“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela.
We have carefully designed our curriculum to meet the needs of our pupils, whilst covering the full scope of the National Curriculum. Often described as a ‘microcosm of society,’ Co-op Academy Woodslee serves a unique community which brings together children from homes of ‘white collar’ professionals, ‘blue collar’ professionals and approximately 1/3 of our children in receipt of the Pupil Premium. Our pupils come from a highly populated White British demographic, this means that learning about themselves and how they fit into our community, local nationally and globally For most of our pupils developing reading, and maths mastery are a high priority. For this reason, we have put , literature and vocabulary at the heart of our curriculum. We take every opportunity to broaden our pupils’ language skills, for example in DT, Geography, History and English there are opportunities to learn how to read and speak fluently.
Our ambitious curriculum is designed to help pupils discover their talents and interests, and hence, understand what success means and feels like for them. We have deliberately planned a wide range of opportunities for creativity through art, design, music and sport and built in opportunities for our children to develop their cultural understanding.
Through our curriculum, we prioritise pupils’ moral development. We are passionate about our children having the courage to make the right moral choices, regardless of who is watching. Most of our pupils live in areas identified as the second most deprived with high levels of unemployment and 47% of crime in the area is recorded as violence and sexual offences and anti social behaviour. Opportunities for pupils’ moral development are prioritised through: our history curriculum (where pupils learn about equalities and discrimination in various periods); our PSHE curriculum where children learn about equality and inclusion; our book choices (which contain moral dilemmas and pertinent issues); our Restorative Justice behaviour Policy and our Mental Health Strategy.
A significant proportion, approximately 70% of our children stay with us from Foundation Stage 1 or 2 and will stay with us for their entire primary education; some children will have experienced multiple school moves before they join us locally. We incorporate many opportunities for pupils to develop their knowledge of and appreciation for their locality and the people who make up our wider community. For example, pupils learn about the local area through geography, specifically our fieldwork, history specifically our links with Port Sunlight and the River Mersey and RE specifically our learning of other faiths and celebration of feast days such as Eid. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to ensure that key knowledge is built as pupils move through the school preparing the children for their secondary education.
Many of our children are a part of a large family. This often brings with it responsibility for looking after others and themselves from an early age. and, as a result, our pupils are caring this is combined with children who are from smaller families and do not have these skills of independence. We believe it is important to build on this, so we give pupils regular opportunities to make a difference to others, develop their independence, the school and the community. This supports their social and moral development and their motivation to contribute. Opportunities for this are in our Rainbow Restaurant, our Playleader scheme and our Pupil Parliament.
With the aim of improving pupils’ life chances we are passionate about giving our pupils opportunities outside of their usual experiences and environment. We expect children to engage actively in lessons and to develop a strong work ethic. Learning about careers and employability is a key focus running through every subject. For example our annual Careers Fair, our weekly Acorn Time and our Curriculum trips give children wider opportunities to learn.
For detailed information about our Curriculum, please view our Whole School Curriculum Long Term Map, which can be downloaded here.
It is our intention that our pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists. Our mission is to teach every child to read and write and to keep them reading and writing. No exceptions. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive equitable, well-rounded learning experiences which will equip them with the tools to achieve in our academy and beyond. We immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a passion for discovery and confidence to explore their imagination.
In EYFS and KS1, children follow a programme called Read, Write Inc. Our reading mascot, Fred the Frog, features in our daily phonics lessons as each child learns to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension.
When children become fluent readers, they study texts using a structure that we call ‘VIPERS’. VIPERS is an acronym of the six domains of the UK’s reading curriculum- Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve, Summarise. Staff choose high quality texts to read, study and enjoy that are matched to the child’s age and stage of the national curriculum. Reading for pleasure is an important part of our day when children listen to a story read aloud by staff or curl up and read a book for themselves.
When teaching writing, we use ‘Pathways to Write’. This is a methodology, with proven impact, built around units of work which develop vocabulary, reading and writing skills through the mastery approach. We teach children to write with technical accuracy through our grammar, punctuation and spelling lessons and provide opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences.
Within our Academy, we prepare children by providing them with essential skills for life. Children gain a sense of enjoyment and achievement in their mathematical studies. It is important children experience a vibrant and stimulating curriculum which excites pupils to develop skills to be used in a practical context not just in the short-time but it embeds them so our pupils can draw upon them in everyday life.
Our objectives in the teaching of mathematics are:
- to promote enjoyment of learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion;
- to promote fluency and competence with numbers and the number system;
- to develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts;
- to develop a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented;
- to explore features of shape and space, and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts;
- to help children understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life;
- to develop a deeper understanding working towards mastery of skills to apply within a range of contexts and the wider world.
EYFS: Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. We recognise that children learn through routine, continuous provision and incidental learning opportunities, as well as planned sessions and activities. Mathematical understanding can be developed through stories, songs, games, routine, questioning, imaginative play, child initiated learning and structured teaching.
In both Key Stage 1 and 2, we follow the Maths, No Problem Scheme which was founded in 2007 and helps schools teach the methods of Singapore Mastery Maths. Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Our Maths curriculum allows pupils to build problem-solving skills and gain an in-depth understanding of essential Maths skills. Problem solving is key to a mastery maths approach and at Coop Academy Woodslee we offer lots of opportunities for problem solving to help pupils calculate with confidence. We are part of the Wirral Maths Hub which enables us to develop our teaching and implementation of the Maths, No Problem scheme with local schools and share good practice so each of our pupils access quality maths teaching and learning.
Science is the study of the world around us. Our children learn by observing, describing and experimenting through interactive lessons that develop practical skills and content knowledge. ‘Big ideas’ serve as a focal point in our science lessons and children’s natural curiosity is fostered while they explore and discover, behaving like real scientists.
Foundation Subjects are just as important as the core subjects because they introduce pupils to a wide variety of skills and knowledge, often in creative, practical and active ways. Our bespoke curriculum is carefully planned with CAW at its heart: Community, Aspiration and Wonder.
In our rapidly changing high-tech world, it is essential that children have a secure knowledge of I.T. (Information Technology) and Computing. We teach children concepts such as algorithms, programming, reasoning and internet safety. All children have access to laptops, Chrome books and IPads to support the development of their skills.
Art and Design:
This subject brings out the creative side of our pupils as they experiment and learn how to draw, paint, sculpt and explore art and craft techniques.
Design and Technology:
Children’s creativity is encouraged while they design, make and evaluate their own innovative products. They are equipped with skills and knowledge in structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials, including food.
Children are taught French through songs and games. They develop speaking, listening and writing skills as they progress through the curriculum.
Our children’s interest is sparked as they learn about the world around them. They compare locations, investigate, write and talk about places. Awe and wonder of their local area is developed through meaningful field trips and first hand experiences. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive a well-rounded learning experience linking our geography topics to many different areas of the curriculum and gain a deep and rich learning experience. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the cultures, landscapes and diverse nature of our home planet while developing a passion for discovery and the confidence to ask and explore their own questions using a variety of sources and resources.
The aim of history teaching here at Co-op Academy Woodslee School is to stimulate the children’s interest, curiosity and understanding about the past. Through the curriculum pupils will gain a knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We teach children a sense of chronology and through this develop a sense of identity and an awareness of the challenges of their time. Our teachers equip children with the curiosity to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement. History teaching should help pupils to understand the complexity of pupil’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and the relationship between different groups.
We follow a programme called ‘Charanga’ to teach music. Children learn how to express themselves using their voices and experiment by combining sounds using tuned and untuned instruments. In Key Stage Two, all children are taught how to play a musical instrument, such as a violin or ukulele.
Pupils master their balance, agility and coordination by participating in team games and sports such as dodgeball, football and cricket. We invite specialist coaches into our academy to share their skill and expertise in a range of sports. Swimming and water safety is taught in KS2 so children can swim a distance of at least 25 meters.
We invite our pupils to participate in a range of extracurricular activities so that they can develop their own special interests and abilities. Our staff offer a range of clubs that children may join and we also provide a variety of clubs from outside providers.
Examples of clubs we run include:
Choir, piano lessons, guitar or ukulele lessons.
French, creative writing club, Spanish, Mandarin.
Multi-Sports, football (with Shaun Garnett- ex Tranmere Rovers Player), dance club, netball, athletics.
Art and Craft, drama, Littlefoot Forest Schools Club.
Mental Health and Well Being:
Cosy Club, Yoga, Mindfulness Club.
At Co op Academy Woodslee we plan and assess using the Lancashire SACRE RE. We chose this syllabus as it is closely aligned with our intent for RE teaching: https://council.lancashire.gov.uk/documents/s139102/Lancashire%20Agreed%20Syllabus%20for%20RE%202016.pdf
We believe that ‘…education influences and reflects the values of society, and the kind of society we want it to be. Foremost is a belief in education, at home and at school, as a route to moral, social, cultural, physical and mental development, and thus the well-being of the individual. Education is a route to equality of opportunity for all. This includes valuing ourselves, our families and our relationships, the wider groups to which we belong, the diversity in our society and the environment in which we live….’ (pg 10 Lancashire SACRE 2016)
In accordance with DfE legislation, we hold daily acts of collective worship that are ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.’ At Co op Academy Woodslee, this is what Collective Worship means to us:
- It is a daily legal requirement, different from assembly.
- It’s a time to celebrate the communal identity of the school and its values.
- It is participatory so pupils have a sense of ownership and of it being a separate, reflective time of the day.
- It is planned, rooted in a theme or concept, and may link to the curriculum.
- It involves ritual, exploration and celebration of the things the school holds of value and meaning.
- It is open-ended and exploratory, not dominated by one leader.
- It is a coming together, an opportunity for talents to be highlighted.
- It is a joyful, reflective celebration and sometimes a solemn reassurance.
- It involves responsibility and reciprocity with a variety of different content.
Each Wednesday afternoon we lead an assembly. This assembly is for the whole school community and we plan for members from different local religious communities to meet with our children. As a school community, we ensure that all children have opportunities
- Celebration assembly where pupils’ achievements in the classroom and out (such as in sports teams) are rewarded.
- An assembly based on materials from a charity or organisation e.g. our Trust charity MIND, NSPCC, Police.
- A talk from a visiting speaker or performer, for example a sports personality, musician or author, or a representative of a charity like Childline.
- A series of assemblies focusing on a school value: truth, kindness, respect, etc.
- An assembly tied in with a nationwide event or awareness campaign, such as Anti-Bullying Week or World Book Day.
- Bible-based assemblies where pupils look at a passage from the Bible in depth, often led by a local member of clergy, and sing related songs.
- An assembly based on current affairs, such as climate change or food poverty.
- Assemblies to address an issue that is affecting pupils, such as bad behaviour at playtimes.
- A class assembly, where one class leads the assembly, usually showing what they’ve been learning, e.g. through showing work, drama, dance and music.
- Singing assemblies where children learn new songs, perhaps for performing in a school concert.
We attend local places of worship such as St Barnabas’ Church or Bromborough Evangelical Church for events such as Harvest, Christmas, Easter and Remembrance.
Co op Academy Woodslee is not a school at which home learning dominates home and school life. We accept that not every activity will capture children and parents’ imagination and that evening times can sometimes be busy however we firmly believe that home has a significant impact on each child to ensure that the child flourishes and thrives. We believe that home learning should be enjoyable and manageable for all concerned and that if it becomes a chore/burden/source of conflict it ceases to be a constructive aspect of teaching and learning.
Our children are to access home learning each week. We have daily expectations: daily reading with an adult/carer, daily spelling practice and daily number practice. Our children access their home learning using Seesaw (Y1-Y6) and Tapestry (Foundation Stage -Nursery and Reception).
Home learning is set by staff each Monday, with a view for it to be completed by the Friday of that week. This is to ensure that home learning does not impinge on precious family time each weekend.