Woolden Hill Primary Curriculum Statement
Our curriculum has been developed to reate children who:
- Are inspired learners.
- Are good citizens.
- Are independent thinkers.
- Have curiosity
- Are great friends.
This is the philosophy of how we want to work and learn. These aims underpin all of the learning that takes place in our school.
At the heart of our curriculum are the following eight characteristics of learning. This features in our planning and the way that children talk about their learning.
As a whole school, we provide a creative curriculum based around the "Cornerstones Curriculum".
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the new 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our new curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our new curriculum will provide lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that will require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.
Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
For more information please visit Cornerstones Education (External Link).
How it works?
Children will progress through four distinct stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
At the "Engage" stage, children:
- Gain memorable first-hand experiences, such as going on a visit or inviting a special visitor into school.
- Enjoy ‘WOW’ experiences.
- Get an exciting introduction to a topic or theme.
- Begin researching and setting enquiry questions.
- Get lots of opportunities to make observations.
- Develop spoken language skills.
- Take part in sensory activities.
- Have lots of fun to fully 'engage' with their new topic.
At the "Develop" stage, children:
- Improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic.
- Develop and practice their new skills.
- Compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes and read across the curriculum.
- Research their own questions and those set by others.
- Follow new pathways of enquiry based on their interests.
- Complete homework activities that support their learning.
At the "Innovate" stage, children:
- apply skills, knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts.
- solve real or imagined problems using everything they’ve learnt.
- get inspired by imaginative and creative opportunities.
- revisit anything not fully grasped at the ‘Develop’ stage.
At the "Express" stage, children:
- become the performers, experts and informers.
- share their achievements with parents, classmates and the community.
- evaluate finished products and processes.
- link what they have learnt to where they started.
- celebrate their achievements.
As a school, we recognise the journey we are on as we move from assessing with national curriculum levels to assessment beyond levels. The transition began at the end of the 2104/2015 academic year and we remain on this journey. Within out model of monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of our school and as we keep up to date with the updated information from the DfE, we continue to develop the implementation of systems and structures as well as time and opportunities for our staff to develop their confidence and knowledge with the expectations of the National Curriculum.
Our assessment system is underpinned by our principles of why and how we assess children. These are outlined in the document available below:
During the academic year of 2016 and 2017, Woolden Hill Primary School is committed to embedding a mastery curriculum with pedagogies and practices built around the true principles of this. To support this, we are implementing the Maths No Problem Scheme in Years 1 to 6 as a framework for the curriculum. The principles and what this will look like in practice are outlined in the document available below:
Children are currently taught to read in Guided Reading session using the Rigby Star reading scheme. We have a great range of fiction and non-fiction books that are arranged using a coloured book band system. Children start using the scheme in Foundation and progress through the book bands throughout Key Stage One.
Alongside this, children have the opportunity to practice their reading skills using a combination of reading schemes, again arranged using the book band system. They read at school to a teaching assistant or one of our regular volunteers and can also take the books home. We encourage the children to read and share their reading book with someone at home and the children are rewarded for reading five times every week. Each class has a set of Reading Passport Books which are books specially selected for particular year groups. Children enjoy taking these books home and sharing them with their families.
We subscribe to the Education Library and our book corners are full of good quality picture books and information books that link to current topics. We recognise that it is hugely important for the children to understand and enjoy the written word. Reading comprehension features highly in our Guided Reading sessions and children are encouraged to discuss what is happening in stories and predict what might happen next.
Children in Foundation and Key Stage One follow the synthetic phonics approach, using the Letters and Sounds programme. It is an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters are blended to form sounds (phonemes), and those sounds are then blended to form complete words. Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. The expectation is that children will have finished Phase 5 by the end of Year One, which will mean that they will be able to recognise the 40+ phonemes (sounds) and know which letters or groups of letters correspond to them.
They are also taught to read and spell a selection of ‘Common Exception’ words which are words with spellings that are unusual and that don’t fit into the regular rules for spelling. Our daily phonics sessions are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. At the end of Year One, the children will take the government phonics screening check. This is a statutory test made up of real and “alien” words (pseudo words) which aim to assess the children recognition and application of the phonics that they have learned in Phases 2-5. For children who do not meet age related expectation in our phonics program, appropriate intervention is put in place to ensure rapid catch up.
When the children have passed the screening check, phonics teaching moves to phase 6 in Year 2. In this phase of Letters and Sounds, the children are introduced to suffixes and grammatical elements of language. Children start to use the Read, Write, Inc spelling scheme which then continues throughout Key Stage Two.
It is crucial that children use pure sounds when learning to read phonemes to ensure that they can use phonemes correctly to help them spell words. For more information please watch the video below: