Our curriculum

The National Curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by schools so children learn the same things. Academies do not have to follow the National Curriculum but must teach a broad and balanced curriculum including English, Maths and Science, as well as Religious Education.

Key Stages

The curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘Key Stages’ (KS). At the end of each Key Stage, your child’s teacher will formally assess their performance to measure your child’s progress.

Writing

The teaching of English is at the heart of curriculum provision at Ruskin Academy. Children learn how to read, write and spell in Literacy and Phonics lessons every morning. If required, extra support is provided to pupils through intervention groups in the afternoons.

Our writing lessons are 'skills-based' and are carefully differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. A love of writing is encouraged through engaging and lively texts and stories. We aim to provide our pupils with opportunities to develop core communication skills in every lesson, regardless of the subject. Progress and attainment in writing at Ruskin is achieved through carefully tailored, high-quality lessons and resources.

Maths

Children at Ruskin learn Maths as a discrete subject for an hour a day, as well as in a cross-curricular way, such as during Maths Week when we use Maths in PE, art and other subjects.

We use the Primary Advantage Maths approach in which children learn to use concrete resources, such as counters, blocks, plastic money and number lines, to develop a strong understanding of maths concepts. They then move on to using pictures to help them visualise a concept, before learning to handle numbers in abstract.         

Our aim is that all children enjoy maths and see its value in the real world. As such we focus on maths in a real-life context and fun, problem-solving activities. When children have shown a good understanding of the basic concepts, we stretch their learning by challenging them to explain their reasoning and show a depth of understanding, leading to mastery.

Mental maths is an important skill, taught in short bursts every day. Children are taught strategies to improve the speed of their mental calculations. We emphasise the importance of learning times tables and number bonds.

Homework is usually set to be done in homework books or through online resources such as My Maths. We also encourage parents to spend time every day helping their children learn the times tables and number bonds.

Reading

Both in school and home, we want to build a culture of reading for pleasure and purpose. Our approach to reading involves daily sessions incorporating clear adult modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the challenging texts they read through the  systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. Our approach encompasses the key principles of effective reading provision and fully meets the requirements of the National Curriculum by creating deep understanding of texts, developing oracy around reading and increasing children’s breadth of reading.