At Hill Top Primary, we are passionate about education and aim to inspire both academic success and the whole child. Personal development is both a subject and a school ethos. It is reflected in our school motto of Learning to Shine Together and in our school values of The 5 Cs. We want to each child to leave the school feeling confident, unique and proud.
By teaching our children to follow our core values, we ensure happiness, success, and a bright future for all of our pupils.
Our aim is to teach children how to navigate through life safely, happily and healthily. Children are growing up in a world that is constantly changing and it is the duty of all the staff at school in partnership with the parents to teach the children transferable life skills. We teach children about the world around them, relationships, emotions, reproduction and health, as well as transferable skills to help with life. We consistently promote the British values and our school values.
What is personal development?
A wide range of additional opportunities enrich learning taught in Early Years and through the National Curriculum. Our core values help pupils develop their character, to know that individual differences should be valued, to be resilient, reflective, to have empathy and respect for one another. We help pupils understand and deepen their knowledge of the British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance.
Through our taught curriculum for Relationships, Sex and Health Education, we teach pupils to recognise and manage online and offline risks. We teach them about healthy relationships and that sexual harassment of any kind is not tolerated. Our personal development curriculum supports pupils to be ready for their next stage in education, it weaves its way through every part of what we do at Hill Top Primary Academy
How is it taught at Hill Top Primary Academy?
- It is taught in discrete lessons
- It is taught with cross-curricular links in other lessons, such as English, physical education and religious education
- Staff members consistently model how to be a good citizen who uphold the school values;
- Assemblies (whole school and special visitors)
- Forest School
- Annual first aid training for Year 6
- Specialist staff working with individuals and groups
- E-Safety lessons in computing and assembly
- Celebrating positive learning attributes with weekly certificates
- Merit charts and rewards through Hill Top money
- After school clubs
- Well thought through transitions throughout the school and beyond
- Focusing on mental and physical health
- School council
- Celebrating different languages, cultures and religions
- Outdoor learning and activity trips
All staff are pastoral staff at Hill Top. Outside of this we have access to Leodis Support Service who support children and families within our school. Professionals involved with school may include:
- Speech & Language Therapists
- Leodis Support Service: Core Therapeutics, Therapist, Well-being officer, Learning mentor, family support worker
- CAMHS clinician
- Attendance Officer
- Outreach Support Worker
- Educational Psychologist
Work is done to develop whole school practice as well as offer timely and targeted support to individuals or groups identified when concerns are raised, sometimes by the pupils themselves, their families or colleagues.
Children's safety and happiness are paramount at our school. With this is mind, Anti-Bullying Week is just one of the many events promoted throughout the whole school. This involves whole school assemblies and individual class-based lessons, to ensure children have a thorough understanding of the term 'bullying' and the impact this can have on the mental well-being of all involved. This theme is also addressed through our PSHE work throughout the year.
Please see the video below where children from years 1-6 explain their understanding of bullying.
All pupils can have their voices heard through our ‘School Council’ each month. The democratically elected councillors represent their classmates, raising any points that they feel should be discussed at meetings, they regularly offer their perspectives through pupil voice on a varied range of issues an many changes have taken place based on their ideas.
Each classroom has an Ask-It Basket and also a suggestion box, where pupils use their voice to ask questions, shared their worries or make a suggestion. This is explored throughout the week.
Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of experiences and opportunities within and beyond the school day. Our specialist club programme is designed to link with and enhance the school curriculum for all age groups from Reception to Year 6. All clubs are run by experienced and qualified coaches who have a passion to inspire pupils and help them develop new skills. Our programme offers and includes football, dodgeball, dance and computing. We continue to develop this we aim to have a club for everyone.
Residential visits in years 4, and 6 build children’s independence and provide opportunities for learning within different challenges and settings. In year 6, children attend PGL and in Year 4 children stay in Whitby.
Trips and visits
Trips and visits take place throughout the school year, in all year groups linked to our learning challenges, for example, Leeds Industrial Museum and Cannon Hall farm. We also organise workshops in school linked to our learning, for example, Yorkshire Water, History workshops in Year 2 and an Egyptian day with an Egyptian.
We also value and invite external speakers to deliver talks and workshops for classes, key phases or the whole school, this can range from Olympian athletes, dentists, whole school dance, Leeds United or first aid training for Year 6 children.
A programme of assemblies based on our values-based ethos helps to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and provide clear guidance for pupils on how to grow up to be the best person they can possible be. As well as the values assemblies, each term pupils also take part in:
- Safeguarding assemblies
- Mental health assemblies
- Anti-bullying assemblies
- World religions assemblies
- LGBT assemblies
- Earth day assemblies
- Diversity assemblies
- Celebration assemblies
- Sports assemblies
- Music performance assemblies
Pupils take part in a wide range of musical activities beyond the National Curriculum.
We have a choir that is open to Years 3 – 6 and perform in local concerts in the community. Pupils in Year 5 learn to play the viola and perform to parents and other children in school. Children are able to learn to play a range of brass instruments and band instruments through Rock Steady which take place throughout the week. Performances take place across the Trust with children performing with children across many schools.
Forest School is designed to provide opportunities for outdoor learning in a natural environment. As a school we are very fortunate in having our own forest schoolteacher who is trained to deliver the Forest Schools programme. Year 3 have regular forest school lessons in the local woods as well as our nature garden which supports children’s confidence, wellbeing, resilience, empowerment and so much more.
Pupils in our Nursery and Reception age groups have regular outdoor learning lessons in our nature garden.
Pupils as Leaders
Pupils have many opportunities to become a school councillor in school. Each class elects two children who will represent their class in meetings which take place frequently.
Year 6 children have a range of roles in school, from librarians, play pals, sports leaders as well as roles of selling poppies etc. Children in other classes take on roles that are pertinent to their class.
School Council (Years 1-6) 2023-2024