Curriculum

Curriculum Information

Each term we send home curriculum newsletters and maps (see letters home page) which outline the topics covered within all subjects for the term ahead.  If you have questions about the curriculum please talk to your child's class teacher.  

The Curriculum is all the learning and experiences, formal and informal, which a school provides for pupils.  This is a summary of the curriculum at Childs Hill.  Further details are available in our Teaching & Learning policy. 

At Childs Hill our aim is to:

  • Give children the skills, knowledge and attitudes to lead a rich and fulfilling life
  • Lays the foundations for lifelong learning
  • Nurture and develop well rounded, capable and caring individuals 

In order to achieve the above we need to ensure children:

  • Have firm foundations of basic skills which they can use and apply across scenarios
  • Have access and the opportunity for all individuals to achieve their potential
  • Have a broad range of exciting and creative opportunities to discover and nurture their individual talents
  • Understand the distinctive nature of the different disciplines that enable them to become a specialist in a particular area e.g. a mathematician, or an artist etc
  • Develop a set of core human values which underpin SMSC development and their sense of uniqueness and self-worth as an individual.
  • Develop an awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating and exercise

The Childs Hill Primary School curriculum consists of:

  • The National Curriculum core and foundation subjects which are taught through a relevant, contextual and inspiring creative curriculum
  • RE, PSHEe and SRE which are taught through stand alone lessons
  • SMSC which is embedded across the curriculum through lessons, assemblies and trips
  • Key skills framework and growth mindset promoted through all subjects
  • Theme days and assemblies to celebrate and recognise key festivals and events
  • A range of extracurricular activities which include creative and physical opportunities
  • In EYFS a creative and fluid curriculum meeting the 7 areas of learning using indoor and outdoor areas. For more information see the EYFS Handbook.

The curriculum is planned to provide continuity and progression across the school. By developing our own schemes of work we have ensured that the children have a range of relevant learning experiences that challenge, stimulate and promote thinking and learning. Teachers will link subjects wherever appropriate and relevant; the curriculum will not be constrained by subject boundaries. Our curriculum meets statutory requirements.

English

English is at the heart of all teaching in Childs Hill School. Teachers develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. It is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Care and attention is spent ensuring all children have access to learning and developing the English language as fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.

Speaking & Listening

Pupils are taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. Through all areas of the curriculum they are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This enables them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing. English is a subject where children learn of the importance of spoken and written language which is taught daily at Childs Hill School.

Writing

Teachers at Childs Hill School use a range of stimuli, including music, art, film, drama and high quality texts to inspire writing. The focus is always outcome led, so the writing is meaningful to the children. For example, if they were writing instructions, they may be making step-by-step guide on how to make catapults! A diary entry may begin with a visit to the Victorian School to provide more inspiration for the children as they get a first-hand taste of what life was like. Writing is encouraged and well-planned throughout our curriculum to ensure that the learning is meaningful and has a purpose for the children. Children are given the opportunity to write independently and at length throughout the course of an English topic. There is a big focus on teaching children how to plan and structure their ideas as well as how to edit their work. Children are part of the process in identifying what makes a good piece of writing and as a result they are then able to check their work against the success criteria and respond to feedback marking.

Spellings are taught through phonics and the discrete teaching of spelling patterns. All children are given a list of spellings to learn and home and are tested on them weekly.

Handwriting is taught across the school through the ‘Penpals’ scheme in discrete lessons.  They are taught letter formation and how to join the letters. When ‘publishing’ their writing for their English portfolios children use all of these areas of writing to make their writing a piece to be proud of. 

Reading

All children enjoy participating in Guided Reading where they explore a variety of books in depth. They discuss meaning and form opinions both independently and with an adult's support. Children are asked a range of questions from predicting what they think might happen in the story to how the author has created an atmosphere in the story. Teachers use fiction and non-fiction reading books and assess ‘word reading’ as well as comprehension of the text read. We have recently made a huge investment in our school library where we have refreshed all our books and have a new system whereby class teachers will be able to track exactly what children have been reading. Children continue to enjoy books at home, sharing their feelings and thoughts in a reading record. In the early years and KS1, children follow a Phonics programme that supports their spelling, writing and reading. At Childs Hill School we warmly welcome reading volunteers. Many of our parents offer their support to the school by listening to children read.

Mathematics

Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. Mathematics education in primary school provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity.  Mathematics is a powerful means of communication in the modern world by which we can convey thoughts and ideas. Information and concepts within mathematics can be presented through numbers, letters, drawings charts and diagrams. 

Science

A scientist studies the world with curiosity, seeking an understanding of natural phenomena through enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Therefore children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.

Science knowledge and understanding is specifically developed through biology, chemistry and physics.

Computing

As computing underpins today’s modern lifestyle it is essential that all pupils gain the confidence and ability, that they need in this subject, to prepare them for the challenge of a rapidly developing and changing technological world. The use of computing will also enhance and extend children’s learning across the whole curriculum whilst developing motivation and social skills.

The new Computing curriculum is split into three areas of study, which are: Programming 50%, Information and Communication 25% and E-safety 25%.  Children are taught computing skills during a discrete session, however more computing opportunities are provided in a cross curricular way: This is recorded in topic planning.  

Geography

A geographer studies the world, looking at how places have been and are shaped by people, climate and the natural environment. Geographers do not study only the details of the natural environment or human society, but they also study the reciprocal relationship between these two. For example, they study how the natural environment contributes to the human society and how the human society affects the natural environment. Geography knowledge and understanding is developed specifically through the use of maps and map work, field studies and comparing different localities. 

History

History is about people, cultures and places of the past and how we know about them.  It fires pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world.  Children consider how the past influences the present; what past societies were like; how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, pupils develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.  In History pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions.  To do this they need to be able to research, work through evidence and use this to prove their point of view.

Music

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. It captivates and inspires generation after generation and so the expressive nature of music provides an opportunity for our children to learn in many different ways. Whether a child chooses to pick up an instrument or simply engage in group singing assemblies, the essence of music encourages creative thinkers and promotes success among our learners. 

Religious Education

The UK has a rich heritage of culture and diversity. Religion and belief for many people forms a crucial part of their culture and identity. Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. RE contributes to pupils’ personal development and well-being: It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development, deepening the understanding of the significance of religion in the lives of others – individually, communally and cross-culturally. The RE subject matter gives particular opportunities to promote an ethos of respect for others, challenge stereotypes and build understanding of other cultures and beliefs.

The school community provides a positive context within which the diversity of cultures, beliefs and values can be celebrated and explored.  At Childs Hill we recognise and celebrate different religious festivals through assemblies, theme days and lessons. During our half day RE sessions we explore different whole school topics and themes which cover the principal religions in the UK. Key topics within themes include:  festivals, places of worship, holy books and the story of creation. The RE lessons centre around discussion and debate, role play and stories, giving all children the chance to speak and express their opinions.

Design and Technology

Children are entitled to a technological and practical understanding as we help to prepare them for the rapidly changing technological world of the 21st century. Children need to be able to think creatively and to problem solve using a range of activities and skills, both as individuals and collaboratively, as part of a group.  A combination of building on prior knowledge and first hand, meaningful experience is essential to the learning experience in a DT classroom. To compliment this, teaching must aim to foster enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making. DT is a subject that can be both taught alone as an individual subject, but also can be integrated into all other areas of the curriculum.

Art

Art and design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Children become involved in shaping their environments through art and design activities. They learn to make informed judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions. They explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers. Through learning about the roles and functions of art, they can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and that of different times and cultures. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives.

Languages

Learning a foreign language empowers children to connect with the wider world, awakening their curiosity, deepening their understanding, and building their confidence to take their place as global citizens- eventually opening doors for them to study, live and work in other countries.  In teaching a foreign language we help children become independent learners, developing personal strategies to master the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.  The focus is on meaningful communication, expressing ideas and responding to others, providing opportunities to communicate for practical purposes.  The grammar which underpins the language is presented as a valuable tool, to be confidently manipulated as a key to independent expression, as well as providing the foundation for learning further languages.  Through first-hand contact with the target country, its culture and authentic literature, children learn to compare and contrast experiences and reflect on their own.  Many of our pupils are already fluent speakers of other languages and we celebrate this and use this in our lessons.

Physical Education

Childs Hill School recognises the vital contribution of physical education to a child’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional development as well as the role it can play in a child’s spiritual, moral and cultural development. We believe that a high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. Our curriculum aims to provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in their ability to manage themselves and their bodies within a variety of movements. Through a balance of individual, paired and group activities, we aim to cater for the different strengths, needs and preferences of each child, using differentiated activities where appropriate. We firmly believe that all children love some aspect of PE and it’s our duty to find and nurture that enjoyment so all children move on to secondary school with raised self-esteem surrounding PE. We believe that through the variety of opportunities that PE offers, children can develop a sense of personal achievement, fair play, teamwork and an understanding of the ways in which sport can transcend social and cultural boundaries. We have a range of opportunities for pupils to compete in sport and other activities that build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. Our curriculum ensures all children have access to competitive games, dance and gymnastics.

Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHEe)

PSHEe enables children to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future.  As part of a whole Childs Hill School approach, PSHE education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. The benefits to children of such an approach are numerous as PSHEe prepares them to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up in such rapidly changing and challenging times. It also helps them to connect and apply the knowledge and understanding they learn in all subjects to practical, real-life situations while helping them to feel safe and secure enough to fulfil their academic potential.