Curriculum

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Curriculum Statement

At Holly Trees Primary School we work to guarantee every child’s access and entitlement to the areas of learning and development identified in the EYFS and National Curricula. The aims of the school are to enable all of its children to achieve levels of personal development which will permit them to play their full part in the life of the community through employment, social and recreational activities and in public service and to assist them to benefit fully from the opportunities provided by secondary, higher and vocational education. Each child is treated as an individual.

This document details the areas of each subject that are addressed in each school year. If you would like a paper copy please request one from the office.

View Curriculum Map

View Early Years Curriculum Map

Key Stages

There are two Key Stages for children in our school. Children reach the end of Key Stage 1 at the age of seven and the end of Key Stage 2 at the age of eleven.

 

The Early Years Foundation Stage

Learning in the Foundation Stage is planned from the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which promotes developmental learning through adult-led and child-initiated play. The children become active learners in a curriculum which is designed to be stimulating, challenging and enjoyable.

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum includes work planned across seven areas:

Three Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and emotional development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

Four Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding The World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Foundation Stage Curriculum Statement

Children spend their first year in school in a Foundation Stage class (Acorn or Apple). The classes are taught by experienced Foundation Stage/Reception teachers each supported by Learning Support Assistants. This level of experienced staff enables us to provide for the needs of the individual in a secure environment where children can develop confidence. The aim of this class will be to prepare children for their future education by offering a range of experiences to provide the foundations for their continued learning.

There will be a wide range of levels of development and maturity in these classes because some children will only just have had their fourth birthday while others will be almost five. Children will all be offered learning opportunities appropriate for their maturity.

Children are encouraged to work and play together co-operatively and to relate positively to other children and adults. There will be frequent opportunities for imaginative play. As they settle into school the children will learn that different behaviour is acceptable in different situations. Spoken language is very important in the Foundation Stage curriculum and the children will have frequent opportunities to share their experiences, both in and out of school, and to listen to each other. Activities will be provided to extend their experience and to develop their ability to describe and communicate what they have seen and done. The children will listen to stories regularly and will learn songs, poems and nursery rhymes. They will share books both with each other and with adults, and will learn that this is a pleasurable experience and that books tell a story or convey information. As a bank of words develops, the children will begin to read books containing this vocabulary.

The children will record many of their own experiences through drawings. Pre-writing skills will be developed through activities with paint, sand and tracing materials. Once they have developed sufficient control, children will start to learn to write their name.

They will have regular PE sessions, either in the hall or outside. The school is well equipped with climbing apparatus and small games equipment, such as balls, beanbags and hoops. There is a secure outside play area for the exclusive use of the Foundation Stage. This is equipped with a sand pit and play house and there are bikes and toy trucks for the children to use. There is also a covered area (attached to the classrooms) which allows the children to continue their outdoor learning in all weathers.

Activities will be planned to give children experience of sorting, matching, ordering and counting objects. They will learn their numbers to 20 and begin to develop their problem solving skills. Early measuring activities will enable them to acquire language such as bigger, smaller, longer, shorter etc.

Children will be encouraged to ask questions about the world around them and to suggest explanations about why things happen. They will look carefully at a wide range of living things and will be helped to develop the vocabulary to describe them. They will also record what they have seen in drawings.

The children will make models using a range of materials and tools. The class is well equipped with construction toys. There is a sink for water play and a permanently established sand tray. The class is equipped with a Foundation Stage computer and concept keyboard and a range of suitable software is available.

The children have frequent opportunities to express themselves through dance, drama and music making. They draw, paint and make models.

Children will be encouraged to develop independence in dressing, toileting and feeding themselves. They will learn the difference between right and wrong by explanation and praise for good example and will be encouraged to develop respect for others and care for living things. Their sense of wonder at the world will be fostered and they will be introduced to stories from a range of cultures, with special emphasis on our Christian heritage.

Computing and Information Communication Technology

Children are taught to use computers for many purposes to find, store and retrieve information and to assist in presenting their work. As opposed to a discrete subject, it is an expectation that computers are used in all aspects of their work. Children are encouraged to be competent and confident in using computers as tools to enhance their learning in every curriculum area.

As part of the National Curriculum for Computing, children are now required to use both the Internet and e-mail facilities. This will allow children the opportunity to gain wider information, by use of the ‘Net’ and also to forge links with other schools in other parts of the world by use of e-mail. We have our own school website where children’s work and images of children at work in school will be placed. The school has, therefore, placed appropriate safeguards so that working on the Internet remains child-friendly and safe for all of those concerned. No names and addresses will be published. We ask you to give permission to allow examples of your child’s work and photographs (with no names for identification) to be used on the school website as well as, annually, signing our E-Safety Agreement.

Swimming

Children in Year 4 are given the opportunity to swim weekly at the Brentwood Centre. Our present session is Tuesday mornings. This swimming programme can only continue as long as donations from parents are sufficient to cover the cost. If a child earns a badge for 25m, the parents are given the choice of whether their child is to continue having lessons or not. When spaces become available, children in Years 5 and 6 who finished Year 4 unable to swim 25m, will be offered the opportunity to continue lessons using our new Sports Premium funds.

Collective Worship

Children attend an assembly every day which includes a short time for reflection during which time the children can pray if they wish to do so. Each week a different theme is chosen. The children sometimes play an active part in assemblies and we aim to develop their ethical and moral awareness and an attitude of caring for others. Religious Education is taught weekly in each class. Lessons follow the Essex agreed syllabus. The content is broadly Christian, but with significant time spent learning about other world religions.

Parents who wish their children to be withdrawn from religious education and assembly should consult the Headteacher as they will be asked to provide an alternative session or lesson to that provided by the school.