Curriculum statement. September 2018
The National Curriculum sets out what children should be taught and schools may choose how they organise their school curriculum to cover the programmes of study. Children in their reception year follow the Foundation Stage.
At Holy Trinity First School we aim to provide the children with a curriculum which is broad, well balanced and above all stimulates the children to learn. In addition to acquiring skills and knowledge we aim to help the children to grow in confidence and maturity so that they can enter middle school, and later, adulthood with the ability to pursue wholeheartedly, academic social and cultural activities.
We deliver programmes of study that meet the National Curriculum requirements issued by the DfE. This National Curriculum is comprised of three core subjects; English, mathematics, science and foundation subjects, history, geography, design and technology, art, music, physical education (PE), computing, modern foreign language (in KS2) and religious education;
The teaching of religious education is statutory in all schools. It is taught as a subject outside the National Curriculum and follows the Newcastle Diocese syllabus.
At Holy Trinity we place great emphasis on maths and English as these underpin many of the other aspects of the taught curriculum. Both maths and English are taught in line with the new National Curriculum introduced in September 2014. To enable children to see the relevance of these frameworks, and engage them fully in the learning process, opportunities are regularly sought to apply many of the skills to real life situations.
Whilst the core subjects are taught on a regular basis the foundation subjects may be taught as blocks of work over a matter of weeks. This programme is regularly reviewed to ensure compatibility with new directives or to make necessary improvements to the existing programme of work. The new National Curriculum was introduced in September 2014.
At Holy Trinity we seek to create opportunities for children to experience and excel in a range of activities that enhance and extend the National Curriculum. Children have opportunities both inside and outside the classroom eg sporting events, visiting speakers, trips and much more. We also have an excellent range of after school clubs.
When children leave Holy Trinity at the end of Y4, they should be equipped with the full range of skills that enable them to become lifelong learners.
The English curriculum is delivered using a range of resources and the Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING:
Speaking, listening, group discussion and drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Philosophy for Children is effectively used as a way to develop communication skills and weekly assemblies give children an audience to practice those skills.
Reading is a vitally important part of education and is given very high priority. Reading is taught in shared and guided reading groups and we expect parents to support their children through regular practice at home. Each child has a reading record book which logs books they have read and records comments about their reading. Parents and teaching staff write in this book. Our book banded reading scheme is based on Oxford Reading Tree and operates across the school. Children work their way through the schemes and when they are ready, become “free readers”. Find out more about the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.
WRITING and SPELLING:
Children are given daily opportunities to write within a range of genres and across the curriculum. This gives them the opportunity to become fluent and confident writers. Writing is taught in guided groups and extended writing is encouraged. Children are taught cursive writing when they are ready so that they develop a comfortable writing style.
Every half term, samples of independent extended writing are used to assess progress.
We teach phonics through a programme called Read Write Inc in reception and KS1; in KS2 Read Write Inc is used as an intervention strategy. Children from Y1 to Y4 are given lists of spellings each week to learn at home.
The maths curriculum is delivered using a range of resources including Assertive Maths; the Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
Maths is taught in four strands: Data Handling, Shape Space and Measure, Number and Using and Applying.
We aim to provide all pupils with direct teaching every day, which is oral, interactive and stimulating. Teaching styles and lesson structure provide opportunities for pupils to consolidate their previous learning, use and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills, pose and ask questions, investigate mathematical ideas, reflect on their own learning and make links with other work. We promote mental calculations and opportunities for investigations.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. This is a spur to critical and creative thought. Through science, pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change – impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving the quality of life. Pupils recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its world-wide development. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
At Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate.
At Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.
Art and Design contributes to the development of the whole child emotionally, aesthetically, physically, socially and cognitively. It provides all children with the opportunity to express themselves imaginatively, creatively and develop their understanding of, and respond to the world around them. Pupils are exposed to many visual, tactile and sensory experiences. Holy Trinity First School enables pupils to become involved in, enjoy and appreciate the visual arts and how it can enrich their personal lives. They learn the part that art and design plays in their own and others’ lives, in contemporary life and in different times and cultures. Their own art is celebrated through display and exhibitions. Our school is art mark registered.
Design and Technology provides our children with an opportunity to tackle problems of a practical nature. The cross curricular nature of Design and Technology offers a setting for the children to apply knowledge and skills from a number of other subjects including art, language, maths and science. Skills are developed using tools and machines in designing and making artefacts and food products with an emphasis on healthy living. Working with a variety of materials aims to help children learn important life skills. Children learn independently and in groups, learning to co-operate, plan, design and make and evaluate their work. They learn to make their own decisions with help and encouragement.
In Holy Trinity history is taught mainly through a topic based approach and gives the children a chance to explore a wide range of sources from which the past may come alive.
The children are encouraged to become detectives and investigate various sources which enable them to compare, contrast and examine why things have changed. They are encouraged to be enquiring thinkers understanding cause and effect and links between past and modern times.
Children investigate and record their findings through literacy, drama, art and ICT. We encourage first-hand experiences wherever possible and visits, workshops and visiting experts all play an important role in the learning experience.
We aim to develop the children’s knowledge of people and places and their understanding of the physical, social and economic forces which shape those places and the people who live there.
For us, geography begins in the local environment and then extends out into the wider world. The studies include cities, rivers and counties of the UK and then stretches into continents, oceans, rivers and mountain ranges in Europe and other parts of the world. Topics include volcanoes, the water cycle, coasts and comparing and contrasting world environments. Children are taught the mapping skills of location, symbols, scale, perspective and map use.
We hope that through their studies the children will become more aware of the cultural and environmental diversity of the world and the future problems we may face.
All children are provided with at least two hours of physical education per week and all children from Years 1 to 4 are given the opportunity to attend an extra curricular club which involves some sort of physical activity. This includes clubs which give less active children the opportunity to participate in physical activity. Over and above this all children in Years 1 to 4 have a swimming lesson every week.
Throughout the year external coaches come into school to run sports sessions with all age groups and provide staff with CPD opportunities. All sports are fully inclusive and we have a system in place in KS2 to track children's participation in School Games activities. We also have links with a number of local sports clubs. We run a number of intra-school sporting competitions and regularly participate in local inter-school competitions.
The school sporting year ends with a whole school Sports Day and a separate School Games Day which the Year 4 children help organise and run.
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
In Key Stage 1 pupils are taught to:
- Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
- Play tuned and untuned instruments musically
- Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
- Experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music
In Key Stage 2 pupils are taught to:
- Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
- Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
- Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
- Use and understand staff and other musical notations
- Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
- Develop an understanding of the history of music
We offer a range of musical tuition; whole class (violin), groups (steel pan) and individual lessons with peripatetic tutors. We have a long established relationship with The Sage Gateshead and we run an annual steel pan project for children and adults which ends in a performance. We also produce an annual summer show in The Maltings theatre involving all children from nursery to Y4.
We are a Church of England Aided School and place an emphasis on the teaching of religious education which has a central place in our school. The school follows the Diocesan syllabus for RE. While we recognise the right of parents to withdraw their child from RE lessons, it is anticipated that all children will take a full role in these lessons.
Modern Foreign Language
In Holy Trinity, French is taught in Years 3 and 4, this is consistent with Berwick Middle School, enabling the children to make substantial progress in one language. We do, however, focus on teaching skills which will be transferable to learning different languages in the future.
Children are taught through original fairy tales, conversation, role-play, games, songs, rhymes and computer programmes.
There is now a great deal of emphasis on the use of ICT and, in particular, computer skills to enhance the learning in all the subjects of the curriculum. We have sets of laptops and ipads and are continually looking to use a variety of computer programs to supplement the diverse nature of the curriculum. We aim to enable all the children to become competent and confident users of ICT.
Our topic plans for each year group can be seen here:
For more information our our curriculum please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org