The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences, both explicit and implicit, that are available for pupils. At Hatfield Heath Primary School we strive to provide a rich, relevant, progressive, broad and balanced curriculum which takes into account the National Curriculum. The curriculum is taught to children at age and stage appropriate levels.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), pupils follow the structure of the EYFS Framework which includes seven areas of learning:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In both Key Stages 1 and 2, pupils are taught the following areas within the National Curriculum:
- Design and Technology
- Art and Design
- Physical Education
- Foreign Language – French – KS2 only
Additionally we teach RE using the Essex Agreed Syllabus and Personal, Social, Health, & Citizenship Education.
Where possible, clear links will be made between different subject areas to help apply and reinforce learning in a range of contexts so as to extend thinking and develop a greater depth to concepts, knowledge and skills learned.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The EYFS framework covers all children in any kind of setting (childminders to schools) from birth until the end of the school year in which they turn five. At Hatfield Heath Primary School we take into account any information received from prior settings about the children’s prior developments and interests to support our initial planning. We also conduct baseline assessments using ELO and EEXBA. Throughout the year we actively seek parental input into their child’s development and interests through WOW slips and each child’s learning journal. Working alongside parents also means that the children can be supported in school and within the home, helping learning to become relevant, meaningful and something that will enthuse the children and that they can be proud of.
Aims of EYFS
The EYFS seeks to provide:
- quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
- a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly
- partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
- equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings. These are:
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
- children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
At Hatfield Heath Primary School we recognise that children will learn best when they are engaged and motivated. Therefore the children are at the centre of the planning. What are they interested in? What do they know/can they do? What do they need to know/do next? What are the least and most popular areas of the indoor and outdoor learning environment? The class interests, for example a favourite author or a popular film, often influence planning of both adult led and continuous provision. However the overall aim is for children to gain a broad range of experiences so they can develop their own interests and receive a good foundation and transition into the national curriculum. We also acknowledge that not all children will progress at the same rate; some children may need additional challenge beyond the EYFS whilst others may need additional support to ensure their continued development.
We firmly believe that English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
Evidence strongly suggests that the role of the family here is critical – they can be actively involved supporting their child and the school or contribute little and, in essence, influence their child’s future options, potentially, severely.
Our overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
The curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We therefore work hard to ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and our teachers strive to ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion, enquiry and good listening to explore any challenges and endeavour to meet their next step development targets.
Pupils should also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.
We enable our pupils to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. At age, stage and personal confidence appropriate levels our pupils are supported to be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and performances with a larger audience.
Spoken language and good listening contribute fully to good learning engagement, positive self esteem, powerful social confidence and success, both for now and for the future.
The teaching of reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 consists of two dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading).
Our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics and a range of other learning to read strategies are emphasised in the early teaching of reading when they start school.
The teaching of phonics begins in EYFS and is predominantly, but not exclusively, guided by a scheme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. Pupils are gradually introduced to initial sounds through modelling, repetition, good listening and playing games and doing work involving sounds. Carefully planned activities are set up to help consolidate phonic learning. As the children progress into Year 1, phonics is taught in phases – there may be separate groups working at different phases if needed. There are six phases in all and progress is monitored regularly. Again, the help and support of the family is really welcomed and can make a significant difference to the child’s success.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, parents and other contributors, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. We encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
We believe that it is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. With consistent, positive parental/carer support success at the highest levels is possible – our results show that.
The programmes of study for writing at Key Stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
It is essential that we work to develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
We have no doubt that good writing, utilising good spelling and composition, are greatly enhanced by strong skills, knowledge and understanding in both speaking and listening and reading. Children are majorly hampered when abilities in these areas are limited by lack of experience.
We are able to provide parents with information on what is expected to be taught and learned by a particular age/class – please ask the class teacher or via the office. This information is also available on our website and via the internet.
Our main aims for mathematics are to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. As with English, we look to reinforce mathematical concepts learned in other areas of the curriculum, including D&T, Science, Computing and even PE.
The Government expectation is that now the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
Again, we are able to provide parents with information on what is expected to be taught and learned by a particular age/class – please ask the class teacher or via the office. This information is also available on our website and via the internet.
We believe that science is an important subject. Science has shaped and informed the world we live in today and will continue to do so; therefore it is a vital subject not just for the enjoyment and challenges it offers but also for its contribution to life and future economic prosperity. Children are born with a natural curiosity about the world around them and when they first begin to speak they frequently question things and ask “why?”
Within science pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and continue to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Alongside this they will build up a body of key foundational scientific knowledge, passions and concepts, providing the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics at secondary school and beyond.
All pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
Our main aims for science, taken from the National Curriculum, are to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions, some self-posed, about the world around them
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
- develop positive attitudes towards learning and enjoy setting, seeking/enquiring/exploring and finding/offering possible ideas and solutions to the many questions that arise as we seek to understand ourselves and the world in which we live.
Computing (previously called ICT or IT)
Our main aims for computing are to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Computing equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.
PSHCE – Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education
We believe that PSHCE education can be defined as a planned programme of learning through which children can acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to help manage their lives, now and in the future. We see PSHCE as one of the underpinning areas that contribute, over time, to the success of children’s learning.
Whilst it is not part of the National Curriculum we recognise its inherent value and adopt a whole school approach to give the best opportunity to develop the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.
The benefits to pupils of such an approach are numerous as PSHCE prepares them to, at age and stage appropriate levels, have strategies and basic knowledge and understandings to help manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up in such rapidly changing and challenging times. It also helps them to connect and apply the knowledge and understanding they learn in all subjects to practical, real-life situations while helping them to feel safe and secure enough to fulfil their academic potential.
We have a duty in schools to consider and educate for the ‘whole child’ and not just isolated or individual academic subjects. We believe that such a curriculum must:
- promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
- prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
We also firmly believe it is essential to:
- promote children and young people’s wellbeing, as: the promotion of physical and mental health; emotional wellbeing; social and economic wellbeing; education, training and recreation; recognition of the contribution made by children to society; and protection from harm and neglect
- promote community cohesion.
PSHCE cannot and should not exist in isolation; it must be part of a whole school approach. We see the relationship between PSHCE provision and school ethos as hugely important.
The National Curriculum states that a high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.
At Hatfield Heath Primary School our aims in PE include the opportunities for all pupils to:
- develop competence with a potential to excel in a broad range of physical activities
- be physically active for sustained periods of time and recognise the positive impact exercise can have on our bodies
- engage in competitive sports and activities and learn to give of one’s best for self and team
- enjoy participating in PE, at whatever level, age and stage appropriate and develop positive attitudes and habits that can, both for now and in the future, lead us to have healthy, active lives both in mind and body.
Art & Design
The National Curriculum states that art, craft and design embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
At Hatfield Heath Primary School we aim for children to: produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences; become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques; evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design; know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms. We aim to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
As with Art & Design, we recognise that Music can be seen as a universal language that again embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We believe that a good music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
At Hatfield Heath Primary School our aims in Music includes the opportunities for all pupils to:
- enjoy, perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
- learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
Additional tuition/opportunity to learn an instrument in school currently includes drums, piano, accordion, key board, guitar and trumpet. We have previously arranged for tuition with clarinet, oboe and violin.
We currently also run a ukulele club.
Good History teaching has the potential to fire pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain, the wider world and their own roots and past. As children enter our school they are most concerned with the present but, as they quickly settle, they start to consider the immediate future and immediate past. This then extends, at age and stage appropriate levels, to move further into the past to consider how the past influences the present, what societies were like, how these societies were organised and what beliefs and cultures influenced their actions. As they do this we aim for children to develop a chronological framework to give context for their knowledge of significant events and people. As they move forward the pupils encounter a wide, diverse range of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. Links are made with other relevant curriculum areas to help provide a more holistic view of themselves and their world.
History is a thinking subject and should be concerned with stimulating the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, develop skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem solving.
Our areas of focus at Hatfield Heath Primary School include: Stone Age, Bronze and Iron Age, Romans, Vikings, Fire of London, Victorians, WWII, Local History, Ancient Egypt and Greece, the Mayans and significant people. Wherever possible, we will include visits, visitors with experience and knowledge, artefacts and other resources and home learning.
A good Geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our teaching aims to start the journey that can equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, at age and stage appropriate levels, their growing knowledge about the world can help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.
At Hatfield Heath Primary School our aims in Geography include the opportunities for all pupils to:
- develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
- understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
- are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.
Design & Technology
Design and Technology is an inspiring and practical subject which incorporates creativity and imagination. Pupils follow a process to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs. Through this process they acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on other subject areas such as Mathematics, Science, ICT and Art. Design and Technology enables pupils to learn how to take risks, and be resourceful and innovative. Through the evaluation of past and present products, pupils develop an understanding of the impact of D & T on daily life and the world around them. Food Technology is included as a key part of the subject and links to other subject areas such as Science, Maths, English, RE, Geography, PE and IT/Computing.
The aim of learning a foreign language is to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the world. Children are provided with opportunities to communicate, in French, for practical purposes. The teaching of French in Key Stage 2 enables pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters. This lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching.
In French lessons pupils are taught to:
- listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- explore the patterns and sound of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- engage in conversations, ask and answer questions, express opinions and respond to those of others
- speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
- develop accurate pronunciation and intonation
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in French
- broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words
- understand basic grammar appropriate to French.
The study of French links to PSHCE, RE, Geography, History and the learning of grammar in English.
Religious Education is not part of the National Curriculum and the school chooses to adopt the Essex Locally Agreed Policy which supports us in fully recognising the contribution that the teaching of Religious Education, both explicitly and implicitly, can make on ensuring that our agreed “ethos” can live and be exemplified in the day-to-day life at Hatfield Heath Primary School. The subject area contributes to promoting respect for others, the challenge of stereotypes and helps to build understanding of other cultures and beliefs. Religious Education provides an opportunity to promote fundamental British values, defined as democracy, the rule of law, individuality and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different beliefs. The Policy includes focus on particular religions and movements including: Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism.
Extra Curricular Learning
We value highly the contribution that extended learning opportunities can make to our pupils, usually impacting far wider than the actual activity skills gained whilst participating. As a result we continue to provide a number of extra opportunities for pupils to take part in and these include: Bedazzle – drama, Gymnastics, Dance Class, Multi Sports (KS1), Football, Netball, Golf, Ukulele and Reading Groups. The Eco Schools committee and School Council meet regularly at lunchtimes. Extra Music opportunities include individual tuition in drums, piano, keyboard, trumpet, accordion and guitar.
As always, where we spot talent or interest we can signpost pupils/families to external clubs in the community.
Both Sport Premium and Pupil Premium are used to support where necessary.