Character & Culture
Priory’s Character and Culture curriculum intent mirrors that of the whole school where appropriate.
At Penwortham Priory Academy the Character and Culture curriculum is designed by PiXL and delivered in Priory to support the promotion of excellence for pupils. It is planned to improve educational achievement and to do all it can to improve life chances for young people.
Through Character and Culture lessons, pupils will transition from KS2 to KS3 smoothly, building on prior, self or parentally taught skills at Key Stage 2.
Pupils are provided with challenging topics and meaningful learning experiences which can be applied to their own lives in a timely way. Challenging and thought-provoking learning experiences help pupils think hard to gain a better understanding of life attributes in order to connect them to worthy progression routes in the next stage of their education, and to give them the edge in life. In ‘Them and Us’ units, pupils gain an awareness of how to change the culture of our communities. To do this, they learn about the importance of demonstrating kindness, showing respect and living without harm. Pupils learn to apply this, not just to those people who are like them but to people who are not like them: How we relate to people who don’t think the same way as us or believe the same things. Pupils are continually required to think hard in lessons using ‘higher order’ skills such as analysis and evaluation. This element of their learning is addressed through the continual analysis and evaluation of their own lives and that of others, planning and implementing new strategies, creating a new way of conducting themselves.
The Character and Culture curriculum encourages pupils to develop skills for life. They study the five attributes identified by employers as being key for employability: Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative, and Communication. Pupils gain knowledge regarding what constitutes each attribute, they discuss their current engagement with each, they develop an understanding of how to develop the skill further and are assisted in identifying opportunities that are easy to engage with.
High quality guidance throughout the ‘Futures’ units provides impartial guidance regarding educational pathways and methods for successfully achieving future course and career goals.
Throughout their time on the course pupils are encouraged to evolve their character and improve the culture of our school. They are encouraged to adopt positive behaviours and attitudes in class which benefit them personally and the rest of the school community. They are encouraged to be positive, committed, respectful, kind, courteous, well mannered, safe, calm, orderly, and take pride in themselves, their work and our school.
The resources provided by PiXL are designed to provide high quality personal development education which should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need now and in the future. As pupils progress, they should be able to apply the knowledge gained to a greater extent to their own lives and see a greater impact.
Knowledge underpins the Character and Culture curriculum, therefore whilst we teach different aspects of the curriculum, we apply what we have learnt in very varied, personal, current and new situations. Pupils are given an overview of their learning journey at the start of their unit of work so that they know what they’ll be learning, the skills they’ll develop, why they need to know this and how they’ll learn it. This is provided in the form of the personal learning checklist – PLC and helps them understand the Character and Culture schema and helps them understand how this subject links to others.
The Character and Culture curriculum is sequenced by PiXL to build on existing knowledge and skills, and incrementally develop new knowledge of new skills required for the current point of their life journey. Pupils understand the sequence and what they’re required to learn as a result of using the PLCs. Spaced retrieval, repeated practice, self-evaluation, sharing experiences, discussion of strategies and discussion of application to ones own life, are used to ensure that Character and Culture concepts are understood and knowledge remembered. During class discussion, pupils analyse their own life and that of others, and we place emphasis on the acquisition of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary. Modelling and explaining this vocabulary in our teaching.
In addition to the diverse and rich opportunities offered through lessons, we value opportunities to take pupils out on trips and visits of character and culture value across the school in a range of subjects. Extra-curricular opportunities to develop LORIC and opportunities to volunteer at local events, are offered to pupils and staff.
Please refer to document below.
Character & Culture Implementation Document
Teacher Reading Aloud
At Penwortham Priory Academy we have introduced a Character and Culture session where the teacher reads a pre-prepared non-fiction passage to the pupils so developing reading comprehension, building vocabulary and enhancing the social and emotional experiences of the pupils. Reading aloud helps pupils learn how to use language to make sense of the world; it improves their information processing skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. Research has shown that teachers who read aloud motivate pupils to read.
Teachers in every classroom teach reading comprehension almost every day. In almost every school setting, pupils work with text. One of the most powerful tools a teacher can use when teaching literacy is to read aloud to pupils on a regular basis.
Reading Comprehension Benefits
Pupils learn how to read by reading, but they learn how to read fluently by listening to fluent readers. Whilst Accelerated Reader is used extensively and shown to have a hugely positive impact at Penwortham Priory Academy, if pupils' only encounters with reading are solitary, they may not comprehend anything beyond literal facts. Hearing a story, however, lets children focus on its flow. They are free from wrestling with words they do not understand and can instead engage the material more emotionally.
One of the key benefits of reading aloud to pupils is that it stimulates curiosity. Reading fiction or nonfiction about a concept or historic incident is likely to pique pupils' interest.
In addition, carefully scheduled ‘read alouds’ can give pupils background knowledge about a topic before they begin studying it in earnest. Pupils depend on this background knowledge to make sense of new materials and connect new information to their schemata. Reading aloud can make new topics and issues accessible in a way that focuses on the information, not on their reading ability.
Since a substantial amount of teaching reading comprehension involves vocabulary acquisition, reading aloud can introduce tier 2 and tier 3 words to pupils who may not have heard them before. When they hear words for the first time in a casual setting, pupils can ask questions, receive answers and participate in conversations.
The independent reading level of many pupils may lag behind their comprehension of advanced vocabulary and concepts. They may not be able to recognise words and read them on their own, but they have no problem understanding what the text says. By hearing more advanced texts read aloud, pupils gain access to information that interests them but may be beyond their reading level.
Research is clear about the social-emotional benefits of reading aloud, especially at the infant and preschool levels. However, the same is true for other ages as well, including high-school and college classrooms: reading aloud gives pupils a sense of comfort and acceptance.
Teachers collaboratively examine the PowerPoint resource before its delivery. Once with their C&C group, they introduce new vocabulary before reading the extract. They then read to the class and are encouraged to model close reading where they "think aloud" during a read aloud. Using this strategy, the teacher reads a word, sentence or paragraph and then stops reading to pose a question or make a connection: What does that word mean? What was the author thinking? That happened to me once! The teachers do not ask the pupils to participate; rather, this approach models the teacher's thought processes. Pupils see first-hand how a good reader successfully makes sense of a text.