As part of our drive for a broad, balanced and knowledge-rich curriculum, each subject is mapped out across the time a child would spend at Franklin. This facilitates complete coverage in each subject and also ensures that learning is built upon year on year to create well rounded, individuals that have a true passion for the subjects that they are taught.
Mathematics is taught through practical and written activities that have real meaning for the children, enabling them to develop their numerical skills and the ability to solve problems. Combined with this, our mathematics curriculum places a strong emphasis on arithmetic, developing mental recall of number facts before introducing written calculations for all of the four operations. Our approach uses concrete manipulatives (such as number lines and bead strings), pictoral representatives (pictures representing mathematical concepts) and more abstract approaches (written equations). This structured support, combined with our high expectations, ensures that children make clear connections in mathematics which they can then apply to a variety of situations.
Through the use of the ‘Developing Experts’ scheme of work, science at Franklin ensures that students learn and develop an understanding of key scientific principles which are embedded through exciting and engaging hands-on experiments. Throughout the year, Franklin pupils spend time in a purpose built, high-spec science lab which both inspires their curiosity and fosters a love of science which children can take into secondary school and beyond.
History and Geography
British history is taught in the autumn term with the chronological development of Great Britain examined from the Stone Age, through the Roman rule of Britain and the Anglo Saxons. In the summer term, the focus of history turns to ancient civilisations and famous individuals with younger children learning about exploration and space whilst Ancient Greeks, Mayans, Egyptians and Aztecs are covered in KS2. Children develop critical evaluative skills as they look at sources and consider the legacy of these elements of history.
Geography is unashamedly taught as a distinct subject at Ark Franklin as there are key non-negotiables that we feel are vital children understand before they leave primary school. Key geography skills include understanding countries and cities around the globe, reading maps, using compasses and understanding climates and how human activity impact upon these. Children learn both physical and human geography at Franklin; they develop a detailed understanding of rivers, mountains, volcanos and earthquakes as well as studying countries from different continents around the world.
Computing is taught through the use of the ‘Purplemash’ program which allows pupil to develop their understanding of coding through the use of programmable tools, toys and interactive software. Children also develop key Microsoft Office skills as they create websites, blogs and apps. Additionally, they use other electronic devices including cameras and microphones, the content of which are then edited on laptops.
We focus on developing children’s social, moral and community spirit, by exploring a range of cultural beliefs. Six full days a year are dedicated to delving in depth into a religion ensuring a progression of knowledge as they move through the school. Pupils learn core facts about each religion as well as examining beliefs, values and key festivals. There is also a wide variety of art and craft activities that the children complete relating to the specific religion. Over the course of their primary education, children visit a variety religious buildings to further develop their understanding of the multicultural world in which they live.
Personal, social and heath education
In our drive to foster caring, inquisitive and informed individuals at Franklin, PSHE has three full days allocated to it each year, with each year group examining specific content that is appropriate to their age. Children also partake in weekly phase assemblies with specific foci including values, choices, inspirational individuals, interaction with others and developing the self.
Pupils learn Spanish throughout Ark Franklin, with our specialist Spanish educator teaching each class on a weekly basis. Children learn to speak about themselves, their families and their likes and dislikes both in and out of school. Pupils experience well-known stories and fables in Spanish using the talk for writing structure. They also develop an understanding of more complex grammatical structures as they move through the school speaking (and writing) in compound sentences with a variety of conjunctions.
Our music specialist teaching our pupils weekly allows them to build an appreciation of different musical styles whilst also developing key musical skills, with all pupils able to play an instrument before they make the transition to secondary school. Key elements of music are explored with pitch, pulse, rhythm, tempo, duration and dynamics being discretely studied before children learn to play the ukulele and guitar in key stage two.
Art and DT
Throughout their Franklin experience, children work in a range of different mediums creating a wide variety of two and three-dimensional projects. They examine specific artists allowing them to develop a number of artistic techniques and an appreciation for art more generally. They also create a number of pieces relating to the history topic that they are studying. In addition to the wide variety of skills they develop, pupils are encouraged to be reflective about the art work that they creating, recognising (and celebrating) success whilst also critically evaluating how they would improve their work.
Physical education is a core part of Franklin’s curriculum with children learning a number of team invasion sports (such as hockey and basketball) as well as dance and gymnastics with children developing their own routines using balances and transitions. Pupils are taught about how to lead healthy lives and in-line with this we ensure that pupils are provided with a nutritious lunch each day, with a number of the ingredients grown on site sourced from our garden.
Here at Franklin we aim to equip our pupils with the tools not just to survive but to thrive in the modern dynamic world in which we find ourselves. We strongly believe in the positive benefits of an outdoor curriculum and the potential that it has to develop our pupils socially, emotionally and academically. During the academic year, all pupils sow and grow crops for consumption and engage in outdoor activities that enhance their understanding of the world around them and their place in it. Furthermore, children are taught to recognise the impact that they can have on their local environment and the world at large, both as an individual and as a group.
Our aim is to ensure that every child is able to write at length independently for a variety of purposes. Initially, children are encouraged to write in play situations and, as they become more confident, to write in a more structured way. Grammatical concepts are included within the teaching of writing and as a result children know the technical names for complex grammatical ideas which they are able to fluidly include in their own writing. Using the talk for writing structure, children learn to verbally rehearse their ideas out loud before putting pencil (or pen) to paper.