Creating Life Long Learners
Our school aims to provide its children with a wide and varied curriculum which allows them to have as many experiences as possible to help them to be engaged and actively involved in their education.
It is a school where all children are encouraged to express ideas and opinions, to look beyond themselves, to be independent, where a lifelong love of learning is the norm and all children reach their full potential, academically, socially and emotionally, in a rich, non-judgemental and supportive learning environment, providing high-quality education where all are challenged.
In September 2013 the revised National Curriculum came into effect. The National Curriculum lies at the heart of the Government’s policy to raise standards. It determines the content of what will be taught.
Learning Challenge Curriculum
At Hawthorn we use The Learning Challenge approach – it has helped us to match the curriculum to the needs of our children – it brings engagement and life into our curriculum. The key to its success is getting it right for our school, and keeping it under review to ensure it does not become routine.
Our imaginative curriculum successfully builds on pupils’ skills and knowledge as they move through the school. It meets the needs and interests of all pupils because it is effectively linked to national and local event and local heriatge. The imaginative curriculum underpins effective teaching across the whole school. Subjects are creatively linked and teachers present exciting activities which fire pupils’ enthusiasm. Learning in our school is fun, because every day is different.
Hawthorn adopted a knowledge and skills-based ‘challenge’ curriculum which pupils enjoy and gain much from. Teachers are constantly adapting our ‘challenge’ curriculum and are teaching it with skill and enthusiasm.
Subjects are linked cohesively, giving meaning and purpose to pupils’ learning. Opportunities to extend pupils’ reading, writing and mathematical skills through other subjects are utilised regularly and effectively.
Stimulating, authentic writing tasks, often based on interesting and innovative questions, are helping to raise standards. The ‘challenge’ curriculum addresses pupils’ learning needs well by providing frequent opportunities for problem solving and skills development.
English is delivered through a text-led approach. Each class plans for literacy activities using a chosen book as the stimulus. The text can be fiction or non-fiction, classic or modern. Older children study the same book in detail for a term, whereas the text is changed more frequently for younger children.
The text is chosen to link to the learning challenge and follows a similar theme.
Speaking, reading and writing (including grammar and spelling) activities are inspired by the text and opportunities for drama are planned for.
There is a focus on authentic writing across the curriculum with audience and purpose made explicit.
A key aspect of our work in English is oracy and the development of vocabulary.
The school uses Read Write Inc. Phonics as its foundation for phonics teaching.
This edition of Read Write Inc. Phonics draws upon experience gained in more than 4000 schools over 10 years.
- More than phonics – integrated comprehension, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and handwriting
- Engaging partner work, role-play and drama so every child participates in the whole lesson
- Brand new Storytime and Poetry Time to develop children’s knowledge of traditional tales and a wide range of poetry
- Simple assessment, clear tracking and straightforward grouping so every child learns rapidly at the right level
- Sustained Professional Development from Ruth Miskin Training to create an outstanding team of teachers.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. We immerse children in high-quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination through our text-led curriculum.
We value reading as a key life skill and we are dedicated to enabling our children to become life-long readers. Through reading, our children have the opportunity to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
In school we use 'VIPERS' an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.
VIPERS stands for
- Sequence or Summarise
These 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, etc. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.
In conjunction with our VIPERS approach we also use Guided Reading from Year 1 onwards. It is a successful strategy of teaching pupils reading skills working in small groups organised by reading ability. Guided reading sessions are mainly focused on developing comprehension skills. Guided reading allows for more focused teaching and curriculum adaptation. Pupils work in groups studying texts specifically matched to their age and reading ability. Working with small groups enables the teacher to discuss texts in depth at a level which is appropriate to pupils. The usual structure of guided reading sessions is that the teacher works mainly with one group whilst other pupils work independently. Books chosen are appropriately challenging, but also suitable for pupils to read independently. For pupils who experience difficulties with reading, text selection is important. High-interest books with a low word count can help enthuse reluctant readers and develop their skills and confidence
Our core reading. We foster a love of reading and children take books home from our school library to share their reading activities with their parents.
Mathematics Mastery at Hawthorn
We continue to develop mastery in mathematics.
Underpinning our whole curriculum is high expectations of all pupils and ensuring that all pupils are offered a rich diet of content appropriate to their age.
Within Maths our curriculum is cumulative and works in cycles which allow for greater opportunity to revisit and deepen pupils understanding around concepts and aspects of mathematics. It is also interconnected through pupils being required to recall knowledge and facts, as well as applying their skills and knowledge across the curriculum.
All pupils work towards the same learning intention ensuring high expectation and access for all. In some classrooms you will see some pupils who may be working towards the intended objective as the adult will have used assessment for learning in order to judge where the pupils’ knowledge base is.
Our ‘Growth Mindset’ approach, empowers pupils to become resilient and learn from their mistakes and see them as part of the learning process. This is true for all pupils regardless of their starting point or current attainment.
The science curriculum is delivered through out Learning Challenge approach, it may be the main focus for the half-term’s work or may run alongside the main theme. Other aspects of the curriculum are linked to and are included in our science work – such as maths, design technology and writing
The approach demands pupils to be inquisitive and to raise their own questions as well as answer the. Each unit links with an excellent quality text and provides additional support for the English curriculum. The units provide learners with subject specific vocabulary and the sticky knowledge for the topic. Our science curriculum is linked to the Ark Science Scheme.
Humanities – History and Geography
The humanities curriculum is delivered through out Learning Challenge approach, it may be the main focus for the half-term’s work or may run alongside the main theme. Other aspects of the curriculum are linked to and are included in our humanities work – such as maths, design technology art, music and writing.
The approach demands pupils to be inquisitive and to raise their own questions as well as answer the. Each unit links with an excellent quality text and provides additional support for the English curriculum. The units provide learners with subject specific vocabulary and the sticky knowledge for the topic.
Our humanities curriculum is linked to the Ark History and Geogrpahy Schemes.
Religious Education is taught as part of the Doncaster Agreed Syllabus delivered through our enquiry based approach that dovetails with our Learning Challenge curriculum. :
- makes RE a learning experience to look forward to;
- provides a safe enquiry space;
- encourages deep questioning;
- enhances critical thinking and evaluation skills;
- supports spiritual development
- equips children to celebrate diversity
The Charanga scheme is the foundation of our music curriculum.
The learning in our curriculum is based on:
- Listening and Appraising;
- Musical Activities — creating and exploring;
- Singing and Performing
All children have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument in school
Each key stage has weekly singing assemblies and music forms a key element of our Harvest Festival and Christmas productions.
Children have the opportunity to perform to a wider audience through our involvement with Young Voices, Sing to Sing and the Big Sing.
Art and Design
These are incorporated into our Learning Challenges but there may be other times when specific skills are taught in these areas. Our art curriculum is linked to the Kapow Art & Design scheme and includes
- Making: painting, drawing, printing, creating 2 & 3D art and crafting
- Generating ideas and taking inspiration from a range of artists and crafts people
- Formal elements: colour, form, line, pattern, shape, texture and tone
- Knowledge of artists' work and techniques
- Evaluating: critiquing their own work and that of others
Design and Technology
These are incorporated into our Learning Challenges but there may be other times when specific skills are taught in these areas. Our design and technology curriculum is linked to the Kapow Design and Technology scheme and includes:
- Cooking and nutrition
- Mechanical systems
- Electrical systems
- Digital world
Our computing curriculum is delivered through our Switched on Computing creative units. These units are half-termly and include programming and computational thinking. There is a clear progression of skills from Year 1 to Year 6. Our curriculum embeds e-Safety to ensure safe and responsible use of technology. Units include:
- Computational thinking
- Computer networks
- Communication and collaboration
- Online safety
Our Your-PE programme focuses on the development of agility, balance and coordination, healthy competition and cooperative learning. The skills progression-based learning, the level of challenge for more-able children and the self-assessment tools in particular enable our pupils to take real ownership of their own development. Pupils thoroughly enjoy PE and Sport and have gain enormous self-confidence and invaluable teamwork, coordination and spatial awareness skills through the real PE approach.
Units of work focus on:
- Tag rugby
Children in Year 5 have swimming tuition. This is a one-hour session for 12 weeks.
Languages – French
French is taught through Key Stage 2 we focus on speaking, listening and verbal communication skills, with some written French in upper key stage 2.
PSHE education contributes to personal development by helping children to build their personal identities, confidence and self-esteem, make career choices and understand what influences their decisions including financial ones. Developing self-understanding, empathy and the ability to work with others will help young people to enjoy healthy and productive relationships in all aspects of their lives.
The school uses Jigsaw PSHE as the basis of its PSHE curriculum – Jigsaw 3-11 offers a comprehensive Programme for Primary PSHE including statutory Relationships and Health Education, in a spiral, progressive and fully planned scheme of work, giving children relevant learning experiences to help them navigate their world and to develop positive relationships with themselves and others.
With strong emphasis on emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing mental and physical health, Jigsaw 3-11 properly equips schools to deliver engaging and relevant PSHE within a whole-school approach. Jigsaw lessons also include mindfulness allowing children to advance their emotional awareness, concentration and focus.