The development of the Curriculum was a School Improvement Focus for 2017/18. Our brand new Curriculum Maps are located below by year group.
Over the past three years we have introduced an ‘integrated learning’ approach which is now embedded in Key Stage 1, and following a successful trial in Y5 last year are rolling this approach into Y3 and Y4. 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.
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 and providing our children with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to develop into well-rounded, informed individuals. Social, moral and emotional issues are given a high profile in the school.
We believe our high standards are due to the rich and broad experiences the children have as they move through the school – a rich diet of learning experiences is undoubtedly the best way to develop happy, curious children.
As part of our curriculum , we may block subjects to do a STEAM Week or several RE Days or our annual Curiosity Weeks which allow teachers to explore in depth an aspect central to the children’s interests. Themes covered last year included – gold, paper, Harry Potter, the Four Seasons, Pokemon, Flight, the Senses and What goes on inside my body?
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. Our Y1 classrooms are now located on the lower ground floor, meaning they too can enjoy a free flow inside/outside learning experience alongside the EYFS.
An Integrated Learning Approach – How We Work
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.
We continue to follow a topic based approach in Key Stage 2, making 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.
Please see also our Curriculum page in the School Prospectus.