Our Curriculum 2017-2018
We are now following the new National Curriculum in all subjects in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Further details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum
At Walton Holymoorside we aim to deliver a curriculum which truly develops the whole child and helps every child to reach their potential in preparation for the next stage of their education and for their future as successful, responsible, caring citizens.
Our curriculum is underpinned by our mission statement:
Welcoming, Helping, Progressing, Smiling
Our ethos ensures every child in our care develops intellectually, physically, spiritually, aesthetically and socially. Key values for living are embedded in all aspects of the curriculum, including Fundamental British Values, as required by law.
We carefully plan our curriculum so that it is stimulating, creative and engaging; encouraging every child to really enjoy their learning, challenge themselves to achieve their best and thus gain a wide range of skills, knowledge and attributes.
In 2014, the Government introduced a ‘New National Curriculum’ which aimed to ensure that all children were introduced to the essential knowledge needed to be educated citizens, engendered an appreciation of human creativity and achievement and set out high expectations for every child. At WHPS we redesigned our ‘Learning Challenge’ curriculum to ensure we meet the requirements of the new curriculum, whilst maintaining our creative approach to teaching and learning. We take every opportunity to enrich the curriculum with outside providers, trips and visits, ‘wow’ days and whole school themed days and weeks. Extra-curricular clubs (e.g. science club), concerts and productions allow children to pursue individual interests and talents.
Our curriculum is fully inclusive ensuring all children access every aspect of the curriculum and progress in their learning and development, through skilled support, careful lesson planning and appropriate differentiation.
EYFS 1 and 2
The Early Years curriculum covers EYFS 1 (nursery) and EYFS 2 (reception). It is split into seven areas of learning, three prime areas and four specific areas
1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
2. Physical Development (PD)
3. Communication and Language (CL)
3. Understanding the world
4. Expressive arts and design
The curriculum is meticulously planned to excite and stimulate children’s learning and development; building on their own interests whilst ensuring they gain the key skills for transition to key stage 1. The curriculum is underpinned by a play-based approach, where children have access to all areas of learning within the classroom and in the outside learning area. Every day children have a phonics lesson, following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ and ‘Jolly Phonics’ schemes and are directly taught literacy or numeracy. They also have opportunities to discover for themselves through carefully planned play opportunities. The curriculum is based around four themes: the unique child, positive relationships, enabling environments and learning and development. Topics are planned in meticulous detail to take account of children’s interests and skilfully link all the areas of learning.
From 2017, Children are further encouraged to develop the ‘characteristics of effective learning’ through weekly challenge sessions and developing a ‘growth mindset’ approach- in line with the whole school. Key physical skills are developed continually, and specifically, through ‘Physical Fridays’.
The children are continually observed and assessed by teachers and teaching assistants, and planning is adapted, so that they progress rapidly towards achieving the ‘Early Learning Goals’.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 we follow an engaging creative curriculum where we link our work through termly topics. All children are taught English skills (reading, writing, grammar, spelling and punctuation) and mathematics skills, daily. All children have a daily phonics session, which is based on the national ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme and incorporates the LCP and Jolly Phonics schemes of work. Children have access to a range of colour-coded reading scheme books and have independent and guided reading sessions weekly. Children are encouraged to read a range of books for pleasure and research and develop their independent reading skills at school and at home. Our mathematics curriculum follows the requirements of the national curriculum and is aimed at developing a mastery approach. Through our chosen topics, we also teach science, history, geography, art/design, PE, music and computing. In addition, children are taught RE and develop their understanding of how to keep healthy, stay safe and become good, caring citizens. The topics are planned to take into account children’s interests but also to provide a broad knowledge base and ensure key skills are taught and learnt.
In 2017, in line with our whole school plan, children are being encouraged to adopt a ‘growth mindset’ attitude to their learning, to challenge themselves and gain greater independence.
Key stage 2
In Key Stage 2 children follow an exciting topic led, creative curriculum based on a curriculum focus, which may be geography, history or science. Topics are organised into upper and lower Key Stage 2 and are taught in a two-year cycle. Cycle B 2017-18.
All children are taught English and mathematics daily following the national curriculum expectations. Mathematics is taught using the mastery approach, with a greater emphasis on problem solving and reasoning. English units of work are based on a range of texts and genre, which are linked wherever possible to topic work. Grammar, punctuation and spelling are taught weekly. The ‘No Nonsense’ scheme is used to teach spelling. Reading for pleasure and research work is encouraged through guided reading, independent reading and guided comprehension sessions. Handwriting is taught and developed using the Nelson Handwriting scheme. Through the study of different topics and as specific lessons, children are also taught art and design, music, PE and computing. In addition, RE is taught and PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education). In Upper Key Stage 2 children are taught specifically about Relationships, puberty and sex education. French is taught from Year 3 to Year 6 and is enriched annually by our French school day and in December 2017 ‘A French Christmas’. Our curriculum also has opportunities to include ‘enterprise education’, for example during our ‘Great WHPS Bake Off’ topic.
From September 2017 all children are being encouraged to develop a ‘growth mindset’ approach to their learning and development, to gain greater independence and resilience. Swimming is taught throughout Year 3 and 4.
The curriculum at WHPS is continually reviewed to ensure it meets the needs of our pupils, is interesting and relevant and prepares them not only for key statutory testing and assessment but also for future life in Britain or beyond. In 2018-19 we plan to introduce further opportunities for outdoor learning and personal development through introducing Forest Schools.