A Curriculum that Inspires Excellence

Ark Conway Primary Academy is committed to providing a curriculum that inspires and excites our pupils to achieve excellence and motivates them to succeed.

Our Curriculum:

  • is focused upon high standards in mathematics, reading and writing as well as being broad and balanced, providing plenty of opportunities for enrichment
  • excites our pupils’ imaginations
  • is progressive, ensuring continuity from Reception to Year 6
  • provides a firm foundation for later learning and subject choice
  • is relevant to our pupils and their surroundings
  • is underpinned by outstanding teaching and supported by innovative technology

The Ark Conway Curriculum can be found here

We believe if it’s worth teaching at all, it’s worth teaching well!

 

Our approach to phonics and reading

At Ark Conway we aim to ensure that every child leaves us a confident, fluent and passionate reader. Teaching of reading covers the five ‘pillars’ of Reading: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension and allows our pupils to access the rest of the school curriculum.  

We are proud to be a Model school for the Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) Phonics programme, which is a synthetic phonics and literacy programme for all children in Reception and Key Stage 1. Children learn the 44 common phonetic sounds in order to be able to independently blend them to develop reading, writing and spelling skills. 

The RWI sessions take place every day, as the pace and consistency of the programme is a key element to developing reading skills for all children. 

Our ultimate aims and objectives within the Read Write Inc. programme are for the children to be able to learn and apply sound blending skills and to learn to segment words in order to be able to create skilled and confident readers. Children also learn to read and spell words that do not conform to regular phonetic patterns (High Frequency Words) and decode both fiction and non-fiction texts through discussion, performance and teacher led activities. Once pupils are fluent at decoding, they progress to further develop their skills. This programme enables children to develop their comprehension, writing, critical thinking, discussion skills and gain a firm knowledge and understanding of grammar. 

All pupils in KS2 take part in daily Reading lessons. Class texts are selected to complement the topic being studied in ACP lessons and allow pupils to make meaningful links between their knowledge in different subjects. A range of non-fiction texts are used alongside class novels, to develop pupils’ contextual understanding. 

Lessons follow a five-day cycle, using the same chapter or extract each day. Pupils start by developing their understanding of the vocabulary in the text, ensuring nuances and subtleties of the language are fully understood. Pupils take part in a range of activities to ensure this is the case. As they progress, pupils are also taught to employ strategies to decipher the meaning of unfamiliar words using context, similar words and morphology (the origin of words). 

Pupils are provided with a range of opportunities to read aloud throughout the week and are taught how to improve their reading speed, expression, and prosody, or ‘smoothness’. This is an essential skill in ensuring pupils comprehend what they are reading. 

Pupils are also given opportunities to deepen their understanding of the texts they read. As children get older, they use their analytical skills to form extended opinions on characters, themes and events. These are justified with evidence from the text, teaching children to form robust opinions and arguments, and serves as a pre-requisite for essay writing. In Upper Key Stage 2, pupils’ reading journals provide the opportunity to reflect in their individual reading books and think critically about what they have read. 

Our students’ love of reading is also extremely important and will help them grow as readers even further. Time is allocated for Shared Reading every day, in every class and provides the opportunity to just ‘enjoy a good book’ as a class. Our yearly ‘World Book Day’ celebrations provide the opportunity to explore a wealth of authors, books and characters. 

Our approach to maths

At Ark Conway Primary Academy, all year groups follow the Mathematics Mastery programme. This curriculum is aligned with our school vision as it has high expectations for every child, spends more time on fewer topics and focuses teaching on using mathematics principles to problem-solve.

This approach uses concrete manipulatives (actual objects such as Dienes blocks, number lines and bead strings), pictorial (pictures representing mathematical concepts) and abstract (e.g. written equations) strategies to ensure that every child has a deep understanding of mathematics.

Further information

Should you have any questions about the curriculum at Ark Conway, please contact Rebecca Ross-Wood (Principal).