Curriculum

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Lichfield Down, Walnut Tree, Milton Keynes, MK7 7BW

Heronsgate School is a Good School

Ofsted Good GP Colour“Good teaching and high-quality experiences have resulted in pupils’ positive attitudes towards all aspects of their learning.”

“The school’s safe, caring and nurturing environment ensures that pupils’ well-being needs are met effectively.”

(Ofsted April 2017)

Children are admitted to Heronsgate at the start of the school year following their 7th birthday. They enter one of our year 3 classes. Children are taught in single year group classes with the number of classes depending upon the number of children in each year group. The classes are made up of children covering all ranges of ability. The class teacher, as well as being responsible for the general welfare of the children in the class, is also responsible for teaching a broad and balanced curriculum which can draw on the National Curriculum but, as an academy, we have the freedom to tailor the curriculum as we feel is right for the pupils.  Teachers are supported by the Year Manager and subject curriculum co-ordinators.

By the time children reach year 6, they will become involved with an amount of specialist group teaching.

There will be setting in Maths and the opportunity for grouping in English.

The curriculum can be thought of as three parts:

-      The formal taught curriculum (drawing on the National Curriculum)

-      The informal or extra curriculum.  These are the activities and opportunities that are offered beyond the formal teaching programme.

-      The hidden curriculum.  This is the vital ethos of the school.  It is the set of values we try to develop and the way we respect and respond to each other.

All pupils will have access, wherever possible, to all aspects of the curriculum.

FORMAL CURRICULUM

At Heronsgate, we are committed to developing the whole school curriculum and as such, our policies are based on:

  • helping children to acquire knowledge, skills, understanding end practical abilities to a standard of which they are capable
  • promoting the personal and social development of children
  • accommodating different teaching and learning styles
  • developing positive attitudes end values
  • forming an effective partnership with parents and the local community.

The curriculum draws on the national Curriculum for England and Wales but we have the freedom to go beyond this and do not have to follow it.  It is split into three core subjects and seven foundation ones.

Core Subjects:              English / Mathematics / Science

Foundation Subjects :   History / Geography / Technology / Modern Languages (French) / Physical Education/ Art/ Music/ Religious Education /Information & Communication Technology

 

The Subjects :

English – At Heronsgate we believe that language underpins learning across the whole curriculum.  We aim to teach the children how to communicate effectively and confidently in all subjects, in both the spoken and written word.  During Literacy pupils will learn to recognise the relationship between reading and writing.  Our children will explore a wide range of texts, and will use texts as a model for their own writing.  Pupils will have opportunities to restructure their ideas in writing in order to help them become increasingly reflective about language, and develop their own thinking.  Our pupils will be encouraged to reflect upon the development of their skills in spelling, handwriting, vocabulary and grammar.

Mathematics - we aim for the children to achieve competence in the knowledge of basic facts and the use of mathematical processes.  Through a broad, balanced and varied programme of work, we strive to foster children’s positive attitudes towards mathematics.  Daily lessons provide opportunities for children to experience oral, practical, investigative, written and problem solving activities.  Children are encouraged to develop a range of mental strategies which can be used to inform written methods of calculation.  Learning is enriched by a wide range of practical resources including visual aids, games, calculators, texts and a variety of computer software and web based activities.

Science - the key areas of study for all children are experimental and investigative science, life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes. Science is built into the core of our planned activities and often provides a context for the practice of other skills; there are close links between Science, Mathematics, English and ICT.

Design and Technology – Participating in carefully planned work based on units originally recommended by the QCA, pupils will be encouraged to develop the understanding and knowledge of a variety of materials and the range of basic skills necessary for progression to more complex assignments and tasks they will meet in their future.  Through the three elements -

-     investigative disassembly and evaluative activities.

-     focused practical tasks.

-     design and make assignments.

Pupils will be encouraged to recognise the importance of the whole process of DT and importantly to work towards the achievement of quality products which meet the design briefs.

ICT - Information Technology plays an important part in the world in which we live. It enhances the learning process at all levels and across a broad range of activities. Children are taught to use ICT equipment and software to communicate and handle information, and to support their problem solving, recording and expressive work. The children will extend the range of ICT tools they use for communication, investigation and control; select information, sources and media for their suitability for purpose; and assess the value of ICT in their working practices.

Art - at Heronsgate, art is interpreted as “art, craft and design” throughout. The children’s understanding and enjoyment of art is developed through activities such as investigating, making, knowledge and understanding, wherever possible.

Geography - children are given opportunities to investigate places and themes, undertake studies that focus on geographical questions, develop the ability to recognise patterns and become aware how places fit into a wider geographical context.  They will also be made aware of the importance of the environment around them and the impact that human activities has on the environment. The work will involve the development of skills and knowledge through classroom activities and field work.

History - children are taught about important episodes and developments in Britain’s past, from Roman to modern times, about ancient civilisations and the history about other parts of the world. They are helped to develop a chronological framework by making links across the different areas of study. They are given opportunities to investigate local history and to learn about the past from a range of sources of information.

Physical Education - through P.E. children undertake physical activity and learn to understand about healthy lifestyles. They should learn to develop positive attitudes and ensure safe practice. KS2 children are taught six areas of activity: games. gymnastics, dance, athletics, outdoor and adventurous activities (orienteering exercises, adventure play apparatus, residential visit) and swimming.  Our sporting aims fall under four headings:

•    enjoyment

•    exercise

•    an opportunity to acquire skills

•    an opportunity to enjoy the challenge of competitive sport

Whilst at Heronsgate, children have the opportunity to experience and develop skills in a variety of sports including: cross country, football, netball, rounders, cricket, athletics, short tennis, rugby, hockey, volley ball, dance, gymnastics and swimming.  We feel that competition is a desirable and necessary aspect of games and we stress the importance of good sportsmanship at all times. We compete in inter-school tournaments, district and inter-county competitions. Participants fulfill the above aims.

Music - children’s understanding and enjoyment of music is developed through activities such as listening, performing and composing, all of which takes place through first hand experience. Taking part in musical activities assists with co-ordination, concentration, self-confidence, communication and self-expression.

Children with particular interest and ability in music may join the school choir, orchestra and performances.  It is also possible to have extra tuition in playing brass, wind or string instruments with visiting peripatetic music teachers from local music centre.

Religious Education - Religious Education shares with other subjects the task of helping children to acquire the skills, knowledge and social competence for their personal developments. They are introduced to Christianity and other major religions through story, and the study of people past and present whose lives have influenced societies.  Additionally, they will examine the practices of these faiths. The school follows the LA’s Agreed Syllabus, which is available for parents to see at any time on request. Parents are reminded of their rights to withdraw their child from religious education.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive programme of PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education) including citizenship - children learn in an atmosphere where they feel happy, safe and secure. Through the development of positive relationships with other children, staff, parents and members of the community, children can experience the value of others and the benefits of learning in a stable environment. The programme incorporates much of the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning materials.) Respect for themselves and for others is encouraged within the school’s Golden Rules which are positively reinforced and discussed through circle time sessions held on a weekly basis.

Sex & Relationships Education - the school has a policy and a programme for sex & relationships education in each year group. The policy can be perused in school or parents are most welcome to request a copy at any time. Sex education is introduced through plants, animals and people, focusing upon the importance of caring relationships and family life. Formal sex education is provided in appropriate years and advance information on the content is provided to parents, who are able to withdraw their child from these sessions if they wish.

Modern Languages - French is taught to all children.  It is our aim that pupils should gain the confidence and competence to communicate at levels appropriate to their ability. We hope to provide enjoyable learning experiences so that children will have a positive attitude towards the study of foreign languages when they transfer to secondary school.

 
 


Curriculum Breakdown
Sessions per school week

This can be varied as needed.

 
 
Yr3
Yr4 Yr5 Yr6
English 5 5 5 5
Reading / Spelling 1 2.5 0.5  
Maths* 5 5 5 5
Science 2 2 2 3
ICT 1 1 1 1
Des Tec / Art 2 1 2 1
Hum 1 1 2 2
PE/Games 2 2 2 2
RE 1 1 1 1
PSHEe 1.5 1 0.5 1
French 0.5 0.5 1 1
Music 1 1 1 1
Library 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Circle Time 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Golden Time 1 1 1 1
TOTAL 25 25 25 25

* When Maths is taught an extra set is opened.

 

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