Our Hightown Curriculum
At Hightown Primary we seek to ensure that a high quality, creative curriculum effectively meets the needs and extends the achievements of each individual child.
We are committed to delivering exciting, rich learning experiences that not only equip our pupils with key basic literacy, numeracy and learning skills, but that also ensure they receive a broad and balanced curriculum, developing individual talents and encouraging life-long enjoyment and motivation to learn that impacts positively on their aspirations and achievements. Through our planned curriculum, we also aim to inspire creativity and grow enterprise skills alongside developing our pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural knowledge and understanding.
Other key aspects of curriculum provision actively promote equal opportunities and pupils' personal development and well-being. In our school we know our pupils well. We recognise that our pupils learn in varying ways and have different abilities, skills, interests and life experiences. We support our pupils to overcome any possible barriers to their learning according to individual needs. We believe that it is important to develop our pupils' understanding of how they learn best and the learning behaviours that will support them e.g. developing their resilience, independence and thinking skills and learning how to learn.
Our rigorous assessment procedures and thorough knowledge of each pupil ensures that we build on prior attainment and previous experience.
Whilst numeracy and literacy basic skills are usually taught separately, e.g. phonics and reading, our children need the opportunity to apply their skills in a range of real life, relevant and purposeful contexts.
We have designed a curriculum that, whilst taking account of the requirements of the new National Curriculum 2014, is generally delivered within a framework of themes. Within the themes we ensure that real cross-curricular links are made, where appropriate, to link children's learning experiences - allowing for deep skills based learning and enabling them to make more sense of their learning. Themes may be within year groups or across the whole school and vary in length from a day to several weeks. Our children are encouraged to be active partners in the planning of the themes. Through this thematic approach we aim to engage, excite and motivate children leading to high quality outcomes and supporting the raising of standards.
Hands on experiences are an integral part of the curriculum provision and are especially important at our school in order to enhance and extend pupils’ prior experience. This includes day visits, visitors and practical activities to support their learning in all aspects of the curriculum. Residential visits are also planned to ensure that all pupils have the experience of at least one night spent away from home – either camping or at a residential activity centre. Effective use is also made of expertise from within and outside school to enrich the curriculum.
At the end of each theme, the pupils produce something tangible to demonstrate and celebrate their learning. Parents and carers are invited to join in these celebrations of their children’s learning and they report how much they enjoy the regular opportunities they have to come to school to see their children’s work. Examples include a soup kitchen when pupils have made the soup, sent out invitations and served their parents in the ‘cafe’ and a Spanish fiesta. Examples of enterprise projects were an auction and a fete completely planned by the pupils.
Interactive whiteboards in every class plus use of film, video and digital cameras have enhanced the range of teaching and learning resources adding to the engagement and motivation of pupils. Work stations, visual timetables, writing slopes, magnification aids etc are all used to support the wide range of special needs amongst our pupils and the more able often work alongside specialist secondary teachers. Classrooms are organised imaginatively and designed effectively to support, stimulate and celebrate learning.
A variety of after school activities are offered. These are designed both to enrich and extend pupil learning and are available to a wide age range. These have included: Library club, homework club, choir, football, multi sports, gardening and dance.