Curriculum Overview

The Southmere curriculum has been built on the Academy and Trust vision and mission statement. Through our curriculum we aim to:

  1. Improve educational outcomes for all our children regardless of their starting point.
  2. Implement a curriculum that promotes and sustains a love of learning, builds resilience and allows for creative, critical thinkers.
  3. Create employable, lifelong learners through the development of skills that include responsibility, resilience, respect of, and for, learning.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum has been designed in three layers to provide pupils with a wide range of opportunities to develop as aspirational life-long learners, able to take their place as active citizens in an ever changing world.

Oracy underpins our work across the curriculum as pupils develop the skills to reason, discuss, debate and present their learning in a variety of contexts with increasing skill and confidence.

The Academic Layer

In this layer, all pupils follow an ambitious programme of study which covers the breadth of the national curriculum. Emphasis is placed on the development of pupils’ ability to read fluently, confidently and with enjoyment as quickly as possible in order that they are able to use these skills to access the wider curriculum. In the Early Years and Key Stage 1, pupils access daily phonics delivered systematically through the use of Essential Letters and Sounds. Pupils access phonically decodable books which they are encouraged to practise both at home and at school.

All pupils participate in a whole class daily reading lesson where they are exposed to a wide range of high quality texts. This session is carefully planned to enable pupils to practise fluency alongside the development of their comprehension skills.

We encourage pupils to develop a love of reading through exposure to a wide range of literature and varied experiences including daily story sessions, visits from authors and access to a well-stocked book areas.

Underpinning all areas of the curriculum is the development of Oracy. Many children join the academy with extremely low communication and language skills, have English as an additional language or are new to English, the academy therefore focuses on the skill of language from the moment they step into the school.

Reflecting the challenging context of our Academy, the curriculum focuses on early reading from the very start of school. Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. We provide children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences that are appropriate to their needs. Where children have not previously had access to a high quality reading curriculum in KS1 or KS2 systematic intervention is provided daily to ensure children have the opportunity to catch up.

The Foundation Subjects and Science within the academic layer are planned sequentially through the Reading Enhanced Curriculum to enable pupils to build on prior knowledge in order that they know more and remember more as a result of high quality learning experiences.

The Personal Development Layer

Southmere Primary Academy prides its self on the caring, nurturing approach shown, both by staff and children alike. We hold the personal development of our children’s social, emotional and mental health wellbeing in the highest possible esteem. Our curriculum builds and encourages this thread throughout.

The Academy strongly believes in giving individual attention to the needs of the children in our care. It is our mission to offer every child a high quality education in a supportive, safe environment in which they feel valued and are inspired to become learners who aim to ‘be the best they can be’.

Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our diverse academy. When our children leave the academy we want them to be prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain.

Our curriculum is designed to extend beyond the academic; it is bespoke to our community and wider society; encouraging tolerance, empathy, environmental awareness and enables our children to communicate confidently in our ever-changing world. There is a strong focus on developing pupils’ moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding so that they are well-prepared for life in modern Britain. We carefully plan the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens in an ever-changing world. We aim to introduce them to the best that has been thought and said and intend to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

A robust PSHE and RSE curriculum, enables us to ensure that pupils fully understand how to keep themselves safe. Learning is planned to enable pupils to explore and debate issues which affect our local community and wider society, including internet safety, CSE, radicalisation and knife crime. Pupils are encouraged to be aspirational, make good choices and understand what they need to do to reach and succeed in the careers to which they aspire.

Within this layer of the curriculum, pupils develop their understanding of how to keep physically and mentally healthy, eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle.

Our academy provides a highly inclusive environment where all learners enjoy their education. We ensure through the careful planning of learning opportunities and experiences that all of our pupils – including our disadvantaged and SEND – have access to a rich, broad and balanced curriculum. We recognise that learning is a life-long adventure and our intention is to create a culture of personal and professional development at our academy, where adults continue to learn and develop alongside the children.

Through our curriculum we will:

  • Develop Oracy skills so that the children are confident in presentation, debate and are able to speak in front of a wide range of audiences
  • Ensure children all children learn to read quickly and effectively in order to successfully access the breadth of the curriculum
  • Ensure children are provided with enrichment activities to provide them with opportunities that they may not be able to access otherwise
  • Give children a deeper knowledge of the world outside of their local community and what possibilities are available to them in terms of education, experiences, and achievements
  • Using regular opportunities to apply basic skills in context so that they see the value and necessity of them in modern society

The Enrichment Layer

We strongly believe we need to create an education for our children that goes beyond the standard classroom practice. Our curriculum supports our pupils to become confident, aspirational children who have the knowledge and skills to succeed in all areas of the primary curriculum. We want to support our children to have aspirations to succeed in all areas of their life. We believe our ethos and curriculum provides children with valuable experiences that will support them to succeed in their next stage of education.

We understand that pupils arrive at school with varied experiences. Through this layer of the curriculum, we provide pupils with a wide variety of experiences to develop interests which may extend into adulthood. Pupils have the opportunity to access a variety of activities designed to deepen their understanding of healthy lifestyles and cultural experiences.

Enrichment activities include Forest Schools, Musical Instrument tuition for every child, Bikability training, Classroom Kitchens, Breakfast and After School Clubs, Family Enrichment workshops, educational visits and visitors, charity and fundraising.

How do pupils progress and achieve within our curriculum

Our definition of progress is; the widening and deepening of essential knowledge and skills. We designed our curriculum to ensure that children are not merely covering content but deepening their knowledge. Our careful curriculum design and planning means that we build in many opportunities for repetition and practice for essential skills and knowledge. This ensures that children can revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.

Success for a child at Southmere Primary is simple; they will leave with the knowledge and skills needed to support their next steps of education. They will have the ability to use these skills by using refined language acquisition which is supported with high quality reading fluency. We firmly believe every child will be a success at Southmere Primary Academy.