The Ark Globe Curriculum
Our curriculum is intended to prepare students for university and to be leaders in their community.
The Ark Globe Curriculum encompasses the total experience of the student, covering a range of activities from what is learnt in the classroom to our expectations of how our students carry themselves, and make decisions, outside of it. For us, education is much more than a qualification; it is a way of being that results in an empowered young person who is able to secure a life of purpose and meaning.
We recognise that attending university is often key to this as, we believe, it provides young people with more choices. As such, the academic, pastoral and cultural curriculum has been designed to prepare students for university and to be leaders in their community. However, we also recognise that there are high quality alternatives to university and we help students to secure these too. Whatever choice is made, we want it to be an informed one, where our students determine their own future.
Preparing students for university and to be leaders in their community means that our academic curriculum, the curriculum taught in subjects, is based upon the following principles:
Depth for breadth
This means more time is given to English and maths and that a mastery approach to learning is adopted. This involves planning backwards from the point of university readiness and starting with the fundamentals. Through mastering the fundamentals, students are better able to grasp more complex knowledge and understanding, as well as make connections between subjects. Furthermore, our longer school day allows us to facilitate both depth as well as a broad and balanced curriculum.
- In Early Years, this means children begin learning how to learn in a setting of nurture. We place great emphasis on core learning of how to read, how to count, how to write and managing feelings, emotion and change. Children engage with early exposure to the mastery content in English and Maths and access a range of resources to build independence and confidence.
- At KS1, we emphasise children learning core skills of English and Maths through experience of the mastery content of the subject.
- At KS2, our designed curriculum brings together key aspects that are important for embedding learning. We build the acquisition of knowledge, we ensure learning is purposefully broadening vocabulary and we remain relevant to our local context and the impact it has on the wider world. We continue to emphasise children learning the core skills of English and Maths through the embedding of mastery of the subject. More time is given to English and Maths.
This means ensuring students have the knowledge, skills and motivation to enjoy success once they have left Globe. In some cases, this may mean that some students need a more tailored curriculum, involving more personalised interventions, to better suit their needs at this stage of their life.
In Early Years, KS1 and KS2 this involves exposing students to university and different careers.
The pastoral and cultural curriculum focuses on developing key attributes that leaves students more able to make informed decisions that affect their own lives and that of others. There are several ways we do this:
- The Culture Pyramid sets out our values, belief and purpose. It permeates all aspects of school life and is used to set expectations around behaviour, decision-making and approach to school life, ultimately preparing students to be leaders in their community. In the Primary phase there are ‘Culture Champions’ and a Junior Leadership Team. In the Secondary phase, there is a student council, prefect team and student union. The Culture Pyramid also plays a key role in our approach to pedagogy within the academic curriculum. Inside and outside the classroom, there is a huge focus placed upon growth mindset with students engaging in metacognition, identifying gaps in knowledge and embracing retesting.
- The Behaviour Blueprint in the Primary phase provides students with a shared language and structure, that supports them in understanding the effect of behavioural choices within our school setting and wider society. Through restorative justice conversations, children begin to make connections that support their contributions to society.
- Enrichment Opportunities are provided to students throughout the school year and tailored afternoons off timetable in the Primary phase, provide all students with exposure to knowledge and experiences not necessarily covered in the academic curriculum.
In preparing students for university and to be leaders in the community, when a student leaves Ark Globe, they leave with a knowledge and understanding of the world that allows them to access the best opportunities. However, they also leave with a deep understanding of themselves and the impact their choices have on their own lives and their community.
At Ark Globe Academy Primary, we take pride in our teaching of English and creativity is at the heart of every lesson, from Early Years to Year 6. We incorporate speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammatical skills into each lesson in order to develop successful learners.
In the Early Years and Key Stage 1, all children are taught to read and write using the Read Write Inc. Phonics Programme. Children are taught combinations of letters and sounds which they then use to decode, blend and read words. In addition to this, children receive daily English lessons to develop their reading and writing skills further.
To read all about Read, Write Inc. at Ark Globe Primary, click here.
Children build upon these skills when they enter Key Stage 2, where comprehension is developed through our daily Rapid Reading lessons. Rapid Reading is a programme designed by Ark Globe that focusses on in-depth teaching of unfamiliar vocabulary, text summarisation and comprehending retrieval and inference questions about different text types to establish and analyse meaning. In addition to this, every Rapid Reading lesson begins with a RIC:
- Retrieval question,
- Inference question
- Choice question (the choices an author makes when they write)
Excellent comprehension draws from a strong understanding of vocabulary and grammar, and on knowledge of the world. To support our pupils in gaining this background knowledge, we use a wide range of stimulating texts, which link to other topics across the curriculum, to push our pupils to ask questions and develop a deep understanding of different kinds of literature. Our pupils are challenged to read a variety of texts, both in class and independently, to broaden their vocabulary, develop their knowledge of the world in which they live and instil in them a love of reading. Reading books are sent home every night and teachers check and change these weekly. Our reading records allow both pupils and parents to share comments with the class teacher.
A recommended reading list for each year group can be found here:
The earliest form of writing begins in Nursery, where our pupils mark-make. Throughout the Early Years, our pupils are supported to develop the fine and gross motor skills needed for pen control. Pupils then learn correct letter formation and how to use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.
Across the school, we deliver creative, daily English skill and drill lessons to develop imaginative authors and confident, passionate speakers.
Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (developing ideas and structuring them in writing). The focus of the English lessons is to teach pupils the grammatical skills needed to be successful writers, as well as how to plan, edit and evaluate their own writing. Pupils are taught using the same stimulus as their Rapid Reading lesson, in order to deepen their understanding of the text. The weekly ‘Big Write’ is an opportunity for pupils to put into practice the skills learnt through the week, and by the end of the year each pupil has a Writing Portfolio, showcasing their work from throughout the year.
Spelling and handwriting are taught in sessions separate from English lessons and spellings are tested weekly.
At Ark Globe Academy Primary, our Mathematics curriculum is delivered through the Mathematics Mastery programme from Reception to Year 6. The programme emphasises cumulative mastery of the essential knowledge and skills of mathematics. It embeds a deep understanding of maths by employing a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach – using objects and pictures before numbers and symbols so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.
The three key features of Mathematics Mastery are:
- High expectations for every child
- More time on fewer topics (allowing for greater depth)
- Problem solving at the heart
In Maths teaching, we aim to equip pupils with tools such as logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote, we want pupils to build a deep understanding of concepts, which will enable them to apply their learning in different situations. Mathematics is taught through practical and written activities that have real meaning for the children, enabling them to develop their numerical skills and the ability to solve problems.
Throughout the primary academy, we teach the following areas of study:
- using and applying maths in different contexts
- number and algebra
- shape, space and measure
- data handling
Combined with this, our mathematics curriculum places a strong emphasis on arithmetic, developing mental recall of number facts before introducing written calculations for all of the four operations. Our approach uses concrete manipulatives (such as number lines and bead strings), pictoral representatives (pictures representing mathematical concepts) and more abstract approaches (written equations). This structured support, combined with our high expectations, ensures that children make clear connections in mathematics which they can then apply to a variety of situations.
This includes a daily Maths Meeting lesson in Key Stage 1 and a daily Maths Challenge lesson in Key Stage 2, which provides an opportunity to consolidate and deepen understanding of key areas of mathematics. A separate Arithmetic lesson (Years 2-6) and a separate Times Tables Meeting (Years 3-6) is delivered twice a week in order to consolidate procedural mathematical skills.
At Ark Globe Academy Primary, our Science curriculum provides pupils with the opportunity to learn about the world around them and question how things work. Over the course of their time at Ark Globe Primary, they will cover a broad spectrum of topics within Chemistry, Physics and Biology.
Our lessons provide an opportunity for direct practical experiences, which allow our pupils to develop their curious minds as well as their independence. During the teaching of science, pupils learn not only vital scientific knowledge, but also scientific skills such as predicting, estimating, measuring, fair testing, hypothesising, and drawing conclusions.
Our Science curriculum is in line with the National Curriculum to ensure our pupils will leave primary school with a solid skills-set and grounding in practical science as well as inspiring them to pursue a career in Science.
Art and Design
A specialist art teacher teaches our outstanding provision in Art and Design at Ark Globe Academy Primary from nursery to Year 6, which embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
As pupils progress, they are able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They also learn how art and design both reflect and shape our history and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
At Ark Globe Academy Primary, we aim to prepare our pupils for life beyond their school years. In this age of technology, it is an essential skill that pupils are literate and confident in using technology to find things out, present their thoughts and explore topics at a greater depth. Our aim is to ensure pupils are confident in using a wide range of different platforms and can choose between a numbers of different devices to perform different tasks.
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Our high-quality geography education inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Our high-quality history education helps pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It inspires pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Music at Ark Globe Academy Primary aims to give every child access to high quality music making opportunities, in the hope that this will instil in them a lifelong passion for music and lead them to reap the many associated benefits.
Pupils in Nursery to Year 2 receive fortnightly lessons from an Ark music specialist which involves singing, learning rhythm and rhyme and other aspects of music appreciation, whilst also coaching our teachers in enabling them to teach great music lessons. Pupils in Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 also receive weekly music teaching from Ark music teachers – Year 3 and 4 pupils learn the Ukulele whilst our older Year 5 and 6 pupils are taught music that covers a programme, which includes learning music notation, singing and access to other instruments.
We also have a Key Stage Two choir who perform at Ark events as well as pupils also learning to play a brass instrument in Year 4, 5 and 6. Pupils in Year 5 and 6 are also invited to attend a specialist Ark choir group – Ignite – with rehearsals every six weeks involving pupils from across the Ark network of schools, which culminates in an annual performance at a special venue across London. In March 2019, the Ark Ignite choir also performed in the Farnham Music Festival.
PE forms an important part of the curriculum and incorporates areas such as ball skills, gymnastics, dance, invasion games (football, basketball, netball), striking and fielding games (rounders, cricket), net-and-ball sports (tennis), athletics and fitness training. All PE lessons are taught through a Sports Coach who is coached by our Secondary PE colleagues.
Through these varied sports, children develop their core skills of agility,
co-ordination, balance, fitness and teamwork. Competition and individual performance also form part of our commitment to high expectations.
We strive to provide a learning experience that will enable all students to achieve beyond their potential and ultimately develop a lifelong passion for sporting participation and physical wellbeing.
Religious Education at Ark Globe Academy Primary supports the promotion of community cohesion. It plays a major role in helping pupils understand diversity and develop respect for the beliefs and cultures of others.
At Ark Globe Academy Primary, we ensure that RE promotes pupils’ spiritual development by allowing children to reflect on the implications of religion and belief for their own lives. Learning about religion and belief helps children to explore the nature of religion. Whilst learning from religion and belief allows them to reflect on and respond to their own experiences.
The RE curriculum covers a wide range of religious beliefs including: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Sikhism. The lessons are practical and involve lots of opportunities for engaging discussion. Visits to religious place may be used to enhance learning.
Parents/carers are able to withdraw their child from RE but should discuss this with the Primary Principal.
Pupils are taught French throughout Key Stage 2 at Ark Globe Primary.
Children learn to speak about themselves, their families and their likes and dislikes both in and out of school. Children will experience songs and stories told in French alongside vocabulary acquisition and asking and answering questions, speaking in short phrases and sentences.
To support our teaching of French, we use the resources provided by Salut! - an Interactive Whiteboard teaching package for KS2 French! It’s bursting with a huge range of fun and colourful resources for brilliant lessons throughout KS2. More details can be found on their website.
It includes interactive games, singalongs, stories and activities to help children get to grips with the language — and have plenty of fun while they’re at it.
At Ark Globe, Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils participate in swimming lessons for one term. The pupils all go to The Castle Leisure Centre, Elephant and Castle every week for a 30 minute lesson.
An overview of each subject across the year groups can be found here.