At Ambleside Academy, we adopt a clear and consistent approach to teaching to ensure that within each lesson pupils learn well. Across the school, we teach the foundation subjects using the CUSP curriculum, which pays close attention to the National Curriculum sequence and content. CUSP is guided by evidence-led curriculum structures, such as retrieval, spaced retrieval practice and interleaving. It is underpinned by explicit vocabulary instruction and research-focused pedagogy. Evidence leads to exceptional outcomes for pupils, as a result of coherent curriculum design and instructional teaching.
Ambleside Academy is a Reading School.
Reading lies at the heart of everything we do and underpins the broad, balanced curriculum we offer to Ambleside pupils. Raising pupils’ attainment in Reading is a priority for every member of the school staff, as is developing a love of Reading.
Our staff and pupils alike know that diverse and enjoyable Reading opportunities allow our pupils to develop into understanding, tolerant and kind young people.
A wider Reading community, and close home-school relationships, are of the utmost importance to us.
We understand the key connections between successful, passionate readers and wider life opportunities, including the positive impacts on mental health that a love of Reading can offer.
In the knowledge that excellence and enjoyment are reciprocal processes, we strive to enhance and support children’s Reading at every possible opportunity – so Ambleside pupils love to read, because they can read.
In order to teach the skills of reading, we have introduced our very own Ambleside Animal Reading Scheme that are experts at the different skills our children need to learn, for them to read effectively. Teachers explicitly teach each skill and allow the children independent opportunities to explore these reading skills and develop confidence in using them. These are used in KS1 and develop further within KS2.
In our playground we have a Sharing Shed. Parents and pupils are encouraged to borrow books to allow our school community to have a greater range of stories to read together at home.
For more information on our reading expectations for each year group, click on the links below.
Reading Characters Skills
For correct literacy instruction, our children must be taught the basic foundations of reading, which include Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension.
Within our phonics policy, aspects of the five pillars of reading are outlined, with a specific focus in particular on Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Comprehension
The Phenomenal Phonics Programme follows a synthetic, systematic approach to the teaching of early reading: explicitly teaching the correspondence between letters and sounds to blend for reading (decoding) and to segment for spelling (encoding).
Phenomenal Phonics follows a progression of phases, with our well evidenced, bespoke approach driven by high quality assessment half termly. Assessment informs next steps in learning to ensure that all pupils demonstrate good progress in the number of sounds that they know as well as the words which they can read and spell.
Click here to view our Phonics policy.
At Ambleside Academy, we adhere to a homegrown approach known as, ‘Ambleside’s Authors in Training’ Writing Programme. This sets out clear expectations for the Quality of Education that all pupils should receive in writing. It details the key ingredients required to equip all pupils with the skills, knowledge and expertise that they need to be successful writers.
For more information on our overview of text types click here.
At Ambleside Academy, our Reading Spine has been created to ensure that our pupils are exposed to and can enjoy a wide, diverse range of texts throughout their learning journey at our school. These texts have been carefully selected to include stories and information that will encourage our pupils to become the kindest, most empathetic and most tolerant versions of themselves. These texts have also been chosen to address Doug Lemov’s 5 Plagues of Reading, through which children can become resilient readers by engaging with texts where, for example, the author uses old-fashioned, archaic language or the narrators or chronology ‘jump around’.
To learn more about our reading spine click here.
For more information on our expectations in Writing for each year group, click on the links below.
Within maths, staff follow a maths mastery approach. The majority of the class are taught the ARE for their year group with differentiation where appropriate.
Maths Mysteries are taught twice a day. In the morning there is a refresher section focussing on arithmetic. The afternoon session again focusses on arithmetic but goes into more depth and allows fuller discussion.
We follow a weekly schedule of 4 days of new learning and 1 day of arithmetic/recapping/quizzes on previous learning. Varied fluency plays a vital role in the teaching of maths. Times Tables are also a focus ensuring the children have key skills to access a range of question types.
For more information on our expectations in Maths for each year group, click on the links below.
Art at Ambleside Academy is delivered through the CUSP curriculum.
The CUSP Art curriculum is organised into blocks, with each block covering a particular set of artistic disciplines, including:
Vertical progression in each discipline has been deliberately woven into the fabric of the curriculum so that pupils can revisit key disciplines throughout their primary journey at increasing degrees of challenge and complexity.
In addition to the core knowledge required to be successful within each discipline, the curriculum outlines key aspects of artistic development under working artistically. Each module will focus on developing different aspects of these competencies.
This will support pupils’ development as artists more broadly, as well as enabling students to successfully acquire the taught knowledge and skills.
Click here to view the Long Term Sequence for Art and Design.
At Ambleside, we prepare our learners for their future by giving them the opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills that will equip them for an ever-changing digital world. Knowledge and understanding of ICT is of increasing importance for children’s future both at home and for employment. Our Computing curriculum focuses on sequenced substantive knowledge and computer skills, digital literacy (use of different software) and e-safety.
These strands are revisited repeatedly through a range of themes during children’s time in school to ensure the learning is embedded and substantive knowledge is deepened. Our intention is that Computing also supports children’s creativity and cross curricular learning and that these skills are developed and utilised across the whole curriculum. Finally, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively and responsibly.
At Ambleside Academy we teach Design and Technology through the CUSP curriculum.
Our Design and Technology curriculum offer has been created to ensure that pupils are equipped to successfully think, work and communicate like a designer. Unapologetically ambitious, our curriculum focuses on excellence in this subject through a range of disciplines and by referencing outstanding practitioners in this field. The intention is that the exceptional teacher instruction inspires pupils to acquire knowledge as designers and technologists and enables them to skilfully apply their understanding.
The CUSP Design and Technology curriculum is organised into blocks with each block covering a particular set of disciplines, including:
- food and nutrition
- electrical systems
- understanding materials and textiles
Vertical progression in each discipline has been deliberately woven into the fabric of the curriculum so that pupils revisit key disciplines throughout their Primary journey at increasing degrees of challenge and complexity. In addition to the core knowledge required to be successful within each discipline, the curriculum outlines key aspects of development in the Working as a Designer section. Each module will focus on promoting different aspects of these competencies.
Click here to view the Long Term Sequence for Design and Technology.
At Ambleside Academy, across Key Stage 2, we teach French as a modern foreign language. Our French curriculum, from CUSP, has been purposefully built to ensure that there is a focus on high-quality development of children as linguists. Core areas of study are revisited throughout the curriculum. Each unit of study focuses on:
- grammatical structures
This curriculum has been designed to serve young linguists in the modern world. Key areas of focus have been deliberately selected to ensure that pupils are equipped with knowledge and language that will serve them in engaging with important and useful topics such as the environment, wellbeing and travel.
The methodology for teaching French at Ambleside Academy is to provide opportunities for children to develop their confidence and knowledge to read, write and speak in a modern foreign language.
Our French curriculum has been designed as a spiral curriculum with the following key principles in mind:
- Cyclical: Pupils revisit key vocabulary and grammar concepts again and again
- Increasing depth: Each time vocabulary or grammar learning is revisited, it is covered with greater depth
- Prior knowledge: Upon returning to each area, prior knowledge is utilised so pupils can build on previous foundations, rather than starting again.
We also recognise that French acquires a broad range of subject knowledge and draws on disciplines from the wider world such as grammar and geography which we believe are essential components that help to engage and connect our children with the curriculum.
By the time our children leave Ambleside they will have the knowledge to read, speak and write confidently in French in order to carry through to their future education and into their lives beyond the classroom.
Click here to the view the Long Term Sequence for French.
A guiding principle of CUSP Geography is that each study draws upon prior learning. For example, in the EYFS, pupils may learn about People, Culture and Communities or The Natural World through daily activities and exploring their locality and immediate environment. This is revisited and positioned so that new and potentially abstract content in Year 1 can be put into a known location and make it easier to cognitively process. High volume and deliberate practice are essential for pupils to remember and retrieve substantive knowledge and use their disciplinary knowledge to explain and articulate what they know. This means pupils make conscious connections and think hard, using what they know. CUSP Geography is built around the principles of cumulative knowledge focusing on spaces, places, scale, human and physical processes with an emphasis on how content is connected, and relational knowledge acquired. An example of this is the identification of continents, such as Europe, and its relationship to the location of the UK.
CUSP Geography equips pupils to become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental model of the subject. This guards against superficial, disconnected and fragmented geographical knowledge. Specific and associated geographical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from Year 1 to Year 6. High frequency, multiple meaning words (tier 2) are taught and help make sense of subject specific words (tier 3). Each learning module in geography has a vocabulary module with teacher guidance, tasks and resources.
CUSP Geography is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by the implementation of Bjork’s desirable difficulties, including retrieval and spaced retrieval practice, word building and deliberate practice tasks. This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory: new content is connected to prior learning. The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with places, spaces, scale, people, culture and processes. CUSP fulfils and goes well beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum and at Ambleside we believe there is no ceiling to what pupils can learn if the architecture and practice is founded in evidence-led principles.
Click here to view the long term sequence for Geography.
CUSP History is taught at Ambleside Academy, which draws upon prior learning, wherever the content is taught. For example, in the EYFS, pupils may learn about the past and present through daily activities, exploring through change, and understanding more about the lives of others through books and visitors as well as their own experiences. These experiences are drawn upon and used to position new learning in KS1. The structure is built around the principles of advancing cumulative knowledge, chronology, change through cause and consequence, as well as making connections within and throughout periods of time studied.
CUSP History is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by the implementation of Bjork’s desirable difficulties, including retrieval and spaced retrieval practice, word building and deliberate practice tasks. This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory: new content is connected to prior learning. The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with significant periods of time, people, places and events.
CUSP History strategically incorporates a range of modules that revisit, elaborate and sophisticate key concepts, events, people and places.
A guiding principle of CUSP History is that pupils become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental timeline. This guards against superficial, disconnected and fragmented understanding of the past. Specific and associated historical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from Year 1 to Year 6. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught alongside and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier3).
Click here to view the long term sequence for History.
Our CUSP Music curriculum has been purposefully built to ensure there is a focus on high-quality development of children as musicians. The curriculum is carefully designed to build pupils’ musical knowledge and develop their competency and confidence as musicians. The music curriculum is split into different blocks each half term. Each block includes the study of significant musicians and musical works, with the intention of exposing pupils to a wide range of music that will inspire them and connect them to the world around them.
The music curriculum core areas are:
- listening and appraising
- composing and improvising
- instrumental performance
These are built cumulatively throughout the curriculum to ensure that all pupils develop their engagement with, and knowledge of, music over time. This includes a focus on learning to play a range of instruments confidently. At Ambleside Academy through CUSP Music we aim to build a strong and rich musical culture, in which pupils can thrive.
Within each block there is a strong emphasis on the language so that pupils use this to explore their own musicality. This is carefully and deliberately planned so that pupils revisit and embed this knowledge over time.
Click here to view the long term sequence for Music.
At Ambleside Academy, P.E. is an integral part of our curriculum. We strive to inspire all pupils to succeed and excel in physical activities and helps them to become confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. We want all children to become lifelong participants in physical activity. We believe that our children should be physically active every day, whether this be through daily physical activity, P.E. lessons, during lunchtimes or extra-curricular activities. We also believe that children should have the opportunity to compete in sport and other activities that build character and help to embed values such as team-work, fairness and respect.
In Early Years, physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development. Children will develop gross and fine motor skills starting with sensory explorations, child’s strength, co-ordination, positional awareness, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. Throughout the year, opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors will ensure that children will develop their core strength, stability, balance, special awareness, co-ordination and agility.
In KS1 Pupils should develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They should be able to engage in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.
Pupils should be taught to:
- master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities
- participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending
- perform dances using simple movement patterns.
In Key Stage 2 the children will continue to apply and develop their fundamental skills linking them together to make actions and sequences of movement. They will use this to help them play a range of sports, applying basic principles of attacking and defending. In addition to this they will develop their flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance and will perform dances that use a range of movement. In addition to all of this, children will have the opportunity to develop their swimming skills by attending swimming sessions in both year 5 and 6.:
At Ambleside Academy, we teach Personal, Social, Health Education as a whole-school approach to underpin children’s development as people and because we believe that this also supports their learning capacity.
The Jigsaw Programme offers us a comprehensive, carefully thought-through Scheme of Work which brings consistency and progression to our children’s learning in this vital curriculum area.
This also supports the “Personal Development” and “Behaviour and Attitude” aspects evaluated under the Ofsted Inspection Framework, as well as significantly contributing to the school’s Safeguarding and Equality Duties, the Government’s British Values agenda and the SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural) development opportunities provided for our children.
Religious Education at Ambleside Academy follows an enquiry-based approach using the scheme ‘Discovery RE.’ It provides a way of widening our children’s knowledge of the world through the wonderment of religion and beliefs.
Throughout their time at Woodhall, children will study aspects of the major world faiths; Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism. These are explored alongside the children’s own beliefs, values and experiences. There is an emphasis on learning about religion but also learning from religion.
Themes such as celebrations, special people, traditions, important places and our human values ensure the children are engaged with a topic that is relevant and exciting as well as building up their own personal values.
We want our children to show respect, tolerance and understanding for the beliefs of others. This is promoted by allowing children to respond positively and with an enhanced vocabulary, to challenges they may face. Critical thinking skills allow them to relate the experience of others to themselves, develop curiosity, ask questions and develop an empathy and understanding of others that will take them through their future education and lives beyond the classroom. Lessons follow a 4-step enquiry approach.
Across the school, we teach Science using the CUSP curriculum, which pays close attention to guidance provided by the National Curriculum sequence and content. Our ambitious Science curriculum has the intention of increasing children’s ability to think scientifically, enriching children’s vocabulary and wider view of the world, and putting what they learn into practice. .The following core concepts underpin our teaching of Science and we strive to weave these concepts into each unit we teach:
- Identifying and classifying
- Pattern making
- Observing over time
- Fair and comparative testing
At Ambleside we aim to provide a rich experience of Science that enables our children to experience both depth and breadth in the units they cover. This is achieved through our “revisit” units where we revise units from earlier parts of the year to consolidate learning.
The methodology for teaching Science at Ambleside is to provide opportunities for children to develop their questioning skills, ignite curiosity and to widen their knowledge of the world and how it works. We want our children to respond proactively and positively to problem solving challenges and strive to learn more about the “how” and “why” of the world around us and beyond. We recognise that ‘our children are the future’ and they need to be equipped with the necessary skills to take risks, become resourceful, innovative, and questioning in order to become capable citizens.
We also recognise that Science encompasses a broad range of subject knowledge and draws on disciplines from the wider world such as mathematics, engineering, computing and geography. We believe making these curriculum connections are essential components that help to engage and connect our children with the opportunities Science provide.
By the time our children leave Ambleside they will have the skills, knowledge and experience to have a level of independent thinking to carry through to their future education and into their lives beyond the classroom.
Click here to view our long term sequence for Science.