It is our ambition for all of our learners to be full of ideas and love using their imagination and resourcefulness to help them with their learning. We want them to believe they can achieve the highest goals and anything is possible, they will be ambitious, self-motivated and determined.
The learners in the Acorn will be independent and resilient; carrying on even when learning seems too challenging. They will challenge themselves and understand the whole learning journey rather than individual parts of the bigger picture. It is through what we teach, together with how we teach that we deliver on our ambition for all our children.
The main vehicle for learning is enquiry-led learning. School adults challenge learners to seek answers to questions that intuitively create opportunities to refine knowledge and skills in different states of being, for example: authors, mathematicians, technologists, artists…. This active rather than passive learning ensures greater involvement and creates links with prior and future learning. Key experiences, which are purposeful and wide ranging, will enrich our curriculum and help children make links between their learning now and the wider world. How would you know that you want to be the next Mozart if you’ve never played an instrument? Such experiences will be at the heart of each unit of cross curricular ‘topic’ work. Our topics will be carefully chosen to help children understand themselves, the world we live in, our place in it and the connections that join us. We also celebrate the diversity of our community, learning about and from, the mix of cultures and traditions we are part of in multi-cultural Britain today. Our topics will have 4 phases. The first is: inspire and enquire – children take part in a WOW activity which sparks their interest and imagination therefore encouraging questions and investigations. Then children explore and experience using different kinds of research and skills depending on the level of development of the child. Thirdly, the children apply their skills and understanding in a challenge. Finally, they evaluate their learning, thinking about key learning skills they have developed and how they can improve in their next topic.
Adults will take on different roles as the children progress through the school. This will follow the progression of: establishing, developing, enhancing and extending learning. In the EYFS stage adults are supporting learners to master basic tools and knowledge by guiding, initiating before moving on to co-constructing.
Children in the EYFS (Reception) work through the Development Matters document, which is published nationally. We place a strong emphasis on children learning basis skills – Reading, Writing and Maths, right from children’s early learning experiences until they leave the Academy at 19. We follow a structured approach to phonics using the Letters and Sounds document. This is supported by a number of different resources from different sources such as Read, Write Inc and Oxford Reading Tree. We use a broad selection of levelled reading books which, when they are ready, the children take home to consolidate their phonics and practise their reading. Children’s understanding of literacy is strengthened as they learn to read and write about the things they are learning about in other subjects. Their writing has real purpose and is relevant to them. Children also apply their maths learning across the curriculum in other subject areas.