curricular way.
Florence Nightingale: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/famouspeople/florence_nightingale/
Isambard Kindom Brunel: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/famouspeople/isambard_kingdom_brunel/
The United Kingdom:http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/famouspeople/famous_monarchs/
Cultural diversity of Britain:http://www.mylearning.org/global-citizens--make-an-impact/p-2022
Poland and the Holocaust:http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/clips/zpx3r82
Through the creative curriculum, it is our aim to teach children how geography affects their lives and how their lives affect geography’. This is achieved through enriching the children’s interest in their surroundings & the wider world, starting with their own environment, their community and locality, using the outdoor classroom at school. The children’s curiosity is fulfilled through first hand experiences providing them with knowledge teaching them important geography skills.
Our creative curriculum, linked to stimulating texts, provides a wealth of opportunity for our children to use a wide range of tools and techniques to create a variety of products for specific purposes. Throughout their time in school their design skills progress while they investigate products from different areas, including food, textiles, mechanisms and structures. Children are continually asked to evaluate their products, identifying what they could have done differently or how they could improve their work in future.
At Underwood West Academywe offer the children the opportunity to develop their artistic ability, talent and creativity through a wide range of experiences. Children experience a wide span of artistic activities linked to their topic involving a wide variety of media, including drawing, paint, print, clay, collage and 3D sculpture . Relevant skills are taught to further the growth and development of the child and the children are introduced to the work of artists both past and present. Art work feeds into our “Best Books” and the rich displays that celebrate our children’s work and make our school a stimulating and vibrant learning environment each and every day.
Art websites for School website page.
Following the Kodally approach, we ensure that children receive a broad music education which includes performing, composing, listening, reviewing and evaluating. During Key Stage 2 the children are also given opportunity to learn a musical instrument and encouraged to take this learning on further with private lessons.
School offers a rich and varied approach in the teaching and learning of the curriculum for PE. External agencies such as Sportscape, are used to ensure high quality outcomes, covering all aspects of the curriculum including gymnastics, games, dance and athletics. During Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to attend the local swimming baths for a course of lessons. Children are encouraged to challenge themselves within a range of sports through watching, listening, experimenting and developing their skills. The balance of co-operative, collaborative and competitive situations aims to cater for the preferences, strengths and needs of every child. The units of work taught match the Sainsburys, School Games Calendar promoting Level 2 competition.
Modern Foreign Languages
Children are taught Spanish from Year 1 in order to familiarise themselves with a modern foreign language. All children are encouraged to develop their understanding of the language through a variety of fun games, songs, role play and activities. Children will also learn to identify countries and communities where Spanish is spoken, developing an understanding of their customs and culture.
¡Buenos Días! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZBy9pniOZ8
¡Hola a todos! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOj4hEk2CtU
Los Números (Numbers) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ydJr1Is8xI
Another song about Los Números (Numbers) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkGFfAGLDg0
Los Colóres - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3ZTuL3U-fY
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is an integral part of our school ethos and is woven in to all we do. Teaching focuses on developing the children’s personal and social skills, getting along with others and how to make and keep friends. The children explore ways of acquiring skills and how best to learn, by setting personal targets, being motivated and persevering. This allows individuals to develop many responsibilities towards their home life, the community and the wider world.