We at Tower Hill Primary School, believe that all children have the right to the best education possible, ensuring challenge for all children, through a varied and stimulating range of experiences and opportunities. The curriculum that we deliver meets all statutory requirements whilst allowing children to learn through discovery, exploration, excitement and fun. This policy should be read alongside Tower Hill’s Curriculum Rationale.
Our curriculum aims to:
- foster a desire to learn for life
- provide a broad and balanced curriculum that will fulfil every child’s potential
- provide equality of access and the opportunity for all pupils to make progress, ensuring high expectations for every pupil and appropriate levels of challenge and support
- make learning real, relevant and thus engaging through first-hand experiences wherever possible
- develop self-esteem and understanding of respect for all
- nurture tolerance and social skills of each child towards all others
- promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
- promote physical and mental development & an awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle
- prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
- create positive life choices
- enable pupils to develop moral sensibility through carefully identified values
- develop knowledge, acquire skills and understand concepts across all subjects and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations
- equip pupils with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life
- provide opportunities to develop pupil aspirations through the implementation of our Golden Thread.
The curriculum is planned effectively, providing continuity and progression. It promotes an enjoyment of learning and a commitment to learning and achieving.
Through the provision of rich and varied activities, we:
- encourage the best possible progress and the highest attainment for all pupils
- develop pupils’ capacity to learn and work independently and collaboratively
- enable pupils to acquire and develop a broad range of knowledge, skills and understanding
- equip pupils to respond positively to opportunities, challenge and responsibility
- support pupils to think creatively and solve problems
Through the implementation of the Golden Thread of Aspirations, we aim to:
- provide opportunities for children to make connections between themselves now and the future
- increase motivation, inspiration, independence and confidence
- encourage a range of visitors to the school so that children can see different role models and aspire to different careers.
- give children opportunities to explore their own interests and support them to develop new skills.
- provide opportunities for children to develop their ambition through participation in community events, taking responsibility for themselves and others and making connections to their future eg: through school council, young leaders etc.
The organisation of the Curriculum at Tower Hill Primary School
Early Years Foundation Stage:
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
(‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ March 2021)
At Tower Hill children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through the seven areas of learning and development.
The prime areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas are:
- Understanding the world and
- Expressive arts and design
- All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities, with a key focus on the prime areas as these are crucial for a child’s holistic development and future learning. These skills will support the child as they extend their development in the specific areas with the understanding that none of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others.
- At Tower Hill we place the individual child at the centre of our planning. This is achieved through detailed observation and assessment. Each topic and area of learning is flexible and takes into account children’s cultural capital and individual needs to ensure children are making the best start by considering ways to support the child to strengthen and deepen their current learning and development.
- Our curriculum is carefully planned to help children work towards the Tower Hill Curriculum and Early Learning Goals. Children take part in activities that build on and extend their interests and develop their intellectual, physical, social and emotional abilities. Children are encouraged to communicate and talk about their learning, and to develop independence and self-management.
- Through play, our children explore and construct learning opportunities that aid in their understanding of the world. The adults model play and play sensitively with the children fitting in with their plans and ideas. The children are encouraged to explore new things and assess the risks involved. We talk to them about how we get better at things through effort and practice and that we can all learn when things go wrong. They put their concepts into practise as they learn self-control and the value of following rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own.
“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
Key Stage One & Key Stage Two:
- The curriculum is taught through discrete subjects and carefully and creatively planned cross-curricular topics where relevant. We ensure that the knowledge and skills gained are used across the whole curriculum and not simply in isolation and that meaningful links are made between subjects in our termly themes. Where possible, links are made to real life and our Golden Thread of Aspirations.
- A whole school and key stage maps indicate themes as appropriate. All year groups have Curriculum Maps showing the subjects that are taught across each term and the whole academic year. These are progressive in knowledge and skills as shown through planning, knowledge organisers and learning journeys.
- Units of work in the Foundation Subjects are planned, usually of a half term duration in KSI and up to a full term in KSII. These are called Medium Term Plans and contain the detail of the work to be covered with a progression of learning objectives. The plans indicate how the work will be scaffolded and what the pupil outcomes will be.
- English and Maths Planning is completed in detail as Unit Plans which clearly identify the Learning Objectives, scaffolding for both ‘catch up’ and extension and pre-teaching opportunities.
- In English, dedicated lessons are planned and delivered for Reading Skills and Spelling alongside daily English lessons to ensure that these skills are taught discreetly and opportunities are also planned to apply the skills learnt.
- In Maths, dedicated time is planned to improve number skills, initially with Number Sense in KSI and moving onto times tables knowledge in KSII.
- The children are taught in chronological age, mixed ability classes.
- Setting takes place for Maths in Year 6 from the Spring Term. This enables the teaching to be tailored to meet the needs of individuals and small groups of children.
- Booster and intervention programmes are carefully planned and take place where relevant in all year groups.
- The RE scheme of work follows the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus: Living Difference III.
- Opportunities to develop cultural diversity are sought to broaden children’s understanding and perspective.
- The PSHE Curriculum is delivered to all year groups (YR – Y6) using the Jigsaw scheme of work. All statutory requirements for teaching Relationships and Sex Education are taught as part of the Jigsaw Scheme of Work. See the RSE Policy for further information.
- Phonics is taught, where relevant, following Read, Write, Inc Phonics and Fresh Start as required in Key Stage 2.
All staff have the responsibility to ensure the safety of the children at all times – this is seen as paramount. Whilst planning the curriculum, teachers will carefully consider any tasks and activities and ensure that any health and safety guidelines are followed including completing risk assessments where necessary. Whilst as a school, we know that not all risk can be excluded from activities, as learning should challenge pupils and encourage sensible risk-taking, we do ensure that this is done in a controlled, supervised manner.
Teaching the children about keeping themselves safe is an integral part of the curriculum at Tower Hill and can be taught as part of other learning or as discrete, specific lessons. E-safety is taught to the children as part of every ICT lesson and the importance of being safe online continually reinforced with all children. See the e-safety policy for further information.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Headteacher has the responsibility for the leadership of the curriculum and delegates responsibility to key staff:
The Senior Leadership Team:
- The SLT co-ordinates the work of the Curriculum Leaders and, through dialogue and review with Curriculum Leaders, ensures that the curriculum has progression and appropriate coverage.
- The Assessment Leader (AHT), Headteacher and members of the SLT ensure that the progress of each pupil is tracked throughout the year, including analysis for identified groups of children, especially those identified as Vulnerable.
- Key Stage Leaders ensure that the curriculum is planned, delivered and assessed appropriately, supporting class teachers as required.
- Subject Leaders (SLs) are responsible for ensuring that Medium Term Plans are written in advance of teaching; collated and saved on the school intranet, liaising with class teachers over the content and delivery of the units of work. They evaluate and monitor standards in their subject across the whole school in order to ensure appropriate rigour, challenge, support and intervention. SLs are also responsible for ensuring that new teachers to the school are furnished with the necessary planning for their year group.
- Subject Leaders are responsible for supporting class teachers to create Learning Journeys and Knowledge Organisers to support with the planning and teaching of Foundation Subjects ensuring that all know the pedagogy of sequenced skills and knowledge and have a clear understanding of children’s ‘end points.’
- Class teachers ensure that the curriculum is taught in line with the ethos of the school and that assessment is undertaken to monitor progress and enable provision appropriate to all learners.
- Class teachers are responsible for adapting their curriculum and approach to ensure that they meet the needs of all learners and to create maximum engagement for all.
The Governors monitor the success of the curriculum and hold the Headteacher to account for implementation. In order to do so they need to :
- Gain an understanding of the curriculum.
- See the curriculum in action.
- Have the opportunity to enter into professional dialogue with staff.
- Identify the standards children should achieve by the end of the key stages.
Governors should employ the following methods to enable them to monitor the curriculum:
- Hold discussions with the Headteacher.
- Hold discussions with other staff.
- Observe the curriculum in action.
- Attend meetings/functions.
- Ask questions.
- Receive and discuss reports on individual curriculum areas, including:
- (i) internal reports from the Headteacher and other teachers; and
- (ii) external reports from the Local Authority and others.