OUR SCHOOL’S APPROACH TO THE CURRICULUM AND ITS DESIGN
Although not compulsory, pupils at Hambridge are educated within the broad framework of the National Curriculum 2014. At the centre are the ‘core’ subjects of English, Maths and Science as well as Computing and Religious Education. The Foundation subjects comprise of History, Geography, Art, Design Technology, Music, Physical Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Modern Foreign Languages - French in KS2.
Pupils in Reception follow the New Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Years 1 and 2 will be working on ‘Key Stage 1’ of the National Curriculum and those in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 will continue through ‘Key Stage 2’ of the National Curriculum. Children are taught and have opportunities to learn in a range of ways – individually, in groups and as a whole class, as appropriate. We operate a two- year rolling program of study which enables our mixed year classes to experience a rich curriculum and avoids repetition. We use our judgement to ensure there is the right blend for developing the learning of all pupils. For most of the time the children are taught by their ‘class’ teacher, although other staff will be timetabled to teach the class at certain times. Our focussed approach to the curriculum is on three key areas:
1)The intent that we have for our curriculum or what we want to happen for our pupils as we plan it.
2)The implementation or how we are going to deliver the curriculum in imaginative, exciting and effective ways.
3)The impact which the planned and delivered curriculum has on our pupils in the form of their written, spoken and active outcomes.
An example of the three key areas applied to a subject can be seen below with our school's reading document:
Our ambition is to provide a rich, broad and balanced curriculum full of experiences which delight and challenge each and every one of our pupils as they pass through their seven years of schooling with us. We have carefully designed our curriculum so that it provides a blend of key skills and knowledge which are built on in a progressive way as our pupils move through school. As mentioned, we employ a two- year rolling program of study which enables our mixed year classes to experience a varied curriculum and avoids repetition. On entry to school, the Foundation Stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. We provide children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences that are appropriate to their needs. The Foundation Stage is about developing key learning skills such as listening, speaking, concentrating, persistence and learning to work and co-operate with others. There are seven areas of learning and development in the Foundation Stage; they are all important and interconnected.
There are three prime areas:
• Personal, social & emotional development.
• Communication & language.
• Physical development.
There are 4 specific areas:
• Understanding the World
• Expressive arts & design
The outdoor environment is also a very special part of the Foundation Stage curriculum. As such it is carefully planned for and available each day. The reception class has its own specially modified outdoor area. The teaching to achieve these early learning goals is achieved through first hand experience and structured play. The areas of experience is linked to the National Curriculum. The teacher and teaching assistant keep records on children’s experiences and attainments with assessments of developmental and learning needs throughout the school year. We encourage children towards reading, communication and mathematical skills from the very beginning. Much of this early learning is achieved through carefully structured play.
Young children who cannot read or write often express their ideas and feelings through play. It is an important way of developing new skills and building up relationships with other children both individually and in groups.
Moving through Key Stage 1 and 2 we aim to provide a stimulating, creative, broad and balanced, uninterrupted learning journey for all children as they progress through the school and our curriculum is designed to aid this journey. School staff act as champions for the subject areas they head up and oversee the development, planning and resourcing of their area so that it can form the best possible curricular experience for all pupils who experience it. Careful thought goes into the sequencing of learning so that, for example, topics such as WW2 within the history subject area incorporate trips out of school to inspire and enthuse pupils and enable them to achieve better outcomes as they progress through the planned unit of work. Progress and attainment is assessed by the teachers and is also monitored through national assessment tests and tasks. When deciding on children’s class groupings we take into account age and current levels of attainment across the class.
PHONICS AND READING SCHEMES INFORMATION
We follow a structured approach to the teaching of phonics using a systematic synthetic phonics scheme which we know works as the best way to teach children to read well.
Our school uses the DFE approved Twinkle Phonics Scheme to provide an enjoyable and effective learning experience for our pupils in Foundation and Key Stage 1 as they learn to read. This scheme, which utilises systematic synthetic phonics as a key method, enables our children to become proficient readers able to recognise letter sounds as they move up through the school. Colourful resources and a vibrant selection of 'Rhino Readers' books allows our pupils to progressively build their vocabulary and comprehension skills as they practise reading key words and hone their reading skills at school and home. Twinkle Phonics is also used by our school as a vehicle for taking swift action in providing phonic learning support to pupils in Key Stage 2 should they require this to become fluent readers.
We also use a selection of other high quality books to increase the range of reading materials for our children and their enjoyment as they read. Our extensively stocked library enables our children in key stage 1 and 2 to challenge and extend themselves as readers and to experience as wide a range of books as possible. We expect our children to have access to a 'reading spine' of literature and to have books read to them in school in a positive and expressive way which will enable them to become book lovers rather than merely functional readers. Books are used in a structured, graded way to allow children many opportunities for consolidation of key vocabulary. We encourage parents to work with their child at home by hearing them read on a daily basis. We are always pleased to discuss ways in which parents can help their child at each stage of their reading development. We aim to make all children feel secure and confident within the school environment and to develop a sense of achievement through learning, finding it to be a pleasurable and rewarding experience.
Our ambition is that the curriculum here at Hambridge Primary School is enriched over and above the basic entitlement which all pupils should have. To this end we ensure that our children experience regular and varied trips out of school as well as residential visits to enhance their learning. These are often tied in with topics which are being studied in school.
Every year group in the school has the opportunity to be in a play ranging from nativity productions in the lower part of the school to full costume drama performances to parents in Key stage 2.
We also regularly invite visitors into school to offer our pupils different perspectives into subject areas such as P.E. art, drama and R.E and also through the medium of collective worship. This allows our children to achieve outcomes which they can be proud of and may take the form of 3 -D art work , whole Key Stage Sports festivals as well as thoughtful verbal responses through poetry for example. Examples of these may be seen around our school and in the form of photographic evidence on our website.
Our wide ranging extra-curricular provision in the form of after school clubs (SEE OUR SCHOOL CLUBS PAGE UNDER THE PARENTS TAB) is carefully designed to allow every child in our school to sample something which will appeal to him or her. Clubs such as choir, art or dodgeball club enable all of our pupils to experience a special thrill as they are taught something new on a weekly basis. The vast majority of our after school clubs are free to parents. Some of these clubs such as athletics club, football club and cricket club offer our children the chance to take part in inter school competition which further enriches their experience if this is something that they would like to be a part of.
COMMUNICATING THE CURRICULUM
We send home termly curriculum letters to parents/carers with information about what their children are learning in each subject area that particular term. These letters are also posted on our website below.
Additionally, we have posted curriculum overviews for each class online on our website below.
Communication about upcoming events such as trips or special days such as World Book Literacy Day is done in advance so that the whole school community is well prepared.
What does your child learn at school each day? Find information about our curriculum subjects here.