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Learning Themes

Children’s time in school is precious and there is much to do during the primary years. We believe in children having sufficient time to engage with their learning at a deep, rather than shallow, level. In order for this to occur they require quality time to really engage with their learning over an extended time frame. It is for this reason that we combine learning in four curriculum subjects – art, design technology, geography and history – within a theme based approach. This approach is more likely to result in high quality learning outcomes. In addition, it makes greater sense to the young learner.

Our Learning Themes

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The aim of Axminster Primary Academy is to provide as interesting and enjoyable learning experience for the children. This school is devoted to raising children’s expectations and aspirations.   Our principal objective is for each pupil to develop a deep interest in, and love for, learning.

Children’s time in school is precious and there is much to do during the primary years. We believe in children having sufficient time to engage with their learning at a deep, rather than shallow, level. In order for this to occur they require quality time to really engage with their learning over an extended time frame. It is for this reason that we combine learning in four curriculum subjects – art, design technology, geography and history – within a theme based approach. This approach is more likely to result in high quality learning outcomes. In addition, it makes greater sense to the young learner.

Learning is complex; it is not necessarily linear. It occurs when children are in a learning environment, secure and motivated. Positive learning is often interesting and fun. Knowledge is accumulated, skills become more sophisticated; independence and creativity increase. Children need to develop the skills that enable them to learn to acquire knowledge and understanding. Skills assist learners in becoming more interested, focused and prepared for a challenge. The skills are:

  • application skills
  • motivational skills
  • learning skills.

Creativity in learning might be defined as ‘originality’, ‘resourcefulness’ and ‘vision’.  Creativity in teaching might be defined similarly, but with the added dimension of ‘facilitation’. Teaching should bear in mind how it facilitates creativity and learning in children. ‘Creativity’ is not the province of particular subjects.  This is the essence of ‘skills-based’ learning. For example, the skill of mixing and selecting colours is universal across drawing an impression of a battle in history, illustrating the petals, stamens and anthers of two flowers to show the similarities and differences or showing how a village might look and creating an imaginary visitor from mars.

 To achieve continuity, skills are taught and applied with increasing complexity. The complexity comes with accumulated teaching and experience of using and applying the skills. Knowledge and understanding are the products of applying skills successfully. In its simplest form knowledge is the commitment to memory of unrelated pieces of information. Knowledge in its more refined form is a product of facts being linked and grouped to become understanding and, although facts are still known, they are understood in context and by comparison. Skills should be taught to and practised by children. Teachers should bear in mind the progression in skills and offer different levels of challenge to children in applying their skills to gain more knowledge and understanding. Skills are equally applicable across the range of factual knowledge and understanding; and, more than one skill can be used to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding.

We believe it is really important to help children learn how to learn as: the model that says learn while you’re at school, while you’re young, the skills that you will apply during your lifetime is no longer tenable. The skills that you can learn when you’re at school will not be applicable. They will be obsolete by the time you get into the workplace and need them, except for one skill. The one really competitive skill is the skill of being able to learn. It is the skill of being able not to give the right answer to questions about what you were taught in school, but to make the right response to situations that are outside the scope of what you were taught in school. We need to produce people who know how to act when they’re faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared.

How learning is organised

There are never quite enough hours to cover all the things we would like to the children to learn and experience. Year 1 children study 12 different subjects; children from Year 2 upwards study 13. We are very keen to ensure that children receive a broad, balanced curriculum. In the first place, we want them to reach the highest possible standards in reading, writing and mathematics. But it is equally important to us that they have a full entitlement to enjoy learning in other subject areas.  To that end teachers have been provided with clear guidance regarding how much time should be allocated to different subjects. This information appears below.

A quality primary experience is not based upon coverage though. Doing more does not necessarily mean more will be learnt, or indeed that learning will be a more satisfying experience. Teachers at Axminster are expected to create rich,  extended learning experiences so that the children have the chance to engage in deep, meaningful learning, by studying a subject in depth. It is far more likely that lasting and more purposeful learning will transpire in these circumstances. Teachers plan learning theme work throughout the year and also earmark one week every term when the exclusive focus is the learning theme. So there are no discrete English or mathematics lessons that week. Skills learnt in reading, writing and mathematics can be applied during the week within the learning theme focus.

Teachers have been guided to apply the adage ‘less is more’ if they find that there is insufficient time to get through everything. That means that rather than hurriedly trying to cover everything they focus on ensuring that what the children do is done well, with the maximum amount of learning being extracted from the topic under study.

Announcement

Please sign up for SZAPP (click on SZAPP) to receive the weekly updates and correspondance as we are trying to reduce the amount of paper going home. Copies will always be available in the office. 

Reminder for Parents and Carers:  Just to remind you all that children do not need to be in school on Friday 18th October as this is an Inset Day.

Canoeing fun

10 Jul 2019

On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June, some of our Year 6 children experienced a canoeing taster day organised by the Axe Vale Canoe Club in Axmouth. They enjoyed paddling up the river beyond Axmouth,...

Royal Maths Institute afternoon

05 Apr 2019

RI Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science Masterclasses are hands-on and interactive extracurricular sessions led by top experts from academia and industry for keen a...

Fabulous Friction!

05 Apr 2019

Colyton Grammar School Science Department came and did a workshop called 'Fabulous Friction!'. Since then, Year 5 have worked hard on their own projects and we now have two entries for the science fai...

World War One Workshop

05 Apr 2019

A World War One soldier visited for Year 5 and 6 to show them what it was like to live during this time.

Magdalen Farm Forest School

11 Dec 2018

Forest School – a day at Magdalen Farm! On Thursday 6th December, Miss Mayes and Mrs Kew had the pleasure of taking six children to Magdalen Farm for a Forest School day.  The purpose of th...

Acorn MAT supports local fallen hero's

15 Nov 2018

Chidren from Axminster Academy, Mrs E's and Chardstock all came together to lay tributes to the 68 men, from the parish of Axminster, who died in WW1. A wonderful service included readign fromthe chil...

Acorn MAT supports local fallen hero's

15 Nov 2018

Chidren from Axminster Academy, Mrs E's and Chardstock all came together to lay tributes to the 68 men, from the parish of Axminster, who died in WW1. A wonderful service included readign fromthe chil...

New lease of life for play area in North Street, Axminster

27 Jun 2018

Axminster Community Primary Academy and Little Acorns @ Axminster are so proud to support this wonderful project. The children really felt a strong desire to improve the local community and I am immen...

Canoeing

08 Jun 2018

14 children from Year 5 and 6 went canoeing on Wednesday 6th June to the Axe Vale Canoe Club in Axmouth. Everyone really enjoyed the day paddling up the estuary and River Axe beyond Axmouth and p...

New arrivals

13 Mar 2018

We have some new arrivals and Beech class are taking full advantage to use them as a model for descriptive sentences! 

World Book Day

09 Mar 2018

On Friday 9th March, the children (and staff) all came into school dressed as a character from their favourite book.  The costumes were amazing!  Thank you to all parents and carers who help...

Early Years Activities

26 Feb 2018

The children in our Early Years Centre have been very busy recently.  They have been talking about their pets and the children and some of our teachers have brought in photos of their animals for...

Maple & Spruce classes

05 Feb 2018

Maple and Spruce class Pupils in Year 3 and 4 have been busy working on their latest topic – Extreme Animals.  The children have discovered a multitude of fascinating facts about animals &...

@Bristol

18 Jul 2017

On Monday 26th June, Spruce and Rowan classes went to @Bristol Science Museum to support their learning of the science curriculum.  They had a fabulous day and were able to learn more about frict...

Sports Day

18 Jul 2017

Today Axminster Community Primary Academy held its annual Sports Day.  Thankfully the recent heatwave was over and we were able to hold the event as scheduled.  Our children excelled in the...

Axe Vale Festival

18 Jul 2017

The children of Spruce and Rowan classes have been working hard, with Mrs Hogarth the Art Teacher, designing a poster on the theme "Axminster Carnival" for the Axe Vale Festival. Although all the chil...

Tadpole update

18 Jul 2017

The tadpoles that Beech Class were studying last term have continued to thrive! 

Election Week

18 Jul 2017

Here at Axminster Community Primary Academy, a decision was made to change the names of our four team colours Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. With the general elections drawing closer, our school council...