Developments This Year – September 2017
The development of the Curriculum is a School Improvement Focus for 2017/18. We have spent the last two years working on EYFS and Key Stage 1, and in introducing an ‘integrated learning’ approach. This is what makes Primrose Hill different to most other primary schools. The integrated curriculum means that children have more input into the learning they experience and there are better links between subject areas. This has been very effective in Key Stage 1 and we are developing this model with a trial in Y5. See below, more information on integrated learning.
At Primrose Hill we are committed to providing a holistic curriculum which maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences. Our existing curriculum has been planned to enable such links to be developed and exploited. We place great value on the development of children as individuals. Social, moral and emotional issues should be given a high profile in the school.
As we work on developing new Curriculum Maps, we will give you more information about the curriculum, either through workshops or through the Year Group Information Newsletters which go out at the start of each half term. We would like to make more focus on children’s interests, topics which are meaningful and relevant to our children and families. If you wish to look at the Curriculum Maps below, please bear in mind these may be different to what will be covered later in the year.
If you have any questions about what your child is learning, please see your class teacher, the phase leader or Robin, Liz, Mireille or Syra.
In the EYFS we follow the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum’ document. The children’s learning experiences are planned to enable them to develop and achieve in the early learning areas through play and investigative learning experiences. The EYFS curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Guidance in Reception.
Key Stage 1 – An Integrated Learning Approach
At Primrose Hill, we are committed to ensuring that children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. We give a high priority to their development and achievement in the Foundation Subjects and the arts. It is intended that children will have daily experiences of learning through an integrated curriculum. At Primrose Hill the curriculum has been designed to enable teachers and children to develop links between different areas of the curriculum. We have developed our integrated curriculum through a topic based approach intended to build upon children’s interests and stimulate a love of learning.
In Key Stage 1, we introduced an integrated and creative approach to planning the curriculum, as we understand that young children learn best through experiencing a curriculum which is relevant and meaningful to them. This is based on good early years practice and in encompassing the National Curriculum requirements. There are whole class Literacy and Numeracy sessions which continue to include recommendations of the strategies. The children will be involved in directed and independent, cross curricular activities related to the week’s learning objectives, throughout the day, either with an adult or independently. The learning is planned to meet the weekly learning objectives. It is expected that each child will carry out an independent maths and literacy task each day. This should be cross-curricular wherever possible, and differentiated as appropriate to meet the children’s individual learning needs.
Whole class Phonics is taught in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 every day (until the children move into a Spelling programme in Y2). We follow the government recommended programme of Letters and Sounds. This promotes a fun, pace, multi sensory, rigorous and systematic approach to teaching phonics. By the end of Reception children are expected to be secure in Phase Four, secure in Phase Five by the end of Y1 and secure in Phase Six at the end of Key Stage 1.
The way we teach in Key Stage 1 has gathered lots of interests from other Camden and London Schools. In the work Robin does as National Leader of Education, we have supported other schools in implementing this approach.
Key Stage 2 – Development of the Curriculum (SIP Focus 2018)
We follow a topic approach in Key Stage 2. The National Curriculum is much more prescriptive in coverage of key themes and objectives, but we plan to build on this by making clearer links between subjects, being more creative with topic choices, going with children’s interests or events which are happening locally, nationally and globally; and further developing work on oracy and speaking and listening. As a school we will be developing this throughout the year to establish new Curriculum Maps for September 2018.
National Curriculum Organisation
The following documents show the organisation of knowledge and skills within the subjects of the New National Curriculum into a curriculum that is specific to the situation, circumstance and characteristics of our learning community here at Primrose Hill. These are user friendly Curriculum Maps so parents and carers and others interested in the school can see what is taught when. They embody an approach that is creative, inclusive and holistic, one that makes learning in and across subjects purposeful, meaningful and, of course, fun.
Our Curriculum was fully updated for September 2015 and this has been a culmination of work led by the Leaders of Learning and with input from the children during the year. These maps also include our focus on British Values, Equality as well as the enrichment activity which features in each topic.
We have revised our Assessment practices this term to coincide with the new National Curriculum Expectations. Children are required to ‘meet end of year expectations’ and demonstrate breadth and mastery across the curriculum. This has been a School Improvement Priority this year.
For further detail or explanation, please ask one of our teachers.
Please see also our Curriculum page in the School Prospectus.