Curriculum

 

Heptonstall Curriculum

A “new” National Curriculum was launched by the DfE in September 2014. In the months leading up to this we looked at the curriculum already in place at Heptonstall School (which we launched in October 2010) and adapted it subject by subject to fit the new guidelines and recommendations of Curriculum 2014.

We will continue to use a thematic and creative approach to our curriculum at Heptonstall School. We adopted this approach in October 2010(Responding to the then DES requirements in Autumn 2010 for schools to modify and adapt the National Curriculum - our model is based on the recommended balance set out by Stubbs (1991) for the National Curriculum 1988 as modified in 2004).

This, in a nutshell, means we have looked at how many hours per school year we are expected to teach each foundation subject and, where appropriate, broken this down into a weekly value:

Key Stage 1

Science

4 x 1 weeks

History

3 x 2 weeks

Geography

3 x 2 weeks

RE

3 x 1 weeks

Music/Art/Drama

4 x 1 weeks

 

Key Stage 2

Science

6 x 1 weeks

History

5 x 2 weeks

Geography

4 x 2 weeks

RE

4 x 1 weeks

Music/Art/Drama

5 x 1 weeks

We therefore teach the curriculum through short topics that will have a foundation subject base. For example, a class may do a geography based topic for two weeks, followed by an art topic for a week, then a science topic for a week, then a history one for two weeks etc.

We look at the local values and needs of the children in designing our topic cycle.

As each class has two Year groups in it we have two yearly curriculum cycles – Year A and Year B.

You can see the whole year topic overviews for the academic year 2016 - 2017 by clicking on the links below.

 

Curriculum Topic Overview Class One 2016 - 2017

Curriculum Topic Overview Class Two 2016 - 2017

Curriculum Topic Overview Class Three 2016 - 2017

Curriculum Topic Overview Class Four 2016 – 2017

 

The subjects of our curriculum are taught as follows:

Literacy

We use the National Curriculum supplemented by the National Literacy Strategy to plan units of work for all children in years 1-6. These cover a broad mixture of areas. Poetry looks at different forms of poetry and poems from our own and other countries. Story writing includes ways to structure a story and ways to write for a particular audience. Non-narrative work includes report writing, instructions and recapping events.

Where appropriate literacy work is linked to our creative curriculum. Some literacy work, for example spelling and grammar, may not be linked to wider curriculum topics and will be taught independently.

On-going work is assessed by teachers using APP criteria and each child’s next steps in learning are planned accordingly. In Key Stage 2 we also use national tests as assessments.

In Key Stage 1 we use the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. Further advice for parents can be found in the DfE's phonics leaflet. A variety of reading schemes are used including Oxford Reading Tree, Super Phonics and Project X.

Support materials and programmes are used in each class as needed for any children who may need additional support.

 

Maths

The school follows and adapts the National Numeracy Strategy as set by the Government, however, in 2014 the curriculum was changed. The school has ensured that these changes have been incorporated into the curriculum. The strategy is broken down into individual ‘blocks’ and allows for progression across the age groups and Key Stages, the ‘blocks’ having been adapted to incorporate the 2014 curriculum.

In Key Stage 1 maths is, in the main, delivered as a discrete subject but will often overlap into other curriculum areas allowing the children to develop and use their knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of situations. Assessment is on-going and teachers will often make judgements on a daily basis which will influence their planning. There are opportunities for ‘end of block’ assessments. However, there is, at the end of each term, a formal assessment which is used to track the progression of individuals or groups of children. Also the Year 2 children have to take part in Key Stage 1 SAT’s, the results being reported to parents at the end of the academic year, also being used to target children before entrance to Key Stage 2.

Key Stage 2 follows the same principals as in Key Stage 1 with a similar format for assessments, with the children sitting a more formal test, SAT’s, in May. These are forwarded for external marking with results being available in June and published for public viewing. These results are used to make judgements of the schools performance and compares like for like schools.

 

Science

The school follows the advice as laid down by the Government in the new Science Programme of Study, with the modules spread equally between both Key Stages, allowing for continuous progression. Each class is to carry out an investigation at least once per half term.

In Key Stage 1 the modules are adapted to fit in with the current Creative Curriculum and the new Science Curriculum, thus ensuring a broad coverage across the age groups. Assessment is via teacher assessment, who will make judgements as regards the individual child’s level and report this to parents at both Parents Evenings and report at the end of the year.

In Key Stage 2, as with Key Stage 1, the modules are adapted to fit in with the Government’s and school’s curriculum, which ensures, that over the KS2 period all aspects of the curriculum are covered. However, in KS2 the lessons may be more discrete and delivered independently. Assessment is on-going and encompasses more vigorous comments in books and in depth questioning. A formal assessment is carried out at the end of each term, along with end of block assessments where applicable.

 

Computing

In KS1 the school follows the guidelines and modules as directed by the Government New Computing Curriculum, these follow a two-year rolling programme. Each module is designed to build on the children’s previous learning and to challenge and ensure progression to the next level. Assessment is continuous throughout the programme and is carried out by both staff and the children through self-evaluation. Children each have their own individual file and all work is stored in that file.

As in KS1, KS2 also follows the guidelines and modules as directed by the Government, these also follow a two-year rolling programme. As the children progress each module is designed to build on previous knowledge, understanding and the skills that they have developed. Assessment is continuous throughout the programme and is carried out by both staff and the children through self-evaluation. Children each have their own individual file and all work is stored in that file.

The programme has been reviewed in light of the forthcoming changes to Computing introduced in September 2014. We have now purchased Smithills scheme of work.

 

 

History

History lessons throughout the school are planned as themed topics which are either 1 or 2 weeks long. Resources, television and video, information packs both in school and from the Children’s’ Library Service, ICT software and library books are all used to support the subject. All planning is in line with current government legislation. Any fieldwork within and outside of the school grounds is carried out in line with the school’s Health and Safety policy. Teachers also take full account of guidance from the L.E.A. risk assessment for external visits and field trips. Teachers will assess pupils on a constant basis through observations, questioning and work produced. Progress is reported annually to parents.

KS1

In key stage 1, children will develop an awareness of the past. They will know where the people and events they study fit together. They will use a wide variety of historical vocabulary and will understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

KS2

In key stage 2, children will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. They will learn to use appropriate historical terms correctly. They will construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information and will understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

 

Geography

Geography lessons throughout the school are planned as themed topics which are either 1 or 2 weeks long. All planning is in line with current government legislation. Planning ensures that pupils meet new knowledge, gain new understanding and develop new skills appropriately. Any fieldwork within and outside of the school grounds is carried out in line with the school’s Health and Safety policy. Teachers also take full account of guidance from the L.E.A. risk assessment for external visits and field trips. Teachers will assess pupils on a constant basis through observations, questioning and work produced. Progress is reported annually to parents.

KS1

At Key Stage 1 pupils will develop their knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They will understand basic geographical vocabulary and begin to use geographical skills.

KS2

At Key Stage 2 pupils will extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of world’s human and physical features. They will develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

 

PE

The school organises PE by providing a framework in which six areas are covered evenly throughout the two Key Stages. This incorporates units of work in each area. Planning includes details of the area to be covered including lesson plans, based on current legislation, core tasks and Val Sabin schemes of work. The hall is timetabled so that each class has two booked sessions per week. There are frequent visits from external organisations, which allows the children to further develop both their skills and interest in specific sports. Outside the formal curriculum teachers and parents give generously of their time to enable children to participate in school sports clubs both during school time and after school. This also provides opportunity to take part in various sporting tournaments and matches after school. Teachers will assess pupils on a constant basis through observations. Progress is reported annually to parents.

KS1

In key stage 1, children will develop fundamental movement skills, balance and coordination, both individually and with others. They should be able to engage in competitive and co-operative activities, in a range of situations.

KS2

In key stage 2, children will continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills. They will enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They will also develop an understanding of how to improve in sports.

Swimming activities and water safety are covered in Key Stage 2 during Year 3 and 4, where the children attend swimming lessons at a local swimming pool for one term per school year.

 

Art

KS1

Throughout KS1 the children are involved in a wide variety of Art based topics. Examples of topics may be; Sewing, Sculpture, Collage, Print Making as well as focusing on specific Artists. As we are working within the Creative Curriculum there are often Art elements linked into other subjects and topics.

KS2

During KS2 children continue to work on a variety of practical Art skills alongside focus topics on individual artists. Examples of topics covered in KS2 may include; Van Gogh, Lowry and Still Life. The Creative Curriculum allows for art based activities to be included in other subject areas and topics.

The Art curriculum is planned based on National Guidelines. Progress is assessed by continuous teacher based assessment throughout any practical work.

 

Design and Technology

KS1

Throughout KS1 the children experience a number of Design Technology topics, due to the creative nature of the subject these topics are often incorporated with Art topics.

KS2

During KS2 children continue to work on a variety of practical Design Technology skills, which include researching, planning, making and evaluating. The Creative Curriculum allows for Design Technology based activities to be included in other subject areas and topics such as Art and Science.

Cooking activities are also planned, which can link to topics or events and festivals, depending on the time year.

The Design and Technology curriculum is planned based on National Guidelines. Progress is assessed by continuous teacher based assessment throughout any practical work.

 

French

Currently French is not taught as a discrete subject in Key Stage One. However, the language is introduced to the children on an ad hoc basis through themed activities and topics. For example “Le Tour de France” and “The European Day of Languages”.

The New National Curriculum, which the school will be following from autumn 2014, states that the teaching of a foreign language is compulsory in Key Stage Two. It aims to ensure that all pupils can understand and respond to the spoken and written foreign language, can speak with increasing confidence and can write at varying length. At Heptonstall School Years 3 and 4 are taught for 30 minutes a week by the language specialist and Years 5 and 6 for an hour by the Headteacher. At present planning is based on the LCP New Generation Primary French Scheme of Work which is supplemented with additional resources from the internet, Entre dans la ronde and 100+ Fun Idea for Practising Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom. Children are taught topics such as “All about Me”, “Tell me a story”, “What is the weather like?” in LKS2 to “Healthy Eating”, “Creating a café” and “What’s in the news” at UKS2. Themes within the topics are frequently revisited to reinforce and consolidate vocabulary as well as increase confidence and competence in speaking the language. The vast majority of lessons are oral and aural, with more emphasis on writing in UKS2. Currently methods of assessment are continuous and informal but the school is looking to introduce a more formal system based on a series of “I can” statements to ensure children progress in their French knowledge and skills as they move throughout the school.

 

R.E.

Heptonstall Junior, Infant and Nursery School is required by the 1988 Education Act to provide religious education for all pupils as part of their basic curriculum. A new RE syllabus has been published, effective as of autumn 2014, as the statutory curriculum for RE in Calderdale and Kirklees. The new curriculum has three broad aims; to know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, to express ideas and insights about questions of belief and meaning and to investigate and respond to important questions for individuals and the wider community.

Key Stage One will focus on two religions only: Christianity and Islam. Examples of the topics of study are: Special books and stories, Celebrating special occasions, How do people pray? and How do Christians and Muslims celebrate new life? At the end of each unit the teacher will assess each child however, statutory reporting to parents is required at the end of Year two based on whether the child is working above, below or at the expected level.

Key Stage Two will focus on four religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Examples of the topics of study are: What creation stories tell us about our world, What do Christians believe about a good life? Who can inspire us? and What words of wisdom guide us? for LKS2. For UK2: Why are some journeys and places special? Should we forgive others? What does it mean to be a Sikh? and What is important to Christians? Again, the teacher will assess each child at the end of every unit however, statutory reporting to parents is required at the end of Year 6 based on whether the child is working above, below or at the expected level.

 

Early Years

The early years curriculum is split into seven areas. These are:

  • Personal and social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

We use ‘Development Matters’ to plan the children’s learning. This describes expected development from birth to 60 months. The children learn from a combination of adult led activities and child centred play. These are planned using our knowledge of the children. Assessment is on-going. Adults observe the children during activities and play.

We split the year into topics of around 2 to 5 weeks. These cover a broad range of interests and include superheroes, fairy stories and traditional tales, ourselves, people who help us, dinosaurs, journeys, the seasons, cold lands, and minibeasts.

Policies

The following Curriculum Polices have all been revised and adapted (where appropriate) to ensure they are in line with Curriculum 2014.

Art Policy  Calculation Policy DT Policy 
English Policy   Foundation Stage Policy Geography Policy
History Policy  Mathematics Policy MFL Policy
Music Policy  PE Policy PHSME Policy
RE Policy  Science Policy  

 

Our Computing (+ e-Safety) Policy forms part of our Safeguarding Suite. You can see all the policies in this suite on our Policies Page.

 

The DfE National Curriculum can be downloaded here.