At Howden le Wear Primary School we aim to provide our children with a curriculum which is broad, well-balanced and above all stimulates excites and engages them to learn as well as promotes personal development. We promote the spiritual, social, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our pupils and seek to prepare them for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Through a positive, inclusive and caring environment we strive to provide the opportunity for every child to reach their full potential in all areas of the curriculum.
We deliver the programmes of study that meet the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014. The National curriculum provides an outline of the core knowledge and skills around which our staff can plan and develop progressive lessons and schemes of work as well as teaching subject specific vocabulary. We use a thematic approach to delivering the curriculum and aim to develop through our curriculum both powerful subject knowledge that gives pupils new ways of thinking and powerful personal knowledge that gives them the character, dispositions, attitudes and habits to succeed in life in whatever career and work path they choose.
Alongside core skills and knowledge we aim to develop learning behaviours which will support our pupils through into their adult life. These include resilience, taking risks, working hard, pushing oneself and trying new things. We provide our pupils with a wide range of curriculum enhancement activities to strengthen learning and make it even more enjoyable and engaging. This includes educational visits out of school, workshops and visiting experts into school as well as offering a broad range of extra-curricular clubs.
The compulsory subjects under the new National Curriculum are as follows: English, Maths, Science, Art and Design, Computing, Design Technology, Language, Geography, History, Music and Physical Education. The teaching of Religious Education is statutory and here at Howden le Wear Primary School we followed the Durham Agreed Syllabus.
English and Maths are a fundamental part of each day at Howden le Wear Primary School. Learning to read and promoting the Love of Reading are central to our school. Teachers seek to make as many cross-curricular links as possible so that the skills taught in these subjects can be applied in a range of contexts.
At Howden le Wear Primary School, our vision is to create a safe, positive and stimulating environment in which all members of the school community learn and grow in confidence, knowledge and skills. Working together, we want to nurture personal talents, discover new ones and encourage everyone to be the best they can be. We want to build a culture of respect for each other, for our environment and for ourselves. We want our children to leave with a sense of personal achievement and pride in their school and community, equipped with the emotional, social and practical skills for their next challenge.
Through our culture, curriculum and practices we aim:
- To provide a secure, happy, attractive and inclusive environment where all children and staff are given full opportunity to develop the abilities they possess and reach their full potential;
- To help all children become resilient learners, to develop lively, enquiring minds, the ability to question and argue rationally and to apply themselves to tasks and physical skills;
- To increase staff and children’s knowledge, skills, experience, understanding and imagination and to provide them the opportunities to challenge themselves, learn from their experiences and grow in confidence;
- To provide engaging and quality teaching that recognises personal needs, effort, achievement and progress;
- To engage parents in school life and their children’s education through active participation and effective communication ensuring a shared understanding and reinforcement of our school values;
- To work in partnership with each other, with parents, with other schools and the wider community to develop support networks and enrichment opportunities that enhance learning for staff and children;
- To instil respect for religious and moral values, and tolerance for other races, religions and ways of life and to help pupils to understand the world in which they live;
- To put the wellbeing of the children and our staff at the heart of our school;
- To assist children to come to terms with their own physical and emotional developments to ensure, wherever possible, that each child will grow into a mature, creative, tolerant, and independent adult well able to play a full and constructive role in a rapidly changing technological world.
At Howden le Wear Primary School, our curriculum is specifically tailored to meet the needs of all children in order to prepare them fully for the future lives they are going to lead. We believe that the curriculum we offer should inspire children’s imaginations, providing challenge and success for each and every child, regardless of their background, ability or interests. Our curriculum promotes self- belief, resilience and confidence which enables all children to reach their full potential.
Powerful Knowledge and Skills: Our Curriculum ensures that every child has access to the best that has been said, thought and done through human history in every subject area which is illustrated on the long term plans for each curriculum area.
Education with Character: Children are exposed to challenges which they will only succeed in through persistence and determination. They are encouraged to develop new talents, interests and qualities unique to them and to express themselves clearly and articulately. They are exposed to situations where their thinking and opinions are challenged, whilst promoting independence throughout.
Our curriculum extends beyond the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, as we recognise that this is only part of what children need to succeed. Of paramount importance within our curriculum are the values, skills and abilities we feel our children will require to take their place in the world; these will enable our children to be compassionate and driven leaders of our future.
Our curriculum is designed to provide a rich and varied programme of activities and learning experiences to meet the needs, interests and aspirations of all learners, within and beyond the school day.
We expect that all children will become creative, confident and respectful young adults who approach the next stage of their learning journeys with determination, enthusiasm and an ambitious outlook for their futures.
Active learning is encouraged though exploration, enquiry, investigation and structured play using first hand experiences wherever possible. We provide children with a range of opportunities to develop, use and refine key knowledge, understanding and skills and to practise and apply them regularly in different contexts.
We believe that it is important that children have a strong awareness of their local community and locality and of whom they are and where they fit in the world. We believe that successful learning depends on a positive partnership between home, school and the wider community. We regularly encourage children to make a positive contribution to society, developing a sense of responsibility and moral purpose for all.
The Delivery of Learning
Modelling and Direct Instruction
Modelling is of a high standard with the teacher verbalising their thought process to the children, explaining how/why they are doing what they are doing. Direct modelling can take many forms, with teachers generally using the part-whole model where a concept is introduced in its general form, then divided up into distinguishable sub-parts, explicitly linked to the whole concept, or sequential ordering, where learning is presented in a sequential order as it would be in reality.
Direct instruction involves the repetition of key concepts / skills / summarising and practising. Direct instruction will take the form of the modelling process and these elements will be the ‘teacher talk’ part of the lesson with the vast majority of the lesson being children practising and applying skills. This constitutes the ‘Input’ part of the lesson in which delivery of concepts and skills is down to the teacher imparting knowledge.
Much misunderstanding in learning comes from children’s inability to understand specific vocabulary in questions or from their misunderstanding of the contextual nature of a word. Vocabulary is specifically taught to enable children to access learning. Regular vocabulary building is an integral part of our curriculum.
Questions for Learning
Questioning will appear at many points within lessons, with direct questioning being used to assess pupil’s ongoing understanding throughout the lesson – in both the input and the application phase, in order to check whether the lesson can continue or any re-teaching needs to be done. Indeed, a greater focus on questioning should take place during the application phase of the lesson, using a range of different question types, to both assess knowledge of the key concepts and then to extend thinking and analytical and evaluative questions.
Children will have access to a range of different scaffolds such as clear success criteria, word mats, diagrams, templates, checklists and suchlike, to support their independent learning at this time. Once the child has demonstrated that they have fully understood the concept, more challenging problems will be assigned in order to deepen and develop their understanding of the concept.
We aim to ensure that children are given as many opportunities as possible to work collaboratively; allowing them the chance to work with a range of different learners throughout their journey. Children then have a greater understanding of what it takes to complete a task, develop independence and leadership skills and work towards achieving common goals. Working collaboratively also offers learners the opportunity to support, coach and discuss learning prior to the completion of tasks and encourages children to take risks within a safe environment.
Cooperative learning is built on the foundations that we should build connections with each other. We learn best when we feel safe, secure and have positive relations with others. Co-operative learning involves children working collaboratively with one another in a variety on contexts which will promote teamwork and allow children to learn about their own similarities and differences in a fun, non-threatening way. Working in this way allows learning to be active but it also ensures that children develop an awareness of the needs of others, leading to the development of tolerance and social justice.
Approaches to Teaching
In addition, at Howden le Wear Primary School we:
- Have high expectations for learning;
- Promote positivity and happiness in learning;
- Promote a respect for all;
- Ensure inclusivity and a learning experience that is accessible to all;
- Promote resilience;
- Offer quality first teaching from all staff;
- Take account of individual needs, recognising different starting points and different social experiences;
- Provide specialist teaching in Sport and Music;
- Differentiate to meet the needs of all learners;
- Teach transferable skills and provide cross curricular opportunities;
- Provide planned and quality interventions to support pupils’ learning;
- Offer pre-teaching to targeted pupils;
- Use regular monitoring and assessment to check understanding and plan future learning;
- Listen to the voice of pupils in shaping our curriculum;
- Employ a consistent approach to behaviour across school;
- Engage the services of specialist SEND services as required to meet the needs of all learners;
- Seek opportunities to involve parents/carers to reinforce, support and celebrate learning;
- Consider the well-being of our school community and teach ways of managing positive mental health;
- Provide a variety of musical, sporting and cross-curricular opportunities.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Enrichment Opportunities:
We recognise the impact that extra-curricular activities and enrichment opportunities can have on a child’s broader development. We strive to offer children the opportunity to develop and discover their interests and talents, whilst enhancing their overall cultural capital.
Howden le Wear Primary School offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities involving children from all phases of learning. School makes a conscious effort to monitor attendance in these activities in order to ensure that children develop drive and persistence.
Examples of Extra-Curricular Opportunities available:
|Football Club||Multi Skills Club|
|Singing / Choir
|Cookery Club||Art / Craft Club||Two Wheeler Club|
|Drama / Glee Club||Tag Rugby Club||Homework Club||After School Swimming Club|
|Learn to Cycle Club||Change 4 Life Club||Gardening Club||
Examples of Enrichment Opportunities available:
|Whole school theatre visits||3 day outdoor adventurous residential||3 day cultural residential to Edinburgh||Overnight camping trip|
|School based camping activities
|Young Navigator award||Sports Week involving visiting experts||Sports Leadership Award|
|Playground Buddy initiative||Visiting experts to complement curriculum content||Educational visits to provide first hand experiences||Vertically grouped ‘Castle Team’ activities|
|Fundraising for local / national / international causes||School Council||School productions / class assemblies||Whole school annual celebrations – Harvest , Easter, Remembrance|
|Aspirations / Future Career Awareness
|Celebrations of language / culture – European Day of Languages / World Book Day|
Howden le Wear Primary School works alongside many schools and communities: we support a range of local, national and global charities and have developed a strong, working relationship with Howden le Wear Methodist Chapel. We collaborate with other schools in our local cluster as well as the wider Local Authority, in order to facilitate school improvement, sharing leadership expertise, curriculum knowledge, pedagogy and intent. School Council play a big role in the running of the school and the development of pupil voice has had a major impact on the school community.
Our curriculum is carefully planned for progression; it is designed to be challenging and relevant to our pupils and their local identity and builds upon their prior knowledge and understanding. Our curriculum gives all children opportunities and experiences needed to go forward to be successful in their education and future lives, enabling them to achieve and fulfil their dreams and all of their aspirations.
If children are meeting the age-related expectations of the curriculum, they are deemed to be making the appropriate amount of progress we expect and are therefore working at the expected standard for their year group.
We instil a belief in all of our children that they should dream big, aim high and that with hard work, commitment and resilience, they will achieve their life’s ambitions.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
At Howden-le-Wear Primary School, we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their peers. The Curriculum is all the planned activities that the school organises in order to promote learning, personal growth and development.
Further information can be found in the SEND Information Report.
If you have any questions about our curriculum or the work we do in school, please speak to your child’s class teacher or alternatively, contact the school and speak to our Headteacher, Mr Baines, who will be happy to help.
You may need a product like Adobe Reader (free download) to view our PDF documents on our website.