Our Curriculum

 

We aim to make learning as exciting and stimulating as possible and deliver the national curriculum through topics or themes that we know children will enjoy. We believe this thematic approach helps children to make links between subjects and gives them the opportunity to practise their literacy, mathematical and computing skills in a child-focused context. Topics range from the ever-popular Pirates to Space to Dragon Tales and to geographical themes like Africa and the Rainforest. Every area of the curriculum is encompassed within the theme and children are given lots of opportunity to develop research and enquiry skills and encouraged to continue this at home through their Homework Journals.                      

Reading and Phonics

We teach a specific phonic session each day using the Read Write Inc Phonic programme and children very quickly learn to recognise sounds and blends which helps them become fluent and confident readers. Used in over 5,000 UK Primary schools, Read Write Inc. Phonics is a DfE validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme with a whole school approach to teaching early reading and writing, designed to ensure progress for every child, in every primary school. Children work in groups at their phonic ability level and are assessed every half-term to monitor their progress through the scheme. Parents can find lots of useful information about Read Write Inc phonics by clicking the link on the right, including videos, e-Books, pronunciation guides and letter formation practise sheets. Children bring home a Read Write Inc 'book-bag book' to read at home that is matched to their phonic knowledge so that they experience reading success right from the start. As reading confidence grows, children also take home an Oxford Reading Tree book to share with parents as well as a library book to ensure that children experience and enjoy a wide range of good quality literature.  

Music, dance and PE also figure prominently in our curriculum and children are taught by specialist teachers in these areas of the curriculum. 

Values Curriculum

At Heelands our school ethos is underpinned by our six core values of Friendship, Respect, Self-belief, Cooperation, Challenge and Responsibility which we focus on each half-term. Our values were chosen by our whole school community as those we thought were the most important for our young children. Our values are threaded through every aspect of school life, they form the basis of all assemblies and are explicitly taught.

Children learn to understand what each value means and how we can demonstrate it in the way we behave, in our approach to learning and in the way we treat others. When children demonstrate the value they earn a coloured pebble which they bring to Friday's assembly, these are counted at the end of the half-term to find the winning class. Teachers also choose a Values Champion from their class who wears the class medal for the coming week. Parents are invited into school for the launch of each new value to do a creative activity with their child which helps to reinforce the value at home too. Values Visits are extremely well-supported by families which demonstrates how important this aspect of learning and development is. 

Forest School

Carol Foster is our trained Forest School leader and children get to experience true outdoor learning – whatever the weather! – on our Forest School site. They have the opportunity to climb trees, make dens, use tools and equipment and cook over the campfire which is always the highlight of the sessions. Forest School gives children the opportunity to collaborate and work together to solve problems and to follow their own ideas independently. In our surveys Forest School is always the thing that children love most about school!

Sonar Curriculum

Our curriculum planning is based on the Sonar Curriculum. Sonar Curriculum is an online, comprehensive solution to primary curriculum design and comprises a multitude of materials for curriculum mapping, short and medium planning and resources to support the delivery of effective teaching and learning. It provides the robust, rigorous framework which underpins a coherent curriculum design. Through standardised and sequenced objectives across every strand of every subject, skills, knowledge and understanding are deliberately mapped to ensure cumulative fluency across the primary phase. We use the Sonar Curriculum to provide leaders and teachers with a concise framework of coverage, pitch and sequence for English, Science and for most foundation subjects.

In 2023-2024, our fourth cycle of Sonar Curriculum, teachers have a strong understanding of the learning journey of all core and foundation subjects from EYFS to Year 2 / Year 6 and beyond. Teachers will continue to follow the Sonar Curriculum to ensure progression of knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Subjects will be taught discretely with a focus on developing children’s understanding of how the subject will impact their future jobs, e.g. how to be Scientist.

The Sonar Curriculum provides overviews for Early Years covering the 7 areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. This enables teachers to plan effectively to meet the coverage requirements of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and is a starting point for subject leaders to use when monitoring and evaluating their focused subject.

Sonar Curriculum planning covers Writing, some elements of Reading, Science, Art and Design, Computing, Design and Technology, Geography and History. As detailed later on in this section, we use the White Rose Hub planning for Maths, Accelerated Reader to support our reading programme, Talk 4 Writing to support the teaching of Writing, Jigsaw to teach PSHE and RSE learning, Purple Mash to support Computing, MKSP planning for PE, Music Express for Music and Linguafun to support the teaching of Spanish in Years 1 and 2, German in Years 3 and 4 and French in Years 5 and 6.

Structural Learning

At Heelands and Summerfield, we use Structural Learning to enhance critical and creative thinking. The process helps children form an idea of something abstract in their mind. Cognitive building bricks are used to help students organise their thoughts and construct meaningful knowledge. The strategy promotes creativity and critical thinking by engaging pupils in connections making exercises.

(This information is taken from the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy – September 2023)

 If you have any questions at all about the curriculum parents can speak to their child's teacher or contact the office. Teachers can also be contacted via the class email addresses:

giraffesheelandsschool@gmail.com

lionsheelandsschool@gmail.com

monkeysheelandsschool@gmail.com