The richness of our high-quality curriculum opens doors for children to become responsible educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said.
The curriculum at Westgate follows the National Curriculum and is underpinned and enriched by our ‘ACE Adventures’ programme which encourages learning through creative activities and enables the children to showcase their learning to the parents.
Each seasonal term there is a main topic focusing on Geography, History or Science. Each topic is driven by an ‘Overarching Question’ which will be answered during ACE Week. e.g. The Great Fire of London – Disaster or Opportunity? (Y5 History)
The learning in English needs to be linked to the Topic work and needs to cover the full range of writing genres over the year. Where possible, Immersive reading texts need to relate to the topic as well.
The ‘ACE Adventure’ is the key to the curriculum learning for the main topic subject areas and is an opportunity to apply the skills that have been taught during the topic – including maths, English and all other curriculum areas as appropriate. The ACE Adventure for each class needs to have a clear focus and a purpose (For example, a museum, a visitor centre, a feast, an art gallery, a debate, a drama presentation, speeches etc. have all been used in the past, but there are endless possibilities here)
During each topic unit, the learning needs to refence ACE as often as possible so that children are beginning to think about what they could do when the week arrives. After each half term break, an afternoon is set aside, and the children are given the chance to help shape the ACE week through discussion work.
A graduated approach to support of SEND at Westgate Primary School
At Westgate Primary School all teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils in their class including where pupils access support from specialist staff and teaching assistants. High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have SEND. ‘Quality First’ teaching is a priority of the school. It is regularly and rigorously monitored and there is a focus on continual improvement of the teaching of all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEND most frequently encountered. Close liaison is maintained with all members of staff by the SENCO to ensure that pupils are only identified as having SEND if they do not make adequate progress once they have had appropriate interventions/adjustments and good quality personalised teaching.
Details of the provision on offer at Westgate Primary School can be found in the School Offer in the SEND section of the School’s Website.
What do we want the children to know and learn?
Our curriculum reflects the ambition of the National Curriculum in developing knowledge and skills. It is designed particularly to:
- develop speech language and communication,
- raise personal ambition,
- improve fine and gross motor skills,
- develop a positive sense of self and respect for others,
- give rich experiences to develop knowledge and understanding of the world
- solve problems
- promote reflection, collaboration and respect
- accurately articulate their thoughts and opinions through the proactive acquisition of technical and non-technical vocabulary.
At the end of the unit, a week is set aside for the ACE Adventure. During this week, timetables are dropped, although there may be some key aspects of English or mental maths skills that you may want to continue with, and the class is organised into groups or teams which are managed by the children themselves, led by leaders appointed by each group. In KS1 there will be an increased amount of adult support, but this needs to be reduced as the children move through to Year 6. However as far as possible, in all year groups, the children should take charge of their own organisation during the week and the adults should act as facilitators.
Once the focus for the ACE afternoon has been decided, a different project will need to be planned for each group. The outcome of all the work produced during the week is the answer to the original overarching question, remembering that the context needs to relate to the key subject area. For example, for the geography ACE, the work needs to showcase the geographical skills that have been learned and not just present facts and so on for history and science.
The presentations to the parents need to include the written work, photos and pupil voice comments in the red project books as well as more practical demonstrations of what has been learned – debates, skills teaching, ‘TV’ presentations, weather reports, role play, museum tours are some of an endless list of ideas. Parents enjoy getting involved so why not include them on debate panels or ask them to act as judges for an Art exhibition?
Remember: The focus of the afternoon must be on high quality and on answering the question, not on complicated, highly involved activities. For example: a simple presentation with discussion/debate that is well presented and shows what has been learned is adequate.
There needs to be a great emphasis on discussion and debate during the week while the projects are developing. Keep returning to the question and asking children if they are answering it and if so how? If not, they might need to rethink what they are doing. Remember they are ‘apprentices’ learning how to present what they have learned to their families. PSHE skills are also relevant here together with our British Values – adults need to help the children identify where they are putting these values into practice (avoid forcing the issue though!)
Each child needs to complete a written task during the week. Use genres taught during the topic. You can include other genres that the children have some knowledge of (might need a reminder ‘master class’ for some genres). Within each group there needs to be a mixture of genres of writing, matched to the ability and interest of each child.
Together with the written work, each child needs to produce two other pieces of work based on the skills learned through the topic work, art, music etc. that you have covered during the topic. The tasks generally need to use skills from more than one subject area and can be worked on with a partner or in a small group.
All work must be of the highest standard and finished, redrafted work is to have no mistakes or crossing out. This means that work needs to be ‘hard’ marked by the adults and all mistakes corrected. You can create bordered papers for this completed work. Work for the topic choices can take the form of photos and diagrams but the skills used need to be added e.g. through speech bubbles, captions etc. The written work must not be long pieces of writing (eg just write the start or end of a story)– quality and understanding of how skills are being used is more important than quantity, and all work must answer the question rather than being vaguely related to the topic.
Teachers will need to continually promote the maths skills that will be needed to complete each task. Children will need to be able to identify the maths skills that have been used in each part of the project – this is what they will record for the Project book through speech bubbles and captions. For example: To make our model we needed to be able to measure using a ruler. We used cm and mm and we knew that there are ten mm in a cm to help with the measuring.
The Red Project Book
These books provide a valuable record of the ACE week and are stored outside the classroom where children and their parents can browse them.
One book is produced by each group and it needs to contain written work and evidence of the two other tasks from every child in the group. The key to this work is high quality and answering the overarching question. Therefore, some of the work can be extracts from longer pieces of writing. (The longer pieces can be used for displays) Evidence of more practical work can be in the form of photos, photocopied DT or art work, drawings etc. Remember the evidence in the books needs to show how they the question has been answered.
A photo of the previous ACE display needs to be taken and put inside the red project books.
A selection of the work from the Project Books needs to be made into a display on the ACE boards outside each classroom. This display needs to answer the overarching question, showing the learning from Ace and the skills that have been used to do this. You need to include how the children have reflected on British Values. The work on the displays can be colour copies of the work for the red books. The work will show a snapshot of the learning and does not usually have every child’s work on display.
The ACE display stays up until the following ACE Adventure week.
Sunday 18 July 2021 Bastille Day The day was packed full of learning from the History of the French Revolution to the creative aspect of understanding different cultures. A fun time was had by all.
Friday 9 July 2021 Sports day 2021! Westgate were 'Together Again' as part of the National Sports Week for our Sports' Day! It was wonderful to be able to see each other and cheer on our friends and brothers and sisters in other classes. We saw our House teams take part in all the events and complete the running races. We enjoyed celebrating together and will announce the winning team shortly! Who will have won?