At Ark Chamberlain, we want our children to develop a love of learning and experience a rounded education. We ensure every year group covers a broad and balanced curriculum which engages the children. Every day, maths, writing and reading will be taught, as these are core subjects and very important to children’s development.
In addition to this, we teach topic-which covers geography and history, PSHCE- which involves children’s personal, social and health education, RE, computing and Spanish.
We are incredibly lucky to have specialist teachers to deliver PE, music and art. These subjects are taught once a week and give the children a wealth of opportunities to extend their learning.
If you would like to find out more about the new curriculum, you can find a helpful guide here:
Our primary curriculum is designed to prepare children for secondary school and for the national curriculum tests in English and mathematics taken in their final year with us. By catering to children’s different strengths, aptitudes and interests, we aim to make sure that every child achieves their full potential. In addition we utilise the power of the world wide web to enhance your child’s learning experience and give them access to a global community.
The core curriculum at Key Stages 2 (years 3 – 6) comprises:
We focus on speaking and listening, reading and writing fluently using the correct syntax, spelling and grammar. We use a number of different programmes of learning to support your child, all of which are proven to be effective. We also provide parents with links to useful materials, so they can help children at home. Every child will be given access to an internationally proven online reading and comprehension support programme called Lexia. We want all our children to love reading and we know that the outstanding library facilities within the school, as well as a focus on talking about what we are reading for pleasure will help to develop their reading passion.
Reading and Phonics
The children are grouped in Read Write Inc groups, once they have completed the RWInc programme they move to a grammar group focusing specifically on grammar based KPIs. They study one text for the whole week then spend a day looking at language, then three days focusing on the KPIs. Friday is a read for pleasure day.
All Ark schools specialise in mathematics – our children study using the Abacus programme of learning. Mathematics is increasingly taught using the methods successfully developed in the Far East which gives children a strong grasp of the basics of mathematics that they can then apply successfully in a number of different contexts. Every child will also have access to an internationally award-winning online mathematics tutorial programme called Maths Whizz.
Science stimulates and excites children’s curiosity about the world around them, linking practical experience with ideas. Children undertake experiments and investigations through which they acquire and develop scientific knowledge, skills and understanding through a series of topics.
Children also study these foundation subjects:
- Art and Design
- Design Technology (DT)
- Modern Foreign Language
- Physical Education (PE)
- Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)
- Religious Education (RE)
We teach history, geography, design and technology and art through a creative and themed approach using the Cornerstones Curriculum.
All children will learn the basics of how a computer works and how to produce simple computer code. We use the multi-award winning ‘Switched on Computing’ curriculum to deliver this. Children have wide access to computers throughout the academy to practice their skills.
Modern Foreign Language
Our chosen language is Spanish and we use a fun approach to learning both the language and culture. We teach Spanish because it provides a good basis for learning any European foreign language in secondary education. In addition, research has shown that when it comes to education, primary school-aged children process information in a variety of ways in order for it to make sense to them. They process information on levels that are different than adults and can be taught a variety of subjects. Learning to speak Spanish is no different as they will retain what they have learned with greater accuracy. Giving a child a head-start in today’s world by speaking Spanish can be beneficial in a number of ways and an improvement in literacy levels.
•DT – Textiles. Students will explore textile printing techniques. They will look at the fish paintings of Vincent Scarpace and create a textile hanging inspired by his decorative fish designs.
•Art - Year 3 will experiment with colour, pattern and mark-making. They will develop their drawing techniques and create artwork that uses a range of new techniques and processes.
•Art - Year 4 will create illustrations of Anglo Saxon inspired dragons. They will develop their knowledge of colour theory and use different paint techniques.
•Art – Year 5 will start the year by looking at Greek Mythological artwork and will create detailed tonal drawings of Medusa and a Cyclops. They will then create abstract paintings inspired by the work of artist Peter Thorpe that links to their class topic of Earth and Space.
•Art – Year 6 will focus on a theme of ‘make art not war 'project looking artists from WW1 and WW2. Children will create a range of mixed media art pieces that enable them to explore new materials and techniques.
Music at Ark Chamberlain sees a broad and balanced curriculum with interactive, innovative and fun activities. Music is a practical subject and learning how to be a great musician through active engagement helps pupils to develop an understanding of all the music specific vocabulary that relates to their learning.
Pupils have many opportunities to perform using whole class percussion and a range of tuned instruments such as keyboards and ukuleles. They develop their skills creatively and through a structured approach that is linked to curriculum topics. The practical and experimental learning ensures that pupils become confident in performance, composition, transcribing and describing.
They learn about a range of musical styles and genres which includes music from around the world. They have the opportunity to listen to many instruments exploring the development of music history from Stone Age to Rapping.
Music lessons are provided by Music To You Ltd who supply a team of experienced peripatetic teachers to teach instrumental learning in small groups. Pupils can learn their music skills and contribute as a team in ensemble playing. We currently teach Keyboard, Guitar, Flute, Fife and Drum Kit. These pupils prepare for regular performances throughout the academic year. The choirs provide additional opportunities for pupils who love singing to enjoy learning a wider range of songs beyond the classroom lessons. We are looking forward to the end of term concert which will include all the instrumental groups and the year groups sharing performances.
Since Music has become a stronger part of the curriculum, extra prospects to combine cross curricular project will take place during the year. MTY stage an event combining a number of schools in the West Midlands to perform their curriculum topic based percussion pieces. We are looking forward to bringing some music workshops to Ark Chamberlain for pupils to develop an understanding of the history of music and gain appreciation of live musical performance. We are also planning a new musical for the Spring Term in collaboration with the art department.
Physical Education and Healthy Living
Our pupils have regular PE lessons and active play is encouraged every day. Pupils also have opportunities to meet the recommended one hour of daily physical activity, through Walking Bus and attending after school clubs. Children are provided with a wide, balanced and engaging curriculum including invasion games, divided net and wall games, dance, gymnastics, outdoor adventurous activities and athletics. Achievement is keenly celebrated and the Ark Schools primary sports day, alongside competence fixtures against other schools, are always highlights.
Each year group will have a weekly allocation of P.E on the following days:
Y4 - Thursday
We strongly encourage parents to ensure that pupils have full school P.E kit, recommending P.E kit is stored in school.
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education
PSHCE helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. Children learn to articulate their feelings and the causes of their emotions and to develop coping strategies for certain feelings. They learn to set themselves goals and to make good choices about their health and well-being.
We follow the Birmingham Syllabus for RE. The Birmingham SACRE determines how local authority schools in the City teach Religious Education and deliver Collective Worship. It comprises of four committees, one representing the Church of England, one representing all other faith groups, one representing teacher professional associations and one for members of the local authority. All the representatives are nominated annually.The children learn about the different religions through carefully planned lessons, guest speakers who are invited to school assemblies, workshops and visits to places of worship. We aim to draw the commonality in each faith whilst teaching them the importance of respecting and valuing their differences.
For more information about any part of the curriculum, please contact your child's class teacher.