Curriculum

Children in the Nursery and Reception classes jointly form the Foundation Unit and together work through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

Teacher assessments are made regularly in order to create each child’s Learning Profile; this becomes part of their school record.

Curriculum at Holdbrook

We follow the National Curriculum at Holdbrook Primary School and ensure that we provide a broad, balanced and creative curriculum which allows all our learners to develop and reach their goals.

Our vision is ‘critical thinking for lifelong learners’ and we aim to give pupils the skills to master all concepts whilst leading their own learning.

More information on our creative curriculum as well as English and Mathematics can be found under the New Curriculum tab.

 

Curriculum – 2017/2018

 

Science

Years 1-6 are starting an exciting new science programme this year. It’s called Engaging Science, and if the first half term is anything to go by, the children are definitely engaged! It provides a more practical and fun approach to learning about science and offers plenty of opportunities for pupils to talk about their understanding. Where appropriate, science teaching compliments topics studies through Cornerstones.

Latin

Pupils in KS2 have started to learn Latin for the first time. Learning is based around the Minimus series of books, which brings Latin to life through stories of a Latin speaking family who lived in England nearly 2000 years ago. Latin provides an important foundation to a number of modern languages, including English, and pupils are enjoying investigating the links with languages they already know.

Computing

Across the school Computing teaches the children skills they will need in the real world. We have different strands that are taught in all year groups throughout the year. These will include:

  • Select and use different digital applications on a range of digital devices to create, organise, manipulate, store, retrieve, review and present varied digital content (word-based, still and moving image, sound etc.) Combine digital materials from different sources to create digital content to achieve given goals. Increasingly understand how the devices and systems they use work.
  • Become discerning, safe and responsible users of online technologies; find data from a number of sources, including pictures, use digital research tools effectively, understanding broadly how they work and considering factors affecting search results; evaluate the resulting data, refining and editing it to make it their own. Increasingly understand copyright and crediting the sources they use appropriately.
  • Collect, organise, evaluate and analyse data to present as information. Use varied tools including branching and flat file databases, and spreadsheets. Develop use of graphs, charts and tables, including pictograms, bar and pie charts, line graphs, Carroll and Venn diagrams and mind maps. Use data-loggers and sensors to monitor changes in environmental conditions and collect and analyse data, using it in other applications. Develop models to explore patterns and test hypotheses. Investigate how data is collected, analysed, combined and used in the wider world.
  • Develop an understanding of networks and systems. Use a range of digital tools safely and appropriately for communication and collaboration to support learning in and beyond school; keep personal information secure, respect the rights of others, including their intellectual property rights, and demonstrate and promote good eSafe behaviour.
  • Develop an understanding of programming in the context of devices, automated systems, simulations and games. Relate to the creation of algorithms and the use of algorithms in program design. Design, create, test, debug and refine algorithms and programs for specific purposes.
  • Become safe, effective and respectful users of technology and online systems, recognising both acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and knowing how to respond when they have concerns. Respect copyright and ownership, asking permission before using or uploading any materials and crediting sources. Understand the need to keep their personal information secure and to respect the rights of others to personal privacy.

PSHE (Jigsaw)

At Holdbrook Primary School, we teach Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education through the world-class, comprehensive scheme of learning called ‘Jigsaw’.  During the year, all classes from Nursery through to Year 6 benefit from a weekly, engaging PSHE lesson.

Lessons are based on a theme (Jigsaw piece) which changes each half-term.  Each theme is introduced through a whole-school assembly.  The themes during the year are: Being Me in My World; Celebrating Difference (including anti-bullying); Dreams and Goals; Being Healthy; Relationships; and Growing Up.

Special Celebration Certificates are awarded to pupils in each year group each week to recognise contribution to a particular aspect of each theme.  These are awarded in a whole-school assembly each Friday.

PE

All children have regular PE lessons both with their class teachers and specialist sports teachers. These include indoor gym and outdoor games lessons which focus on particular games or skills.  Children in Key Stage 2 swim once a week for half of the year. A voluntary contribution is requested to cover the cost of swimming.  The children’s achievements in PE are celebrated in a whole school Sports Day at the end of the summer term.

 

Humanities intro

At Holdbrook, we are continuing to subscribe to the Cornerstones curriculum which provides a broad spectrum of creating and engaging learning opportunities across History and Geography. Each half term, a new topic is introduced that links with our English topics to ensure high quality writing and comprehension is consistent across all subject areas.

History

In History the children will be delving into periods of our known history to ages such as the Egyptians and Romans as well as learning more about the local history of Waltham Cross. We will investigate how the decisions and events of the past have shaped today’s world and debate the reasoning for that to develop our curiosity and empathetic skills.

Geography

In Geography, we shall be using field studies to tell us about our local area and the effects human impact has on the environment and local wild life which will also include development of the vital skills of map reading and compass directions. The children will compare contrasting locations and countries from around the world such as Mexico to enhance our knowledge of global geographic effects and their impacts on the communities and cultures that live there.

 

Maths

In September 2017 we introduced a new maths scheme – Maths No Problem. This scheme is based on the highly effective, research based Singapore method of teaching mathematics.

Lessons and activities are taught using a problem-solving approach to encourage the development of higher-level thinking. Ample time is spent on topics in order to deepen understanding and master concepts. New concepts are initially learned using concrete examples before moving on to pictorial representations and finally abstract symbols. The focus of the series is on teaching to mastery.

English

The development of English language skills, at Holdbrook Primary School, is at the heart of our learning and teaching and essential to every area of the curriculum. Each day provides the opportunity to develop children’s speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.  All lessons ensure that all these skills are covered.

Reading

Children are taught to read in a variety of ways.  Children read individually and in groups; they are also given regular opportunities to share a book with others. In addition to this, some children are listened to individually at other regular times Teachers read a variety of written material regularly with the children: fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries, poems etc. To encourage reading for pleasure children are read to every afternoon by their class teacher. We place a strong emphasis on phonics (letter sounds) in the early years of learning to read because we believe this lays the foundations for successful reading. The school uses a variety of book ‘schemes’ (including Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat and Rigby Star) to ensure that the children are exposed to a variety of different publishers as this will prepare them for their reading experiences in the future.

Writing

Basic skills (grammar, handwriting and spelling), are taught throughout every lesson of the curriculum.  English units of work are based on an exciting ‘hook’ (a book, good quality piece of text or experience where key features are identified). Teachers and children take pride in the presentation of their work.

Useful Websites

http://www.nha-handwriting.org.uk/handwriting/help-for-parents

http://www.highfrequencywords.org/

http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/

http://www.theschoolrun.com/

 

 Music

At Holdbrook Primary School we believe that all children should be inspired by music and that every child has the right to a good music education.  We follow the ‘Music Express Scheme of Work” as a basis for our music teaching and the children enjoy weekly music lessons. Every Wednesday the children look forward to their weekly Music assembly with the Headteacher.  We aim to foster an enjoyment and appreciation of music to include the development of an understanding of the elements of music: pitch, dynamics, duration, tempo, timbre, texture and structure. We are passionate about the power of music and the impact it can have on a person’s emotional, social, personal development and well-being.

 

RE

At Holdbrook Primary School, RE plays a vital role in promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding (SMSC). RE is not taught on a weekly basis instead we provide six enjoyable RE curriculum days, which are spread out over the course of an academic year. The curriculum days provide our students with valuable knowledge and understanding about Christianity, principal religions and worldviews. Aiming to encourage our pupils to become religiously and theologically literate so they can engage in life in an increasingly diverse society. Our intention when teaching RE, is not about telling pupils what religious views they should have but rather assists them in gaining shared religious and cultural understanding, developing personal identity and searching for meaning in the context of evaluating different viewpoints.

The eight keys areas of learning that the children are taught in RE are:

  • Beliefs and practices,
  • Sources and wisdom,
  • Symbols and actions,
  • Prayer, worship and reflection,
  • Identity and belonging,
  • Ultimate questions,
  • Human responsibility and values,
  • Justice and fairness.

 

RE NEWS

We recently had our first RE curriculum day, which was a huge success. The focus was ‘Creationism’ which enabled the pupils to explore a range of theological and philosophical views on creation. This encouraged the pupils to ask and answer a range of ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions and to express their own ideas, opinions and beliefs about creationism. There was also a strong emphasis on nature, its importance to ‘us’ as humans and understanding why we should show thankfulness towards nature.