Magna Carta Primary Academy
Magna Carta Primary Academy, a small-but-growing new school in the historic village of Stansted Mountfitchet opened in 2016 and moved to a permanent building in September 2018.
Our name is important to us. Since the Magna Carta was signed in Runnymede in 1215, it has had an impact on political systems all over the world. Magna Carta stands for equity and equality. It stands for rights and responsibilities; a great deal to live up to. We live up to it through our curriculum. Everything we teach - whether formally or informally - and everything we say to a pupil or a parent or a member of staff, forms our curriculum.
Our curriculum is rich in knowledge and promotes deep learning. We work closely with curriculum directors across BMAT to make big decisions about what we teach and what we do not teach. This is because learning is very different to teaching. If a teacher teaches a unit of work on the Tudors, it cannot be assumed that his/her pupils will learn anything beyond the superficial. However, if a teacher builds new learning onto prior learning, and gives pupils the time and space to practise using their knowledge, there is more chance that those pupils will remember it for life. This is only possible if we teach core knowledge in depth.
Learning is where there has been a change in long-term memory. If there is no change in long-term memory, there is no learning.
Our curriculum is driven by a knowledge of the world; enterprise and aspiration; investigation and enquiry; and a local, national and global perspective.
The biggest selling point for Magna Carta is our “teaching to the top” ethos. We do not put limits on what our pupils can achieve. Nobody knows what they themselves are capable of, so teachers and school staff certainly do not know what their pupils are capable of. This means we teach with the expectation that everyone will achieve the expectations for their year group. We do not differentiate by task because, in the end, they will all sit the same GCSE papers.
The other selling point is the close-knit school community. Everyone knows everyone. This means that for a child with special needs, for example, every member of staff knows how to talk to them, what they need and what motivates them. From teachers, to catering staff to admin staff, this has made a huge difference to the school experience for pupils.
Finally, it's our curriculum. We have an emphasis on core knowledge and teachers focus their teaching on that core knowledge; what pupils need to remember for ever. This means there are no wasted lessons.