Humshaugh First School Curriculum
What are we trying to achieve?
At Humshaugh C of E (Aided) First School, we want our children to be happy, confident learners. Every aspect of their development is important to us. We provide unique learning experiences in a supportive, nurturing environment to create a ‘level playing field’ that strives to enable our children to succeed and achieve their potential. We want our pupils to be independent and resilient and have a ‘can do’ attitude. We do this by providing experiences that challenge them, develop their problem solving skills and help them respond positively to obstacles or mistakes.
Our curriculum is carefully constructed to ensure all pupils gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes to raise their aspirations and equip them for their future lives.
Clearly identified, transferable concepts and skills are taught, along with memorable activities and lots of fun along the way. We want our children to love everything about learning; to relish it and want more.
We consider our local context and plan carefully to address current priorities. We plan a curriculum to give our pupils an understanding of what life is like beyond Northumberland – in Britain and in other parts of the world. We want our children, who come from a variety of backgrounds and have different needs, to have equal opportunities, to learn tolerance, respect and to have ambition. In the modern world we live in, we need to educate the children to embrace technology and use it wisely. Reading, writing, oracy and mathematics are important core skills needed for future life; our teaching in these areas is designed to inspire, give enjoyment and confidence.
We believe in a curriculum that gives our children a well-rounded education. Our love of outdoor learning through Forest School and Performing /Visual Arts enhances all aspects of learning – academic, social, emotional and personal development.
We want our community (and beyond) to know Humshaugh children and be impressed by their knowledge, articulacy, respect and ambition.
We are continually reviewing and improving our curriculum which evolves according to the needs of our children and to the aspirations of the staff and community.
Our school curriculum is underpinned by values we hold dear at our school. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.
Our school is in full agreement with the values statement included in the introduction to The National Curriculum Handbook for Primary Teachers in England. These are the main values of our school, upon which we have based our curriculum:
We value the way in which all children are unique, and our curriculum promotes respect for the views of each individual child, as well as for people of all cultures. We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
We value the importance of each person in our community. We organise our curriculum so that we promote co-operation and understanding between all members of our community.
We value the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We aim to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all the children in our school.
We value our environment, and we aim, through our curriculum, to teach respect for our world, and how we should care for it for future generations, as well as our own.
We value parents and work in partnership with them to enrich the curriculum. Parents are informed about the curriculum through parent meetings, newsletters, the school website, superstar collective worship and homework, and are positively encouraged to become involved.
Aims and Objectives
The aims which underpin our school curriculum are:
to enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability;
to promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school, and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
to fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Locally Agreed syllabus for Religious Education;
to teach children the basic skills of English, Maths and Computing, enabling them to:
use and apply English skills in their learning and everyday contexts;
be able to communicate their ideas and opinions both creatively and critically;
use and apply mathematics confidently and competently in their learning, in everyday contexts and to solve problems;
use and apply computing skills in their learning and other contexts, selecting relevant skills and resources.
to enable children to be creative through art, dance, music, drama and design technology;
to enable children to be healthy individuals who enjoy sport and appreciate the importance of and take responsibility for a healthy lifestyle.
to teach children about their developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time;
to enable children to be positive citizens in society and to feel that they can make a difference;
to enable children to understand and respect other cultures;
to teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to understand right from wrong;
to help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all;
to enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to be able to live and work co-operatively with others;
Organisation and Planning
We aim to provide a curriculum that is both challenging and engaging. To achieve this, topics are used to link subjects together; however, some English skills (SPaG) are developed separately and then used in all topics to communicate meaning. In most cases, mathematical understanding is taught separately although links are made where relevant and possible.
At Humshaugh First School we are keen to develop opportunities for children to apply their learning in different ways. Providing enterprising activities within the curriculum enables children to apply their learning in a range of different contexts, drawing upon a range of skills. Whenever possible, we are keen for children to identify any gaps in their learning. We encourage children to be resilient and persevere when correcting and improving work. At Humshaugh First School we are keen for children to experience ‘learning to learn’, recognising that failing is part of the learning process. We aim to encourage and foster a’ have a go’ mentality.
As part of the curricular planning, we endeavour to enrich our topic plans through visiting speakers, workshops and educational visits both locally and further afield, using our Forest School where we can to provide an alternative learning base to the classroom.
We plan our curriculum in three phases, a long term plan, medium term plan and weekly plans. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage. This indicates which topics are taught in each term and is reviewed on an annual basis. Our medium-term plans give a clear overview of the objectives and teaching strategies we use when teaching each topic. Short-term plans are those our teachers write on a weekly or daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each session, and to identify what resources and activities we are going to use in the lesson.
Throughout the school we adopt a creative topic approach to curriculum planning. We plan the curriculum carefully, so that there is coherence and full coverage of all aspects of the National Curriculum and early learning goals. Care is taken to ensure there is planned progression in all curriculum areas.
Children with Special Needs
The curriculum in our school is designed to provide access and opportunity for all children who attend the school. If we think it necessary to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of individual children, then we do so only after the parents of the child have been consulted.
If a child has a special need, our school does all it can to meet their individual needs. We comply with the requirements set out in the SEND Code of Practice in providing for children with special needs. If a child displays signs of having special needs, his/her teacher makes an assessment of this need. In most instances the teacher is able to provide resources and educational opportunities which meet the child’s needs within the normal class organisation. If a child’s need is more severe, we consider the child for an Education, Health and Care Plan, where a coordinated assessment involving a number of agencies is carried out. We provide additional resources and support for children with special needs.
The Foundation Stage
The curriculum that we teach in the Foundation Stage class meets the requirements set out in the Statutory Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our curriculum planning focuses on the seven areas of learning. There are three prime areas; Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Additional to this are the four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied. These specific areas are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Our school fully supports the principle that young children learn through play, and by engaging in well-planned structured activities. Teaching in the Foundation Stage builds on the experiences of the children in their pre-school learning. We do all we can to build positive partnerships with parents. During the children’s first term in school, their teacher begins to assess each child. This assessment provides important information and is used to plan future targets for children.
We are well aware that all children need the support of parents and teachers to make good progress in school. We strive to build positive links with the parents with regular parent teacher consultations and an open door policy. This relationship is nurtured throughout their time in Foundation Stage and on into KS1 and KS2.
Monitoring and Review
Our Governing Body’s Strategic Development Committee is responsible for monitoring the way the school curriculum is implemented.
The Head teacher is responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum and monitors the curriculum through planning, work scrutiny and classroom observations.
If you would like to find out more about our School Curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact us.