The syllabus at Victoria Park Academy is based on the National Curriculum. It is appropriately broad, rich and balanced so that all pupils can discover and make the best of their strengths, talents and abilities. Whether your child is a future scientist, engineer, mathematician, artist, musician, writer or historian we aim to inspire them.
Learning to read with fluency and understanding is given a high priority in our school as we know this is key to unlocking the curriculum and essential for future academic success.
Since 2012 Victoria Park has developed and evolved its own, NICER curriculum. It’s starting point was a desire to be challenge-based with a clear focus on the skills and knowledge that every pupil needed to learn over a period of time. It aimed to be: based on real-world problems; capture children’s interests; require them to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills; and above all, result in a problem being solved. Creating something new and sharing the new learning as part of a public product was at the heart of our NICER Curriculum.
This approach continues today, a Challenge Outcome could take the form of a public performance, a short play, a digital app, a pop-up museum, short movie or whatever the children want it to be. To enable them to do this we create a number of challenge packs (or topics) that form part of a child’s learning journey throughout school.
Challenge Packs (Knowledge Organisers) are centrally sequenced and planned to ensure all elements of the National Curriculum are included and revisited throughout their school career, allowing children to make wider links and build upon prior understanding.
Each challenge pack is designed to stretch the children’s academic and social thinking. There is a perception that challenges can sometimes be too hard. They become too difficult to bother with because they require grit, determination and perseverance. Yet these are precisely the kind of skills we want all our children to develop if we are to prepare them well for the future. Such knowledge and character skills, alongside the ability to think critically and learn collaboratively with high levels of resilience, are all key features of the NICER framework.
NICER, is an acronym of some of the aspects it is designed to achieve: Now, Independent, Creative, Enterprise and Regional
Based on what is going on here-and-now in the young people’s lives, either at home, in school, the local community or on the news. It ensures the voice of the learner is heard through purposeful activities based on their interests and prior knowledge and understanding.
Ensuring that young people are taught to become confident, independent learners who are able to work collaboratively with others. By adopting a learning power approach, pupils are competent at tackling the learning challenges, using a range of critical thinking tools and digital technology.
In order for pupils to create new things, the curriculum ensures that the learning experiences encourage pupils to ask questions, face difficult challenges and solve real-world problems. Knowledge is essential to creating and so our skills ladders ensure continuity and progression.
Making sure that the learning challenges allow young people to develop the skills of social enterprise when solving real-world problems. Pupils are given ample opportunity to think like social entrepreneurs when developing their public product and to work collaboratively as a team.
Designing learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom that are based on the local community so that it is real and relevant to the learner. This means that each academy curriculum is unique with clear links with local businesses, partnerships and community groups.
H O W W E T E A C H
For further information on our wider curriculum approach please see our following Trust approaches:
For an example of a Challenge Pack and accompanying Medium Term Plan please see:
- Example Knowledge organiser – (Year 5 Autumn – Changemakers)
- Example Medium Term Plan (Year 5) Changemakers Challenge Pack
(All current Challenge Packs can be found on the class pages on the ‘Children Zone’ page)