To complement learning and bring it to life, teachers plan exciting and relevant ‘Over and Above’ opportunities for the children. These activities, which are planned through the curriculum, are designed to provide our children with exciting opportunities they may not ordinarily have access to in and out of school. Teachers work closely with their classes to ensure these ‘Over and Above’ opportunities are relevant and meaningful to both the children’s learning and prior experiences. The ‘Over and Aboves’ involve regular access to practical learning experiences, going on visits to places of interest in the local and wider community and welcoming relevant visitors (including parents) into school. In KS2 children are also offered the opportunity to take part in residential trips. As well as being fun and meaningful, these opportunities help to extend the children’s knowledge of the world around them.
Phonics – Read Write Inc
We have chosen to follow the Read Write Inc programme as it provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Developing vocabulary and the ability to speak in full sentences is a key priority for our children, which is embedded in the Read, Write, Inc approach to teaching phonics.
Reading – We have a whole class approach to reading as the children become more independent. Whole Class Reading ensures maximum engagement from all children. High quality decodable texts continue to support the vocabulary and language development of our children. Whole Class Reading is about developing reading mileage and fluency, which in turn supports the children understanding, and comprehension of texts. Text selection at Heathfield Academy is very important. Each year group will study a new book every half term. These texts link, where appropriate, to the wider curriculum. The books are pitched at a challenging level and a mixture of classic texts, recommendations from research, children’s interests, culturally diverse and modern texts are selected.
Writing – Writing at Heathfield Academy is based around the text the children are reading and is taught in units. These units can last from a few days up to a week. The units will have a ‘Big Write’ outcome which will focus on different genres; e.g. diary, advertisements, letters, reports, non-chronological reports, narratives and instructional writing. The lessons which build up to the ‘Big Write’ outcome lesson will focus on teaching the skills and knowledge needed to access the outcome. The ‘Big Write’ work is taken from each year group, half termly, and moderated across the school so all teaching staff can see the progress the children are making from EYFS – Ks2.
At Heathfield Academy, it is our intent to enable all learners to enjoy and succeed in mathematics. We want our children to think about maths beyond what is tested in national examinations and to be equipped with an understanding of mathematics that will be relevant and useful in their future studies and/or in the world of work. In mathematics, we follow a curriculum that aims for all children to gain mastery of mathematical concepts, ensuring they become competent and confident mathematicians. The mastery approach aims at ensuring our children have a deeper understanding of mathematics enabling them to recall previous skills learned from their long-term memory.
The aim at Heathfield Academy is to provide opportunities for children to develop as cultured, passionate, confident and well-rounded learners with high aspirations who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. There is a high focus on developing children’s vocabulary, speaking and language development.
Half-termly topics are chosen carefully with a link to history, geography and science. Units of work are carefully planned to ensure the learning is progressive across year groups and the children are given opportunities to develop and learn key skills and knowledge through engaging, high quality, cross-curricular activities.
At Heathfield Academy we hold the health, wellbeing and personal development of the children in our care amongst our highest priority. We believe that physical and emotional health forms the essential foundation for successful learning and we are committed to providing our children with a high quality Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education.
Our Programme of Study for PSHE education (key stage 1 and key stage 2) aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team working and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including economic wellbeing).
At Heathfield Academy we are constantly reviewing our curriculum in response to developing technologies, in line with the National Curriculum, and strive to introduce a deeper understanding of technology. From internet safety to computer programming, we encourage our children to embrace the principles and concepts of computer science, learning to think analytically and work systematically to become confident problem solvers. Our students are prepared to excel in an increasingly digital world, through building their digital literacy to become responsible, confident and innovative technology users.
Our aim is to increase the participation rate in school sports for boys and girls across the academy to help improve our children’s health and fitness, their understanding of sport, team work, and citizenship. We are creating a learning environment within P.E and sports at Heathfield where children can confidently express themselves in a constructive and positive way to become the best performers that they can be.
The National Curriculum describes music as being ‘a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity’ and explains that music education should ‘engage and inspire pupils to develop a deep love of music’ as well as developing their ‘critical engagement with music…to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon’ (Department for Education , 2013). At Heathfield Academy, we value The Arts as an essential component in a child’s education in order for our children to be well-rounded individuals.
At Heathfield Academy we have shaped our curriculum in response to the National Curriculum and the coverage within that. The RE curriculum must ‘promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, mental and physical development of children and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life’. Religion and belief, for many people, forms a crucial part of their culture and identity. Religion and beliefs have become more visible in public life locally, nationally and internationally. At Heathfield Academy we aim to:
* Give all children an awareness of what life is like from a religious point of view.
* Bring in faiths which are represented in the classroom, which may not be the focus faiths of the key stage.
* Enhance the self-esteem of a child who comes from a strong faith background.
* Allow children to distinguish between the religions and understand what religion entails.
Pablo Picasso once said
‘’Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.’’
At Heathfield Academy we feel that culture is a foundational pillar to developing a well-balance learner. One of the ways that we access culture is through embracing art and music which allows our children the opportunity to develop a love for all things creative, regardless of their abilities in sports or academics. Children are naturally creative and as educators it is our responsibility to help them explore this aspect of themselves and to help them achieve greatness. Be it through learning about famous artists and their style of art, or taking recyclable items and allowing children the freedom to create whatever their heart desires.
Our aim is to teach children the skills and vision to allow them to see the beauty in what is around them and the possibilities that a little bit of creativity can produce. We achieve this through our carefully planned curriculum, teaching a progression of skills throughout the year groups and most importantly showcasing the children’s masterpieces in our art gallery.
At Heathfield Academy, our French curriculum has been developed to progressively teach the children, from Reception to Year 6, key French vocabulary and key aspects of French culture. The children are taught key phrases and sentences, phonics and grammar through a variety of listening and speaking activities and immersive sessions. Each half term, across the school, we focus on two topics which are enriched with letters to our French pen pals.