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Hill Top Primary Curriculum
'All children have the right to a good quality education.’
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 28)
At Hill Top Primary, we are passionate about education and aim to inspire both academic success and the whole child. All of our staff work hard to help our pupils grow into successful learners with high aspirations for their futures. We want all children to learn and make academic progress no matter their starting points. We have a clear vision for what we want pupils to achieve during their time at Hill Top and have designed our curriculum to give all pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need in their future years.
By teaching our children to follow our core values, we ensure happiness, success, and a bright future for all of our pupils.
At Hill Top Primary Academy, our intent is to provide a bespoke curriculum that offers exciting and meaningful learning opportunities that motivate, inspire and are based on our children’s likes and interests. Our school adopts a holistic approach to education and our curriculum is driven by 5 core values that aim to unlock every child’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative and spiritual potential.
Our 5 core values are:
- Care - We show care to ourselves, each other and in all that we do.
- Confidence - We believe in ourselves and work towards our own goals.
- Creativity - We use an imaginative and resourceful approach to our lives
- Challenge - We always work our hardest and aim to achieve.
- Character - We value strength of character and try to be the best we can.
Our Curriculum intent is underpinned by the National Curriculum and ensures that, at each stage of their learning journey, each child acquires a rich bank of knowledge and skills. We expose children to the best authors, artists, musicians etc. and make sure that learning is made memorable and committed to the long-term memory by repeating concepts, making links and building upon previous learning. We exploit every opportunity in all subjects to develop our children’s language acquisition and expose our children daily to challenging new vocabulary. Since we believe that reading opens the door for every child to succeed, we are determined that every child, by the end of their time at hill Top will have a lifelong love of reading, and will be able to comprehend and read fluently.
We inform our children so that they are well equipped to lead both physically and emotionally healthy lives. Our curriculum teaches diversity so that our children appreciate, recognise and respect differences and treat others fairly and equally. This ethos is threaded throughout the whole curriculum and it is our intention and belief that every child will achieve irrespective of their background or starting point.
We aim to develop articulate, caring children with a thirst for knowledge who are resilient and not afraid to take risks with high aspirations and a belief that anything is possible through hard work and effort and it is our intent that parents are partners with their children in their learning journey. We also value the importance of using our curriculum to develop strong links with our local community.
At Hill Top we passionately believe that all children should have equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Ours is designed so that subject specific skills are taught within an exciting cross-curricular topic each term.
We provide a broad and balanced curriculum with a clear focus on subjects as discrete units to deliver the curriculum. Our curriculum map, and units of work in every subject, contain the knowledge that we have identified as essential in our school, taking cultural capital into account. These have been carefully crafted for each subject, identifying composite knowledge and skills and breaking them down in to component parts to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition. The curriculum is sequenced and progressive so that children can systematically accumulate knowledge which becomes embedded in their long-term memory. This approach enables pupils to make meaningful connections in their learning.
The curriculum is reviewed annually to meet the needs of the cohorts of children and to link learning to current events. To enable children to meet their potential we ensure the curriculum develops engagement in the foundation subjects with the capacity to further extend their learning. We give children the opportunity to deepen their understanding through questioning and challenge tasks and link to our school values wherever possible.
The promotion of strong oracy skills is a priority for our children, as many enter school with limited vocabulary and practice in speaking. This focus runs throughout our curriculum, because children must be able to talk about what they have learned in a knowledgeable and articulate way.
Reading, which we link closely to our focus on oracy skill development, is the gateway to pupils learning. To ensure all our pupils are able to access the full curriculum, we therefore place a strong focus on oracy, early reading and vocabulary development right from the start. To ensure the consistent teaching of phonics we use the Essential Letters and Sounds scheme. Children have access to high quality reading experiences through a well-stocked school reading library through Accelerated Reader and teachers also ensure that children regularly read at home and in school. We ensure that children who fall in the lowest 20% of each year group for their reading ability are monitored and supported rigorously to ensure that, by the end of Key Stage 2, all children can comprehend and read fluently.
In writing, children learn to become great writers through experiencing quality texts. Children across Key Stage 1 and 2 study a new book each term which they use to generate high quality writing opportunities. We teach writing through imitation, innovation and invention to a range of non-fiction and fiction genres. We link our writing context to our curriculum topics and aim wherever possible to find a real life purpose for children’s writing to enthuse them further. We explicitly teach cursive handwriting through the Penpal Handwriting Scheme.
In maths, children develop mathematical skills through a consistent mastery approach using the White Rose Maths Hub Scheme. They are taught mathematical concepts through a Concrete, Pictorial Abstract Approach and become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice moving onto reasoning and problem solving.
Sport is recognised as an excellent tool in enabling physical and mental well-being and as a result we follow the Get Set 4 PE scheme to deliver a robust and challenging PE curriculum to all children.
Hooks, enrichment activities and extra-curricular opportunities supplement each topic to enable our children to make connections in their learning and acquire a deep understanding. We teach our children that learning occurs everywhere, at all times, and utilise our outdoor grounds and our Forest School to enhance the curriculum wherever possible along with a wide range of extra-curricular clubs.
We believe that our school has a responsibility to develop cultural capital and teach our children the skills and knowledge that will enable them to succeed in life. Residential visits in Year 4 and Year 6 further enrich the curriculum as well as developing a sense of wellbeing beyond the classroom walls.
At Hill Top we are committed to building emotionally resilient individuals. Achievement is celebrated throughout as well as in weekly achievement assemblies; this provides an opportunity to embed a culture of celebrating all achievements for every child not just academic gains and inspires children to work hard and recognise their talents and successes in all areas of their learning.
In our school, we believe that family and community engagement is key. We welcome families into our school through Stay and Play sessions in EYFS and Show and Tell for Key Stage 1 and 2.
Themed events and days are a key feature of the curriculum which also help us to forge links with the local community and showcase our curriculum achievements giving our children a real sense of pride and personal achievement. As well as parents, we also welcome visitors from our community into school, this helps to form high aspirations for the future and a strong belief that our children can achieve in all they do whilst also enriching their experiences.
We are also committed to fund raising and community work and help local charities such as Wakefield hospice and St. Mary's Church.
Our curriculum ensures that our children are prepared for the future and able to succeed in lifelong term. They are tolerant, caring individuals with a strong moral conscience who are resilient to the influence of others and make decisions for the right reasons and in the best interests of their community and wider world. They take risks and are emotionally resilient recognising that we make mistakes and learn from them. Our children persevere and don’t give up. They dream big and have high aspirations fostered by the belief that with determination and hard work anything is possible. Through exciting curriculum design, pupils acquire a deep body of learning over time and make interconnected links to their prior knowledge.
We constantly review our curriculum through regular subject-based monitoring activity across the School and across the Trust to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition and check that pupil outcomes are of a very high quality.
Children love to show what they know and what they can do. They make very good progress using this approach as evidenced by our pupil achievement data year on year, the work in their books and their attitude to learning.