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Teaching and Learning


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Aspire Academy's Curriculum Intent

Our aspiration is for all children to have a positive school experience, where they find success and develop a love of learning. We want children to feel part of a school community where everyone is valued and nurtured to be kind, responsible and respectful citizens in our modern society. 

We want our children to become confident, resilient learners, who are honest and willing to challenge themselves to become the best they can be.

At Aspire our practice is underpinned by our commitment to the inclusion of all children. All children at Aspire have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) outlining their specific needs and provision. We strive to support our children through  a range of strategies, including high quality teaching, interventions and therapeutic support and extra-curricular activities.

We continually try to improve the standard of education by reviewing areas of the curriculum, methods of teaching, assessment procedures and programmes of work.

The academic curriculum, however, is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. Our teachers strive to develop the children's academic abilities, whilst ensuring they develop socially, emotionally and morally.

The intended outcome of the curriculum offer at Aspire is to ensure children are ready and prepared for secondary education – both academically and pastorally. This means that our students have the necessary academic skills to achieve in their next stage of education, have the necessary communication and social skills that embrace and represent Aspire’s six core values, and have the necessary cultural knowledge and experience to access the world beyond their primary school. 

Ultimately we want our children to see themselves as learners, enjoy attending school and move forward into future education with positive attitudes and high aspirations.

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Aspire Academy’s Curriculum Implementation

At Aspire, the implementation of our curriculum is designed to meet the aims and outcomes outlined in our intent.

In order to achieve this, the curriculum at Aspire is taught in line with the expectations that are set out in the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The National Curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum. Children are grouped for learning by stage not age meaning that children experience a curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and takes into account any gaps in learning to best meet individual needs.

Subjects, such as History, Geography, Science, Art & DT, are taught through stimulating thematic topics to ensure there is a common theme each half-term. This is underpinned by our use of knowledge organisers that clearly outline the prior learning that directly links to the new knowledge being learnt; but, also, how the new knowledge and skills learnt will be applied in their future learning. An investigative approach to learning is embedded through key questions. The knowledge organisers outline how children will access new vocabulary, develop their skills of investigation and thought, and have a greater awareness of a wide range of individuals, from a wide range of backgrounds, that have impacted upon our society today.

Each topic begins with a ‘hook’ into the new learning. This may take the form of a visiting workshop, a whole school trip or a whole school activity day. These are used to engage and excite students with the new knowledge and skills that they will acquire.

In our pursuit of developing a love of reading, each teacher will choose a class text to read aloud. Every endeavour is made to provide some link between the topic being taught and the class text chosen. The class text will be at a level beyond that which the class could access themselves, with a rich ambitious vocabulary and age appropriate themes that promote discussion and comprehension skills. The class text offer is diverse, both in protagonists and authors, and ensures greater representation and inclusion of many backgrounds is seen.

Some high-quality and heavily-researched and trialled schemes of learning are used to supplement and support the delivery of quality lessons. In maths, White Rose Maths is followed; in English, Read Write Inc is followed across the school for the teaching of phonics, reading and writing; in RE, the Bexley SACRE’s agreed syllabus and in Computing, Purple Mash.

In the arts, we have a commitment to developing cultural knowledge, by exposing our students to prolific artists, designers and architects each year. 

Music teaching throughout the school is supported by a specialist music teacher from Bexley Music. This provides an additional opportunity for staff CPD as they work alongside the specialist teacher.

In PE, a specialist sports coach complements the delivery of high-quality physical education that ensures students build their sporting skills gradually and specifically over time, alongside a developed understanding of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Central to the implementation of our curriculum, is our commitment and expectation of quality-first teaching and learning across all areas of education. Teaching staff use each subject’s progression of skills and knowledge to ensure a clear and progressive sequence of learning is seen in each subject. This enables children to build knowledge and skills over time – both building skills and knowledge within the 4-year curriculum cycle, but also regularly revisiting, and making connections with, prior knowledge so that the learning is linked and progressive.


Aspire Academy’s Curriculum Impact

The intended impact of our curriculum is that:

  • Students at Aspire make expected or better progress in all areas of their learning, in line with their starting point.
  • Students at Aspire have the support, intervention and high quality teaching required to achieve the outcomes in their EHCP and ensure they move onto the most appropriate secondary provision for optimum further development and success.
  • Students at Aspire have access to the same opportunities and experiences as their mainstream peers, i.e, after school clubs, educational visits, residential opportunities, sporting teams and activities.
  • Students at Aspire encapsulate and represent our core values of Achievement, Synergy, Perseverance, Independence, Responsibility and Equality.
  • Students at Aspire have a cultural knowledge and understanding that allows them to access and find success in the wider society, in both secondary education, and beyond.
  • Students at Aspire have a good understanding of their own mental health, physical health and their pastoral needs are fully met.
  • Students at Aspire have the necessary social, emotional and educational skills that prepare them to access secondary education and beyond, having a clear understanding of how to positively impact on their community and wider society.
  • Students at Aspire have a deep understanding and respect for the value of inclusion and are tolerant and respectful of all people, regardless of race, culture, background or need.

If you would like to read more about our curriculum:

Teaching & Learning Policy