Our School Curriculum (September 2016)
Is your child a future historian? Perhaps a mathematician? Maybe a scientist? Or even an author? At Hornsea Community Primary School we promote a spirit of enquiry within all children and encourage them to ask (and try to explore) the answers to thought-provoking questions in all subject areas. We encourage them to be little historians, geographers, mathematicians, writers, artists, musicians, readers (and more) by inspiring them through our wide, rich and vibrant curriculum. At HCPS we believe that children should read a wide range of books, but primarily we use the 'Oxford Reading Tree' scheme. All statutory elements of the National Curriculum are covered within our school curriculum, we believe our wider and more localised curriculum offers a broad, balanced and engaging education for all our children.
Each half term there is an over-arching school theme which is history, geography, science or art/technology-focussed. Each phase (EYFS, Year1/2, Year3/4, Year5/6) has an exciting topic area which covers all statutory requirements in a wide and creative way. Children are informed about the topic areas in the half term before they are due to commence so that their areas of interest and enquiry can be planned for. Children are ‘hooked in’ to each new topic via our ‘hook’ days at the beginning of each half term. Children are immersed in the topic area and engage in a variety of exciting and creative activities to enthuse and inspire them. Topics are further enriched by providing children the opportunity to learn first-hand through trips and visitors to school. English and maths lessons are often linked to topic areas. This is engaging for children and helps them to make connections across their learning. Homework is given on a half-termly basis: it is open ended and encourages children to follow their own particular area of interest in a creative way. Homework is ‘show-cased’ each half term in the KS2 hall and parents/children are invited in to admire the huge amounts of high quality, varied work. We also display the children's work in our local community. Photographs of recent homework open nights can be seen on the school website, as can our long term and medium term plans for the topics.
It’s official - children at HCPS love maths! In a recent questionnaire completed by children (Year 1 to Year 6) maths was declared to be the favourite subject of the majority of children. This is great news! Most children are highly motivated and engaged in maths lessons and enjoy regular challenges. As a result they enjoy experiencing regular success and love celebrating their progress. ‘Big Maths’ was introduced to school 4 years ago and has been followed rigorously since then. Daily sessions in number and calculations ensure that children are taught in small steps so that they become secure in ‘the basics’ from an early age. School-wide ‘Big Maths Beat That’ and ‘CLIC’ tests take place on Friday mornings where children aim to beat the previous week’s score. In addition to Big Maths, maths (number and other areas of maths) is taught daily, with many lessons involving problem-solving and investigations. Children are encouraged to become ‘independent learners’ from an early age and to take an active interest in their studies and in their progress. Half-termly ‘Maths Mission’ days immerse children in maths for a whole day and are often based around concepts such as measure, time, shape and space.
HCPS is a ‘School of Readers’ and we encourage every child to enjoy and participate regularly in reading. As you enter school the 'Reading Jungle' and the 'Reading Garden' outside is often busy, with children of all ages reading together at playtimes, lunchtimes and sometimes as part of lessons. The system of “reading buddies” is commonplace and children enjoy being with others from different Key Stages to share their love of books. All children take home at least 3 books and can, in addition, take school library books home. Guided reading is taught weekly, usually on Friday mornings. Children are also encouraged to be ‘little writers’ and lessons can be focussed on spelling, grammar and punctuation, choice of vocabulary or on the writing process as a whole. The children in EYFS have writing activities from the start of their time in school. In KS1 writing is often based on children’s real life experiences; as children become older the main genres are introduced to them in a progressive way. “Big Writes” take place regularly in Years 1 to 6 where children plan work collaboratively and then write independently. Many pieces of writing are cross-curricular which children find meaningful. Children are encouraged, indeed expected, to proof read their writing, to edit and improve it; peer assessment is encouraged from Year 2 onwards. This helps children to develop the ability to give and take constructive criticism and develop good working relationships with their peers. Spelling is taught in accordance with the National Curriculum; we use a progressive spelling scheme which is delivered on a daily basis to all children from Year 2.
Phonics is taught daily as soon as children begin in EYFS until the end of Year 2. After Year 2 the children who still need to work on their phonics are given lessons focused on their own specific needs. Children are exposed to the phonemes and graphemes which make up our language in a systematic way (based on Letters and Sounds). They are taught to apply their knowledge of sounds to reading and writing words and then to reading and writing those sounds and words in sentences and books. Early readers have the opportunity to read a variety of books including those from our ‘school’ reading scheme and phonics-based books too. Early writers use their phonics knowledge to write their first words and then their first sentences.
Religious Education (statutory), Personal, Social, Health, Cultural and Spiritual education and Modern Foreign Languages (French) are all taught by class teachers. These subjects are taught regularly to all children from EYFS to Year 6. History, Geography, Art and Design, Design Technology and Science are taught through the half-termly topics. The remainder of Science, Music and ICT are taught weekly by class teachers in KS1 and by specialist teachers in KS2. Discrete subjects are also regularly promoted within school eg we have British Values, RE , MFL, Science & E-safety Days throughout the year. Other days enjoyed by the children include World Book Day and Fund raising days like Sports Relief and Comic Relief.
The National Curriculum covers Years 1 to 6 only. EYFS use ‘Development Matters’ as the basis for their learning journeys and this document covers all 17 areas of learning for children at this stage of their education. This document can be found in the EYFS section of the website.