At Highnam, we aim to create a curriculum that engages, enthuses and empowers all children. Our vision is to develop children with confidence: the confidence to be independent, to communicate effectively, to persevere when faced with a challenge.
Our curriculum is firmly rooted in this vision as well as Christian values in order to encourage children to appreciate, respect and understand others and the world in which they live.
Our curriculum approach ensures we provide an inclusive and accessible curriculum which meets the Equality Act 2010 and Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.
We strive to foster a love of learning and encourage our children to thrive as confident, secure and successful learners with enquiring minds and high aspirations who are able to achieve their best and make a positive contribution to their community and wider society. This is the main driving force behind how we plan and deliver our curriculum.
High expectations in the basic skills of speaking and listening, reading, writing and maths speech, strengthen the children’s ability to learn at a deeper level, allowing them to articulate their learning; demonstrating quality thinking and application of skills and knowledge. Physical and mental wellbeing are prioritised within our curriculum design allowing children opportunities to exhibit spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding.
Our focus on curriculum development has been carefully designed so that children are empowered with the knowledge and skills needed and there is consistency and progression with opportunities building on children’s previous learning. Based on current educational research, our knowledge-rich curriculum is planned vertically and horizontally, giving thought to the optimum learning sequence for building secure understanding. Our curriculum is not simply a set of memorable experiences or encounters from which children form ad hoc memories; it is designed to be remembered in detail, to be stored in their long-term memories so that they can later build on it forming ever wider and deeper schema.
We will do this by supporting, guiding and inspiring our children through excellent teaching practices. These are detailed in our teaching and learning policy.
- Clear strategic planning allows our curriculum to be dynamic and adapt to the context of the school and children’s needs.
- Age related expectations combine the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills to create a purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child.
- Outstanding classroom environments stimulate and engage quality thinking and reasoning.
- Teacher planning is responsive to children’s needs, incorporating a range of effective approaches to teaching and learning.
The National Curriculum provides both the content and the framework for what we teach at Highnam. In the Early Years, children experience the seven areas of learning required as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which is delivered nationally. In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two children are taught the core subjects of English, mathematics, science and religious education and the foundation subjects of history, geography, music, art, physical education, design and technology, French and computing.
We have structured this so that each subject has a clear list of what must be covered in throughout the school in all year groups (curriculum progression grids) as well as knowledge organisers for learning each term. We plan in additional enrichment activities to complement and extend the needs of our pupils and provide breadth, creativity and cultural experience. Termly curriculum maps for each year group are shared with parents so that they are aware of what will be taught.
The Highnam curriculum is taught in each year group and high-quality texts (both fiction and non-fiction) are used. These are selected carefully in order to engage all children and develop their general knowledge and vocabulary.
While cross-curricular planning and learning takes place much of the time, we don’t create tenuous links just for the sake of linking – some aspects of learning or subjects are taught discreetly where this is more appropriate.
We intend that the impact is that children will be academically and physically prepared for life in secondary school and in Modern Britain and the world. We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of methods but always considering Age Related Expectations. We track carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach expectations of our curriculum.
Another impact of our curriculum will be that our learners will have fully rounded characters with a clear understanding of Christian values like friendship, generosity, trust and many others. Only by really learning what these mean will our children be able to develop the confidence that prepares them for living in the community demonstrating respect, kindness and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day on the playground, around the school, and in the many roles we give them. Our hope is for the children to develop resilience and a positive mindset. We want to see them become children that don’t give up, that are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this.