Overview

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a transdisciplinary curriculum framework that offers authentic learning experiences.

The PYP encourages students to learn to appreciate knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and personal attributes as a connected whole.

OUR PROGRAMMES OF INQUIRY CORE TEXT OVERVIEW

IB World School …

Our curriculum covers all the requirements of the National Curriculum but is arranged around inquiries into six different Transdisciplinary Themes.

Molehill Primary Academy is an IB World School, authorised to deliver the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme.

The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Overview of the pyp framework

At Molehill Primary Academy we follow the National Curriculum with the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme as a framework and vehicle for learning. Molehill Primary Academy is currently a candidate school and is on its way to seeking authorisation to be an IB World School in the next year. The National Curriculum outlines the skills and knowledge which will be acquired by the time our children leave primary school; the PYP is a way of framing learning in order to help children develop holistically as well as academically.

Learning is organised into six ‘Transdisciplinary Themes’ which, alongside the learner profile, provide children opportunities to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills outlined in the National Curriculum with an overall view of creating conscientious global citizens.

Pupils embark on lines of inquiry stemming from a central idea. Within the context of the Central Ideas, learners acquire the ability to demonstrate and recognise the IB Learner Attributes. The attributes promote learners to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. The ethos behind the programme is to create lifelong learners who ‘develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’. The very vast majority of the National Curriculum is covered through the framework of the IB PYP, however, where explicit skills teaching is necessary, for example, reading and phonics, this is done within discrete sessions to be then embedded through the lines of inquiry.

Molehill Primary Academy has a PAN of 45 and as a result there are some classes in the school which have a mixture of students from two year groups. As such, the foundation subjects and science are taught in a two-year cycle which ensures that all skills are covered over a two-year period.

We recognise that mathematics requires specific and prescriptive implementation which is further enhanced through the PYP Framework. There are many resources that are utilized by teachers to support them in the delivery of the mathematics National Curriculum, such as the White Rose Mathematics Scheme which focus on the mastery of key mathematical skills; however, these are resources to be accessed as opposed to rigid schemes of work. Learners at Molehill Primary Academy study mathematics to become functioning, successful adults who are able to think for themselves and thrive in the real world. Our aim is that all children will leave Molehill Primary Academy with a positive opinion of mathematics and a positive outlook on their future studies of the subject. The subject transcends cultural boundaries; its importance is universally recognised.

Pupils are provided with a wide range of opportunities both within and outside of the curriculum which expand their knowledge, experience, and interests. Impact and attendance is detailed in the co-curriculum document and learning calendar. These opportunities help us to develop all of the PYP Learner Attributes, ensuring when our pupils leave us they are ready for the next stage in education and the wider world. Working as a cohesive team is a strength at Molehill and this is modelled very effectively by the adults who work in school. Pupils are encouraged to work together regularly throughout each day, building positive relationships and working through challenges. This supports the confident and resilient learning that takes place within the Academy.

There are regular lessons that address how children can stay safe, such as e-safety, drug and alcohol workshops, the law, and gangs. These, alongside discrete PSHE/RSE lessons, ensure pupils are provided with the skills to keep themselves safe and the knowledge of what to do if they feel they are not. Our new PSHE/RSE programme of study ensures that core knowledge is broken down into manageable units in a carefully sequenced order giving opportunity to listen and respond to children’s views. This is reflected in the calm, purposeful school environment.

The Trust has provided us with the opportunity to train another ELSA to support our existing practitioner. This will mean that we have two trained in-house Emotional Literacy Support Assistants who can work directly with children and also staff and parents, offering advice to provide emotional and social skills for children who are struggling in the classroom. These colleagues also provide CPD opportunities to teachers and LSAs

Pupils have a good understanding of what it means to be a good citizen and they gain an understanding of what this means in the wider world. As part of the IB PYP, children’s ‘international mindedness’ is developed in a number of ways including classroom interactions, experiences at break times and lunch times and through assemblies. We are developing further links with IBPYP schools across the globe, and have reached out to collaborate with pupils from both Spain and Finland; this will strengthen our work with children from other countries, for a number of years we have been linked to a school in Malawi.

The implementation of the curriculum is the way in which the intended subject content and skills are delivered and taught. To ensure that the implementation of the curriculum is highly effective, and never less than effective, teachers demonstrate expert knowledge of both their subject and pedagogy.

Highly effective implementation of the curriculum includes:

  • Teachers plan high quality sequences of learning which support pupils to be suitably challenged and enable them to think, articulate, write and problem solve fluently.
  • Teachers create regular opportunities for students to engage with retrieval tasks which support knowledge to be embedded in the long term memory
  • Teachers implement astute and adaptive questioning. This thought provoking and deepens understanding by developing both prior understanding as well as learning of new concepts. Questioning develops curiosity for life long learning
  • Extended writing opportunities and deliberate practice within lessons ensure that pupils are able to independently problem solve, apply their knowledge fluently and master approaches to learning
  • Teachers employ Conferencing effectively to provide regular feedback which supports pupils in addressing misconceptions. This creates highly reflective learners who engage with success criteria to self assess and make progress independently
  • Teachers provide frequent and sustained opportunities to develop pupils’ reading skills
  • There is effective and appropriate implementation of digital technology to enhance the learning experience.

We support teachers to effectively implement their curriculum and raise standards in teaching through ongoing CPD, learning walks, lesson observations, and coaching. All feedback and guidance is consistently provided using our On Track system.

As a result of our well-constructed and well-taught curriculum, pupil outcomes at Molehill go from strength to strength. Pupils make good progress from their starting points with attainment levels rising year on year. Disadvantaged pupils also make good progress from their starting points. The pupil premium grant is used carefully and appropriately to ensure that their needs are fully met, both across the broader curriculum, and in extra-curricular provision.

Assessments across all year groups enable teachers to make astute decisions about both intent and implementation of the curriculum. From these assessments, data is meticulously analysed to ensure that pupils who need additional intervention, within classrooms, are quickly identified and effective strategies eradicate these gaps in knowledge and skills. Teachers and leaders monitor progress on a termly basis, with Progress Interviews taking place directly after Data Capture. Regular opportunities for robust moderation practices are created to ensure that all attainment and progress data is accurate. Data Capture takes place collectively to ensure that data rich discussions are well-supported by leaders.

Pupils are supported to transition to each stage of their education in a highly effective way. In each stage within the academy we plan comprehensive transition activities, including bespoke social stories for individual pupils wherever necessary. We work closely with local Secondary schools as well as external organisations, to ensure that when pupils leave the academy, they are successful in their next steps in education. This includes both academic and social preparation for the future, embedded through the PYP Framework.

Subject Specific curriculum statements

International Mindedness

International-mindedness is central to the IB mission and is a foundational principle to its educational philosophy; it is at the heart of the continuum of international education.

International-mindedness is a view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility towards its members. It is an awareness of the interrelatedness of all nations and peoples, and is a recognition of the complexity of these. Internationally minded people appreciate and value the diversity of peoples, cultures and societies in the world. They make efforts to learn more about others and to develop empathy and solidarity towards them to achieve mutual understanding and respect (Oxfam 2105; UNESCO 2015).

A venn diagram showing the 3 core values of international mindedness; Global Engagement, Multilingualism and Intercultural understanding

Primary Years Programme (PYP) learners and their learning communities have a range of perspectives, values and traditions. The concept of international-mindedness builds on these diverse perspectives to generate a sense of common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.

Pupils at Molehill have a good understanding of what it means to be a good citizen and they gain an understanding of what this means in the wider world. As part of the IB PYP, children’s ‘international mindedness’ is developed in a number of ways including classroom interactions, experiences at break times and lunch times, and through assemblies. We are immensely proud of our diversity and our pupils develop tolerance, respect, and a greater sense of security as a result. It also helps our pupils to learn about other languages and cultures, encouraging them to be interculturally sensitive.

We are developing further links with IBPYP schools across the globe, and have reached out to collaborate with pupils from both Spain and Finland; this will strengthen our work with children from other countries and for a number of years we have been linked to a school in Malawi. We promote and encourage pupils to take action through discussion and collaboration to help build a better and peaceful world.

Co-curricular Molehill Primary Academy

We offer a comprehensive programme of co-curricular opportunities at Molehill Primary Academy which include…

  • Outdoor learning
  • Forest School
  • Student council
  • School sports teams
  • Maths club
  • Chess clubs
  • Talent shows
  • Spelling bees
  • Writing competitions
  • Debates
  • Mock trials
  • School newspaper
  • Drama productions

Supporting the curriculum

Outdoor Learning

Our outdoor environment has huge potential for learning, and as such, learning at Molehill does not take place solely within the school buildings.We are extremely fortunate to have beautiful school grounds, featuring a large field, a wooded area, two ponds and two large playgrounds. We recognise that learning experiences can be enhanced by maximising the potential of the outdoors.

Forest school

Forest Schools is a child-centred approach that takes place during regular visits to the wooded areas of the school. A small group of children work with the Forest School Leader, and supporting adults, in weekly sessions to play in and explore the natural environment. Basic resources, such as string, rope and tarpaulins, are provided and the skills to use them are taught as and when they are needed by the participants. As their skills grow, and when it is developmentally appropriate, more challenging skills may be taught.

Essential to Forest School Practice is a mutual relationship between the participants and the woodland itself. The Forest School Leader assumes responsibility for monitoring the ecological impact of activities and promotes an understanding of sustainability with all participants and the wider school community.

Student council

Student Council provides opportunities for pupils to become actively involved in decision making, take on leadership roles, work with others and to have a say in how Molehill develops.

Origami club

The Origami Club is a club dedicated to the craft of origami. Students will learn and teach others how to fold origami and share this unique art form. Students will discover a new or already enjoyed leisure activity that can also improve spatial learning.

Eco club

Eco club aims to empower students to participate and take up meaningful environmental activities and projects. It is a forum through which students can reach out to influence, engage their parents and neighborhood communities to promote sound environmental behavior.

Sports teams/clubs

Football club develops a love of the game and collaborative team work for students and offers them the opportunity to focus on how sports can lead to a balanced healthy life.

Chess club

Students are encouraged to develop their thinking skills and take risks in applying strategies.

Leigh Innovate competition

Pupils are challenged to come up with innovative designs based on finding solutions to global issues. The competition is across the LAT academy schools and the final is judged by senior LAT members and our CEO.

Talent shows

Our talent shows allow participants to perform the arts of singing, dancing, lip-syncing, acting, martial arts, playing an instrument, poetry, comedy or other activities to showcase skills. It enables us to celebrate a pupil’s individual, unique, skills and talents.

Debates

Our Debate club gives pupils of all abilities a fun way of developing their oracy skills. The club also supports pupils to become more informed about political and global affairs, promoting international-mindedness.

Artsmark

Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings, accredited by Arts Council England. Artsmark’s framework is designed to help us to embed arts, culture and creativity across our whole curriculum, celebrating our commitment to cultural education.

Young Voices

Students develop their performance skills for song and dance in preparation for a countrywide concert that takes place yearly at the O2 area in London.

Performing Arts club

Our Performing Arts Club aims to enable pupils to showcase their talent in various performing arts such as dancing, singing and theatre as well as to develop skills needed for the creation of visual and performing art work.

School newspapers

The School Newspaper provides a platform for students to express their ideas and creativity. It helps to develop their critical thinking skills. It is instrumental in building peer-to-peer relationships, while shaping their perspectives, opinions and identity.

Ukulele club

Pupils are able to develop their musical skills by learning the ukulele. They develop preservation as they learn to just keep practising and to take risks as well as collaboration, working with others to make music.

Mathematics club

Our Mathematics club is a dedicated extra-curricular maths get-together that breathes new life into maths beyond the classroom. It provides the students with opportunities to develop their explorative, creative and inventive abilities.

Starfish Malawi

Pupils at Molehill make connections with a school based in Malawi, through a charity organisation called Starfish Malawi. Pupils in Malawi and at Molehill take part in joint activities, such as the clean hands project. We are in the process of arranging a visit to our school from a representative from Starfish Malawi where students will be encouraged to think globally and learn more about life in Malawi.

Homework club

Pupils are given the opportunity to practice their weekly learning and receive extra coaching after school.