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Curriculum

We use the Essentials Curriculum at Heaton Avenue which follows the National Curriculum.

The National Curriculum (2014) is in place for all pupils and the school is working on tailoring this curriculum to the successful skills based curriculum that we use. We will be delivering the statutory content of the National Curriculum and planning a thematic approach to learning. Many of the topics change regularly to excite and stimulate the children. A skills based approach is followed to ensure that the children make progression with their learning as they move through the school.

To view our Teaching and Learning Policy please click the link below:

Teaching and Learning Policy

To view our marking policy please click the link below:

Marking Policy

School Character and Innnovation

Our work is designed to meet the needs or opportunities presented by - 

  • Our Pupils 
  • Our Vision or Ethos
  • Our Location
  • Our curriculum drivers - Possibilities, Emotional Awareness, Enterprise, Enquiry (see 'Welcome and School Ethos' for more infromation)

Core Subjects

  • English

    Reading

    Great importance is attached to enabling the child to become fluent readers. We use Oxford Reading Tree as a core reading scheme for the younger children and structured guided reading operates throughout the school. An exciting addition to our reading resources this year include the introduction of Project X Origins, Project X Code and Story Sparks. These have already been used by some children - to great effect! In addition, there is a wide range of reading material, both factual and fiction, in the school classroom and our modern library. The children are encouraged to use this library to develop the research skills needed to become independent learners. 

    Our Essentials Curriculum for reading ensures all our children have the opportunity to improve their knoweldge and understanding of the characteristics of being a good reader. These include:

    • Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.

    • Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.

    • Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.

    • An excellent comprehension of texts.

    • The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.

    • Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.

    Accelerated Reader

    Children in Year 2 and all Key Stage 2 children frequently use the Accelerated Reader system. Accelerated Reader is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading practice, motivating children to read for pleasure. STAR assessment are undertaken regularly in school which provide the children with a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). This number supports the children in choosing a reading book that is at the correct 'level' of understanding for their stage of development - encouraging fluency, knowledge and reading for pleasure. These are the building blocks of a successful reader. Your child should already be aware of their ZPD and will be completing their next STAR assessment test imminently. They will be able to access the website at home by using the hyperlink https:ukhosted47.renlearn.co.uk/2250129  and will have the Home Connect information sent out early in the school year.

    For more information on Accelerated Reader and Home Connect, please either click here or see the documentation below:

     

    https://z11resources.renlearnrp.com/UK/HomeConnect/WhatIsHomeConnectUK.pdf 

    Writing

    Children are taught to write in a variety of styles including prose, poetry, biographies, blogs, explanations, recounts and reporting, and to suit different purposes and audiences. As the child progresses, the correct use of spelling, grammar and punctuation is taught as set lessons and encouraged throughout. A whole school policy for handwriting is aimed at the children progressing towards being able to write using joined up lettering, legibly and neatly, leading to taking a pride in the presentation of all their work. It is our aim at Heaton Avenue to advance a child's writing ability so they become an outstanding writer. This encompasses:

    • The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
    • A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
    • A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
    • Well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
    • Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat.
    • A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.

    Speaking and Listening

    Speaking, listening and performing skills are promoted throughout the school through, storytelling, discussion groups, drama lessons, and role play in history, religious education etc. Such opportunities, as well as whole school concerts, provide a valuable means of building confidence and developing the ability to listen to, and appreciate the efforts of others. At its heart, the process of excellent communication will be nurtured at our school which will see children develop:

    • An exceptional talent for listening attentively so as to understand what is being said. 

    • A rich and varied vocabulary that gives clarity and interest to conversations.

    • Clear speech that can be easily understood by a range of audiences.

    • An excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences.

    • A highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience.

    • A delight in initiating and joining in conversations.

    • Respect for others when communicating, even when views differ

  • Mathematics

    The school aims to give all children a thorough understanding of number and algebra, shape, space and handling data. A strong emphasis is also placed on investigative and problem solving activities. The work is delivered through a balance of individual programmes, group work and whole class lessons. Our mathemetics curriculum has the overall aim of meeting the individual needs of children of all abilities, as well as offering challenge and enjoyment. 

    The curriculum is complemented with the study of mathematical topics and applied where possible in all cross curricular work. There is a strong commitment to practical activities leading to mathematical understanding as well as in mental arithmetic as a basis for the children to be able to tackle more complex mathematical operations with confidence. The school has incorporated the objectives of the National Numeracy Strategy fully into its Mathematics curriculum.

    In order to be a successful mathematician, we will provide children with multi-stage problems so they will improve their understanding of mathematics as a whole subject. A successful mathematician will have:

    • An understanding of the important concepts and an ability to make connections within mathematics.

    • A broad range of skills in using and applying mathematics.

    • Fluent knowledge and recall of number facts and the number system.

    • The ability to show initiative in solving problems in a wide range of contexts, including the new or unusual.

    • The ability to think independently and to persevere when faced with challenges, showing a confidence of success.

    • The ability to embrace the value of learning from mistakes and false starts.

    • The ability to reason, generalise and make sense of solutions.

    • Fluency in performing written and mental calculations and mathematical techniques.

    • A wide range of mathematical vocabulary.

    • A commitment to and passion for the subject.

     

  • Science

    From the early years, children are provided with the opportunities for discovery and experimentation through first- hand experience. They are encouraged to observe, discuss, classify, compare, set up fair tests and record and interpret their findings. Through their scientifc enquiry and investigations, children are given the opportunity to learn about life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes. Activities will take place in the context of the study of themes laid down in the National Curriculum and each theme will be visited every two years as the children develop understanding.

    Our aim is to nurture the enquiring mind and extend children’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them so they have:

    • The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings. 

    • Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations. 

    • Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.

    • High levels of originality, imagination or innovation in the application of skills.

    • The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork.

    • A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.

Foundation Subjects

  • History

    Children are encouraged to develop an interest in the past, to appreciate past achievements and major events  – both national and worldwide – and to develop an understanding of their own and their family’s history and how values and attitudes may have changed. Pupils are taught the skills necessary for the interpretation of primary and secondary source material, artefacts, maps and visual and auditory aids, books, the countryside, ancient sites, newspapers, records and documents. Within the framework of a cross curricular approach, we aim to develop an understanding of the nature of cause and consequence, continuity and change, similarity and difference. A successful historian at our school will possess:

    • An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.

    • The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.

    • The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.

    • The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry. 

    • A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways. 

    • A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.

    • A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.

     

  • Geography

    Children are encouraged to develop an interest in the past, to appreciate past achievements and major events  – both national and worldwide – and to develop an understanding of their own and their family’s history and how values and attitudes may have changed. Pupils are taught the skills necessary for the interpretation of primary and secondary source material, artefacts, maps and visual and auditory aids, books, the countryside, ancient sites, newspapers, records and documents. Within the framework of a cross curricular approach, we aim to develop an understanding of the nature of cause and consequence, continuity and change, similarity and difference. As a geographer, our children will have:

    • An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.

    • An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.

    • An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.

    • Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.

    • The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.

    • Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.

    • Highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.

    • A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.

    • The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.

  • Computing

    With the introduction of the new National Curriculum the old subject of ICT has been updated to Computing. In computing children will learn how to ‘code’, predominantly using the interface Scratch. They will be taught to connect with one another through the contribution to blogs and other safe social media such as DB primary (but not limited to).  As children progress they will be given the opportunity to communicate and work collaboratively through a variety of different devices and applications available on netbooks, laptops and iPads. The future will demand an ever increasing generation of computer literate students who will be able to demonstrate:

    • Competence in coding for a variety of practical and inventive purposes, including the application of ideas within other subjects.

    • The ability to connect with others safely and respectfully, understanding the need to act within the law and with moral and ethical integrity.

    • An understanding of the connected nature of devices.

    • The ability to communicate ideas well by using applications and devices throughout the curriculum.

    • The ability to collect, organise and manipulate data effectively.

  • Design Technology

    All children are encouraged to develop their design and making skills through practical tasks. They are given the opportunity to use a wide variety of materials and to manipulate tools safely. Children are encouraged to design and plan their work through drawing and discussion and evaluate their models when they are complete. Children study different areas of modern living including food, textiles and construction techniques. To develop their knowledge, skills and understanding, children also investigate a wide range of products, leading to evaluation of their own designs and finished products. Children's work will show:

    • Significant levels of originality and the willingness to take creative risks to produce innovative ideas and prototypes.

    • An excellent attitude to learning and independent working.

    • The ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.

    • The ability to carry out thorough research, show initiative and ask questions to develop an exceptionally detailed knowledge of users’ needs.

    • The ability to act as responsible designers and makers, working ethically, using finite materials carefully and working safely.

    • A thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use to make their products.

    • The ability to apply mathematical knowledge.

    • The ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture products safely and hygienically.

    • A passion for the subject and knowledge of, up-to-date technological innovations in materials, products and systems.

  • Physical Education

    In order to live an active and healthy lifestyle, our children will be expected to demonstrate:

    • The ability to acquire new knowledge and skills exceptionally well and develop an in-depth understanding of PE.

    • The willingness to practise skills in a wide range of different activities and situations, alone, in small groups and in teams and to apply these skills in chosen activities to achieve exceptionally high levels of performance.

    • High levels of physical fitness.

    • A healthy lifestyle, achieved by eating sensibly, avoiding smoking, drugs and alcohol and exercising regularly.

    • The ability to remain physically active for sustained periods of time and an understanding of the importance of this in promoting long-term health and well-being. 

    • The ability to take the initiative and become excellent young leaders, organising and officiating, and evaluating what needs to be done to improve, and motivating and instilling excellent sporting attitudes in others. 

    • Exceptional levels of originality, imagination and creativity in their techniques, tactics and choreography, knowledge of how to improve their own and others’ performance and the ability to work independently for extended periods of time without the need of guidance or support.

    • A keen interest in PE. A willingness to participate eagerly in every lesson, highly positive attitudes and the ability to make informed choices about engaging fully in extra-curricular sport.

    • The ability to swim at least 25 metres before the end of Year 6 and knowledge of how to remain safe in and around water.

  • Art

    Art is taught as a crucial part of the school’s cross curricular approach to different topics and as a subject in its own right. All children are encouraged to be creative, to develop an active interest in a range of media and to express themselves fully using this range. Artwork is used and displayed widely throughout the whole school in order to foster an appreciation of different forms, traditions and cultures. A good artist in our school will show that they have:

    • The ability to use visual language skillfully and convincingly (for example, line, shape, pattern, colour, texture, form) to express emotions, interpret observations, convey insights and accentuate their individuality.

    • The ability to communicate fluently in visual and tactile form.

    • The ability to draw confidently and adventurously from observation, memory and imagination.

    • The ability to explore and invent marks, develop and deconstruct ideas and communicate perceptively and powerfully through purposeful drawing in 2D, 3D or digital media.

    • An impressive knowledge and understanding of other artists, craftmakers and designers.

    • The ability to think and act like creative practitioners by using their knowledge and understanding to inform, inspire and interpret ideas, observations and feelings.

    • Independence, initiative and originality which they can use to develop their creativity.

    • The ability to select and use materials, processes and techniques skillfully and inventively to realise intentions and capitalise on the unexpected.

    • The ability to reflect on, analyse and critically evaluate their own work and that of others.

    • A passion for and a commitment to the subject.

  • Music

    Music is taught as part of the cross curricular approach within classroom activities. recorder lessons are an intrinsic part of the curriculum in Key Stage Two. The school also offers tuition in many instruments using peripatetic teachers. There are also many opportunities for the children to perform in assemblies, school concerts and in the community. A good musician at Heaton Avenue will demonstrate:

    • A rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work. 

    • A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise. 

    • Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.

    • An excellent understanding of how musical provenance - the historical, social and cultural origins of music - contributes to the diversity of musical styles.

    • The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.

    • A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.

  • Religious Education

    Religious Education plays an important part within the broad and balanced curriculum offered at School. Children attend the daily assembly, which is mainly Christian in character, but may also draw on stories from other faiths or focus on moral issues. Pupils are welcomed from any religious faith or none, and will find their opinions respected. Sessions will provide children with the opportunity to have:

    • An outstanding level of religious understanding and knowledge.

    • A thorough engagement with a range of ultimate questions about the meaning and significance of existence.

    • The ability to ask significant and highly reflective questions about religion and demonstrate an excellent understanding of issues related to the nature, truth and value of religion.

    • A strong understanding of how the beliefs, values, practices and ways of life within any religion cohere together.

    • Exceptional independence; the ability to think for themselves and take the initiative in, for example, asking questions, carrying out investigations, evaluating ideas and working constructively with others.

    • Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity, which are shown in their responses to their learning in RE.

    • The ability to link the study of religion and belief to personal reflections on meaning and purpose.

    • A wide knowledge and deep understanding across a wide range of religions and beliefs.

    Parents do, however, have the right to with draw their child from the whole or part of the R.E. curriculum. Any parent requiring further information or wishing to withdraw their child should contact the headteacher

  • Personal, Social, Health and Education

    From the start of the current academic year, all the children in school have undertaken a brand new approach to PHSCE lessons in the form of Jigsaw. This brings together Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in a lesson-a-week programme. Jigsaw holds children at its heart and its cohesive vision helps children understand and value who they are and how they fit and contribute to the world.

    Citizenship is promoted through a wide range of activities locally through the School Council, Eco-team, Sports Committee and Digital Squad and globally through Comenius links. It has been agreed by the Governors that aspects of Sex and Relationship Education will be taught formally to children in Year 6. Additionally, In Upper Key Stge Two, discussions are timetabled around drugs, smoking and puberty and areas relating to PSHCE are delivered in set assembly times generally.

    We also use the Secrets to Success programme to promote personal, social and emotional development. This approach teaches pupils 8 key aspects to be successful life-long-learners. The 8 aspects are discussed regularly in phase assemblies and children are rewarded for demonstrating one or more of these 8 areas:

    Try new things 

    Success does not come knocking on the door. We all need to go out and find something in which we can experience success. Finding something that we are good at builds confidence. Some pupils may not be good at the things they spend most of their time doing at school, which can make it even more important that schools have a broad and rich curriculum with something for everyone. As adults, however, we learn that just because we may be good at something doesn’t necessarily mean that we enjoy it. Successful people enjoy what they do. In fact, they love what they do. What they do gives them energy; work feels like play and time flies by. These are the lucky people who have found their energy zone. These people don’t need any external or material reward to motivate them; they do what they do simply because they love it. 

    Work hard

    This is something that most of us don’t want to hear. If we want to get really good at something there are no short cuts. Accomplishment is all about practise and hard work. Pupils need to understand the benefits of working hard. They need to know that work is good and not something that should be avoided. Many pupils become frustrated if they don’t accomplish something immediately. With a television culture of ‘overnight’ success, it is important to teach them that it may take hours and hours of hard work to become really good at something and that in real life success is not easy for anyone. 

    Concentrate

    Children are living in the most intensely stimulating time in the history of the Earth. They are bombarded with images from television advertisements, websites, games consoles and mobile phones. It has never been so important to teach our children how to concentrate. Of course, every teacher will tell pupils of the need to concentrate, but few will teach them how. 

    Push themselves

    To be really successful, pupils need to learn to push themselves. Most adults realise that if they want a healthier lifestyle, joining a gym doesn’t change much. We have to push ourselves to go to the gym. In fact, going to the gym doesn’t change much either if we don’t push ourselves when there. There are lots of ways pupils need to push themselves. For example, when they don’t feel like doing things, when they feel shy, when they think they might fail and when their friends are trying to stop them doing what they want to do. It can be really difficult to push oneself, but it is essential for success. 

    Imagine

    In 1968, George Land gave 1,600 five-year-olds a test in divergent thinking. This involved finding multiple solutions to problems, asking questions and generating ideas. The test results were staggering: 98% scored at what he described as ‘genius’ level. He then re-tested the same children at age ten, by which time the level had declined to 30%. By fifteen years of age, only 12% of the children scored at the genius level. The same test given to 280,000 adults placed their genius level at only 2%. In his book Breakpoint and Beyond’, co-authored by Beth Jarman, Land concluded that non-creative behaviour is learned.

    The test shows what most of us know: children have a fantastic imagination, which mostly declines with age. This decline is the enemy of success. To help children to be successful we need to help them to keep having ideas as they get older. 

    Improve

    Successful people are always trying to make things better. This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with what they have but they know that there is always room for improvement. They try to make good things great. Rather than making any radical transformations, however, they tend to make lots of small adjustments. This is what we can teach our children: great things do not happen suddenly. They are the result of lots of tweaking and refinement. We can all make things a little bit better. We can all take small steps to greatness. 

    Understand others

    Aristotle made the distinction between what he called sophia and phronesis. Sophia was wisdom of the world - what came to be called science. He spoke of the importance of understanding how the world works. However, he also stressed that, in itself, this was not enough for civilisation to flourish. Society also needed phronesis. This was the application of this wisdom in the service of others. Thousands of years later, Aristotle’s words are just as true. Successful people use what they know to try to be useful to others. Instead of asking ‘What’s in it for me?’ they ask, ‘What can I give?’ If we look at a successful business, it gives people things they value, at the right price. If we look at a successful public service, it gives people what they value at the right time. 

    Not give up

    Successful people have bad luck, setbacks, failures, criticism and rejection but they always find a way around these problems. Children need to understand that if they have bad luck, they are not alone. Most of us tend to focus on the accomplishments of successful people rather than their mishaps or setbacks. We need to tell children about the times we failed, were rejected and criticised but also how we bounced back. 

  • Modern Foreign Language

    French is our chosen modern foreign language and is introduced from Reception upwards. Pupils in Key Stage Two are taught it more formally. At Heaton Avenue, we aim to provide children with a practical application for language skills and try to promote creative use of French through simple stories, poems, songs and games. This is so our pupils learn:

    • The confidence to speak with good intonation and pronunciation.

    • Fluency in reading.

    • Fluency and imagination in writing.

    • A strong awareness of the culture of the countries where the language is spoken.

    • A passion for languages and a commitment to the subject.

    • The ability to use language creatively and spontaneously.

    • An independence in their studies and the ability to draw upon a wide range of resources