The Academy’s approach to learning is distinctive, challenging and rigorous. We are determined that all our children will make exceptional progress in developing the skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes needed for high-quality learning.
This statement summarises the basic entitlement, the values, aims and objectives that the King’s Cross Academy curriculum seeks to embody. We also recognise that the curriculum experienced by the children does not just include the planned curriculum, but involves the so-called ‘hidden curriculum’ of relationships, ethos, informal learning and outside school hours learning.
The basic curriculum entitlement
- All pupils have access to the whole National Curriculum plus Religious Education. There will be no disapplication of children with Special Educational Needs; instead, the curriculum will be adapted according to the needs of the individual child.
- The curriculum is organised into Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) which follows the Foundation Stage Framework, Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage Two (Years 3 to 6).
- To ensure progression and rigour in the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science throughout the school, the core curriculum is supported by:
- The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) Book Power programme;
- the Camden programme of study for maths, reading and writing; and
- curriculum maps written by Academy staff.
- The foundation subjects are supported by our curriculum maps which provide a structured, project-based approach (copies of the curriculum maps are available below).
- The King’s Cross Academy Learning Toolbox – utilised to plan and structure the learning. The Toolbox has been developed to support high quality learning. It is offered as an aid to thinking about and planning learning using tools from the six Toolsets – communication, thinking, physical, creative, learning about learning and social and emotional.
The values behind the curriculum
We believe the learning at King’s Cross Academy should:
- Enable every child to develop in the key areas of communication, thinking, social and emotional awareness, creativity, physical development and learning about learning (known as the Academy Learning Toolbox).
- Contribute to equality of opportunity for all, active citizenship, economic awareness and commitment to sustainable development.
- Reflect the values of respect for ourselves, others and diversity within society.
- Engender a commitment to truth, justice, honesty, trust and a sense of personal responsibility.
- Enable a positive response to the opportunities and challenges of economic, social and cultural change.
- Develop awareness of globalization, new work and leisure patterns and communication technologies.
The three over-arching aims of the curriculum at the Academy are:
- To provide exciting and varied opportunities for all pupils to learn successfully, whatever their current levels of attainment or needs.
- To promote learners’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- To develop the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes needed for a positive response to the diverse opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
Objectives of the curriculum
1. Developing high-quality learning
Across the curriculum, core subjects and RE, all children experience structured, and progressively more sophisticated experiences, designed to develop all aspects of the Academy Learning Toolbox:
- Communication – speaking and listening, reading, writing and ICT are employed across the curriculum as fundamental tools for expressing ideas and engaging in dialogue.
- Thinking – reasoning, comparing, debating, persuading and questioning are developed explicitly in a wide variety of contexts.
- Social and emotional learning – collaboration, empathy, emotional awareness and self-management are explored and practised within the taught curriculum and in informal settings (e.g. the playground, lunchtimes).
- Creativity – risk-taking, experimentation, trial-and-error and imaginative play are encouraged and planned for in all subjects.
- Physical learning – simulations, drama and movement are used to represent thinking in novel ways and to engage with ideas using the senses.
- Learning about learning – reflection, self-assessment and planning are encouraged and developed.
In order to promote high-quality learning throughout the planned curriculum, we:
- Seek to involve the children as much as possible in planning their own learning approaches.
- Combine two or three subject areas to form meaningful learning projects, supported by the curriculum maps written by the Academy staff.
- Highlight connections between ideas in different subject areas.
- Value the distinct contributions of different subject areas to learning and develop the specific skills and approaches that are particular to each subject area.
- Aim to develop awareness of what expertise in each subject area looks like i.e. what it means to be a mathematician, a scientist, a historian etc.
2. Promoting inclusion
When teaching the planned curriculum, we:
- Value and present positive images of different languages, religions, cultures and ethnic groups, particularly those within the King’s Cross community.
- Seek to address the needs of all our pupils, including those with special needs, English as an additional language and gifted and talented pupils.
- Use available resources, including those within the King’s Cross area, effectively to meet the individual needs of all pupils.
- Actively promote community cohesion.
- Promote positive behaviour and awareness of the needs of others.
- Assess the children’s needs to ensure appropriate planning by class teachers and additional support staff, where available.
- Employ targeted actions plans (TAPs) in planning learning experiences for pupils with special educational needs, including those who are gifted and talented.
3. Building a learning community
Throughout the curriculum, we seek to develop attitudes based on:
- Respect for each other as individuals
- A sense of shared purpose and teamwork
- Awareness of the school community (our responsibility to others as well as the support we receive)
- Awareness of the local community (e.g. links to King’s Cross)
- Awareness of the international dimension to learning
- An ability to give constructive feedback and to listen to the advice of others
4. Enriching the curriculum
In order to extend children’s horizons and widen experiences, we:
- Plan a wide range of learning activities and projects that enrich the curriculum through the use of the King’s Cross environment for example:
- music workshops from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) and the Performing Rights Society (PRS)
- forest school in Camley Street Nature reserve
- French teaching from Eurostar train drivers
- Drawing workshops with the House of Illustration
- Engineers from Hoare Lea supporting learning in the science curriculum
- Reading buddies from Argent
- Skip Garden gardeners visiting the Academy on a weekly basis
- art projects supported by student ambassadors from Central Saint Martins
- Digital Brain engineers teaching coding from year 1
- students from Regent High school working with some of our youngest children on joint projects
- Organise clubs under the umbrella of the co-curriculum: choir, recorders, multi-sports, football, poetry, home learning, crafts etc.
- Draw on local expertise from other schools to provide tasters of different subjects e.g. music performance from Regent High School.
- Participate in a variety of external activities that enrich the curriculum, including Borough sports events and competitions, museum-based events such as ‘Family Deaf Day’ at the British Museum, curriculum-related visits and residential experiences.
- Stage music evenings and assemblies to celebrate the skills and talents of our children.
- Run a range of child-led initiatives including peer mentors, play leaders, and class meeting representatives.
- Introduce children to musical instruments e.g. colour strings kindergarten in the Early Years / Key Stage 1 in which every child learns about musicality, recorder lessons for every pupil from year 1, peripatetic lessons for all children as part of the co-curriculum.
You can access our curriculum maps, which outline the learning for each project, by clicking on the links below. If you require further information please don’t hesitate to contact the school or visit us on one of the head teacher’s school tours.
© The curriculum maps are copyright of King’s Cross Academy Trust and should not be reproduced without permission.