Intent: At High Hazels Academy, we want children to have high aspirations for themselves and their future, to prepare them for life after primary school and to support them in developing the core values that we think will help them to succeed. Our curriculum enables children to master substantive and disciplinary knowledge in depth, to make links between their learning and to broaden their cultural capital. Our curriculum celebrates diversity and supports the development of personal skills, helping children to understand themselves, their place in the world and the valuable contribution they have the potential to make.
Our commitment to Education with Character supports our curriculum and all children engage in at least one activity every half-term which is related to the subject areas they are studying. Such activities may include, a visiting professional, a visit to a place of interest or an interactive workshop. Children reflect on the activity and the impact it has had on their learning. We also share our learning journeys with each other through end of unit work shares, year group blogs and parent-teacher meetings. We instil a belief in all our children that they should be aspirational, aim as high as possible and that with hard work, strength of character and single-minded determination, they will achieve their full potential.
Implementation: High Hazels Academy has developed a bespoke, knowledge -based curriculum. The subjects are planned to allow pupils to build powerful, transferable and sequenced knowledge from across a range of subject matter. We deliver units of study across the full national curriculum. In addition, KS2 children are taught French as a modern foreign language. PHSCE is a strong feature of our work and is used to nurture confident, tolerant, responsible and considerate British Citizens.
Our curriculum is planned by our teaching team and delivered thematically in coherent units of work designed to deepen individual subject knowledge. Subjects are carefully planned to ensure that the content is accessible to all. The curriculum is planned to develop subject specific and academic language structures, ideas and concepts in logical progression. The themes are also enriched with high quality texts, visits and visitors. Each theme begins with a 'hook' or an immersion week.
We use knowledge organisers to help children organise their learning, to support them to develop a sophisticated schema and to make clear what they are expected to know by the end of the unit. We believe in spaced retrieval and use low stakes quizzing to help teachers assess whether knowledge has been learned and retained. At the end of each unit children produce a high-quality outcome. This might be in the form of a piece of extended writing, an artwork or a model but will always be the result of valuing the rehearsal and planning stages and spending considerable time on feedback and improvements. Children’s learning goes on display to enable others to share their learning journey.
Learning is at the heart of everything we do at this school. We expect our children to work hard, enjoy their studies and achieve highly. We strive to develop positive attitudes to learning and the implementation of our curriculum is designed to build the fluency of children’s working memory.
Impact: Our curriculum is carefully planned for progression; it is designed to be challenging and relevant to our pupils and their local identity whilst building upon their prior knowledge and understanding. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making the expected progress and are therefore working at the age-related standard for their year group.
The impact of our curriculum is that children are interested in learning, are always asking questions and are resilient enough not to give up in the face of adversity. They seek challenge, question the world around them, and understand the role they play in shaping the future of their local community and the world in which they live. We track progress and standards across the curriculum, and we listen to feedback from pupils and parents alike.
We believe that true learning is defined as changes in the long-term memory and creating mental models that allow children to apply learning in a specific context. This year we are working to further develop our assessment of the foundation subjects through repeated low stakes quizzing; opportunities to deliberately practise to build long term memory to help children to rehearse and build up their new learning across the foundation subjects.
Our long term curriculum map outline can be found by clicking here