Our Curriculum - "Believing In a Brighter Future"
What our curriculum looks like at Heath Hayes
What do we do and how do we do it?
At Heath Hayes, our curriculum motivates, engages and inspires the children through a series of learning journeys that we have titled ‘mini-adventures’. All of the curriculum areas are then delivered through this adventure. A ‘fascinator’ launches the learning and hooks the children from the very beginning. Children are also provided with an opportunity to choose an area of learning to explore in depth and create the basis for their mini-adventures. Just a few of our adventures are: ‘Lego’, ‘Finding Nemo’,’ I’m a Pupil, Get Me Out of Here’ and ‘Leon and the Place Between’.
The amazing adventures and the learning journey that the children go on, cover all subjects and are captured in one book. The adventures allow for clear coverage of the National Curriculum. Coverage of curriculum areas is evident in the schools’ curriculum coverage grid.
The mini adventures ensure that children develop their skills in the foundation subjects as geographers, historians, artists, scientists by covering the foundation subjects through each adventure. An example of this is during a mini adventure called "Guess Who?" where children discovered all about the Ancient Greeks via clues that were sent to them daily to solve. These clues allowed the children to become historians and use skills such as using primary and secondary sources of evidence and understanding chronology in order to solve them. Once all clues were solved, the children worked out and understood their final task of having to write the 13th Labour of Hercules.
All mini adventures work in this way, where both English and foundation skills are delivered simultaneously to provide purposeful cross-curricular learning opportunities. All mini adventures are planned by using the National Curriculum for age related expectations.
Teaching and learning is underpinned by cognitive challenge. Teachers use the model of ‘Basic, Advancing, Deep’ to ensure differentiation is appropriate and does not place a glass ceiling on learning for any child and stretches and challenges thinking at all times.
Differentiation occurs by careful and strategic task matching and questioning and staff create the correct conditions for learning by delivering learning centralising around an Essential Learning Objective and providing opportunities for depth within this.
The environment engages and inspires children but is also language rich to support the children’s oracy and writing development throughout the mini-adventure.
The non-negotaibles for the creative, connected curriculum at Heath Hayes are:
- Teachers plan from the Essential English milestones
- A writing opportunity is available each session
- National Curriculum coverage is clear (where appropriate) through each adventure
- Coverage grids are completed during the planning stages and reassessed after the adventure
- Lessons are creative and inspire the children
- LO and SC is planned for but not shared with the children. This is delivered through: What? Why? How?
- RIC reading is planned for through sessions.
- Presentation of the books is of a high standard reflecting children’s responsibility to present work neatly
- Date and title are neatly underlined
- In KS1 a minimum of 2 session per week are presented in a creative way.
- IN ks2 a minimum of 3 sessions per week are presented in a creative way.
- Books show a journey through the lesson e.g. photos of the build up before the writing.
- RIC evidence is clear in books.
- Plastic covers should be on each book.
- Creative front covers
- An area of the classroom should be reflective of the adventure
- The classroom should be language rich
- The learning walls should reflect what the children are learning
- Grammar should be displayed throughout the classroom
- The classroom should be tidy at the end of each day and children should be made responsible for this
A focus for our adventures is to prepare our children by providing contextualized, purposeful learning that develop ‘life skills’ so that children are ‘secondary’ ready by the time they leave. The journeys in learning foster the development of writers, historians and geographers etc.
A core driver for our curriculum is developing childrens learning attitudes and behavior for learning. Heath Hayes’ ‘Learning Attitudes Framework’ is central in encouraging children to be responsible for their learning attitudes. Throughout the adventures, children are given opportunities to reflect on how their learning attitudes are developing. Children demonstrating these attitudes are recognised and rewarded within the classroom and the whole school celebration assembly.
At Heath Hayes, we do not show the children our essential learning objective or any success criteria, as we encourage children to be able to articulate this as we journey through the learning session. Teachers ask three questions as they embark on their journey to know that learning is secure and purposeful: What are we learning about? Why are we learning about? How will we know if we have been successful? Children then return back to these questions during the learning sessions to allow them to reflect on their learning. The quote, ‘illusion of choice but perception of control’ underpins our philosophy to learning as children believe that the learning objective and success criteria is child generated. We believe that this adds autonomy and purpose to the children’s learning.
At Heath Hayes we believe the bridge between teaching and learning is assessment. Therefore, our marking policy is an integral aspect to the curriculum. The marking policy ensures that learning is addressed and celebrated or moved forward in accordance to the essential learning objective where the planning has been derived from. Through the use of ‘RAR’, children are given time to reflect on the feedback that the teacher gives and the expectation of this reflection is of the highest standard across the school. Feedback at Heath Hayes is positive, reflective, challenging and provides opportunities for a teacher to communicate how successful a piece of work is and how this can be further improved (please see the marking policy).