The Whole School Curriculum
At High Ercall Primary School we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through from the Early Years and into each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. The aim of our curriculum is for pupils to have the knowledge and skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education.
Across the school, there are 3 key drivers which are fundamental to our curriculum across school.
- Our school values - the 5Rs. This is an intrinsic part of our curriculum: being resilient, reflective, responsible, resourceful and respectful. In all aspects of school life, the children are taught how to apply these skills and values to both their learning and to themselves as individuals and as part of our school community.
- Active learning. We want all our learning to be active, motivating and engaging for all pupils. Active learning can be through the children learning and finding out together, it can be through quizzing and retrieval of learning through mind maps or it can be through our forest area, trips and visitors in school. Our pedagogy (how we teach) takes this driver into account in all lessons.
- Diversity. In all our learning we instil in the children a sense of awareness of the diversity of life – from within the school community, to the local community, but also ensuring children have a wider sense of understanding from a national perspective, engaging with British Values, but also a global perspective. Developing a sense of understanding of diversity in our communities pervades through the curriculum in many subjects, including PSHE, Geography, art and dance.
Our curriculum also takes into account the journey a pupil will take through our school - because we have two year groups in each class - this can mean that children have different pathways through school over their seven years at High Ercall. Our curriculum is built carefully to ensure that knowledge of prior learning and progression is key. All learning experiences in all subjects build on what has been taught before. The History curriculum, for example, is planned across all classes to build upon taught concepts such as archaeology, but is also planned across a two yearly rolling cycle so that children build on prior learning, and do not repeat National Curriculum statutory units. This is the same for all subjects. For more detail on History, see the curriculum page.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.
In their first year of school, your child will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This is the same curriculum as your child followed at nursery, and it continues progressively through until the end of the Reception year. This allows for continuity during their first year of school. There are seven areas of learning and your child’s class teacher will plan learning opportunities to fulfil all these areas of learning by the time they leave Reception.
Teaching Early Reading and Writing
Your child will be taught Letters and Sounds through Pearson Phonics Bug, which is a high quality systematic phonics programme. It will teach your child how the alphabet works for reading and spelling by fostering their speaking and listening skills and developing their knowledge of how to apply the sounds to decode words for their reading and begin to use within their writing. There are 6 phases of Letters and Sounds which your child is expected to achieve by the end of Year 2.
Year 1 – Year 6
All children from Year 1 to Year 6 are taught the knowledge and skills which are outlined in the National curriculum for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The subjects are; English, Mathematics, Science, ICT, History, Geography, Art, Design Technology and Music, and Physical Education. For each of these subjects, there is a separate page which details the curriculum - its intent, implementation across school and how we measure its impact.
In addition to these subjects your child will be taught Religious Education; Personal, Social and Health Education and Relationships Education, and French (Key Stage 2 only) as a Modern Foreign Language.
Key Stage One children are taught for a minimum of 21 hours per week and Key Stage Two children for 23.5 hours per week.
Information on the school curriculum
Each class has a 2 year rolling programme of learning, which is detailed below. This is because we have two year groups in every class. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that the children build on their prior learning - both knowledge and concepts - taught from Class 1 through to Class 5. It is built cohesively to ensure that the children learn more and remember more. We consider carefully the journey our children will take through school - because some children spend 2 years in certain classes, and so we ensure that all learning for all the children builds on prior knowledge and responds to the needs of the child.
Further detail is given in the Curriculum Statement page, including links to the curriculum for each class.
Religious Education is provided in accordance with current legislation and the recommendations of the Local Authority. We encourage children to develop a caring and tolerant attitude towards people with beliefs different from their own. We introduce the children to all world religions, with a secure understanding of Christianity. Assemblies, in accordance with current requirements, contain a broadly Christian act of worship. We believe it important to support parents in developing the spiritual and moral values of their child and we respect the beliefs and faith of all families. If parents wish to withdraw their children from worship or R.E., we ask that they visit the school to discuss our policy. They will be given opportunities to be involved in appropriate alternative activities. Reverend Ian Naylor is a regular visitor in school, and leads assemblies.
Relationships and Sex Education
Using the statutory document: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (September 2021)
Governors have agreed that children will be taught relationships and sex education from Reception to Year 6 based on the statutory document detailed above. Your child will be taught age appropriate content to ensure that your child has a realistic understanding of their developing and changing bodies. Aspects of Sex Education are contained within the Science National Curriculum Programmes of Study, for example developing a knowledge of the parts of the body and how they work. These are included within our normal curriculum planning. Should you wish to withdraw your child from the school’s Sex Education Programme we ask you to come into school to discuss our policy.
How Children Are Assessed
Children's learning is assessed continuously as part of daily teaching and learning in the classroom. This includes through answering questions, responding to the teacher’s marking and opportunities to be involved in peer and self-assessment. Teachers are always in a position to describe the progress that the children in the class are making.
In addition to this kind of continuous teacher assessment there is also a more formal assessment that schools are required to carry out as part of the National Curriculum. This comes at the end of Year 1, with the Phonics’ Screening test, at the end of Key Stage One (when your child is seven, in Year Two) and Key Stage Two (when your child is eleven, in Year Six). At these times, assessments will be made on your child's progress in Reading, Writing and Maths through assessments made by the teacher and by Standard Assessment Tasks taken by your child in the Summer term. The results of these assessments are shared with you.