Form Time Curriculum
Our use of form time intends to enrich the core curriculum offered to our pupils and is a perfect opportunity to help develop the intention of our character education programme at Reach Academy. Form is important to model healthy relationships between pupils and staff, reflect on pupils behaviour within school and have a forum to discuss current affairs, enriching their understanding of the world around them. Each week also focuses on a different value of the school (Reflect, Endeavour, Aspire, Show Courage and Have Fun) with an opportunity to discuss why we have these values and how pupils can model these values within our community. The value focus each week aligns across the whole school.
It is important to note that all plans within this aspect of the programme are subject to change based on the needs of the school, community and wider world. As events arise that the pastoral team feel will benefit the pupils to learn more about, changes to what is covered in the behavioural curriculum or discussion/assembly will occur. This is also a key reason why the Team Reach curriculum has been developed over 10 lessons rather than 13 to allow capacity to discuss some of the key issues our pupils will wish to know more about or give greater depth to anything that comes out of form discussions.
Phase 1 and 2 Form Curriculum
In Phase 1 and 2, pupils take part in two longer form sessions on a Monday and a Wednesday. On Monday, form time is focused on routines, behaviour expectations, self-management and reflections on being ‘kind and respectful’ as well as key updates on the previous and upcoming week. On Wednesday, form is used to engage pupils in current affairs. On a Friday morning, pupils from Reception to Year 6, take part in a celebration assembly. The celebration aspect is followed by a weekly focus, reflecting on national/world events, pupil wellbeing, or points of interest.
Phase 3-5 Form Curriculum
From Phase 3, each day of the week focuses on development of specific aspects of character as detailed in the programme intent statement. Form lasts 15-20 minutes each day with each day allocated to one of the 4 main themes of character development. This includes a behaviour curriculum, engaging in current affairs, assembly, study skills or masterminds and ending with celebrations every Friday. This is planned by the pastoral team and delivered by form tutors.
As with the Team Reach curriculum it is important to note that this is subject to change as the programme adapts to world affairs that pupils may wish to know more about.
Pastoral Support Structure for Pupils
Strong, positive relationships are at the heart of everything we do at Reach Academy. The fostering of such relationships in school will allow the pupil to thrive and achieve the ambitious goals of our character education programme. Reach has a robust pastoral support system to help pupils achieve their potential. The information below details the main areas of responsibility and will be utilised at different points depending on the needs of the pupil. This is reviewed on a termly basis and works alongside other avenues of support the school offers such as the safeguarding team and Place2Be.
Form Tutor - Every member of staff at Reach Academy will have a form group in some capacity. We refer to our forms as ‘teams’ to continue to emphasise the importance of working as a team and relying upon one another. From phase 3, the teams are named after the rivers closest to the University their form teacher studied at to spark interest in further post-18 education from the students. The role of the form tutor is to deliver the form curriculum each morning and often the Team Reach (PSHE) curriculum to their teams. They will also be the main point of contact between the school and families so we are aware of any barriers the pupils may be facing at home and in school. This partnership between school, pupil and families is something that is heavily emphasised when pupils join Reach with all pupils having a home visit to initiate this relationship between all stakeholders.
Head of Year - Each year group has a head of year that oversees the implementation of the character education programme within their year groups. Ther Heads of Year also meet daily to make sure consistency within the behaviour policy is maintained, communication with families is delegated and needed interventions directed.
Intensive Coach - Some pupils need further support in order to be successful. Reach Academy has adopted an intensive coaching model to direct support to these pupils as needed. Pupils who need additional support will have an intensive coach. This can be any member of staff and involves daily check-ins with this member of staff, weekly target setting family meetings and streamlined family communications. The intention here is to work on the specified need with the pupil. Coaching is reviewed each half term.
Another intention of the character education programme at Reach is to develop students' love of learning, enrich their understanding of the world but also have the skills to navigate difference of opinions and the impact this can have on relationships. It is important that pupils have the forum to discuss, or learn more about, issues they may encounter in school or news they may be exposed to in the community or wider world. It is also important that pupils are exposed to a range of different views about a topic and are equipped with the skills to professionally challenge those views they may not agree with. The use of form allows the pupils to experience each of these. Pupils will read a news article or watch a clip about a recent event or focus of awareness and share their views or ask questions about it, supported by their form tutor. By doing this, pupils will be exposed to events that may have an impact on them, or their futures and also develop skills in how they challenge or respond to a variety of different views.
Assembly is an important part of the week at Reach Academy. It is an opportunity to remind pupils that they are living within a community and in modern British society and deliver important information to allow pupils to lead safe and happy lives. Assembly is usually delivered as year groups however there are times in which phase assemblies are more suitable. Assemblies will focus on key messages for all pupils such as discussing protected characteristics and British Values as well as signposting pupils to further support such as if they feel they are being bullied. It is also an opportunity to build a culture of teamwork, reminding pupils that they are all working towards the same goal and should be supporting one another to help achieve that goal.
Pupils should leave Reach Academy with a desire to learn more about the world in which they live. Masterminds is an important opportunity to foster this love of learning in pupils and be exposed to education outside of their core curriculum. Masterminds allows the school to achieve this in a joyful and competitive way. Each week pupils will learn some key facts around a set theme in their form groups across 10 weeks. In the eleventh week form groups will decide upon a team of 3 to represent them in a masterminds like competition against other forms in a competition culminating in a final round to decide the masterminds champion of the term. The themes we decide as a school are in response to pupil voice and areas of need. For example, pupils wanted to learn more about classical myths following a unit of work on this in English. In another example a scheme based on literature was introduced to expose pupils to a variety of different books they could read in the hope of expanding a love of reading amongst pupils. This programme starts in phase 3 onwards at Reach owing to the additional form slot in the timetable. In Phase 1 and 2, pupils will still be exposed to enriching themes in a less structured way such as a focus on particular composers as they enter assembly.
Celebration is an important part of our culture at Reach Academy and pupils are encouraged to celebrate the successes of themselves, their teammates and their teachers frequently. This supports the aim of continuously showing pupils how to become positive leaders and role models in school and society by continuously highlighting the positive behaviours pupils are showing. On a Friday morning, pupils from Reception to Year 6, take part in a celebration assembly. Teachers hand out a certificate, which is explicitly linked to the value of the week, to one child per class. In addition, the top merit earner from each class is celebrated and any children, who may have earned as AWOPR (an act worthy of public recognition), are congratulated. Pupils then collectively celebrate the two classes with the highest attendance across phase 1 and phase 2. Similar approaches to celebration continue in phase 3 onwards as Friday form time each week is allocated to this. Celebration form includes a moment of self-reflection on their weekly payslips alongside goal setting, celebrating the pupils who achieved the highest payslips and awarding pupils with value awards who have demonstrated the specific values in some way each week. We also work with the Jack Petchey organisation to award pupils with the Jack Petchey Award each month.
In phase 1 and 2 break time is an important part of our school day. Our playground is equipped with a range of resources that support the development of pupils' social, emotional, personal and physical health. The children can interact with a range of equipment from: a role play area to support the development of communication and language; climbing equipment to support the development of gross motor skills; den building to support the development of collaborative skills and a mud kitchen to support turn taking skills and the use of mathematical language in context. In addition to this, adults, who oversee playtimes, receive weekly training from our Playtime Lead on supporting play; this enables them to purposefully engage with pupils and support them to build and maintain relationships with their peers. Pupils in phase 3 onwards receive break time throughout the day each day but in a less structured approach as these skills have already been developed. There is opportunity for team games such as basketball and football and areas for quieter activities amongst friends. Staff are still present to support any pupils should they need it. In both break and activity we have high staff:pupil ratios to continue to build relationships with pupils both in, and outside of the classroom.
Lunch is also a key way in which we develop character at Reach Academy particularly in regards to leaving with the ability to make healthy choices and build healthy relationships. Pupils do not bring packed lunches to school and each year group eats a lunch provided by the school together as a team for 25 minutes each day. During lunch pupils are taught how to serve one another, appropriate behaviours whilst eating and are responsible for clearing up their areas after eating. Staff will also join tables during lunch to model conversation skills and continue to build strong relationships with pupils. Lunch time is also used as an opportunity for retrieval practice across the curriculum. This occurs across the school and from phase 3 onwards this includes a collection of questions from the knowledge organisers pupils are currently studying presented in a competitive way between tables.