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Our vision is to develop inclusive schools that promote and achieve excellence and that nurture the values, confidence and skills of pupils, staff and the community to meet the emerging opportunities of the 21st century.
At South Essex Academy Trust, all pupils are treated as individuals. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Personalised learning is our aim, giving the children the education they need and want.
- Learning is active, hands on, engaging and fun.
- We aim to inspire children to take a risk, challenge themselves, ask critical questions and develop life-long skills through first hand learning experiences.
- We facilitate children to take control of their own learning, adapt their own challenges and develop into active, critical learners, in readiness for their onward journey.
In the Foundation Stage and Preschool, Winter Gardens Academy follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
The school uses the Read, Write, Inc. approach to the teaching of phonics.
While academies are not required to follow the National Curriculum, at Winter Gardens we have
chosen to do so for our KS1 and KS2 provision. We organise the children’s learning across a
significant learning curriculum designed to be stimulating, that reflects the children’s interests and
that gives many opportunities for teachers to inspire all pupils, whilst helping them to develop life
skills and to encourage a lifelong love of learning. We teach all learners what it means to be a British citizen and the values that this entails.
- Tolerance of other faiths;
- Rule of the Law;
- Respecting Institutions;
- Combatting discrimination;
- Individual Liberty;
These British Values are central to the learning experience we offer. We also aim to include our trust values across the curriculum, giving our pupils the opportunity to develop the skills we attach such great value to:
The SEAT Approach
The guidance issued by DfE with the updated National Curriculum, which came into force in September 2014 has emphasized the opportunities for schools to develop their own approaches to the school curriculum, and how it is organised and taught.
We are developing a thematic approach which focuses not only on foundational knowledge but also on five other significant learning taxonomies, inspired by the Significant Learning model (L. Dee Fink, PhD). There is evidence that teaching subject knowledge and skills as part of a wider curriculum allows pupils to make useful links between areas of learning, and consolidate subject specific skills.
Through this approach we strive for our children to develop life-long skills across 5 significant learning taxonomies:
- Learning to learn.
What children learn about how to learn, how to be good students, how to become a self-directed learner.
- The Human Dimension.
What students learn about themselves and others.
Critical, Creative, Practical Thinking.
The connections, similarities and interactions that children recognise and make.
The changes/ values that children will adopt e.g. feelings, interests.
We encourage all pupils to have a positive ‘Growth Mindset’ which ensures that they have a willingness to learn from mistakes and are willing to have a go, and they will be able to elaborate this positive attitude to learning. Through this, we encourage them to achieve a mastery of subject specific skills by;
- Perseverance, particularly when they find a concept challenging;
- Embracing challenges and innovating ways to problem solve;
- Asking good questions so that they can become critical learners who problem solve and demonstrate deeper levels of understanding;
- Showing resilience;
- Evaluating and critiquing;
- Taking learning risks, challenging themselves and others to be better learners;
- Believe in themselves to achieve success;
- Learn from others and the world around them;
- Encourage their own independence;
- Show determination to succeed;
- Be enterprising and willing to take responsibility.
We try to enrich learning through trips and visits, along with theme days throughout the year linked to either British Values or to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. These trips, visits and themes underpin the topics and set the children’s learning into real life contexts, helping them to make sense of it.
Please see the Curriculum Policy and Map above for details of how the national curriculum is implemented at Winter Gardens Academy.
How can you find out more information about the curriculum?
Please speak to your child’s Classteacher or Mrs G Thurston, our Curriculum Lead and Deputy Headteacher.