At St John’s Academy, we aim to provide our children with an innovative curriculum that motives and inspires learning through a collaborative, whole school approach. Our learning ethos is child-centred; each curriculum area enables our children to acquire subject specific skills. Throughout each subject, cross-curricular links are embedded to extend the application of mathematics, English and computing skills. English texts and reading are at the heart of our curriculum. Most of our termly topics have been designed around a specific text to ensure a truly cross-curricular approach.
This curriculum has been designed by our own staff to meet the specific needs of the children at our school. Using their expertise, knowledge and understanding of the school, local area and, most importantly, our pupils, the whole staff have worked hard to create and design an inclusive and inspirational curriculum that is both broad and balanced to engage and motivate our students in all areas. This unique provision of opportunity is something that we feel makes our Academy even more distinctive and exceptional.
All of our pupils succeed through experiencing creative and investigative learning that is personalised to take account of learning styles and individual needs. Our curriculum stems from exciting educational off-site visits that link to inspiring reading texts every term, as well as specific foundation subjects. We plan visits throughout the year to enrich our children's learning experiences, including the opportunity for three residential visits in Key Stage 2 and additional experiences offered to all, aside from their own personal topic (such as football stadium visits, charity sleepovers and many sporting events). Themed teaching helps children to link their learning and apply their skills in different contexts. This extends and deepens their learning; it equips children with the essential skills to approach and achieve in the multi-skilled tasks and situations that life will bring. Through assemblies there is a sharing and celebration of thematic learning across the school.
As a school, we value and celebrate the multicultural heritage our children bring into the classroom and their learning. We believe that we have a duty to teach equality and how to form positive relationships; preventing and eliminating discrimination, victimisation and harassment. We work with children to give them the strategies to face social and environmental challenges through a personalised P.S.H.E. curriculum, which will give them the skills and awareness to keep themselves safe. Through their learning journey at St John’s Academy, children become confident, understanding and respectful citizens within the school, the community and for the wider world.
Through further inspection of our curriculum, you will see that each Key Stage follows a themed-approach over a two-year cycle. By adding this dimension to learning, we are able to provide opportunities for key skills to develop across the curriculum and to cultivate creative thinking. We aim for our curriculum to be exciting and to inspire children to nurture a passion for learning, encouraging inquisitiveness and confidence in our pupils.
In addition to this, there are numerous opportunities provided to further develop our children through extra-curricular activities. In particular, sport is an area that St John’s encourages children to participate in, especially cricket, swimming and football. Our boys football team has been very successful in the past through winning the Bassetlaw 7-a-side county championships in 2015 and 2016 and they came second in the Parry Cup in 2017. Our team are currently receiving dedicated professional coaching from Sheffield United, in addition to the weekly football training sessions that they have access to from school staff. In swimming, children receive weekly lessons in Key Stage 2 at Worksop Leisure Centre, which has a 25-metre main pool and a dedicated training pool for less-confident learners. From these sessions, children are selected to compete against other schools in the county and for the last two years running, St John’s have won the Bassetlaw area championships. Furthermore, the school organises its own inter-team swimming competition every year and the St John’s swimming gala is a very popular event in the school calendar. Throughout the summer term, cricket is another sport that is widely encouraged for both boys and girls with competitions taking place regularly. Our pupils are provided with extra coaching twice a week and last year this culminated in our boys team winning the Bassetlaw Champion of Champions competition and the Teritex county cricket championships. This unique provision of physical activities and competitive events is supported through the provision of weekly sports sessions for all children delivered by professional coaches. Every week, each child receives a minimum of one-hour professional training from our highly-qualified external providers, which covers a range of sports from rugby to dance. Furthermore, many of our after school sessions are sports related, including running, cycling, football and dodgeball clubs.
However, we are not only proud of our sporting achievements at St John’s, but also of the main other unique opportunities for additional development delivered by the Academy. Performing arts is an area that is actively encouraged both within the curriculum and as an extra-curricular activity. The school has a dedicated music teacher, enabling all the children to receive a weekly session from a musical professional. This provision will be extended this year as all children will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument within their lessons. Children also have access to private lessons for piano, clarinet, recorder, violin and brass instruments from fully-qualified peripatetic teachers. St John’s even has its own school band consisting of musically talented children who work together to produce their own music collaboratively. Vocal talent is another skill that the school actively encourages through the well-attended St John’s School Choir, who have opportunities to perform within school, at local churches and in the national ‘Sing Up!’ event at Sheffield Arena. All of the children’s musical talents are then celebrated in an annual live open-air concert, called Proms in the Playground, where our pupils perform before the community whilst enjoying a picnic in the sunshine. Theatrically, all children in every year group have the opportunity to perform on a regular basis in front of an audience. This does not only take the form of termly class assemblies but also musical theatre performances. Starting from Foundation Stage to Year 2, pupils perform an annual Christmas Nativity, including dancing, acting and songs. Lower Key Stage 2 deliver a musical theatre performance every year which is linked to their topic and has included ‘First Kids in Space’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ in the past. In Upper Key Stage 2, there are numerous performances throughout the year including a dance show based on Cats the Musical, stage productions of Oliver the Musical, We’ll Meet Again (world war based drama) and Aladdin. In addition to this, every year in Year 6 the children receive coaching from a specialist theatre company, resulting in a professional musical theatre show that all children contribute towards.
This is not to mention the numerous residential visits that the children are offered at St John’s Academy. Starting in Year 3, and building up progressively in length of stay, all pupils are offered the chance to spend some time away from home to encourage team-building and learning of specific skills away from the classroom. For Lower Key Stage 2, in the past this has included a sleepover at the National Space Centre, an art-based 3-day excursion to Whitby and also a two-night excursion at a Tudor mansion. Progressing into Year 5 and 6, children are offered extended stays for their educational off-site visits. Presently, Year 5 attend a 3-day residential visit to Castleton in Derbyshire to participate in den building, field studies and outdoor pursuits. Year 6 have the opportunity to be away from home for a full week, usually to take part in adventurous activities (such as high ropes games, canoeing and abseiling) at PGL centres around the country but this has also included a trip to Paris, France (including Disneyland) which allowed for both adventurous and cultural experiences combined.
At St John’s Academy, we are extremely proud of the broad and rich curriculum and unique provision offered at our primary school. Pupils are consistently challenged both academically and in an extremely wide range of other skills to support them in their future success, and it has been impossible to mention all of these experiences here. Therefore, please take the opportunity to look through our website to discover the further advantages and possibilities for your child at our Academy in supporting them to become the very best that they can be. We are extremely proud of the distinctive provision offered at our school and know that you will be impressed too.
Belong. Believe. Achieve.