Our Curriculum Offer
At Heddington Primary School, we follow the New National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as outlined by the Department for Education. These offer our children a minimum entitlement, while still allowing room for personalisation. In addition, as a Church of England Primary School, we follow the syllabus for RE provided by the Local Authority.
English, Maths, Computing, PE, RE, & PSHE are all taught as discrete, timetabled subjects, while we operate a ‘topic’ approach to other subjects which work well together, e.g. Geography, History, Design & Technology & Art. We are constantly developing innovative ways of giving the pupils opportunities to practise their key English & Maths skills within the topic work we do. Through the delivery of an effective curriculum, we aim to enable the pupils to make a contribution to and reach out to their own community.
We always look to make the learning as meaningful as possible and related to the real world by giving the pupils hands-on experiences and the chance to meet people and visit new locations to enhance their learning experiences. In addition, older Key stage 2 pupils have instruction in a Modern Foreign Language (French).
How is the curriculum organised?
In their first year in school, children will follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum. Those who have attended a pre-school setting will already have started working towards the ‘Early Learning Goals’ – this play-based learning continues throughout their 1st year at Heddington. We aim to develop the children as independent thinkers & learners through a balance of teacher directed and independent learning opportunities.
During their time at Heddington, children are taught in a variety of ways. Some children may work individually or in small groups with extra support, either inside or outside the classroom, to support specific SEND (Special Education Needs & Disabilities) targets. Please see our separate Local Offer Statement for more details.
At Heddington, we believe that reading is the key to Literacy and an important way in to all other areas of the curriculum. We find that children, who read regularly, with the support of their parents, tend to achieve more in all parts of their academic life. This can be accomplished by sharing books, using reference material, reading magazines, instructions, comics, newspapers and the children’s own stories. We have a wide range of books, newspapers and magazines in school to help nurture a child’s reading at each level of development. We are keen for children to take books home to share with their family and we provide a reading record book for parents to note their child’s reading progress at home.
Speaking and Listening is also an essential part of the curriculum, and indeed, everyday life. The children are given many opportunities to speak in a variety of situations throughout their school life. We encourage them to speak clearly and in sentences using an increasingly wide vocabulary and help them to focus on the richness of our language. The children are taught to listen respectfully and to value each other’s contributions, thereby increasing the confidence of the speaker. All pupils have opportunities to speak, sing & perform to audiences throughout the year in a range of activities in class, in assemblies, in school plays, at St Andrew’s Church or at various events both locally and nationally.
Writing again is a skill that impacts on all aspects of the curriculum. We focus on handwriting, spelling, punctuation, grammar and presentation. To help these skills develop, the children are presented with a variety of writing styles and contexts, including stories, poems, instructions, descriptions, letters, note taking, recounting and drafting. We practise these styles within other subjects as well as Literacy, e.g. report writing within a History topic.
At Heddington, we aim to foster an enjoyment and enthusiasm for Mathematics while equipping children with the key skills necessary to confidently deal with mathematical problems in everyday life.
All aspects of number work are taught. These include: place value, mental and written calculations, fractions, measurement, geometry and statistics. An emphasis is placed upon the development of children’s mental maths skills, with a mental maths warm up activity being a feature of all our lessons. In addition, children have regular access to Mathletics (an online learning tool) both in school and at home.
We follow the National Curriculum 2014, and all children take part in a daily Mathematics lesson where there is a mixture between whole class teaching, small group and individual work. Our aim is to make teaching and learning enjoyable, relevant and practical. Alongside learning and practising key skills, we provide children with the opportunity to apply and show mastery of their skills, wherever possible, to real life problems and investigative tasks, in order to develop decision making, critical thinking and reasoning skills. Mathematical skills are also applied across all curriculum subjects when appropriate.
We use a range of intervention programmes and resources to support and assist children for whom Mathematics may prove challenging. In addition, we signpost our Gifted and Talented Mathematicians towards local courses and enhance learning in Year 6 by working closely with our local secondary school on higher level maths.
Religious Education (RE)
The school follows the ‘Discovery RE’ syllabus. Each unit of learning begins with a Key question for enquiry based around a theme. Teaching and learning activities follow a key pattern of engagement, investigation, evaluation and expression. Children learn about both religion and human experience of religion as well as the ability to learn from religion and apply their learning to their lives
Our children are taught basic Christian beliefs and have an opportunity to study other forms of religions including Judaism, Sikhism and Islam in order to develop respect and understanding of them and the beliefs of their followers The children learn the nature and responsibilities of religion and appreciate truth, honesty, self-control, helpfulness, friendship, compassion, obedience, forgiveness and cheerfulness. They also learn tolerance, courtesy and respect for all regardless of sex, race or creed.
Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their child wholly or partly from attending R.E. in school and we must comply with such a request. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Collective Worship and RE lessons - please contact the Headteacher if you should wish to do so.
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
At Heddington, we have a range of IT devices to help support the delivery of computing. These include touch screen computers, Hudl tablets, ipads and laptops. Additional equipment such as data-logging and microscope hardware, programmable robots, digital cameras and colour scanners also enable the pupils to use computers as a part of their everyday learning and yet another tool for life in the 21st century.
Computing is generally taught through the use of laptops and ipads to develop specific skills. Each class has an interactive whiteboard for whole-class teaching. Ipads can be linked to the interactive board to aid delivery of lessons.
Physical Education (PE)
All children have 2 PE lessons a week focusing on gym, games, dance, outdoor games or athletics. Children in Key Stage 2 attend swimming lessons in second half of the school year for which we ask an additional contribution from parents although this is heavily subsidised through the Sports Premium Grant.
PE in our school aims to promote personal, social, intellectual and physical skills. Throughout the school it is taught with an emphasis on fun, fitness and the development of a healthy life style. Each pupil has approximately 2 hours of PE a week, where we provide a breadth and balance of activities. Children have the opportunity to join a wide variety of sports clubs after school, the majority of which are funded by the sports premium grant.
We make use of specialist coaching from outside agencies including dance, football, basketball, tennis, hockey, athletics and cricket.
Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE)
The PSHE curriculum reflects the values and ethos of Heddington Primary School. It has 4 main components; Developing confidence and responsibility, preparing to play active roles as citizens, developing a healthy, safer lifestyle and developing good relationships and respecting differences between people. These issues are often addressed during ‘Circle Time’ and through Collective Worship and Value for Life, but may also be reinforced by visiting local community groups or by inviting a member of our local community to come in and talk to us, e.g. local police or fire brigade.
Relationship & Sex Education
Our philosophy is the development of the whole person and specifically to give young persons a wider understanding of themselves, of personal relationships, social responsibilities and to enable them to make effective and responsible choices in matters of personal behaviour.
The aims are:
- To introduce and enhance the personal and social skills needed to make informed decisions;
- To offer the children appropriate, age-related knowledge about their bodies and how they function;
- To help children cope with the emotional and physical challenges of growing up.
- To foster self-esteem and mutual respect;
- To encourage children to appreciate the value of family life and have regard to moral considerations within the family and community.
Sex Education in its widest sense may appear many times throughout the school - how the major body organs work, healthy eating, how we grow, young animals, etc.
A specific programme of Sex Education lessons dealing with human reproduction occurs in Key Stage 2. Parents of pupils in Year 5 & 6 will be consulted each year regarding the video material and will have the opportunity to preview teaching materials.
Parents have a right to withdraw their child from Sex Education lessons, other than those covering aspects required by the national curriculum orders in science, and should consult the Headteacher if concerned about this aspect of the curriculum.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Children in Key Stage 2 receive weekly French lessons.
Our pupils will learn about the four main areas of science: Working scientifically (testing things out and drawing conclusions from our findings), Life processes and living things (including humans, animals, plants and the environment, evolution and inheritance), Materials and their properties, including states of matter, and lastly Physical processes (including electricity, magnetism, forces and motion, light and sound and planets Earth and space). Other elements include: Weather & Seasons & Rock Types.
Geography is taught as part of a number of topics throughout the year. Pupils will learn how to use atlases and globes to locate countries and capital cities in the UK and around the world. They will identify and compare different climates, seasons & weather variations. They will also compare physical & human features of different countries.
They will compare Heddington and Calne to other regions in the UK and across the world. They will learn how to make plans and maps and to use OS maps. They will carry out fieldwork in their local environment in order to record, analyse and explain ideas.
History teaches our pupils all about their local area in the past and how we used to live. It also takes on major historical themes and civilisations of the past and times in history that have a major impact on how our towns look today. Children are taught chronology (the timing of historical events) and knowledge and understanding of why certain events happened in the past.
They consider changes in living memory & events of local importance along with significant historical figures. They are taught British history from the Stone Age through Bronze & Iron Ages to Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and on to more recent kings & queens. They also study a local historical area in more depth and a broader historical study, such as Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece.
They study ways of interpreting the past from a range of sources including photographs, pictures, artefacts, documents, museum and ancient site visits, IT resources and oral histories from our older relatives or visitors to the school. They then learn how to organise their information and communicate it in a variety of ways, including talking, writing, model making, drama and IT presentations.
Art and Design
Heddington aims to foster creative thinking, providing children with the opportunity to express themselves through a variety of different media, exploring ideas and recording experiences and reviewing and revisiting these. Within the school, we aim to use art to support other areas of the curriculum; using it as an inspirational tool to motivate the children. It is used as a way of stimulating the children’s creative imagination to enable them to express what they see and feel.
Within the Art curriculum, the children will explore a variety of media areas including; Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media (i.e. collage), Sculpture, Textiles and other art and design techniques. They will also gain an understanding of the key art themes; Line, Tone, Shape, Colour, Texture and Pattern. The Art Curriculum also aims to develop an appreciation of the work of artists, craft makers and designers, and the diverse roles and functions of the arts in contemporary life, in different times and cultures.
Children will explore the similarities and differences in the work of artists to support them in understanding different styles and techniques. They are encouraged to explore, investigate, develop and evaluate their ideas and those of others, and are provided with the knowledge and understanding to enable them to achieve this.
Design and Technology (DT)
In Design Technology, we aim for children to explore their creativity and develop a range of technical and design skills. They will learn about, and experience, the complete design process. They will: define needs; develop, plan and communicate ideas; work with appropriate tools and materials; develop a working knowledge of materials and components; evaluate and test their work and ideas and review them; develop creative, technical and practical expertise. This will include the use of mechanical and electrical systems in their designs. Children will also apply understanding of computing to aid programming, monitoring and controlling their products. Cooking and nutrition is now a larger part of our D&T curriculum and pupils will be taught practical skills in preparing and cooking a variety of dishes, as well as understanding of the principles of a healthy and varied diet, where food comes from and how it is gown seasonally, reared, caught and processed.
Children are taught music on a weekly basis through whole class lessons or recorder groups. Lessons are fun and interactive, with children learning through singing, playing and participation. We provide regular opportunities for listening, composing, performing and appraising in order to develop a good appreciation and understanding of music.
Children sing on a regular basis during Collective Worship and we also have choirs and music clubs which perform to the local community and alongside other local schools.
We have a specialist music teacher who visits the school each week to provide individual and group tuition in guitar, keyboard and piano.