At Horsted School, our curriculum is based on the September 2014 National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 & 2 and the Early Years 2021 framework in Reception.
A rigorous, well planned curriculum combined with high quality teaching ensures that children are supported to be well-rounded, empathetic young people who have a thirst for learning. Children develop a strong sense of moral purpose in addition to a respect for and understanding of people who have different characteristics to themselves, whether that be age, disability, gender, race or sexuality.
We place a strong emphasis on the development of the basic skills necessary to be confident, articulate and independent learners within a broad, wide-ranging and challenging curriculum.
Planning for the majority of subjects is based on our school vision where a topic/theme approach is employed. The key drivers of this approach are that children will be STARS
1. Striving (they will be determined, persevere and they will be resilient);
2. Thoughtful (They will be creative, logical and curious about their world and those around them);
3. Aspirational (personally, emotionally and academically);
4. Respectful (of themselves, others and their environment) and;
5. Supportive (of themselves, others and their wider community).
Our curriculum complies fully with our duties in the Equality Act 2010, and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, about making the curriculum accessible for those with SEND. Inclusion underpins everything we aim to achieve as a school to ensure that all of our community can be ‘Happy, Safe and Successful.’
Learning and Development
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational provision in the Horsted early years classrooms.
All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The Prime Areas
· Personal, Social and Emotional Development
· Communication and Language
· Physical Development
Staff will also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
· Knowledge of the world
· Expressive arts and design
With all 4 and 5 year old children there will be a huge variation in development. For this reason, it is vital that we meet individual needs and that the activities provided for each child will be very different.
Starting in EYFS and continuing into the KS1, children study English through Read, Write Inc which is an all-encompassing programme that develops skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar enabling them to communicate confidently.
Once children have completed their journey of learning to read with Read, Write, Inc, they progress into English lessons using a high-quality text to inform and develop their reading, writing and grammar knowledge. Handwriting skills are taught to children throughout their time at Horsted with the aim that they can write in fully-cursive script. English skills are not only taught in literacy sessions but throughout the whole curriculum.
Most children love books and stories; we aim to make reading fun and a skill they will use for information and enjoyment for the rest of their lives. All children follow a carefully balanced programme of individual reading from books of graded difficulty matched to their phonetic understanding. Children also take a general interest book from the school library that they can share with their parents. Children also have termly access to local Medway Library Bus.
20 minutes reading homework is expected 3 times per week for every pupil in the school. Any additional reading put in the diary will earn a reward. Discussing the characters, vocabulary and the story is also extremely beneficial. Pupils follow a graduated reading scheme that develops their reading skills and matches their phonological awareness. As pupils become older, competent readers, parents should encourage independent reading, although we still ask you to sign a homework diary to say that your child has read.
We follow White Rose Scheme of learning in maths where children learn mostly through practical activities. These activities will enthuse and motivate children to learn. When they are ready more formal numeracy, lessons are introduced but these are always based on practical situations. Each child is expected to reach the highest standard that she or he is capable of. We want children to look on mathematics as an interesting and enjoyable tool that can be used in many situations.
Homework is usually set twice a week – a learning task (number bonds, times tables) and a written task.
Science is taught in line with the National Curriculum, focussing on practical activities that improve observational techniques, prediction, classifying, pattern seeking, modelling and investigational skills. Children make links with prior knowledge and learning in order to make progress through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. They will develop an increasingly scientific vocabulary and apply their mathematical skills to various opportunities to present and handle data from investigations.
Horsted School follows all subjects in the National Curriculum. These are taught, wherever possible, through topics and our termly creative curriculum focus. The creative curriculum is carefully planned with a thematic approach to teaching and learning, designed to support children’s natural curiosity and stimulate their creativity.
Children learn geography and history by exploring, observing and developing an awareness of things around them in the past and present. We teach and encourage understanding of the influences and impact of what they have learnt.
The creative curriculum also covers computing, design and technology, art and music. In these areas children are encouraged to use their imaginative, creative and technological skills, inventing and composing models, pictures and music.
Throughout the year children are taught new methods and skills to develop their learning and ability; they are encouraged to communicate their findings through written, technological and creative evidence.
Creative learning is widely understood to be characterised by
- questioning and challenging
- making connections and seeing relationships
- envisaging what might be
- exploring ideas, keeping options open, reflecting critically on ideas, actions and outcomes
Religious Education and Collective Worship
Collective Worship is predominantly Christian. Our aim is to help children to understand and respect the religious and moral values of our society and to develop a positive attitude towards other races, religions and ways of life. A prayer or reflection time forms part of this special time. All registered pupils must, by law, take part in an act of collective worship daily and follow the agreed syllabus for Religious Education unless they are withdrawn by their parent. The school has no specific denominational affiliation.
Please speak to the Headteacher if you intend to withdraw your child from these activities. Pupils who are withdrawn remain with the class teacher, teaching assistant or voluntary assistant and if appropriate, continue with current class work.
We have a dedicated computing suite and computing teacher. Children learn to use various software to explore networking, internet searching and coding (including algorithms and bug-fixing). Underpinning all computing lessons is an awareness of online safety and being responsible digital citizens.
Computing is used to enhance the curriculum in all subjects.
Physical Education and Sport
The school has two halls, large playgrounds which include playground markings, a skills area and a field. We promote physical activity and an awareness of a healthy lifestyle through dance, gym and games. Time is set aside every day for these physical activities. Skills are taught in a progressive manner developing physical co-ordination. During lessons an awareness of others is developed through co-operation and sharing. All children are taught how to exercise and use equipment safely.
French is taught from Y3, with the emphasis being on developing the ability to speak and understand French words and phrases, listen attentively and join in when required, reading carefully to extend their vocabulary and writing phrases and sentences.
Relationships, Sex and Health Education
The aims of relationships, sex and health education lessons (which are underpinned throughout by fundamental British Values) at Horsted are to help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy. We help pupils, along with the good examples set by parents and careers, form positive relationships and understand what to do if those relationships break down. RSHE also helps pupils to understand what it means to be healthy and to understand their emotions. Children learn about diverse relationships including the relationships between same-sex couples and develop tolerance and understanding for people from all backgrounds. Children also learn about the names of body parts and as they get older, lessons prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene. Lessons are always age appropriate.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from any sex education (unless it is part of the statutory science curriculum) or any LGBT content if they so wish. Please speak to the Headteacher if you wish your child to be withdrawn.