Our Curriculum Aims at Highweek Primary School
It is our aim that by the time the children leave Highweek Primary School to embark on the next stage of their education, they are equipped with academic attitudes, skills and knowledge, and have developed the personal attributes needed to enable them to become successful citizens of the future.
Highweek children are encouraged to be active learners by being inquisitive, motivated and resilient learners. Our work around developing children into positive learners with a Growth Mindset, that embrace challenge, show great resilience and are able to reflect on their learning is at the forefront of our approach. This makes the school environment a dynamic and exciting place to be.
At Highweek Primary School, we deliver a curriculum underpinned by the 5Cs:
We ensure that these five learning dispositions are at the heart of our curriculum.
Every child is an individual. We aim to teach the National Curriculum in a way that recognises how children learn best so that they all have an opportunity to develop to their potential.
The subjects of the National Curriculum are:
English (including reading, writing, speaking and listening); Mathematics; Science; Art; History; Design & Technology; Music; Geography; Physical Education; Computing; Religious Education (not a National Curriculum subject but required by law)
At Highweek Primary School we offer a broad, balanced and academically rigorous curriculum for all our learners. Our curriculum is shaped and defined to meet:
the needs of our children here at Highweek
the needs of our wider community
the values of our school
the location of our school
Equip our children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
Support the acquisition of knowledge, vocabulary and language of learning.
Promote good behaviour and safety
Support children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
The curriculum is aspirational, engaging, relevant, challenging, enjoyable and enriching. We are a very inclusive school and strive for all pupils to make maximum progress from their starting points.
The school puts high importance on sport and healthy lifestyles. We are committed to ensuring that pupils can access a broad range of provision and sports through our curriculum and extended school provision. We have a full time sports coach and a good range of facilities. Sporting activities are also set up at lunchtimes to encourage purposeful physical activity. Year 5 children support this in their leadership roles as playleaders, encouraging participation and collaboration. Daily Physical Activity (DPA) for all pupils supplements our PE curriculum.
A Knowledge, Skills and learning Attitudes-based Curriculum
Our curriculum is designed with knowledge, skills and learning attitudes at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base and understanding of the world. The curriculum promotes long term learning and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more. We have developed a curriculum inspired by current research on how memory works, to ensure that children are taught in a way in which they can remember the content in future years. Our subject curriculum is designed and delivered in a way that allows pupils to transfer key knowledge to long-term memory. It is sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught and pupils can work towards clearly defined end points.
This is achieved by our teaching of how we become the best learners that we can be, focussing around the 5Cs: Collaboration, Connection Making, Curiosity, Creativity and Challenge.
Our approach to teaching and learning is clearly defined and its components are set out in Highweek’s Teaching and Learning Expectation and Standard document.
The curriculum in each year group at Highweek is taught through exciting half termly topics. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught using the EYFS framework with an emphasis on developing key skills, knowledge and understanding through direct teaching and purposeful play. The statutory National Curriculum is taught across Key Stages 1 and 2. Our curriculum is organised around subjects and, where relevant, subjects are integrated to make meaningful connections, whilst maintaining the integrity of each subject discipline.
We use a two-year rolling programme of planning to accommodate any mixed year groups in classes and to ensure that there is clear progression and depth of learning. We recognise that learning is not linear so create a spiral curriculum. Key knowledge and skills taught is frequently re-visited in order for key knowledge and skills to be embedded into long term memory. Over the course of study, teaching is designed to help pupils to remember long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas.
Our effective feedback policy demonstrates how we check pupils’ understanding, identify misconceptions and provide clear direct feedback. In doing this, they are able to adapt their teaching in order for pupils to make accelerated progress. Our feedback policy explains our processes and procedures in more detail.
We place high importance on developing pupils’ learning dispositions in order that they have an active curiosity in the curriculum and desire to learn and make good progress. We understand that creating a Growth Mindset in both our children and staff is the key to creating happy, successful individuals who embrace challenge, celebrate their mistakes and learn from them and finally persevere and show resilience in all they do.
Our curriculum incorporates developing these learning traits through Achievosaurs in EYFS and then in Key stages 1 and 2 the use of the language of learning. This is core to how we deliver the curriculum at Highweek.
Learning goes beyond the classroom, taking advantage of the locality and school grounds, and is enhanced by visitors with specific expertise and wide experiences. These include day trips, extra-curricular clubs and residential visits. This includes our 11 before 11 Curriculum.
The impact of the curriculum is measured in progress made and attainments achieved and personal qualities acquired.
The impact of our curriculum is seen in:
The progress our children make in relation to their starting points
High standards and expectations for each year group as they move through the school.
Quality learning experiences which are memorable, worthwhile and challenging.
Teaching which is rigorous, personalised, innovative and learning-centred.
Children that are curious, embrace challenge, engaged, resilient, questioning, resourceful, independent and collaborative.
Children with high levels of self-efficacy and belief, with well-formed characters, who have a thirst for learning and are aspirational for their futures and see learning as a route to maximising their life’s chances.
Individuals who value and respect one another and demonstrate Highweek’s values.
Means of Measuring Impact:
The curriculum is regularly reviewed, developed, monitored and evaluated by the Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team, subject leads, external advisers and governors, leading to improvements and innovation.
Subject leaders take responsibility for ensuring coverage, progression and standards through long and medium-term planning, promoting the subject and developing the teaching methodology and securing high quality resources. They regularly monitor and evaluate learning, teaching and the curriculum.
Planning is detailed, regular and collaborative and prepares teachers so they provide a coherent, personalised learning experience.
Assessment is both formative and summative and progress and attainment are regularly tracked and followed up in termly Pupil Progress meetings. Our assessment policy sets out how we use assessment to measure impact.
The school puts high importance on sport and healthy lifestyles. We are committed to ensuring that pupils can access a broad range of provision and sports through our curriculum and extended school provision. We have a sports coach and a good range of facilities. Sporting activities are also set up at lunchtimes and after school to encourage purposeful physical activity. Year 5 children support this in their leadership roles as playleaders, encouraging participation and collaboration. Daily Physical Activity (DPA) for all pupils supplements our PE curriculum.
At the beginning of each term, parents are sent a newsletter explaining the work that their child will be covering and how they can help. Early in the Autumn term parents are invited into school to meet the teacher and discuss the year ahead.
Work at home
We recognise that collaboration between home and school is essential. From the earliest days in school parents are encouraged to share books with their children and to hear them read as they become more able to read for themselves.
With the aim building a partnership between parents and the school and engaging curiosity, at the start of each topic ‘preview learning’ is given to children. Preview learning is to allow children and parents to research topics and areas of the curriculum that they will next access, giving the children the opportunity to have a “head start” in their knowledge and understanding of that area, allowing the learning to move on at a quicker pace. The length of the preview learning will depend on the area of the curriculum. It can be set on a weekly basis, or one area can last several weeks. Preview learning is always celebrated throughout the school on display in the class room and corridors.
Assessment and testing
Assessment forms a daily part of our work. To help the children to learn we need to know what each child can do so that we can plan for the next stage. We are making assessments when we hear a child read, when they read what they have written, when they talk about their work, when we watch them in P.E. or when they are building a model and so on. Sometimes these assessments are recorded for later use. Often they are acted upon straight away, for example by asking a question to help a child understand an idea more clearly.
All children will experience language at the heart of an ambitious and engaging curriculum. The curriculum will inspire curiosity and ignite a joy for discovery and learning. The curriculum will develop children’s love of books, reading and vocabulary with a key focus on creativity and imagination. The curriculum will ensure all children feel valued, respected and cared for as well as become happy and confident as independent learners and leave our Early Years Centre ready to enjoy future learning. The curriculum will have clear progression across all areas of learning from entry to the end of Reception, from which all children’s next steps will be made.
We have developed a curriculum that supports a Repeat, Revisit and Rehearse process to ensure learning is embedded. All areas of learning will be covered in greater depth to develop long term memory, deepening understanding and consolidating skills as opposed to lots of subject areas in a superficial way. The learning each half term is built into Nuggets of Knowledge that link to learning in Key Stage 1, this ensures children are prepared and have the knowledge and skills they need to engage and progress confidently.
We have 6 umbrella topics to be covered throughout the year, these will be visited in both Nursery and repeated in Reception. The topics are loose and can take which ever direction the children and their interests take them. However, highly skilled staff will guide their learning using their knowledge and understanding of child development and required outcomes to use each child’s play to develop their knowledge and skills. Through recognising where a child’s learning is currently and recognising appropriate next steps, staff will be able to push learning forward and use this to plan future learning. Staff will have a strong understanding of each child’s individual need and be able to scaffold learning steps that are appropriate and supportive.
The areas of learning are embedded within the environment. These are continuously developed and changed linked to skills, knowledge and interests of the children however always readily available for children’s independent learning due to our school non-negotiable provision.
Language is at the heart of our curriculum. Each umbrella topic has planned vocabulary linked to Key Stage One and Two’s Tier vocabulary, to be taught and encouraged within the environment and by trained staff. Children’s use of new vocabulary is celebrated by becoming a word wizard. Language can be seen throughout our setting and consistent encouragement by all to use of key vocabulary promotes its use.
Each of the 6 umbrella topics have linked texts to develop language as well as a love of reading and storytelling – these will be available for children to access within the environment but also to be shared by adults and peers to celebrate the joy that reading brings. These are part of our who school reading spine.
The curriculum is accessed through the environment both inside and outside, interactions and adult directed learning in small groups or whole class. Real life experiences will be provided as well as celebrations of children’s learning at home. The characteristics of effective learning are at the forefront of decision making when providing provision and are celebrated within our environment by the use of our Achieveasaurs.
Observations and assessments will be used continuously to ensure up to date knowledge of the children’s attainment as well as direct the next steps in learning, as well as directing which way the curriculum travels and the provision provided. However, the steps of progression will remain. Children will have one formal observation which will be taken each week for each child via Tapestry.
Children will be ready to transition to year one as confident, happy independent learners having developed the skills to explore and enjoy learning.
Children will have the language and vocabulary needed to access future learning as well as continue to develop their curiosity, creativity as individuals.
If you would like more information about learning and the curriculum please speak with your child's class teacher.