At Atkinson Road, we aim to offer a topic based approach to educating the children in our school. This means that our Topics are carefully planned with the children to ensure that we offer a stimulating, broad and balanced curriculum which still maintains a focus upon the development of key skills in English and Maths.
We build in lots of hands on opportunities including ambitious trips and using outside specialists to come into school e. g. authors, theatre groups, scientists etc. This means learning experiences are exciting, relevant, real and so more memorable. Through this we develop high self-confidence and self-esteem in all of our children. At times we need to directly teach key skills and concepts to ensure all our children are in a strong position to reach their full potential. So we carefully balance the need for some specialist teaching and thematic teaching that makes connections between subjects to ensures high academic achievement.
At Atkinson Road Primary Academy, we recognise that a sound grasp of reading and writing skills form the foundations on which all other learning is built. We therefore place a great emphasis on developing a love of books, along with the rich vocabulary that the English language offers.
Reading is necessary for learning, so instilling a love of reading at an early age is the key that unlocks the door to lifelong learning. Reading aloud presents books as sources of pleasant, entertaining, and exciting experiences for children to remember. Children who value books are more motivated to read on their own and will likely continue to hold that value for the rest of their lives.
Instilling a love of reading early gives a child a head starts on expanding their vocabulary and building independence and self-confidence. It helps children learn to make sense not only of the world around them but also people, building social-emotional skills and of course, imagination.
Each child’s journey begins in Nursery and Reception by learning and practising Phonics. By the time their primary journey ends with us, each child will have read and explored a wide range of texts from many genres. Our children progressively learn a range of key skills in reading using a variety of different strategies:
- Word reading – systematic phonics, learning GPC (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence), developing skill of blending, sharing high quality texts, developing fluency
- Comprehension – drawing on linguistic knowledge and on knowledge of the world, read widely across a range of genres, develop a love of reading, increase pupils’ vocabulary, develop reading for pleasure
- Making strong curriculum links – All pupils encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
Our Reading Journey
Our teachers have carefully planned out the books that they are teaching and reading with their children across the year to expose children to a variety of books and authors which link to other areas of the curriculum.
Our EYFS children begin their reading journey by exploring and sharing a wide range of books, poems and songs. Initially, they focus on their recognition of initial sounds and their ability to develop rhyme and rhythmic patterns. They are immersed in a wide range of reading experiences to develop a love of books and storytelling.
As they continue their reading journey, all children in EYFS and Year 1 complete the Read Write Inc phonics programme. Children continue RWI in Year 2 and into Key Stage Two matched to their individual needs. Using synthetic phonics, children quickly learn to blend letter sounds together following a fun and effective programme. Phonics provides children with the building blocks needed to become successful readers.
All of our KS2 children participate in the Accelerated Reader program. Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Children pick a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, they take a short comprehension quiz receive feedback on their progress.
Across KS1 and KS2, children are explicitly taught the skills of reading through narrative and non-fiction journaling activities which include:
- Sequencing (KS1) or Summarising (KS2).
Modern Foreign Languages
At Atkinson Road Primary Academy, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps to develop the ability to communicate, including key skills of speaking and listening, and extends pupils’ knowledge of how language works. It provides excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others. KS1 and EYFS pupils are introduced to Spanish through songs and stories whilst Key Stage 2 pupils are more formally taught Spanish and introduced to the Spanish culture. Our overall aims are:
- To enable children to begin to understand and communicate in another language, helping to make them secondary ready with a sound start for further development of languages at Key Stage 3 and beyond.
- To develop an enthusiasm for language learning.
- To develop language skills and language learning skills.
- To give the children confidence in interacting with others.
- To increase the children’s global awareness.
- To awaken and develop an interest in foreign cultures and life-styles.
- To develop the children’s understanding of themselves and their culture.
- To encourage tolerance and a willingness to work co-operatively.
Teaching maths for mastery is a transformational approach to maths teaching which stems from high performing Asian nations such as Singapore. When taught to master maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures. At Atkinson Road, we have invested in the Singapore maths scheme – Maths No Problem.
Maths No Problem at a glance:
- Evidence-based approach to teaching maths
- Helps pupils develop a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of maths
- Inclusive approach where all children achieve
- Slower pace which results in greater progress
- Reflected in the 2014 English national curriculum for mathematics
- Endorsed by the Department for Education, NCETM and OFSTED
When teaching maths for mastery, the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Each topic is studied in depth and the teacher does not move to the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
Pupils are given time to think deeply about the maths and really understand concepts at a relational level rather than as a set of rules or procedures. This slower pace leads to greater progress because it ensures that students are secure in their understanding and teachers don’t need to revisit topics once they have been covered in depth.
In a traditional primary school maths lesson, children are put in different groups and given different content based on their anticipated ability. This means that from an early age child are classed as those who can and those who can’t “do maths”. Teaching maths for mastery is different because it offers all pupils access to the full maths curriculum. This inclusive approach, and its emphasis on promoting multiple methods of solving a problem, builds self-confidence and resilience in pupils.
Though the whole class goes through the same content at the same pace, there is still plenty of opportunity for differentiation. Unlike the old model, where advanced learners are accelerated through new content, those pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic developing depth of understanding. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on. All children are encouraged to explain their thinking at different levels and frequently reflect upon methods that they have used therefore developing their reasoning skills.
Maths No Problem FAQs
Click in each link to find out more about the Maths No Problem approach.
- What is Maths Mastery? https://mathsnoproblem.com/en/approach/what-is-maths-mastery/
- What is Singapore Maths? https://mathsnoproblem.com/en/approach/what-is-singapore-maths/
- What is Bar Modelling? https://mathsnoproblem.com/en/approach/bar-modelling/
- What is a Concrete Abstract Pictorial approach? https://mathsnoproblem.com/en/approach/concrete-pictorial-abstract/
- What is a number bond? https://mathsnoproblem.com/en/approach/number-bonds/
Teaching fractions using the Singapore maths method https://mathsnoproblem.com/en/approach/fractions/
What is Read Write Inc. Phonics?
Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.
We can achieve this together through:
- Read Write Inc, a program to help your child read at school
- Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
- Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home
At Atkinson Road, we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. We have put together a guide to how the RWI programme works together with some useful links.
Mrs Daglish is our Read Write Inc Lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, contact school who can refer you to her. Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading.
What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Atkinson Road we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading. RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
When using RWI to read the children will:
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- learn to read words using Fred Talk
- read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
- show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.
When using RWI to write the children will:
- learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
- learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
- write simple sentences
To help at home:
Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident with some initial sounds. Please help them to read and give lots of praise!
The link below will give you some idea about how you can read with your child http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/resources/parent-tutorial-storybook-activities-read-story/
The Year 1 phonics screening check is not a formal test, but a way for teachers to ensure that children are making sufficient progress with their phonics skills to read words and that they are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.
Year 1 children usually take the phonics screening check in early June. However, due to school closures the check did not take place this year. Instead, schools are required to use a past version of the check with Year 2 pupils in November or December 2020. The link below will give you more information about the phonics screening. https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/at-school/primary-school-assessment-tests/year-1-phonics-screening-check
A free e-library has been created to help children aged 3–11 to develop their reading skills at home. You’ll find books from Oxford’s most popular primary school brands including Oxford Reading Tree and Read Write Inc., as well as stories from our Read with Oxford range, all available for free. https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/free-ebooks
If you have any other questions about RWI, please see your class teacher or see Mrs Daglish.
Our Aims at ARPA Early Years Unit
To develop a love of reading from the moment the youngest children arrive in our school.
To support each child to become a confident and effective communicator;
Every child is listened to and has a voice;
To provide a warm, welcoming, happy, cheerful, secure environment, where children, parents/carers and visitors feel welcome
Embed Forest School principles within our setting in the most effective ways possible to enable children to develop and achieve their true potential
We use the EYFS framework as a basis for our activities, but closely follow children’s interests to enhance their learning and ensure that they are strongly motivated to learn
To work in partnership with parents/carers.
The Early Years Foundation Stage principles which guide the work of all practitioners are grouped into four distinct but complementary themes:
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development.
See EYFS document at https://foundationyears.org.uk/eyfs-statutory-framework/
EYFS identifies 3 prime areas of learning - Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Opportunities to take turns, to share and help each other, to foster a caring attitude and to become aware of the needs and feelings of others, are carefully planned and used to their full potential.
Communication and Language
Communication and language are at the heart of the curriculum in the Early Years Unit and underpin everything we do. Many of our children are learning English as an additional language and they have varied starting points when they come to us. Therefore, a great deal of emphasis is on developing vocabulary and understanding. This is built upon throughout their time in the Early Years enabling children to communicate in a confident way.
An emphasis on listening skills and understanding is a focus within the 2-year-old unit through songs, rhymes and actions. A very visual teaching strategy of “See it, Sign It and Say it” is developed throughout the Early Years by the use of visual props, peer to peer support, Makaton signs, gesture and an adult modelling language using “My turn, your turn” technique.
Staff work closely alongside the Early Years Speech and Language Therapist who is based in the EY unit 2 days a week. This allows several Speech, Language and Communication interventions (Early Talk Boost, Talk Boost) to operate as well as our staff receiving highly specialist training and support. See link for ‘Tizzy’s tips for talking’.
Our aim is to develop physical control, mobility, awareness of space and manipulative skills, using both the indoor and outdoor environments. Waterproof jackets and trousers are available for the children to enable them to access the outdoor area in all weathers. We feel it is important that children establish positive attitudes towards a healthy and active way of life. Children are supported to develop the muscles to control their hands, fingers and thumbs with a variety of activities and resources from the 2-year-old such as threading, tweezers, posting boxes, playdough, finger painting etc. As the children engage in the various activities throughout the Early Years, their fine motor skills develop and they become able to use tools and equipment competently as well as gaining good pencil control.
As part of their physical development we also support children to become independent in self-care, from toileting and feeding themselves to dressing themselves independently. We encourage and support children to participate in activities which will raise their heart-beat and to be aware of these changes in their bodies.
EYFS identifies 4 specific areas of learning:
At Atkinson Road we strive to develop a love of reading from the moment the youngest children arrive in our school. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials, including nursery rhymes, poems, stories and non-fiction books, to ignite their interest. Children are encouraged to enjoy books for their personal language development and to extend their views of the world, excite their curiosity and fire their imagination. This also brings tremendous pleasure, expands other play activities and develops concentration and listening skills.
Literacy development involves supporting children in beginning to link sounds and letters and learning to read and write. The Early Years uses the Read Write Inc phonics programme, which is delivered daily. The children enjoy a Book of the Week daily slot, where the children enjoy becoming increasingly familiar with the story, culminating in re-enacting it by the end of the week. In Reception this love of books and reading is further developed. Each class has their “Fabulous Five” stories each half term, displaying books with props for the children to enjoy in their reading corners. Chatterbox: Literacy family learning sessions run across the Early Years, beginning in the 2’s unit. This strengthens the home-school message of developing their child’s love of reading.
In the Early Years we want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences. We believe that children learn about maths through play and their daily experiences and the more meaningful to them and hands on it is, the better.
We maximise mathematical learning opportunities throughout the daily routines. From the 2-year-old unit and upwards children gain an awareness of time as staff support them to follow daily routines, using song cues, visual timetables and picture prompts. Number and counting rhymes are an integral part of the Early Years day. Children begin to gain an understanding of one to one correspondence as they match the number of milk bottles needed for the number of children in their group.
As the children’s mathematical understanding grows staff use their knowledge and expertise to plan for a high-quality learning environment, which provides them with many opportunities to explore different aspects of number and shape, space and measures and learn new concepts. The environment both inside and outside is full of mathematical opportunities and has exciting things for children to explore, sort, compare, count, calculate and describe. There are endless opportunities to explore capacity through ‘filling and emptying’.
Through a combination of direct adult led teaching and facilitating play or learning independently, staff model new language and support the children to be creative, critical thinkers, problem solvers and to ‘have a go’.
Understanding the World
We aim to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of their local and wider environment, other people and features of the natural and man-made world. Aspects cover historical, geographical, scientific and technological learning. Through a variety of experiences, the children are made aware of themselves, their families and the environment in which they live.
They are given opportunities to explore and recognise features of living things, objects and events in the natural and man-made world, and to look closely at similarities and differences, patterns and change. They are encouraged to ask questions, to find out why things happen and how things work.
We acknowledge that for some of our families access to an open space can be quite limited, therefore our outside areas are often some of our most admired and enjoyed features, they are widely used to deliver learning across the curriculum.
Alongside this, some nursery and reception children take part in Forest School sessions at the local Nature Park, often culminating in a family campfire. Our Early Years Eco-warriors meet regularly to discuss environmental issues. (e.g composting and recycling milk bottles). See link to Forest School Parents information booklet.
Children begin to learn about birthday celebrations within our 2-year-old unit where we talk about birthdays, and gradually introduce some cultural celebrations. These, are then built on within main nursery and the reception classes as the children explore wider cultural knowledge and celebrations.
A wide range of ICT equipment is used to enhance learning. (e.g. Beetbots, Interactive smart boards, cameras and IPADS)
Expressive Arts & Design
Learning through Play
Young children learn by doing, touching and seeing for themselves – through first hand experiences. Play that is well planned and exciting helps children to think, increase their understanding and improve their language. It allows children to be creative, to explore and investigate, to experiment and to test out their ideas. We provide a carefully considered mix of adult led and child-initiated play throughout the day. This balance is revised as the children progress through the Early Years in readiness for the transition to Year 1 and dependent on the needs of the child.
Children are allowed time to develop personal values and an understanding of who they are and where they fit into the world around them. (E.g. each child has their personal peg and drawer symbol with an associated peg song, to develop that sense of belonging)
Children are supported to develop the muscles to control their hands, fingers and thumbs with a variety of activities and resources from the 2-year-old unit such as threading, tweezers, posting boxes, playdough, finger painting etc. As the children engage in these various activities throughout the Early Years, their fine motor skills develop and they become able to use tools and equipment competently as well as gaining good pencil control.
Chatterbox Literacy family learning sessions run across the Early Years, beginning in the 2’s unit. This strengthens the home- school message of developing their child’s love of reading.
Role play opportunities are developed as the children get older. Role play is a key part of supporting children’s access to varied experiences so that they develop a greater depth of understanding of the world around them and their place within that world. Children have the opportunity to role play things they may observe in the home from cooking, cleaning, using the phone, shopping and acting out celebrations, such as birthdays or cultural events. Instruments are freely available inside and outside and children enjoy music making and singing and dancing.
Singing is a huge part of Early Years life and from early access to education within our 2-year-old provision, children participate in daily singing songs and rhymes. They regularly sing their own and each other’s peg songs. We also have a song of the week which is shared with parents as well as ‘sing & sign’ sessions which families are invited to. We have special songs for our celebrations such as Christmas, Eid, Diwali and Easter. We enjoy weekly singing and percussion sessions with Gareth (Music service). The children coming together weekly for singing with Pat and her guitar and to celebrate our “I am Proud” assemblies.
From entry to our 2-year-old unit, children are immediately immersed into a creative environment where access to messy play, small world toys and home-corner play opportunities are readily available within the daily continuous provision. We continue to build on their initial experiences in main Nursery and Reception where children learn to draw, paint, cut and create models which demonstrate their growing imaginations. This is achieved through introducing a wider variety of tools & materials to develop their skills and creative thinking.
At Atkinson Road Primary Academy, the intent of our science curriculum is to ensure all children leave the school with a secure foundation of scientific knowledge and practical skills. This understanding will help develop an in-depth understanding of the world around them and an understanding of how major scientific ideas have played a vital role in society. Our aim is to build science capital for all our children, regardless of their background and starting point so that they are inspired to continue to use science in their everyday life, future education and careers.
At ARPA we believe that science stimulates and excites children’s curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. Through practical experiences, investigations and an inquiry-led approach, we aim to engage learners at many levels and challenge them to explore and discover independently.
At ARPA we are guided by The National Curriculum for history, which aims to ensure that all pupils:
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
- gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
- understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
Our intent is that our teaching of History will be an enquiry led approach, that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Underpinning this knowledge will be one of the four key concepts: Continuity and change, Cause and consequence, Historical significance and Historical evidence. We aim for it to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past, leading to them knowing more about the past. We aim to enable children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Through the teaching of History, we endeavour to teach children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
At Atkinson Road Primary we believe that geography stimulates curiosity and imagination, and we aim to build upon each child’s unique “personal geography” by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes through a creative and engaging curriculum. Geography is a valued part of the curriculum as it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved.
Geography explores the relationship between the Earth and its people and is also a key subject which can enable us to develop the ‘cultural capital’ of the children in our school. We feel our curriculum brings the wider world to our children; teaching them valuable and transferable life skills which might otherwise not become part of their everyday life experiences. We also feel our geography curriculum broadens our children’s interest in a wide variety of key concepts and themes which will support them in making valuable career decisions in the future.
IT & Computing
Computing is an ever-changing challenge to pupils, staff and parents. At Atkinson Road, we recognise that pupils are living in a rapidly changing world, in which IT is playing an ever-increasing role. We aim, therefore, to equip children with the skills to adapt to new technology and to give them confidence to use ICT to further their learning and assist them in everyday life. In doing so, all pupils will have access to ICT equipment and resources, according to their ability and age range. At Atkinson Road we teach both discrete computing lessons to develop knowledge, skills and understanding but also provide a range of opportunities throughout school to employ computing skills across the curriculum through computer science, IT and digital literacy lessons.
At ARPA, we want children to be inspired by engineers, designers, chefs, scientists and architects to enable them to create a range of structures, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and food products with a real-life purpose. Design and Technology is about providing opportunities for children to use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs. They are encouraged to be innovative whilst thinking about sustainability and enterprise.
We make very deliberate links with other subjects so the children can apply their mathematical and scientific knowledge in this area. Heritage is also very important to us so we have aligned our design and technology learning with our History curriculum.
At Atkinson Road, we recognise the vital contribution of physical education to a child’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional development as well as the role it can play in a child’s spiritual, moral and cultural development. We aim to provide a broad and balanced P.E. curriculum to aid children’s increasing self-confidence in their ability to manage themselves and their bodies within a variety of movement situations. This can be achieved by enabling all children to access a range of learning experiences that promotes the development of confident and competent movers. By enhancing creative, social and thinking skills, it will allow them to apply a broad range of skills in different contexts. Children will be given an understanding of how being physically active can provide them with positive benefits.
Through a balance of individual, paired and group activities, we aim to cater for the different strengths, needs and preferences of each child, using differentiated activities where appropriate. We believe that through the variety of opportunities that PE offers, children can develop a sense of personal achievement, fair play, teamwork and an understanding of the ways in which sport can transcend social and cultural boundaries. We plan a range of activities that aim to provide children with a broad base of movement knowledge, skills and understanding, which they can refine and expand throughout their school years. By equipping every child to lead healthy active lifestyles, it can create participating pathways inclusive of all children. This can help children develop their social and leadership skills through the opportunities of Intra- and Inter-school sport which may then transition into participation of accredited sports clubs.
All children are encouraged to join clubs and extend their interest and involvement in sport. Children are taught to appreciate the importance of a healthy and fit body, and begin to understand those factors which affect health and fitness. Children will be taught the importance of the movement foundation and multi skills by providing year-round activities that focus on personal challenges. By modifying and adapting competitive sport, it will ensure inclusivity for all children and allow children with SEN or disabilities to achieve their personal bests.
All children in Year 3 have the opportunity to swim, with weekly sessions for a term and a half throughout the year. Children in later years, where gaps within their swimming skills become evident, will be provided with the support they need.
Art & Design
At Atkinson Road we provide a rich environment in which we encourage and value creativity. Children experience a wide range of activities that they respond to, using the various senses. We give them the opportunity to work alongside artists and other adults. The activities that they take part in are imaginative and enjoyable extending their learning through a broad and deep curriculum.
Within the Foundation Stage we run continuous provision, where children have free access to all resources and opportunities, allowing them to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding at their own pace and interest. We relate the creative development of the children to the points set out in the Foundation Stage Profile, as well as the age-related expectations in Development Matters which underpin the curriculum planning for children from birth to five. The children’s learning includes art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play. The range of experiences encourages children to make connections between one area of learning and another and so extends their understanding.
During Key Stage 1, Art and Design is about developing children’s creativity and imagination through providing art, craft and design activities that relate to children’s own identities and experiences, the natural and made objects and materials with which they are familiar and the locality in which they live.
During Key Stage 2, Art and Design is about developing children’s creativity and imagination by building on their knowledge, skills and understanding of materials and processes through providing more complex activities. Children’s experiences help them to develop their understanding of the diverse roles and functions of art and design in the locality and in the wider world.
At Atkinson Road Academy we take pride in the fact we are a multicultural and multi faith school where every child is valued and respected no matter their belief or background. Religion and world views taught at Atkinson Road, are relevant to our community and to the wider world. We believe that every child has the right to express their opinions, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. We teach the children that everyone has the right to choose and practise their own religion and beliefs, both in our school and in the wider community. We endeavour to provide opportunities to meet and explore other faiths and encourage our children to ask questions about the world they live in. We aim to inspire awe and wonder in our children through real life experiences and with the use of religious artefacts and books. We will encourage them to explore and question faiths, while developing a sound understanding of the impact religion has on people’s lives. So, through a celebration of diversity children leave Atkinson Road equipped for life in a multi-faith world.
At Atkinson Road we recognise the important role that we must play to enable our pupils to have high aspirations about their future through independent and impartial careers advice and labour market information, therefore allowing them to make informed decisions about their future. At Atkinson Road, as part of our economic education offer, we strive to provide our pupils with a range of meaningful experiences, visits and visitors to that teach them about the world of work as well as access to up to date labour market information, allowing them to understand the opportunities available to them. At Atkinson Road we have a careers curriculum which develops an awareness and understanding of future careers opportunities and routes into a successful working life from an early age. It allows pupils to experience and engage in the world of work and employment as well as meet employers, employees and apprentices who will inspire and motivate them throughout their education at Atkinson Road. Throughout the school we use the Skills Builder Framework to build the essential skills needed for education, employment and entrepreneurship. Every class in the school works through tailored lessons which address the skills listening, speaking, problem solving, creativity, staying positive, aiming high, leadership and teamwork.
This curriculum area is held in high regard in the school, and valued as a key aspect of the curriculum, underpinning all that we do. PSHE education is a subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy, safe and prepared for life and work. When delivered well, PSHE education has an impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Topics are repetitive but progressive to both build upon prior knowledge and to extend skills and experiences.
As a primary school, we recognise the importance of well-educated and informed choices in order to lead lives without discrimination or negativity. Through PSHE, children take part in discussions and activities which aim to prepare them for a wider range of situations which they may face in their lifetime. It is our intention that pupil will develop feelings of self-respect, self-confidence and empathy towards others. Physical health and mental well-being are interlinked so good physical health contributes to good mental health. We aim to improve the children’s understanding of physical health e.g. diet, oral and physical hygiene and exercise.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up. It aims to equip children with the foundations in which they can build, fulfilling friendships and relationships, comfortable with their sexuality. They are taught to recognise unsafe situations, protect themselves and understand how and when to ask for help and support.
The majority of PSHE education became compulsory in all schools in September 2020 with the introduction of statutory Relationships Education at key stages 1 and 2. For more information please read our schools RSE policy.
The ‘Rights Respecting School Award’ (RRSA) helps our children grow into thoughtful, respectful and responsible young members of the school and wider community. By learning about their rights, our children also learn about the importance of respecting the rights of others.
We were delighted to be awarded the Rights Respecting School Silver Award. This was the result of a lot of hard work by pupils, parents and staff. The Silver Award recognises schools who recognise child rights are embedded their school. The UNICEF Assessor noted in her feedback that…
‘It is a school that brilliantly nurtures all children giving them the best possible start in life.’
‘All the opportunities that you give them ensure that they become the best they can be.’
‘The children are all enthusiastic about school and feel happy and safe, they have staff they trust to help them when they need it, they are clearly at the heart of all that you do.’
For more information on Rights Respecting visit https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/
Forest Schools is a unique way of building independence, self-esteem and a positive attitude towards learning in children off all ages, from Nursery to Year 6, as they explore and experience the natural world for themselves – whatever the weather!
We celebrate each individual child’s talents and is a unique way of building independence, self-esteem and a positive attitude towards learning.
What is Forest School?
As a school, we are proud of the vibrant and thriving performing arts which are celebrated in school assemblies, festivals and school shows. Curriculum music is taught throughout the school, with a strong emphasis on singing and rhythm games throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1, to develop language, co-ordination and social skills, as well as an understanding of rhythm. In addition, we welcome a team of peripatetic instrumental teachers into school, offering tuition in ukulele, percussion, guitar, and clarinet to children in Key Stage 2.
Our school has been awarded Music Mark Status, ‘in recognition of our commitment to providing a high-quality music education for all children and young people.