Curriculum Intent

At Hillside every child matters and we ensure that our curriculum offer enables all children to stay safe, be healthy, enjoy and achieve. Our curriculum is built on our core values of Believe, Achieve, Succeed and our vision of Belonging, Responsibility, Independence, Courage and Kindness.  This is underpinned by the adoption of three of the rights set out in the UN convention; the right to learn, the right to play and the right to be safe. We firmly believe pupils need a range of experiences to support their learning and   contribute to their physical and mental health.  Our pupils learn both outside and inside the classroom environment, so trips that widen pupil experiences and aspirations while building cultural capital are organised for all year groups. All classes take part in ‘Forest School’ where classes spend time outdoors engaged in team building and environmental activities (often linked to the curriculum topics they are studying in class).  Through these activities we aim to encourage a sense of awe, wonder and curiosity. 

In line with our school aims, our curriculum develops knowledge, understanding and behaviours for learning which motivate and equip children with the skills and abilities required to succeed. Our curriculum provides learning, opportunities and experiences that improve the life chances of our children. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural learning is at the heart of everything we do, equipping children with the emotional resilience needed to help them learn new skills and progress in their learning. 

We place a particular emphasis on Kagan strategies in all curriculum areas to embed the communication skills that are fundamental to social and academic development. Through our pastoral offer and PSHE/SMSC/RSE/Safeguarding curriculum, we are committed to meet the specific pastoral needs of our children. We aim to nurture our children to make good choices; be responsible citizens and contribute positively to their community. 

The Curriculum 

 At Hillside we operate a two-year cycle. Our curriculum is organised into half termly units of study to provide structure, continuity and progression with a cross curricular, thematic approach. Half termly topics are launched with hook/launch day to help inspire and create awe and wonder. Some topics are built around a ‘Power of Reading’ approach with quality texts underpinning topics taught. Pupils tell us this thematic ‘book based’ approach really engages them in learning, helping them to understand and remember what has been taught. Other topics are delivered in a way that develops a spirit of enquiry, encouraging children to investigate and form their own opinions.  We encourage children to love and value reading, providing well stocked book corners and home lending libraries to support this. Vocabulary development is taught explicitly as part of building cultural capital and removing barriers to learning. Some subjects like Maths and Computing, will be taught as separate lessons with opportunities to apply skills across the curriculum. Our long-term plans are organised into Year 1, Year 2, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2. Within the two-year group phases, there are specific year group expectations so that progression is still age related. The progression of skills and knowledge for each subject follows the National Curriculum. Through action planning and Quality Assurance, we focus on implementation and impact of each subject.  Subject leads work alongside school leaders to develop, enhance and ensure key objectives for each subject are being met. The curriculum model is structured so that all elements of the National Curriculum are delivered with clear progression of skills and knowledge, building on prior learning, deepening understanding and having planned revisiting of learning to secure it in the long-term memory.  

Breadth and depth 

Our curriculum is structured to meet all of the requirements and objectives within the Early Years Foundation stage and the National Curriculum.  Our children have access to all subjects through a curriculum which is precisely sequenced and builds on prior knowledge. We believe that learning through experiences will support children to make connections to their learning, therefore it is vital that our children experience a range of learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom. 

Helping them understand, appreciate and access the wider world through our curriculum underpins our whole curriculum approach. 

English  

  • Become confident communicators 
  • Develop a love of writing and discussion 
  • Take pride in their writing in English and the wider curriculum 
  • Increase stamina and independence in writing 
  • Acquire language and develop a wider vocabulary.  

Reading  

Reading is at the very heart of our school curriculum, with high quality texts in all topics and long-term planning. Texts meet the needs of our children, inspire a love for reading and cover many aspects of wider-world issues. 

  • Improve the reading fluency of the children 
  • Exposure to a wide range of reading texts, styles and genres 
  • Support comprehension through the understanding of vocabulary and use of language 
  • Develop ideas and love of reading through sharing and discussion 
  • Read for different purposes such as; reading for pleasure, reading comprehensions, class stories/ novels and reading material linked to curriculum learning 

Phonics 

  • Teach phonics through the Little Wandle scheme  
  • Follow the scheme’s program for learning, using highly trained and knowledgeable staff and using interventions to ‘catch up’ and fill gaps in learning 
  • EYFS Phases 1 to 4, Year 1 reviewing phase 3 and 4 and teaching phase 5.  Year 2 recaps previous learning from Year 1 following the Little Wandle programme but then moves on to using the Nelson spelling scheme as well as year group expectations for grammar and punctuation and Big Cat Collins reading books. 

We teach pupils to: 

  • Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills. 
  • Read high frequency/ common expectation words on sight (action words) 
  • Understand what they read 
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression 
  • Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar 
  • Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words 
  • Acquire good handwriting 

Maths  

  • Embed the teaching and practice of KIRFS (Key Instant Recall Facts) 
  • Follow the White Rose Maths Hub long term plans to organise our maths curriculum but draw on many other resources and concepts to support the deepening understanding of maths.  
  • Gain a secure knowledge of the key mathematical facts, concepts and procedures that will enable children to solve problems and reason with confidence.   
  • Grasp mathematical concepts and ideas through the use of concrete methods using manipulatives to support learning. Children can use equipment, pictorial representations and abstract written methods to investigate and solve problems and share their findings. 

Foundation Subjects  

The History and Geography objectives are matched to the topic-based curriculum and linked to the wider learning of the half termly topics. They have been mapped out for clear progression from EYFS to year 6, with an emphasis on key vocabulary and knowledge, outlining exactly what children need to be taught at each stage.  

Science, PE, Music, Art, DT, Computing and French are based on purchased schemes of work which have been mapped progressively in the knowledge and skills children need. These schemes are adapted to suit the needs of the individual classes whilst also ensuring the they meet the requirements of the national curriculum. 

2022/23 curriculum rationales – core subjects 

Phonics 

All staff have had Little Wandle training.  This year we are working with a phonics expert from the English Hub to ensure that Little Wandle is delivered with fidelity across school.  Phonics outcomes at Hillside are below National Outcomes; further work is needed ensure that there is consistency in delivery. Our English Lead is working closely with the phonics expert to deliver quality CPD, 1:1 coaching and support for all staff. 

Literacy (reading and writing) 

The teaching of Literacy at Hillside follows EEF guidance: 

  • Develop pupils’ language capabilities 
  • Support pupils to develop fluent reading capabilities 
  • Teach reading comprehension strategies through modelling and supported practice 
  • Teach writing composition strategies through modelling and supported practice 
  • Develop pupils’ transcription and sentence construction skills through extensive practice 
  • Target teaching and support by accurately assessing pupil needs  
  • Use high-quality structured interventions to help pupils who are struggling with their literacy  

 

Evidence shows how using this approach improves the quality of children’s handwriting, content and particularly their vocabulary choices. Further CPD and QA on the teaching of writing and reading is a key aspect of our plans throughout this academic year. Early QA shows that writing is of good quality across school and there is consistency across classes. A focus on teacher’s assessment of writing and ensuring that the accuracy of assessment is consistent will be a key focus in the Spring and Summer Term. Links with English leads across the MAT have been made to support with this.  Reading and writing outcomes are in line with National Outcomes across key stages 1 and 2. 

Maths 

Maths outcomes across key stages 1 and 2 were below National Outcomes last year.  Nationally maths outcomes have been affected by school closures and missed content. Staff CPD for maths will focus on ensuring that KIRFs (key instant recall facts) are an integral part of all maths lessons.  Staff CPD for maths will focus on ensuring that firm foundations of the CPA approach are embedded and consistent across all classes. We will ensure that CPD, resourcing and staff understanding of the curriculum is of high quality. The introduction of a robust teaching sequence for Maths, a comprehensive Calculation Policy and the investment into high quality Maths Manipulatives is a priority for the academy.   

Foundation subjects 

Subject areas of focus for 2022-23 will be: Science, History and PSHE/RSE 

The Science, History and PSHE/RSE curriculum have been created with clear progression from EYFS to year 6 to reflect the new schemes that have been purchased. Each aspect of the curriculum for these subjects has been broken down to ensure the content builds over time. It has key vocabulary and knowledge at its core and outlines exactly what children need to be taught at each stage. CPD for all subject leads has taken place and subject leads are in the process of undertaking QA for their subjects to ensure that they understand their subject and know how it is being taught across the school.  This will help us to ensure that they are ‘Ofsted Ready’ for a deep dive in the subject they lead. 

All other foundation subject leads will also work alongside the Curriculum and Assessment lead to develop progression documents and complete QA to ensure that they know how their subjects are being taught across school. 

Wider curriculum 

Our main priority for 2022/23 will be to develop a wider world curriculum which goes beyond the requirements of National Curriculum. To equip our children with the skills needed beyond primary school we know that our wider curriculum offer needs to complement and enhance our curriculum. Through SMSC we will support our children to learn the skills they need to understand their place in the local community, society and in the wider-world.  

We want our curriculum to better represent the rich diversity of the local community, so it reflects and values their personal cultural heritage, as well as British Values. The curriculum and assessment lead is working on a long-term overview that gives opportunities for all year groups to learn about the contributions of individuals from different cultures. 

We will endeavour to help our children understand the importance of keeping themselves safe, including online. Safeguarding issues will be taught as a weekly item on class timetables so that current issues can be explored and strategies given to children to identify danger and act appropriately to keep themselves safe.  

Our adoption of the three rights: right to learn; right to play and right to be safe will underpin our commitment to making sure that our children celebrate and respect living in a diverse society through weekly assemblies and themed days throughout the year. 

 

Curriculum Intent

At Hillside every child matters and we ensure that our curriculum offer enables all children to stay safe, be healthy, enjoy and achieve. Our curriculum is built on our core values of Believe, Achieve, Succeed and our vision of Belonging, Responsibility, Independence, Courage and Kindness.  This is underpinned by the adoption of three of the rights set out in the UN convention; the right to learn, the right to play and the right to be safe. We firmly believe pupils need a range of experiences to support their learning and   contribute to their physical and mental health.  Our pupils learn both outside and inside the classroom environment, so trips that widen pupil experiences and aspirations while building cultural capital are organised for all year groups. All classes take part in ‘Forest School’ where classes spend time outdoors engaged in team building and environmental activities (often linked to the curriculum topics they are studying in class).  Through these activities we aim to encourage a sense of awe, wonder and curiosity. 

In line with our school aims, our curriculum develops knowledge, understanding and behaviours for learning which motivate and equip children with the skills and abilities required to succeed. Our curriculum provides learning, opportunities and experiences that improve the life chances of our children. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural learning is at the heart of everything we do, equipping children with the emotional resilience needed to help them learn new skills and progress in their learning. 

We place a particular emphasis on Kagan strategies in all curriculum areas to embed the communication skills that are fundamental to social and academic development. Through our pastoral offer and PSHE/SMSC/RSE/Safeguarding curriculum, we are committed to meet the specific pastoral needs of our children. We aim to nurture our children to make good choices; be responsible citizens and contribute positively to their community. 

The Curriculum 

 At Hillside we operate a two-year cycle. Our curriculum is organised into half termly units of study to provide structure, continuity and progression with a cross curricular, thematic approach. Half termly topics are launched with hook/launch day to help inspire and create awe and wonder. Some topics are built around a ‘Power of Reading’ approach with quality texts underpinning topics taught. Pupils tell us this thematic ‘book based’ approach really engages them in learning, helping them to understand and remember what has been taught. Other topics are delivered in a way that develops a spirit of enquiry, encouraging children to investigate and form their own opinions.  We encourage children to love and value reading, providing well stocked book corners and home lending libraries to support this. Vocabulary development is taught explicitly as part of building cultural capital and removing barriers to learning. Some subjects like Maths and Computing, will be taught as separate lessons with opportunities to apply skills across the curriculum. Our long-term plans are organised into Year 1, Year 2, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2. Within the two-year group phases, there are specific year group expectations so that progression is still age related. The progression of skills and knowledge for each subject follows the National Curriculum. Through action planning and Quality Assurance, we focus on implementation and impact of each subject.  Subject leads work alongside school leaders to develop, enhance and ensure key objectives for each subject are being met. The curriculum model is structured so that all elements of the National Curriculum are delivered with clear progression of skills and knowledge, building on prior learning, deepening understanding and having planned revisiting of learning to secure it in the long-term memory.  

Breadth and depth 

Our curriculum is structured to meet all of the requirements and objectives within the Early Years Foundation stage and the National Curriculum.  Our children have access to all subjects through a curriculum which is precisely sequenced and builds on prior knowledge. We believe that learning through experiences will support children to make connections to their learning, therefore it is vital that our children experience a range of learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom. 

Helping them understand, appreciate and access the wider world through our curriculum underpins our whole curriculum approach. 

English  

  • Become confident communicators 
  • Develop a love of writing and discussion 
  • Take pride in their writing in English and the wider curriculum 
  • Increase stamina and independence in writing 
  • Acquire language and develop a wider vocabulary.  

Reading  

Reading is at the very heart of our school curriculum, with high quality texts in all topics and long-term planning. Texts meet the needs of our children, inspire a love for reading and cover many aspects of wider-world issues. 

  • Improve the reading fluency of the children 
  • Exposure to a wide range of reading texts, styles and genres 
  • Support comprehension through the understanding of vocabulary and use of language 
  • Develop ideas and love of reading through sharing and discussion 
  • Read for different purposes such as; reading for pleasure, reading comprehensions, class stories/ novels and reading material linked to curriculum learning 

Phonics 

  • Teach phonics through the Little Wandle scheme  
  • Follow the scheme’s program for learning, using highly trained and knowledgeable staff and using interventions to ‘catch up’ and fill gaps in learning 
  • EYFS Phases 1 to 4, Year 1 reviewing phase 3 and 4 and teaching phase 5.  Year 2 recaps previous learning from Year 1 following the Little Wandle programme but then moves on to using the Nelson spelling scheme as well as year group expectations for grammar and punctuation and Big Cat Collins reading books. 

We teach pupils to: 

  • Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills. 
  • Read high frequency/ common expectation words on sight (action words) 
  • Understand what they read 
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression 
  • Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar 
  • Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words 
  • Acquire good handwriting 

Maths  

  • Embed the teaching and practice of KIRFS (Key Instant Recall Facts) 
  • Follow the White Rose Maths Hub long term plans to organise our maths curriculum but draw on many other resources and concepts to support the deepening understanding of maths.  
  • Gain a secure knowledge of the key mathematical facts, concepts and procedures that will enable children to solve problems and reason with confidence.   
  • Grasp mathematical concepts and ideas through the use of concrete methods using manipulatives to support learning. Children can use equipment, pictorial representations and abstract written methods to investigate and solve problems and share their findings. 

Foundation Subjects  

The History and Geography objectives are matched to the topic-based curriculum and linked to the wider learning of the half termly topics. They have been mapped out for clear progression from EYFS to year 6, with an emphasis on key vocabulary and knowledge, outlining exactly what children need to be taught at each stage.  

Science, PE, Music, Art, DT, Computing and French are based on purchased schemes of work which have been mapped progressively in the knowledge and skills children need. These schemes are adapted to suit the needs of the individual classes whilst also ensuring the they meet the requirements of the national curriculum. 

2022/23 curriculum rationales – core subjects 

Phonics 

All staff have had Little Wandle training.  This year we are working with a phonics expert from the English Hub to ensure that Little Wandle is delivered with fidelity across school.  Phonics outcomes at Hillside are below National Outcomes; further work is needed ensure that there is consistency in delivery. Our English Lead is working closely with the phonics expert to deliver quality CPD, 1:1 coaching and support for all staff. 

Literacy (reading and writing) 

The teaching of Literacy at Hillside follows EEF guidance: 

  • Develop pupils’ language capabilities 
  • Support pupils to develop fluent reading capabilities 
  • Teach reading comprehension strategies through modelling and supported practice 
  • Teach writing composition strategies through modelling and supported practice 
  • Develop pupils’ transcription and sentence construction skills through extensive practice 
  • Target teaching and support by accurately assessing pupil needs  
  • Use high-quality structured interventions to help pupils who are struggling with their literacy  

 

Evidence shows how using this approach improves the quality of children’s handwriting, content and particularly their vocabulary choices. Further CPD and QA on the teaching of writing and reading is a key aspect of our plans throughout this academic year. Early QA shows that writing is of good quality across school and there is consistency across classes. A focus on teacher’s assessment of writing and ensuring that the accuracy of assessment is consistent will be a key focus in the Spring and Summer Term. Links with English leads across the MAT have been made to support with this.  Reading and writing outcomes are in line with National Outcomes across key stages 1 and 2. 

Maths 

Maths outcomes across key stages 1 and 2 were below National Outcomes last year.  Nationally maths outcomes have been affected by school closures and missed content. Staff CPD for maths will focus on ensuring that KIRFs (key instant recall facts) are an integral part of all maths lessons.  Staff CPD for maths will focus on ensuring that firm foundations of the CPA approach are embedded and consistent across all classes. We will ensure that CPD, resourcing and staff understanding of the curriculum is of high quality. The introduction of a robust teaching sequence for Maths, a comprehensive Calculation Policy and the investment into high quality Maths Manipulatives is a priority for the academy.   

Foundation subjects 

Subject areas of focus for 2022-23 will be: Science, History and PSHE/RSE 

The Science, History and PSHE/RSE curriculum have been created with clear progression from EYFS to year 6 to reflect the new schemes that have been purchased. Each aspect of the curriculum for these subjects has been broken down to ensure the content builds over time. It has key vocabulary and knowledge at its core and outlines exactly what children need to be taught at each stage. CPD for all subject leads has taken place and subject leads are in the process of undertaking QA for their subjects to ensure that they understand their subject and know how it is being taught across the school.  This will help us to ensure that they are ‘Ofsted Ready’ for a deep dive in the subject they lead. 

All other foundation subject leads will also work alongside the Curriculum and Assessment lead to develop progression documents and complete QA to ensure that they know how their subjects are being taught across school. 

Wider curriculum 

Our main priority for 2022/23 will be to develop a wider world curriculum which goes beyond the requirements of National Curriculum. To equip our children with the skills needed beyond primary school we know that our wider curriculum offer needs to complement and enhance our curriculum. Through SMSC we will support our children to learn the skills they need to understand their place in the local community, society and in the wider-world.  

We want our curriculum to better represent the rich diversity of the local community, so it reflects and values their personal cultural heritage, as well as British Values. The curriculum and assessment lead is working on a long-term overview that gives opportunities for all year groups to learn about the contributions of individuals from different cultures. 

We will endeavour to help our children understand the importance of keeping themselves safe, including online. Safeguarding issues will be taught as a weekly item on class timetables so that current issues can be explored and strategies given to children to identify danger and act appropriately to keep themselves safe.  

Our adoption of the three rights: right to learn; right to play and right to be safe will underpin our commitment to making sure that our children celebrate and respect living in a diverse society through weekly assemblies and themed days throughout the year.