Honeybourne Primary Academy Curriculum Statement
Years 1 – 6
English, as a core subject, is a hugely important part of the curriculum at Honeybourne; we recognise the importance of speaking and listening, reading and writing in enabling all children to have a successful future. High quality texts that are varied and exciting to read are the basis for English lessons. These texts have been carefully selected to ensure that they engage all pupils no matter their gender, cultural background or ability. Using these texts, teachers and senior leaders plan ‘learning journeys. Initially, children engage in activities designed to immerse them in the text and develop their speaking and listening skills, alongside reading comprehension; this stage often involves: extracting vocabulary, debates, role play, hot seating, incidental writing, creative tasks and discussions around characters, settings and plot. Following this, children are taught the knowledge and skills needed to be able to write in the style of a chosen genre. This will often include developing understanding of: sentence structures, vocabulary, punctuation, spelling and grammar. Finally, children plan, write, edit and check and publish their piece of work. This phase enables all children to apply everything that they have been learning during the course of their ‘journey’. Children are always given an audience and purpose for writing, heightening engagement.
Reading at Honeybourne is heavily linked to the writing curriculum and we see both as intrinsically linked; in addition to the core texts in the primary English lessons, we also have daily guided reading sessions. These sessions are carefully prepared with the acquisition of new vocabulary and reading skills being the primary focus. Teachers track the coverage of taught reading content domains to ensure children become skilled readers. We firmly believe that Honeybourne is a ‘reading school’ where all staff foster a love of reading and the importance of becoming a reader. Sessions combine a mixture of whole class, independent and guided activities, which enable all children to share ideas and discuss key points, whilst allowing teachers to carefully question children to develop their understanding.
In Key Stage One and Early Years, phonics sessions are also taught daily to enable all pupils, at a young age, to develop and embed good decoding skills. We believe this gives our children the best start in developing a love of reading for years to come.
Mathematics at Honeybourne is carefully structured, fun and challenging. Teachers use a mixture of tasks to encourage children to challenge themselves and aspire to achieve. All children are able to work through tasks at their ability level and are actively encouraged to aim high! Teachers plan tasks for fluency, reasoning and problem solving; once children are fluent in a skill, actively move on to work with reasoning and problem solving tasks. Teachers, where necessary, will directly teach pupils how to reason and problem solve using the knowledge that they have acquired during fluency sessions.
As a school, we recognise the importance of concrete apparatus and pictorial representations, across all year groups, to support children in securing knowledge and understanding of newly taught concepts, this can include the use of Numicon, Dienes cubes and bar models.
Recognising the importance of number skills when accessing all of the mathematics curriculum, all children in Y1-Y6 have arithmetic lessons each week where they consolidate, revisit and secure knowledge of both new and previously taught skills.
Each subject within our wider curriculum has a carefully thought out journey of progression. This progression encompasses the knowledge, skills and key concepts that relate to each subject and unit being studied. Content within the school’s curriculum is taken directly from the national expectations, set out in The National Curriculum (2014). This content is carefully sequenced to ensure that prior knowledge is taught and embedded before moving on. Teachers skilfully revisit and consolidate past learning before moving on. At the beginning of each unit, children are assessed on their understanding of the key concepts and knowledge they will be covering; by doing this, teachers can carefully adapt planning to the needs of pupils. Once the teaching sequence has been completed, the children are again assessed on the key concepts and knowledge to identify progress and areas of learning that need further consolidation. Children may also be given a deeper thinking assessment that is open ended and relies on the children drawing on the knowledge acquired in the lessons from the unit; teachers have flexibility in strategies for recording this assessment, so that other areas of learning are not a barrier to a child expressing their understanding in the subject discipline being studied. Each subject has a clear rationale and curriculum route, that clearly lays out the reasoning behind the sequencing of content.
PSHE forms an integral part of our curriculum at Honeybourne, supporting children to develop their awareness of social issues, British Values and self-awareness. The programme enables teachers and pupils to explore a wide range of topics in a safe and caring environment. In 2021/22 we are proud to be working towards becoming a Rights Respecting School, in conjunction with UNICEF. Children are encouraged to understand their rights, along with responsibilities. Our pupil’s voices are represented and sought through our School Council and Safeguarding Board, which is made up of children from across all year groups – their views and opinions are listened to and carefully considered when developing all aspects of the school.
Our EYFS curriculum is in development in line with the new statutory framework. This information will be updated shortly.