Woolden Hill Primary Curriculum Statement
Our curriculum has been developed to reate children who:
- Are inspired learners.
- Are good citizens.
- Are independent thinkers.
- Have curiosity
- Are great friends.
This is the philosophy of how we want to work and learn. These aims underpin all of the learning that takes place in our school.
At the heart of our curriculum are the following eight characteristics of learning. This features in our planning and the way that children talk about their learning.
As a whole school, we provide a creative curriculum based around the "Cornerstones Curriculum".
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the new 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our new curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our new curriculum will provide lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that will require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.
Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
For more information please visit Cornerstones Education (External Link).
How it works?
Children will progress through four distinct stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
At the "Engage" stage, children:
- Gain memorable first-hand experiences, such as going on a visit or inviting a special visitor into school.
- Enjoy ‘WOW’ experiences.
- Get an exciting introduction to a topic or theme.
- Begin researching and setting enquiry questions.
- Get lots of opportunities to make observations.
- Develop spoken language skills.
- Take part in sensory activities.
- Have lots of fun to fully 'engage' with their new topic.
At the "Develop" stage, children:
- Improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic.
- Develop and practice their new skills.
- Compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes and read across the curriculum.
- Research their own questions and those set by others.
- Follow new pathways of enquiry based on their interests.
- Complete homework activities that support their learning.
At the "Innovate" stage, children:
- apply skills, knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts.
- solve real or imagined problems using everything they’ve learnt.
- get inspired by imaginative and creative opportunities.
- revisit anything not fully grasped at the ‘Develop’ stage.
At the "Express" stage, children:
- become the performers, experts and informers.
- share their achievements with parents, classmates and the community.
- evaluate finished products and processes.
- link what they have learnt to where they started.
- celebrate their achievements.
As a school, we recognise the journey we are on as we move from assessing with national curriculum levels to assessment beyond levels. The transition began at the end of the 2104/2015 academic year and we remain on this journey. Within out model of monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of our school and as we keep up to date with the updated information from the DfE, we continue to develop the implementation of systems and structures as well as time and opportunities for our staff to develop their confidence and knowledge with the expectations of the National Curriculum.
Our assessment system is underpinned by our principles of why and how we assess children. These are outlined in the document available below:
During the academic year of 2018-19, Woolden Hill Primary School is committed to embedding a mastery curriculum with pedagogies and practices built around the true principles of this. To support this, we are using a mastery scheme produced by the White Rose Maths Hub, as well as continuing to use our knowledge of the Maths No Problem textbook approach.
In EYFS, children explore mastery in mathematics through teacher led activities as well as independent continuous provision. Children explore different representations of numbers and learn about number sense.
Here are some statements which explain what Maths lessons look like at Woolden Hill:
- Learning questions are focussed on the use of precise mathematical vocabulary
- Success criteria with mathematical vocabulary
- All children will work towards the expectations of their year group and no child will be given activities relating to objectives beyond their own year group.
- Whole class teaching
- Vocabulary and the learning journey are displayed on working walls
- Teachers model full sentences for answers given and encourage pupils to do the same
- Challenges are planned throughout lessons to deepen understanding
- Children with SEND needs who are unable to access the curriculum may have separate activities planned
- Manipulatives are accessible to all children throughout the school and are included in lesson delivery
- Concrete, Pictoral and Abstract stages are used throughout a lesson
- Teacher’s questioning encourages children to give reasons for their answers to develop their reasoning skills.
This year we have subscribed to the Times Table Rock stars (TTRS) website which has been extremely successful and has encouraged pupils to practice their times tables in a way that is competitive and fun. Our Battle Day, when we dressed as rock stars really kick started this and we will continue with regular battle days from now on.
To support the introduction of TTRS our Maths Leads held a Maths Parent Information Evening. The aim of this was to give parent’s an understanding of the importance of learning times tables and the impact it has on the rest of their maths learning throughout school.
As a school we have taken pupils to the DSAT Maths conference and have been involved in maths activities in school during the DSAT Number day. We celebrated this day by holding an assembly where classes could share their learning and perform a number song, rhyme or rap learnt during the day!
Website links for parents:
Children are taught spelling through the Read Write Inc scheme, which is for children in Years 2 to 6 who are starting to read more accurately, with increasing speed. With 15 minutes of daily teaching, children develop confident spelling. They are taught specific spelling rules which are then assessed at the end of the week.
Children are taught to read in whole class Guided Reading sessions. Throughout KS1, children have access to a great range of fiction and non-fiction books that are arranged using a coloured book band system.In KS2, children are taught the reading skills: decode, retrieve, explain and choice using a range of picture books, film, fiction and non-fiction titles.
As a school, we use Accelerated Reader which assesses the children and helps teachers guide them to books that are on their individual reading levels. After each book, children are quizzed to check their understanding.
As a school, we value reading and have several ways to celebrate and engage our pupils:
- Reading buddies
- Race to a million words
- World Book Day
- Story Time Selfie Challenge
- Our best books Year 5/6
- Harry Potter Book Night
At Woolden Hill, we encourage our children to be creative and independent writers. We encourage them to write clearly and with confidence across genres. The children are taught to use punctuation and grammar accurately and edit to make improvements as go they go. We value the development of correct letter formation and neatly presented handwriting through our use of PROUD. We give the children a wide range of opportunities in which to develop their writing skills and display the wonderful work they have produced. Our children love our half termly Writing Champions, which are proudly displayed in school. Through our English curriculum, we aim to nurture in the children a love of literature and language, and the confidence to continue reading and writing throughout their lives.
Children in Foundation and Key Stage One follow the synthetic phonics approach, using the Letters and Sounds programme. It is an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters are blended to form sounds (phonemes), and those sounds are then blended to form complete words. Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. The expectation is that children will have finished Phase 5 by the end of Year One, which will mean that they will be able to recognise the 40+ phonemes (sounds) and know which letters or groups of letters correspond to them.
They are also taught to read and spell a selection of ‘Common Exception’ words which are words with spellings that are unusual and that don’t fit into the regular rules for spelling. Our daily phonics sessions are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. At the end of Year One, the children will take the government phonics screening check. This is a statutory test made up of real and “alien” words (pseudo words) which aim to assess the children recognition and application of the phonics that they have learned in Phases 2-5. For children who do not meet age related expectation in our phonics program, appropriate intervention is put in place to ensure rapid catch up.
When the children have passed the screening check, phonics teaching moves to phase 6 in Year 2. In this phase of Letters and Sounds, the children are introduced to suffixes and grammatical elements of language. Children start to use the Read, Write, Inc spelling scheme which then continues throughout Key Stage Two.
It is crucial that children use pure sounds when learning to read phonemes to ensure that they can use phonemes correctly to help them spell words. For more information please watch the video below:
The Arts encompass a wide range of subject areas and disciplines including Music, Dance, Drama, Art and Design. The Arts at our school means providing our pupils with the opportunity to learn about and participate in each of these areas. It also provides them with the platform from which to be creative, to express themselves, find success and share these experiences, talents and abilities through performance.
At Woolden Hill Primary School we are committed to providing all children with the opportunities to engage and succeed in the Arts. We encourage children to share and explore both their own and new diverse cultural experiences within the Arts. We aim to enable children to achieve high standards through a creative and enriching curriculum. We are passionate about developing and promoting the Arts through an enjoyable, creative and cross-curricular approach. As well as focussed high quality teaching of the arts through our creative curriculum, we enrich our children’s learning and experiences of the Arts through a range of school time and after school opportunities. We are also committed to providing opportunities for our pupils to share and perform their abilities and talents in the Arts, both during a range of events in school and in the wider community. At Woolden Hill Primary School, we aim to ensure that all our children enjoy, thrive, succeed and achieve their potential in the Arts.
Children should be;
- Inspired by being immersed in different art forms throughout their journey through the school.
- Engaged within a variety of art forms on a regular basis in order to explore values, attitudes, feelings and meanings.
- Develop the ability to create, appreciate and make critical judgements about artworks.
- Encouraged to work independently and in teams, to share arts experiences and present artworks to others.
- Given opportunities to develop an understanding of the role of the arts in society including artworks of different cultures.
- To have an age appropriate theatre experience per Key Stage.
- To celebrate and share all that is achieved within the Arts with the school and wider community.
The Arts in Action
Creative learning is prioritised at Woolden Hill. We are currently working towards an award with Artsmark, to ensure that high quality Art provision is offered all pupils and gives them the opportunities to explore their potential in all aspects of the Arts. The following are some examples of the exciting opportunities offered to our pupils within school, after school clubs and for the wider community.
Paratactic music lessons<
We offer private keyboard, guitar and oboe music lessons. The children attend weekly lessons and have the opportunity to perform termly to their parents and the school.
Children in KS1 can take part in weekly recorder club. The children have opportunity to perform termly to the school during music assembly.
Rocksteady started at Woolden Hill in September 2018 and has been very popular both with pupils and parents. Pupils can enrol to become a member of a rock band. Pupils choose their instrument and have weekly band rehearsals (during school time). This group mixes instruments with performance and wellbeing. The rock bands perform every term to parents and the school.
Our school choir is open to all pupils in KS2. It is an after school club that runs every Wednesday. We have the fabulous Mrs Burns running the club, who is both a parent, music teacher and member of Leicestershire Music. The choir are asked to perform at many local events, including village fetes, church events and to the Senior citizens. This year the choir won the opportunity to sing at the Royal Albert Hall. This was a once in a lifetime experience to take part in the Music for Youths Proms, which comprised a wide range of musical groups from across the UK. Woolden Hill sang with Leceistershire Music by performing ‘Legends of the Sky’, which was a musical based on the legends from Griffydam, a village in Leicestershire.
Year 6 can take part in a drama club that runs during school time. The children develop a storyline and script, that often has a moral to the story. They then perform the play to the school during an assembly.