‘Growing a loving, happy and flourishing community’
Headlands' School Vision
Through diverse, inspiring and memorable experiences we nurture resilient and creative learners to help them flourish within our local and global community. Our Christian values of love, joy and friendship teach us to cherish the uniqueness of each person, supporting all to live life in its fulness.
As with all aspects of school, our curriculum is shaped by our Christian vision. We are inspired by Jesus promise ‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full’ (John 10:10). And we understand the impact we have within our local and global community and strive to 'love our neighbours’ as ourselves (Matthew 22: 37-39).
Therefore, it is our intention to ensure that our curriculum provides opportunities for our children to flourish as a result of:
- Rich and vibrant learning which enables ALL pupils to know more, do more and remember more.
- Embracing opportunity – our inclusive curriculum inspires ALL learners to hold high aspirations for their future.
- Developing responsible citizens and courageous advocates where pupils understand that they CAN and WILL make a difference
How do we organise our curriculum?
Early Years – Nursery and Reception
In Early Years our children start on what we hope will be their life-long journey of discovery, exploration and learning as they become increasingly curious about the world around them. We follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) working towards children meeting the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Reception year. We are committed to play-based, active learning which fosters a sense of enquiry, a thirst for knowledge and gives children the resilience and skills to become confident, independent learners.
The curriculum is organised so that children learn through a combination of independent and focused activities. The balance between these shifts as the children progress through the Reception year in readiness for Key Stage 1. In Reception, phonics, reading, writing and maths are taught through adult-led activities in discrete lessons and have the opportunities to practise their newly-acquired skills in our carefully planned and resourced areas of provision. These early basic skills are crucial in unlocking a whole world of learning. On-going observation of the children’s attainment and progress informs our planning and their ‘next steps’. We plan for individual needs, different learning styles and the interests of the children.
Key Stage 1 and 2
From Year 1 onwards, all pupils follow a broad and relevant and progressive curriculum which consists of the core and foundation subjects in the National Curriculum and is further tailored to the school’s ethos and our community. Our curriculum in Key Stages 1 and 2 consists of all the subjects of the National Curriculum as a solid base: English, Mathematics, Science, Design Technology, Computing, Geography, History, Music, Art, Physical Education, Personal, Health, Social and Citizenship Education. French and musical instruments are taught at Key Stage 2. As we prepare children to ‘live life in all its fullness’ and to be able to make positive choices about their own lives, we value our PSHE curriculum through which mental and physical health, wellbeing and relationships are explored. We also place particular emphasis on spiritual, moral and cultural development which is interwoven through the curriculum as are opportunities to explore Christian Values and their place within modern Britain and the wider world.
As a Church of England school, RE is a core subject and plays a major role in our distinctive curriculum. Pupils of all religious traditions and those of no religious background make up our school community. RE engages us with some of the big questions of meaning and purpose in life and develops an understanding of what followers of a religion believe and how those beliefs shape the lives of individuals, communities and wider society. This sets out a strong basis for promoting a culture of tolerance and respect.
Each area of the curriculum is taught discreetly. Core subjects are taught daily (English and maths) or weekly (Science, PE, RE). Foundation subjects are either taught weekly or blocked into half terms and taught intensively as a half termly ‘curriculum driver’. Key learning from foundation subjects may also be referred to or developed in core areas; this gives more opportunity for skills to be mastered and knowledge remembered.
Learning is well sequenced and progressive. Each lesson begins with an opportunity to ‘check’ retention of previous learning which gives children the opportunity to retrieve previous knowledge and this becomes the starting point for learning. Teachers use ongoing formative assessments to judge how well children are meeting learning objectives so that they can judge the direction of their teaching to ensure children are meeting their potential.
Summative assessments are used periodically to ensure children are making overall progress from their starting points. Core subjects are assessed termly so that attainment is monitored and progress checked. Non-core areas are quantified at the end of each unit of work, where assessments are made against key knowledge and unit outcomes. The outcomes of assessments and knowledge checks are used to inform future learning. Leaders also use this information to ensure that cohorts and groups of children are achieving well.
Growth Mindset is used throughout the school as a tool to develop the skills to become engaged and resilient learners. We teach the children to embrace mistakes in learning, foster an understanding that we can all improve our knowledge and skills through purposeful effort, accepting feedback from our peers and staff members and a positive attitude without comparing ourselves to others.
Inclusion and Disadvantage
Central to our ethos is recognising the special worth of every child. As such, inclusion is a thread that runs through every area of school and the curriculum is designed with the flexibility to be accessed by all children; whatever their need of ambition.
We seek to identify as early as possible where children require enhanced levels of provision, access or support and follow a graduated response to their need valuing the involvement of parents.
We also seek to fill the gaps in children lives which can arise as a result of disadvantage for variety of reasons. We recognise the need for all staff to know children well so that there is a shared understanding of how they can best be supported day to day.
Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities
Across each year thought is given to memorable and hands on experiences to enrich learning and life. This includes visits out of school and visitors in school to inspire children with first hand experiences and accounts. Extra-curricular activities, which take place beyond the school day, play a role in providing opportunities to follow particular interests, try something new or compete with others and there is always a high take up. Planned ‘one off’ events and engagement with the local community are often the things that the children value highly. These things range from action packed residential trips, visits to places of interest, opportunities to perform and present and taking part in community events and supporting local traditions.
Subject Based Information
Science plays an important part in everyday life. We aim, through challenging, exciting and well-structured learning enquiries, to make science interesting, accessible and enjoyable for all our children. Enquiry is an important component of learning. Skills of enquiry are developed through research, investigation, experiment and first-hand experience.
History develops children’s curiosity about the past and about the way things have changed over time. Pupils learn about people’s lives and lifestyles, events and places from the recent and distant past and develop an awareness of time. History is about people and helps children to understand past events and to make sense of the world they live in today.
Children are given opportunities each year to investigate their surroundings and develop geographical skills. We aim to help our children to understand the environment in which we live and the part they can play in it for future generations. We also believe it is important for them to develop an understanding of the world in which they live by studying a variety of different places at home and abroad.
Art and Design
Children are given opportunities to experience a variety of art materials and to use these effectively, with creativity and imagination. They will experiment and use visual elements such as pattern, texture, colour, line, tone, shape, form, and space. Pupils are taught how to compare ideas, methods and approaches in different styles and traditions and how to recognise ways in which works reflect the time and place they were made. They are encouraged to express ideas and opinions and to use knowledge to support their views.
Design and Technology is about children developing designing and making skills that they can combine with specific knowledge and understanding in order to make quality products. Children will be given opportunities to develop a greater awareness and understanding about everyday products. They will be taught skills to enable them to work safely with a wide range of tools and materials. They will also be given the opportunity to develop problem solving strategies to assist in the design process.
Computing skills are taught both discretely and throughout all areas of the curriculum. Children develop basic computer skills in Reception and build on these each year. Computing is used to enhance learning and teaching in all subjects and develop skills which children will need for lifelong learning.
We use various application, topic related websites and interactive software to enhance learning experiences. We aim for each child to be confident in the use of technology for multimedia creation, programming, data logging and online research. Online safety is an important part of the pupils’ education and a programme is in place to support them to learn safely online.
The main focus of PE is to enable the children to be physically active, tis developing physical fitness, strength and agility. We aim to develop children’s enjoyment of physical activity through creativity and imagination. During PE lessons, children ae taught how to move their bodies safely, carry equipment sensibly and work co-operatively with others. The children are taught how to keep their bodies healthy by discussing the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle. Pupils in Year 5 attend swimming sessions allowing them to gain proficiency and confidence.
Music is an enjoyable, practical subject. Children are encouraged to develop skills in singing, to appreciate different kinds of music, to compose and play a variety of musical instruments. The music curriculum is based on listening and appraising, creating and exploring and singing and performing.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Children begin to learn French when they move into Key Stage Two. The language is taught through songs, action rhymes, games, role-play, stories, ICT and art. Children are also introduced to the written word by learning simple language structures and changing key vocabulary.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE)
PSHE is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. These skills and attributes help pupils to stay healthy, safe and prepare them for life and work in modern Britain. At Headlands; we follow the Jigsaw Scheme of Learning
To find out more about the curriculum our school is following please contact Jonathan O’Dwyer (Deputy Headteacher)