At La Fontaine Academy, we want our children to build memories, thrive in life, and change the world. The following design principles help us to create and deliver a curriculum that provides the world-class education our children deserve, enabling them to go on to be the world leaders of tomorrow.
Each subject at La Fontaine Academy has been carefully considered by our team; each element has been designed with a clear purpose and pedagogical approach in mind. By teaching this range of subjects, we believe that we are meeting our ambitions for the children in our school.
Our English curriculum is split into three areas:
Phonics and Spelling
Through an integrated approach to our English curriculum, we are giving our children a true mastery of the language and an ability to communicate, and understand, messages and information to and from range of sources.
At La Fontaine Academy, we take a linguistic approach to phonics. Humans have been communicating orally for approximately 150,000 years, whereas we have only been using written symbols for approximately 5,000 years; phonics is the code that helps us to bridge between spoken and written forms of communication. By teaching phonics in a systematic way, we are enabling our children to read the written word and then successfully write their own thoughts and ideas, allowing them to communicate effectively. By taking a whole-school approach to phonics, and not limiting this vital knowledge to early years and key stage one, we are continually supporting our children to write accurately using increasingly complex vocabulary.
If you would like to learn more about our approach to the teaching of phonics, you can access free online courses from Sounds-Write which cover the ‘initial code’ (taught in Reception and revised in Key Stage 1) and will help to support reading at home.
Reading remains at the core of our curriculum throughout the day at La Fontaine. We take a whole-class approach to reading as this ensures that all of our children are exposed to high-quality texts that are rich in vocabulary and model some of the best writing styles in the English language. Our literary canon has been carefully designed to expose our children to a range of text and genres, as well as stories and authors from across the globe. Each day, in addition to the texts studied as a class, the teachers will read to their children to foster their love of reading and of storytelling.
Please explore our literary canon to see the wide-range of high quality texts that we are using with the children:
At La Fontaine Academy, we have designed a writing curriculum that develops the teaching of English and Writing Skills from word level, to sentence level, and through to the development of impactful pieces of writing that effectively communicate meaning to an audience. The fundamental principle is that all children can be successful writers when given high-quality instruction and meaningful support. We believe that in order for our children to leave La Fontaine as successful writers, they need to have an understanding of a range of texts: we are driven by a canon of culturally, historically and contextually diverse books, curated by the school, to suit the needs of our children.
Our content-rich writing curriculum enables children to be confident, creative and independent writers who are able to articulate their ideas and use these transferable skills across the wider curriculum.
A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when, through exploration, clarification, practice and application over time, a person can represent it in multiple ways, has the mathematical language to be able to communicate related ideas, and can think mathematically with the concept so that they can independently apply it to a totally new problem in an unfamiliar situation.’ – Drury, H. (2014), Mastering Mathematics: Teaching to Transform Achievement, p.9. Oxford University Press.
At La Fontaine Academy, we take a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics. The fundamental principle is that all children can be successful at mathematics when given high quality instruction and meaningful support. Children progress through the learning at broadly the same pace, with opportunities for faster graspers to increase their understanding through exploring each area of the curriculum in depth. We want to ensure that all children have a solid understanding of the subject: the ability to solve a calculation is not enough; children must be able to demonstrate and articulate their understanding of the mathematical concept.
At La Fontaine Academy, we have a rich, enquiry filled science curriculum. It has been designed to give our children access to the knowledge that has formed the basis of major scientific discoveries throughout our history, and the key figures who enabled these discoveries to change the way we live, think about, and understand the world around us. The underlining principle is to encourage all children to feel safe questioning what they see and what they believe. Through the effective management and support of our learners’ inherent curiosity, specific lines of scientific enquiry can be explored and nurtured to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the key theories that underpin our understanding of the functions of biology, chemistry and physics.
At La Fontaine Academy, we have designed a French curriculum which ensures that children develop key language learning skills, as well as a love of languages and a broad understanding of other cultures. We believe that a high-quality language education should foster children’s curiosity, encourage them to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and understand and respond to its speakers – both verbally and in writing. Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to communicate for practical purposes, build solid bases to language learning and discover French literature; all while having fun and developing self-confidence.
We do this by:
We believe humanities are an important part of a child’s educational diet. Our curriculum provides them with a deep understanding of the world we live in, as well as the challenges our society has overcome and those we face today. Linked to our English curriculum, our humanities lessons include the study of a rich text and use a ‘text in context’ approach to learn about the setting and issues in the story. By doing this, when we introduce historical or geographical information, it is easier for the children to understand as we have provided a frame of reference. The humanities curriculum has been designed taking a whole school approach, from Reception to Year 6, so that knowledge is built on and extended as the children progress through the school.
We study art and design from all over the world and hope to inspire our children to engage with the artistic process, from idea to drafting and re-drafting to production and evaluation. Our curriculum has been designed to allow children the chance to develop a variety of artistic and design techniques. The children progress through each unit, taking in to account previous confidences and, using a variety of artists and design processes, build on their ideas and preconceptions. Our curriculum has been tailored to artists and periods/movements that will be most appropriate to their age and skill level, while being able to offer opportunities for confident children to express themselves with a greater understanding of what they are being asked to achieve.
At La Fontaine Academy, we take a purposeful and creative approach to the teaching of computing. Computing is taught through the three main strands progressively and assessed on a continuous basis:
In order to ensure and maintain safety at the forefront, each computing session is led by an e-safety scenario. After which, each lesson is progressive by building on previous learning and ensuring new skills are introduced at the age appropriate levels.
To be the world leaders of tomorrow, our children must have a thorough understanding of the world; an extremely important aspect to that understanding is religion. Through knowledge of a range of religions, and the similarities and differences between them, we are building understanding, tolerance and acceptance. We want our children to be able to live and work in many different societies throughout the world and so intend to broaden their cultural understanding through our RE lessons. We use important texts, festivals and beliefs to introduce the children to parts of the world that they may not have experienced first-hand. As with the rest of the curriculum, this knowledge is built upon and expanded as they progress through the world.
We want our children to be safe, healthy and happy: our PSHE curriculum is designed to support this ambition. Through assemblies, guest visitors and cross-curricula links, we prepare our children to be global citizens. All of the content shared with children is age-appropriate and in line with guidance from the Department for Education.
At La Fontaine Academy, we take great care in the ‘Health and Well-Being’ of our staff and children. We offer a happy, safe and caring environment for all. We want all children in our school to develop the self-esteem, awareness and self-confidence to play an active part in school life and be perceived as valuable members of their communities. Health and Wellbeing is not the responsibility of any one teacher or subject, but is best addressed through contributions from a range of teachers, in a number of curricular areas. All children are given the opportunity to participate in a variety of after school clubs that allow them to practise and become masters of music, sport, languages and more.
At La Fontaine, we actively encourage children to take a healthy approach to eating. At break time, Reception and Year 1 are given fruit and can pay for milk. Year 2-6 are allowed to bring in a healthy snack. We believe in creating an inviting dining space for the children to eat with their teachers to encourage good manners and interesting conversation.