Here at The Hill we believe in delivering a broad and balanced, knowledge-rich curriculum that allows our pupils to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to make informed choices.
We do this through teaching subjects discreetly, with an emphasis on supporting pupils to make connections across themes within the same subject, and across subjects. This allows our children to deepen their knowledge and understanding of concepts and themes and make effective links. Research has shown that this is extremely important if children are to make progress and retain the information that they are taught.
We also put great emphasis on our pupils acquiring the thinking skills that they need to become life-long learners and overcome challenges throughout their lives. Through the P4C approach, we foster the 4Cs – creative, critical, caring and collaborative thinking – empowering our children to question and think critically in a supportive and collaborative environment.
Empowering children in a life full of choices
To give children the knowledge and power to make informed choices through the deliverance of a curriculum that gives children the knowledge and understanding of the world that they live in, including an understanding of themselves and to begin to shape their place in the world.
May your choices reflect your hope, not your fears.
Curriculum aims –
Here at The Hill Primary Academy we aim to:
- Build a community within school with family values.
- Champion a culture of tolerance and mutual respect.
- Provide a safe, secure and caring environment in which to work and learn.
- Deliver inspirational and accountable leadership at all levels.
- Ensure decisions are made from knowledge, love, truth and hope.
- Strive for consistently high academic standards for every individual.
- Believe in every individual.
- Always deliver high quality, inspirational and innovative teaching and learning.
- Design and deliver a curriculum that is relevant, knowledge rich and empowering to our children.
- Promote a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.
- Create, innovative, exciting and memorable experiences inside and outside the classroom.
- Foster mindfulness and well-being of all.
- Support pupils to find the keys to open doors and create pathways.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence
The school’s curriculum drivers underpin the learning experiences that pupils receive. These drivers should be considered when planning a unit of work for pupils to develop their knowledge in a specific subject area.
- Healthy body, healthy mind
- Celebrating diversity
- Knowledge of the world
- Basic skills
It is our choices that show us who we really are…not our abilities.(J.K.Rowling)
Aims of the English Curriculum
Here at The Hill, we strongly believe in giving children a wide range of language learning experiences, building on the foundations of oral language. We recognise pupil’s individuality, taking their personal experience into consideration by celebrating and acknowledging the differences in their linguistic and cultural backgrounds. We see the essential role parents in have in the development of their children’s language learning and encourage them to take an active role in this journey.
Our main aims of our English curriculum is to provide all pupils with a language rich environment that promotes a culture of reading and writing, developing their range and understanding of vocabulary. We aim to develop a love of books and high-quality literature that will not only support learning across the curriculum, but also extend beyond the classroom environment and enrich our children’s lives. We understand the importance of teaching children the craft of writing in order to develop the confidence and skills to write well for a range of purposes and audiences.
At The Hill Primary Academy, we follow the Ruth Miskin ‘Read, Write, Inc.’ scheme.
‘Read Write Inc. Phonics teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step.’ – RWI website 2020.
Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.
They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases. Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice.
Children begin their phonics journey at the start of KS1, and are supported to ensure they make sufficient progress to become fluent readers. RWI interventions do however take place for children who cannot read fluently in KS1 and LKS2 (Y3/4) or for any children who are assessed at a point below where they would be expected to be.
For guided reading sessions, we mainly use the Reciprocal Reading approach to gaining understanding from a text. These sessions run three days a week within a separate reading session focusing on a range of high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Reciprocal reading is a structured method of guided reading where children are gradually taught to take on group roles to explore and find meaning in texts. This approach emphasises teamwork and supports independent comprehension skills. Teachers then plan a further two lessons per week which aim to support children in other reading domain areas.
Writing and Grammar
For writing, teachers carefully plan writing linked to a high-quality text using model sequences from the Literacy Tree scheme of work, ensuring that there is a purposeful outcome to each piece of writing. The Literary Curriculum is a complete, thematic approach to the teaching of primary English that places children’s literature at its core. In order to ensure that all pupils learn to be confident writers we encourage children to write creatively whilst teaching key writing skills explicitly and systematically. Writing takes place daily within English lessons and in other lessons linked to the wider curriculum. Grammar objectives are taught explicitly within a separate slot to ensure children have the necessary tools to support them within their writing sessions.
We make use of Same Day Intervention to ensure children do not progress through school with gaps in their learning. Teachers will identify children who would benefit from SDI from assessment for learning during the lesson and the marking of learning.
In Reception, children are assessed in their early literacy development against the ‘Development Matters’ goals.
Teachers are expected to assess children’s independent writing on a regular basis (at least 3 times per term). Teacher should use the Astrea writing assessment grids to assess writing apart from in years 2 and 6 where the Teacher Assessment Frameworks are used. Independent writing will take the form of an edited and published piece, where children have had time to respond to marking and re-draft their work.
Aims of the Math Curriculum
At The Hill, maths is taught using a mastery approach ensuring children access the three strands of the 2014 maths curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving. We follow the Power Maths long term overview to ensure we have full coverage of the small steps that the children need. Power Maths is a DfE recommended scheme that teachers use to supplement whole class teaching and independent practice. This resource is used in conjunction with other materials such as White Rose, NCETM spine documents and Nrich to personalize learning and to encourage children to think deeply about each concept. Most objectives are taught through a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach which encourages the majority of children to progress at broadly the same pace. The school’s calculation policies are tailored to meet the needs of the pupils and strengthen their arithmetic skills.
Here at The Hill, we take key skills –including multiplication facts – very seriously as they are the foundation stones of secure mathematical understanding. A long-term overview is in place to ensure the correct year groups are taught the correct skills, allowing time for revision and deeper thinking to address any gaps in learning. Teachers continue to teach using the C-P-A approach rather than simply rely on rote learning. It is important that pupils understand and make connections between key facts before they can recall them quickly. Only when pupils are ready, do teachers begin to assess multiplication skills using the school’s ‘Space Race’ program. Children will receive a ‘mission log’ in each year group which details the key skills they need to master. These are tested in quick quiz fashion and teachers continually check for understanding in order for all children to keep up. Years 2-6 use Times Tables Rock Star games to practice quick recall of multiplication tables and Y4 have targeted practice of ‘Sound Check’ which emulates the governments MTC. Nursery and Reception lay the groundwork for exceptional key skills learning, by practising concepts in continuous provision supported by Power Math materials.
Fluency in arithmetic is crucial to ensuring children can apply their learning to other contexts. Arithmetic skills are practised every day using our ‘Flashback Fluency’ program which uses the principals of ‘Retrieval Practice’ to keep skills ‘warm’. As mentioned above, the school’s calculation policies are tailored to meet the needs of the pupils and strengthen their arithmetic skills.
We make use of Same Day Intervention to ensure children do not progress through school with gaps in their learning. Teachers will identify children who would benefit from SDI from assessment for learning during the lesson and the marking of learning. Children with particular weaknesses in math are also able to access specific key skill interventions. We currently use Number Stacks and 1st Class @ Number.
To enable teachers to accurately assess children’s starting points, we use a cold task at the beginning of each unit. These quizzes give teachers useful information about children’s levels of understanding so that lessons can be pitched appropriately. End of unit assessments (hot tasks) are used to identify any remaining gaps in learning. If a teacher identifies a gap in a child’s learning, the child will be placed in a strengthen intervention and given another opportunity to grasp the concept.
Please click on the links below to access the ‘What is Power Maths’ leaflet and the Department for Education Mathematics Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
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