Overview

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a transdisciplinary curriculum framework that offers authentic learning experiences.

The PYP encourages students to learn to appreciate knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and personal attributes as a connected whole.

OUR PROGRAMMES OF INQUIRY CORE TEXT OVERVIEW

IB World School …

Our curriculum covers all the requirements of the National Curriculum but is arranged around inquiries into six different Transdisciplinary Themes. Cherry Orchard Primary Academy is an IB World School, authorised to deliver the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. 

International Baccalaureate logo

The  International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Overview of the pyp framework

At Cherry Orchard Primary Academy, we are committed to providing a quality, inclusive education where all children are able to achieve their full potential. We are passionate about creating a learning environment where children feel safe and happy, enabling all to develop into individuals who are confident to take risks and who are able to be actively involved in their learning. We are dedicated to providing learning experiences that challenge all pupils, fostering resilient, motivated learners who go on to become lifelong learners. Through a curriculum that encourages intercultural understanding within the local and global communities, we aim to nurture our pupils in becoming considerate and compassionate, celebrating each other’s differences. We are resolved to promote a culture where collaboration and community is highly valued, and where we work as part of a wider team who share good practice and offer support to others.

Our curriculum at Cherry Orchard Primary Academy (COPA) has been to ensure all children develop the basic skills in reading, writing and number as quickly as possible, so that they are able to become independent inquirers, taking full advantage of an engaging wider curriculum based around and delivered through the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP).

Through the IB curriculum, we challenge children to think for themselves as they begin to consider local and global issues, and acquire the knowledge and skills they will require to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences later on in life. 

The curriculum is underpinned by the IB learner profile (linked to the Academy values) that identify the characteristics of a COPA student by the end of their time with us. We intend for our children to leave us as caring, active participants continuing a lifelong journey of learning, equipped with the skills they require to continue to thrive as they move on to secondary education; and beyond as global citizens.

Our curriculum can be best described as Transdisciplinary, an approach that connects learning through concepts that overarch disciplines. Our curriculum refers to the subject disciplines in the National Curriculum that are delivered through the framework of the Primary Years Programme. The curriculum at COPA seeks to ensure both excellence in subject discipline (knowledge and skills) whilst at the same time being delivered through the lens of Transdisciplinary Themes, making the curriculum significant, relevant and engaging for our pupils. Where possible, these subjects will be taught in relation to the term’s Transdisciplinary Theme. However, the design of the curriculum allows for subject disciplines to be taught discretely to guarantee the coverage and progression of disciplines take place.

The leaders of each of these curriculum areas work closely with teachers to ensure that their subjects are planned coherently: that there is progress across year groups, and that children meet age-related expectations at the appropriate times. 

Our curriculum is mapped against the National Curriculum (as a minimum benchmark) to ensure learners are exposed to a rigorous curriculum that progresses coherently both vertically and horizontally. 

CLT and retrieval practice

Our curriculum is designed and delivered in a way that allows pupils to transfer key knowledge to long-term memory. Through careful planning of curriculum content in each year group, we ensure that new learning builds on knowledge and skills that have been taught before. 

Alongside the academic curriculum, pupils will be taught Personal Development Curriculum (including relationships and sex education)  which is mapped out to be age appropriate and sequential, meeting the needs of our learners.  

As a school that opened in 2017, we have had a greater than average number of children joining COPA at various points throughout the academic year. Where these children have joined us at lower than expected starting points, or with additional needs, processes ensure that these children are provided with targeted interventions (both educational and pastoral) to aid them in acquiring the basic skills of reading, writing, and maths whilst still being given the opportunity to access our wider curriculum through additional support or adaptations made. In this way, we intend for all children to achieve their full potential regardless of their background or their additional needs.  Please refer to the Academy’s SEN Policy for further details.

Teaching & Learning practices at COPA are constantly evolving to ensure that our curriculum is delivered efficiently, using a fine balance between traditional, and progressive practices. Knowledge is, on occasions, imparted through lecturing, e.g. Dictogloss and phonics knowledge in RWI, but also constructed through experience and practical inquiry. Both teacher-centred and student-centred approaches are employed depending on what best suits the learning activity and the children’s needs. 

In light of recent research and practices on meaningful and effective marking and teacher workload, changes to feedback in writing have been developed. Feedback will be written and verbal, and will focus on the next steps. Children are expected to respond to feedback and this is done in ‘purple pen’ so it is clear.

Through the implementation of the Primary Years Programme, there is a strong emphasis on inquiry-based learning in which the children are actively involved, and take responsibility for their learning over time, reflecting on action that can be taken due to the learning that has taken place. Through lines of inquiry, they make connections across disciplines and integrate subjects into a ‘Unit of Inquiry’. 

Our English lessons for Early Years and KS1 children follow the Read, Write Inc (RWI) programme, which focuses on phonics knowledge reading skills, improving fluency of reading, and early writing skills.  These skills are then used in their transdisciplinary learning in their Unit of Inquiry. Towards the middle/end of year 2, children are expected to move away from the RWI programme and join English lessons following the National Curriculum objectives for their year group. These lessons are linked, where possible, to the class’s Unit of Inquiry also.

In Maths, teachers plan lessons which develop children’s fluency, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Teachers are skilled in developing skills/knowledge, application and reasoning to tailor teaching and learning to the needs of the children so that they are secure in their understanding but suitably challenged.  At COPA, we use a mastery approach to maths and use White Rose Maths to build pupils’ mathematical understanding over time; this uses an approach that is concrete, pictorial and abstract in order to develop a secure, meaningful understanding of maths that can be used to solve problems and reason with. Children have  access to maths manipulatives (i.e. bead strings, Base Ten, Numicon) in each lesson to support and consolidate understanding. Opportunities to use developed maths skills within a unit of inquiry, across the subject disciplines, are given to use maths in meaningful contexts.

Our Early Years team takes a consistent approach, focusing on the individual child and their development, and on learning through play.  Through structuring learning through IB PYP Transdisciplinary Themes, meaningful child-led exploration can take place, forming foundations for pupils as they progress through the IB PYP curriculum in Years 1-6.

These are the minimum requirements we agree to achieve in all phases of education at COPA during 2020/21. These are rigorously monitored by leaders and Trust staff through: (i) book monitoring; (ii) self-assessment; (iii)  lesson observations; and (iv) learning walks. Teaching staff receive timely feedback via ‘Clear Review’, our online performance management system.

Learning Environment
Learning

Lengthy comments in books are not expected as part of feedback to pupils. The pupils’ own response to either verbal or written feedback (in purple pen) is more important to evidence their reflection and progress.

(Please refer to the Academy’s Marking and Feedback  policy)

At COPA we aim for children to achieve in line with their age-related expectations, through the development of knowledge and skills across the curriculum we provide. This will be reflected in results at the end of Key Stage and statutory assessments, which will be at least in line with national figures and government expectations. 

Throughout the year, teachers, adults and pupils within the school practise formative assessment and are regularly assessing where children are in their learning. This allows for an authentic daily form of assessment that leads into better learning opportunities for all children.

In addition to the skills and knowledge that formative assessment measures, Year 6 pupils will take part in an IB PYP Exhibition.  This gives pupils the opportunity to exhibit projects that are the culmination of their developed inquiry, problem solving and reflective skills that have developed in their journey through COPA.  This is also an opportunity for parents, family and the school community to celebrate these pupils’ success in becoming internationally minded through developing attributes of the Learner Profile.

International Mindedness

International-mindedness is central to the IB mission and is a foundational principle to its educational philosophy; it is at the heart of the continuum of international education.

International-mindedness is a view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility towards its members. It is an awareness of the interrelatedness of all nations and peoples, and is a recognition of the complexity of these. Internationally minded people appreciate and value the diversity of peoples, cultures and societies in the world. They make efforts to learn more about others and to develop empathy and solidarity towards them to achieve mutual understanding and respect (Oxfam 2105; UNESCO 2015).

Primary Years Programme (PYP) learners and their learning communities have a range of perspectives, values and traditions. The concept of international-mindedness builds on these diverse perspectives to generate a sense of common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.

International Mindedness Chart showing the 3 main topics, Global Enagement, Intercultural Understanding and Multilingualism

At COPA we pride ourselves in our determination to ensure pupils from all cultural backgrounds feel included in the development of the curriculum for our school community. We seek opportunities to engage in world issues that are relevant to the pupils’ lives and development as global citizens. 

Through purposefully developing and nurturing the Learner Profile attributes within the lives of our pupils, alongside enriching, meaningful experiences, we hope that pupils will view themselves as valued members of a global community, who assume a sense of responsibility towards its members.

Some of the ways in which we are developing international mindedness in our school community:

The boy at the back of the class book cover
Malala's magic pencil book cover
if the world were a village book cover
The boy who harnessed the wind book cover
A collection of books

At COPA we have invested resources to ensure that our school library is representative of different cultures.  Literature used within the curriculum encourages the development of international mindedness through teachers specifically seeking out materials that celebrate diversity and common humanity, allowing children to develop awareness of international issues, cultures and perspectives.

We have a mobile library that has bilingual books which all our pupils can explore.  Language Library Monitors visit classes once a week and give pupils the opportunity to explore a different language or read a book in their own home language through this resource. We are fortunate enough to have over 25 different languages represented in our school community.

A collection of books for children
COPA's Language Library
Our international community text with a map underneath
Example of a QR code
A circle with the text 'Around the world' inside it. Clipart of the wonders of the world around the circle.
Map of the world

To celebrate the many different languages that are represented within our school community, pupils have welcomed visitors to our school in their first language.  Visitors can listen to these pupils using QR codes that are placed on the country which their family represents.  A deliberate decision was made to choose a Peter’s world map which more accurately conveys the size of countries in relation to one another.

In addition, within their classroom pupils are able to identify their family’s heritage on a Peter’s world map to acknowledge  and consider the diversity represented within each class; pupils and adults alike.

Our ‘Around the World Challenge’ allows each class to explore a different country throughout each term, with weekly challenges given by our principal in our celebration assemblies. Children research information to fulfill the challenge and representatives of each class present this information to their key stage the following week.

As with any school, our community goes beyond pupils and staff. Our families are a highly valued part of our learning community.  As such, we have established a group of different representatives across the school (Parent Curriculum Enrichment Group) to help shape and enrich our curriculum and ensure it represents all groups accurately and proportionately. 

As a school, we understand that the development of pupils’ international mindedness includes being aware of the global organisations that exist to support them in their human rights.  Building this foundation allows pupils to grow to appreciate when the actions of others hinder the freedom of individuals or groups of people.  As importantly, it allows us to discuss and address global issues of injustice in an age appropriate manner that is both powerful and challenging.

Year 4 pupils formed a peaceful protest outside our Principal’s office to make their voices heard concerning the injustice of racism.

A group of students holding up banners
A teacher talking to a student during the protest
We are all born free book cover

Learning to communicate using a modern foreign language not only exposes our pupils to a different way to speak, but allows pupils to explore the diversity and richness of another culture, possibly different from their own. 

 ‘Language always carries meanings and references beyond itself: The meanings of a particular language represent the culture of a particular social group. To interact with a language means to do so with the culture which is its reference point. We could not understand a culture without having direct access to its language because of their intimate connection.’

Fatiha Guessabi, Language Magazine

Co-curricular CHERRY ORCHARD Primary Academy

Outdoor learning

At Cherry Orchard we have a brand new purpose build outdoor classroom in our Woodland Area, which will be used as a base for both our outdoor learning as well as other extra-curricular activities.  It is surrounded by a woodland area with planters adopted by each class to develop our edible garden.  

The area and Rotunda Building is also used by our Early Years as a base for Forest School and provides opportunities for children to plant, grow, sow and harvest their own fruit and vegetables.  To complement and enhance the ‘healthy living’ style of the edible garden, we are just about to add several activity trlm trail stations around the area.

Children are encouraged to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables that can be used in the school kitchen in ‘taster sessions’ and we have plans to introduce a healthy snack bar once a week during playtimes, using any surplus fruit or veg.

Student council

We have a thriving School Council with representatives from each class meeting every two weeks to discuss ideas for improvement.  Students communicate with their peers to bring back to the group to discuss and liaise with staff on areas that the children feel can be improved for the benefit of the school community.  We are in the process of developing the outdoor play areas to include a ‘quiet zone’ under cover for those children who find playtimes difficult.

School sports teams

Cherry Orchard are part of the Dartford District Schools sports calendar and we are in the process of developing our sports teams to enable them to take part in inter-schools competitions in football and netball for both boys and girls.  Our PE Team take on extra-curricular club activities to identify and establish any talented youngsters and give them the opportunity to take part in organised and progressive sporting fixtures.  Our school minibus, which will arrive by the end of the month will allow for children – no matter their background – to attend and develop their skills and experience in interclub competitions.

Extra Curricular Club Activities

At Cherry Orchard we pride ourselves on offering a vast and varied selection of extra -curricular activity clubs every night.  Reflecting the skill set and availability of the teaching and support staff, we offer at least two clubs for each of EYFS, KS1 & KS2 each night for one hour after school finishes.  These clubs range from cooking, gardening and crafting clubs, to arts & crafts and sporting clubs as well as computing, coding and musical theatre clubs.  

Extended School Provisions

We also offer extended wrap-around childcare from 7:30 to 6pm via our Breakfast Club and After School Provision, to support our working parents, as we are on the Ebbsfleet – London computing line.  Children are given breakfast and a light tea and are involved in an activities timetable on a two week rotation including quizzes, karaoke, scavenger hunts, cooking and film nights.  

PTA

Before COVID, our PTA hosted school discos, Christmas parties and Summer Fairs as well as many other seasonal events.  We look forward to returning to an active and supportive PTA in this new academic year and will be running a new PTA election shortly. 

Young Voices at the O2

Every year COPA are represented at the O2 where our choir take part in the annual festival of choirs, under the instruction of our specialist music teacher. 

Golden Afternoon Activities

Each term children take part in an afternoon of activities of their choice, across the school such as making slime, science experiments, drama workshops, cooking and debates as well as other crafting and sporting activities.  These activities are used as incentives to support our behaviour management system and children sign up at the beginning of the term and work towards increasing their time at their chosen activity.  This allows the children to mix with other teachers and adults in their year group alongside their peers, making transition from year group to year group less daunting.

Theme Days & Events

At Cherry Orchard, we are committed to celebrating world events that are based on a theme and learning opportunities that are multi-cultural and/or charity based, such as World Book Day, International Language Day, Children In Need or Macmillan’s Cancer Research giving the children the opportunity to learn about different cultures, dress and foods and teaching them the importance of raising funds for those less fortunate than themselves.

Educational Visits, Visitors to School and Life Skills

Pre-COVID, COPA was active in arranging offsite school trips based on the IB Theme of the term and arranging for visitors to the school to host debates, history and music workshops such as African Drumming.  

Specialist Resource Provision

Our Specialist Resource Provision for our more vulnerable pupils, had weekly visits to local shops, restaurants, indoor play spaces, libraries, police and fire stations to increase their life skills, encouraging them to be independent in certain everyday situations.