School focus: Lound Academy

Isabelle Gilding, Poppy Mellor, Harvey Carrigan, George Rockett, fl-r: Ryley Purvis, Isabelle Race, Ruby Beeden and Harry Charles
Isabelle Gilding, Poppy Mellor, Harvey Carrigan, George Rockett, fl-r: Ryley Purvis, Isabelle Race, Ruby Beeden and Harry Charles
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As pupils make their way through Lound Academy they are shaped into the best people possible.

The enriched curriculum is such that youngsters are developed as whole people and not just their academic ability is focused upon.

Year 3 PE class

Year 3 PE class

The rich and diverse curriculum is an immersive one. And it is one that is working - both Lound Infant School and Lound Junior School's latest Ofsted reports have seen them receiving 'good' ratings from inspectors - a step up from their previous requires improvement judgements.

The schools have moved towards a more holistic and child-centered delivery of the curriculum and children are fully immersed in their learning through planned topics and classrooms are transformed.

The immersive learning approach means that all the learning children are exposed to is centered on a constant theme.

One classroom has been transformed as youngsters work on a topic about Dracula.

Pharrell Munoz and Jamie Radford

Pharrell Munoz and Jamie Radford

Areas in each classroom include themed reading areas which contain beanbags and sofas where children can work in comfort rather than sitting at a desk.

Headteacher Emma Bellamy said: "We try to immerse our classrooms in the topics.

"We do a different topic for ever term and visits and learning are linked to it."

Year six pupil George Rockettsaid: "It's good to have all the things on the wall. It helps when we are learning.

Darcie Hampson, yearr 4, Reuben Marsden, year 4, Alex Wright, year 5, and Kate Humberstone music teacher

Darcie Hampson, yearr 4, Reuben Marsden, year 4, Alex Wright, year 5, and Kate Humberstone music teacher

"If we don't understand something them we can look at the walls. It's engaging and really helps."

Lound Academy also offers ample opportunity for youngsters to express themselves through 'the arts'. Drama, art, music and literature are high up on the curriculum.

Key stage two children are offered one-to-one music tuition and youngsters can learn a variety of instruments. The school also has strong links with the Sheffield Music Hub.

Mrs Bellamy said: "We do lots of things around music - we do lots of music festivals.

"Year five children are currently preparing for a concert at Sheffield Cathedral and we performing as part of a big concert at the Royal Albert Hall."

Staff have drawn a list of activities that they guarantee children will experience while at the schools.

The list contains activities such as play conkers, be exposed to the stories of William Shakespeare, take part in a sponsored event and visit a place of worship.

Mrs Bellamy said: "We display the 75 things you will do before leaving Lound in the reception. Some are small things but there are some bigger things on there too.

"We believe in developing the whole person rather than just focusing on academic ability."

Drama starts from the beginning of a child's time at Lound Academy. Whole school performances feature actors from all years and incorporate an orchestra made up of pianists, guitar players, wind and percussion sections.

Past performances have included A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Lion King and Bugsy Malone.

Youngsters also got to perform at Lound Fest - a summer fair which featured a busking stage, prosecco lounge and stalls.

Mrs Bellamy said: "It was amazing. There was a great community atmosphere.

"We are going to do the same again this year but focus it on STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths - activities and have a science week.

"From then on we will alternate between Lound Fest and the STEM event."

Spending time outside the classroom is an exciting feature for Lound pupils.

The adventures begin in year two with the annual overnight camp on the school grounds. During the camp children taken part in a range of activities which encourage teamwork, competitiveness, independence, good manners and togetherness.

When pupils near the end of year two and prepare to start their junior school life they go on a walk up Mam Tor, near Castleton, in Derbyshire.

When they have climbed to the top they open a letter which has been written by their parents telling them how proud they are of them.

Year three pupils enjoy an overnight sleepover at The Deep - a huge aquarium in Hull.

Year six pupil Ryley Purvis said remember his sleepover fondly. He said: "We slept next to the shark tank. It was amazing seeing all the fish up close."

The experiences culminate in year six when pupils visit Robin Wood Activity Centre, in North Yorkshire for a three-day residential.

Good behaviour, team work and competitiveness is encouraged through the house system.

There are four house named after Sheffield rivers - Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter - each with two year six house captains.

The captains promote the school's core values and good behaviour, while also been responsible for counting the tokens which children can win for various positive things.

House captain Ruby Beeden said: "We are responsible for the school. We do lots of things. Recently we have been into year three and read to them."

Walking around it is clear why the schools received such improved reports and Mrs Bellamy describes it as a 'special place'.

Mrs Bellamy said: "I love being headteacher here. It is a such a special place.

"It has got such a warm and caring ethos and visitors always say how welcoming it is.

"The children, parents and staff are like a big community. It's such a special place to be.

"The children are delightful, parents are supportive and staff go above and beyond for every child."