At WILLOW TREE Academy we have designed a curriculum that ensures a profound primary experience for all our pupils. This is underpinned by a spiritual, moral, social and cultural education that encourages personal growth and development of core British Values in our children. Our curriculum engages and enthuses them through first hand-experiences. It is well planned to build knowledge and skills in a continuous and progressive way.
Willow Tree schools maintain a relentless and rigorous focus on raising standards through the learning skills curriculum also, which is explicitly taught so that these skills can be applied to gain knowledge and understanding across a wide range of subjects.
Our schools operate the same creative and vibrant, cross-curricular approach which aims to give every child the opportunity to fulfil their potential. First-hand experiences are fundamental to our Cultural Offer and this defines the high expectations we have within our planning; ensuring connections that are coherent and manageable are made across the primary curriculum.
The Willow Tree Cultural Creative Offer
At Willow Tree Academy we believe in providing children with opportunities to have a positive impact on the world at a local, national and global level. We want all children to gain new experiences and opportunities throughout their time at Willow Tree Academy. We believe that all children’s talents should be recognised, encouraged and celebrated both in and out of school. We aim to teach children to develop an acceptance and understanding of others within the multi-cultural society in which we live. We want all children to develop high aspirations for themselves, developing their thinking and reasoning skills and being able to communicate effectively. To enable this we will provide all children with a vibrant and engaging curriculum and through the teaching of relevant, stimulating topics. We want to develop children as confident, independent individuals that enable them to become responsible citizens who are environmentally aware of their world.
We will design our NEMESIS projects with this offer in mind, so that children can understand their rights and responsibilities and become social changemakers of tomorrow.
Opportunities our children will receive during their time at Willow Tree Academy:
- Visits to the theatre (locally and regionally) and visits from theatre groups into school
- Visits to religious buildings and places of worship and learn of other cultures
- Learn about people through history who have changed the world for the good
- Opportunities to visit the local library and utilise its services
- Engage with visitors into school from the wider community (NEMESIS)
- Visits into the local community to sample opportunities that are there for them i.e. parks, local places of interest, walks, woodlands, country parks and art galleries
- Visits to Higher Education establishments (colleges and universities) to promote career aspirations
- To take part in activities linked to the Children’s Festival i.e. Big String/Blast, One Voice, Shakespeare Project, Rothervision, Picture This etc
- To play a musical instrument
- To know that the Arts, drama, art, dancing and singing is how we express our feelings
- To develop international links with schools in other countries -NEMESIS, China Spain
- To develop an understanding of how the wider world impacts on them through the UN global goals
- To experience travelling by train, bus, tram and boat (Northumberland)
- To visit contrasting localities e.g. the coast, countryside and cities such as London
- To experience live music events e.g. One Voice, Young Voices, Theatre visits
- To participate in sporting events to represent the school – Willow Tree Olympics, competitions in sports such as: football, cricket, basketball, rounders, dance, gymnastics
- Children will be given opportunities to showcase their talents through activities such as school performances, talent shows and assemblies/services
- Children will be given an opportunity to learn a musical instrument
- Children will learn another language and share this across the Academy
- Children will develop an understanding of different members of society e.g. homeless
- Children will develop an understanding of national initiatives that are used to support people around the world e.g. Children in Need, Comic Relief
- Each term children will experience a first-hand visit/visitor or residential to support their learning in school e.g. farm, nature area, museum
- Children visit Crucial Crew to raise awareness of safety issues through scenario-based situations,
- We have a range of after school clubs that develop the skills and interests of the children and build relationships across school, strengthening British Values.
How children are provided with these opportunities
We will endeavour to promote our children’s personal development through our SMSC education, PSHCE and the wider curriculum. Throughout school, we identify children who are gifted and talented in different areas and aim to celebrate and promote this. All children are given opportunities to develop their skills at their own level through in-class learning and after school provision. We will continue to hold open mornings/afternoons for parents and carers to showcase children’s learning from the REAL projects (now NEMESIS) and STEM opportunities. Children will be given multi-sensory experiences through technology and drama-based lessons and taking learning out of the classroom. Home learning activities will also aim to develop opportunities for parents and carers to work alongside their child/children on cultural, creative activities. Children will be taught current affairs at an age-appropriate level to inform and dispel any misconceptions should they occur. Staff will work alongside children to challenge stereotypical viewpoints. We work closely with key people within the local authority to enhance what we do e.g. Ann Foxley Johnson from the Anti Bullying Alliance. We provide our children and parents with drop-in sessions, teaching opportunities, mental health awareness and family learning, all of which develops a network of support for families.
An overview of our curriculum and educational visits can be downloaded below.