Reading is the biggest indicator of academic success; therefore reading is at the heart of our curriculum. We teach a carefully sequenced, broad and balanced curriculum, where children are taught powerful knowledge, skills, concepts and values. This empowers them to be curious about and engage with the world around them.
We are a Rights Respecting School. This means that the children and adults in our school are familiar with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. They have talked about different rights as part of their Class Charter, in various lessons and in assemblies. We use this shared understanding about the rights of a child to ensure that all children feel valued as individuals. The children’s social and emotional wellbeing is a priority. We celebrate diversity and the different languages and cultures in our school. Being a Rights Respecting School supports our PUPAC values and our commitment to being an anti-racist establishment
Our English curriculum is built around explicitly teaching the hierarchical knowledge that is essential to master the language, communicate and understand effectively. We teach linguistic phonics to support automaticity in decoding and word recognition. Our curriculum is based around high quality texts from different historical and cultural contexts. In discrete reading sessions each day, children are taught how to read such texts. As background knowledge is so essential to comprehension, our History and Geography coverage supports the primary and secondary texts chosen across the school. When writing, we focus on the application of phonic, spelling and grammar skills to ensure that children have a mastery of the writing process.
We employ a linguistic phonics approach throughout the school to teach early reading and spelling.
We take a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics. The fundamental principle is that there are high expectations for all children to achieve. In order to do so, they require high quality instruction, work that is carefully sequenced and good subject knowledge. This will enable them to articulate their understanding of mathematical concepts. Children progress through the learning at broadly the same pace and children who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through rich and sophisticated problems. We believe that, through this approach, our children become automatic, efficient and flexible mathematicians.
By the time that they go to secondary school, Benedict children will have coherent knowledge and understanding of the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Crucially, they will have secure understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Children will be equipped with substantive scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Our science curriculum is implemented in line with the national curriculum to ensure a breadth and depth of coverage. We ensure that each unit is covered thoughtfully, according to the domain-specific knowledge that the children have learnt before. For example, in year 5, ‘Forces’ is taught before ‘Earth and Space’ to ensure children have a basic understanding of gravity. Retrieve, review and embed points have been inserted at the end of each key stage, where teachers will revise and check for understanding of previously taught Science knowledge.
At Benedict Academy RE focuses on the intellectual, cognitive and effective development of children by helping them understand the brilliantly diverse society that surrounds them. We do this by empowering them with the knowledge of the different world religions, the viewpoints of different people and the beliefs of different followers. We intend for our children to not only be aware of the beliefs, but know and understand how these beliefs shape the life of the followers. We aim to teach them how they can contribute positively by showing tolerance, respect, appreciation and acceptance for these views.
At Benedict Academy, we recognise that art involves a diverse range of human activities that involves visual, auditory or performative artifacts. Each half term, we study artists or their works and explicitly teach technical skills that children apply when creating end products.
By the end of Year 6, pupils will have a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, in accordance with the primary national curriculum. Their schema will consist of secure substantive knowledge, that can be retrieved quickly. This will inform them when engaging in historical enquiry based on disciplinary concepts within history. This knowledge will be taught in units of history that relate back to core texts.
We teach the sequence of substantive knowledge broadly in line with national curriculum expectations, but adjusted on occasion according to core text coverage. This is because we know that having a secure background knowledge of a topic influences comprehension and understanding of a key text. Equally, we understand that evidence suggests retrieval of substantive knowledge is improved when tethered to a narrative.
By the end of their time at Benedict Academy, pupils will be able to use computational thinking to interact with and understand the digital world around them. They will have developed a secure schema of the substantive knowledge required to access the three computing strands of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. Our children will understand the advantages and disadvantages of the online world, be respectful, responsible and confident users of technology as well as know how to keep themselves and others safe online.
Our scheme of work for computing is adapted from ‘Purple Mash’, a program that covers all aspects of the National Curriculum. We prioritise the teaching of computing science because this provides the substantive knowledge through which children can understand the greater disciplinary skills identified within the National Curriculum. Computing is taught in a hierarchical manner allowing children to develop their schema year upon year. This ensures that children can tether new learning to what they have already learned, reducing the cognitive load on their working memory
At Benedict Academy, our PE curriculum aims to ensure that by the end of Key stage 2 all pupils will have developed competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities. Through engaging and purposeful lessons, pupils will develop the stamina to be physically active for sustained periods of time. All pupils will be taught the knowledge and develop an understanding of how to lead healthy, active lives. Throughout their time at Benedict pupils will have the opportunity to engage in competitive sports and activities within our academy and with other academies within our trust. Pupils will also be taught how to work as part of a team and how to be good sports people. Pupils will be taught how to keep themselves safe whilst in water by being taught water safety and by developing their ability to swim. Our curriculum aims to provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health, fitness and overall wellbeing!
At Benedict Academy, we teach French in years 3, 4, 5 and 6 for 30 minutes weekly. In a multicultural society, it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language as this opens doors to different opportunities. We develop the essential skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing in French, to prepare pupils for learning a foreign language at a secondary school level. Our curriculum develops pupils’ natural curiosity and confidence to explore other countries, cultures and languages.
Our MFL curriculum has been designed to progressively develop skills in French. We are currently using the Primary Languages Network Scheme to deliver our French lessons. These ensure children learn the necessary phonics, vocabulary and grammar organised around specific topics. Learning is progressive, and builds on previous knowledge from units already studied. We use quizzes to retrieve information and facilitate learning.
We work in partnership with the Merton Music Foundation to deliver our music curriculum alongside a specialist teacher. The lessons encourage a love of music and a curiosity to explore it further both inside and outside of school.
Our Music curriculum supports children to understand, discuss, perform and create music using both instruments and their voices. We develop how to sing and play harmonies accurately and expressively; both aurally and using musical notation. Children critically engage with music, allowing them to understand, explore and communicate through different musical styles. They celebrate and reflect on music from a diverse array of cultures and backgrounds
We follow the Early Years Framework in Nursery and Reception. Read more below.
At Benedict Academy we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. To achieve this in the Early Years, we use the EYFS statutory guidance to inform and support our planning and to enhance our assessment procedures.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. The Early Years children are exposed to rich and varied texts such as Little Red Riding hood, My Mother’s Sari, Handa’s Surprise and Katie in London. Every single child in our Early Years setting relates to these multi-cultural texts. Central to our Literacy development is the systematic teaching of reading and writing through linguistic phonics where children are taught the skills of segmenting, blending and phoneme manipulation.
Mathematical development is a vital component of the Early years Curriculum. It is taught through imaginative play activities alongside focused whole class and small group carpet sessions. Right from the beginning, our mastery approach to mathematics helps children to develop number sense, fluency and problem solving. Mathematics in the Early Years encompasses numbers, shape space and measures.
The Early Years curriculum promotes the development of the characteristics of effective learning such as problem-solving, perseverance and resilience. Children are given opportunity to explore in order to develop independence, interdependence, confidence and self-esteem. All 7 areas of the curriculum are interwoven. Learning in the Early Years is not compartmentalised.
Communication and Language is used in every part of the curriculum and it is vital that the children develop these basic skills in order to become independent and confident learners. Children take part in well-planned imaginative, expressive and art and design activities. Our spacious outdoor learning lends itself in expanding children’s physical development and understanding of the world.