Our Curriculum Intent

To provide an education and environment where challenge and character development is intrinsically woven into the heart of every day.

The curriculum lies at the heart of education and at Hill Farm it is planned, to not only determine what children will know and do, but to help them discover their talents and passions, to build character and to provide them with the skills and opportunities to become confident students, able to take their place in society as happy, responsible citizens who care for others and the world they live in.

 Leaders have designed a curriculum to meet the needs of Hill Farm’s pupils. It is designed to encourage pupils to develop a love of learning, to provide them with a wide range of cultural experiences and to develop their basic skills, especially in literacy and numeracy.  Pupils thoroughly enjoy their learning and find the curriculum engaging and interesting. They are becoming enthusiastic, inquisitive learners who benefit from a very wide range of experiences.  (Ofsted 2019)

Curriculum Intent

At Hill Farm Primary School, our aim is to deliver an exciting, challenging and opportunity rich learning experience that celebrates the differences and diversity in our school community.  In conjunction, we aim to nurture caring, thoughtful and confident children who understand and live values such as tolerance and gratitude.  Through our shared set of values children will be committed to their learning, know how to study effectively, be resilient to setbacks and take pride in their achievements.

 Our skills-based curriculum is designed to take account of prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences and support children to develop interpersonal skills.   We aim to build resilience, and plan in opportunities for our pupils to become creative, critical thinkers. One of our key approaches to teaching is to encourage pupils to challenge themselves and not be afraid to make mistakes along the way. Teachers’ regular feedback is also crucial as a means of challenging and questioning thinking and deepening learning.   This coupled with high expectations for all learners’ behaviour and conduct and applied these expectations consistently and fairly.

Our co- and extra-curricular offer is crucial to the richness of the Hill Farm curriculum.  We are fervent about opportunity for pupils and as such have devised an extensive program of trips and activities that are free or subsidised to ensure our children, regardless of disadvantage, have parity with their peers. The Hill Farm Promise - 101 experiences builds further still and incorporates the views of staff and pupil voice.

We take pride in working closely with our families to create a strong relationships that support our pupils both in and out of school.  From greeting families in the morning to waving pupils off at the end of the day, our staff are always available to talk to parents and carers.  We are fortunate to have a dedicated Safeguarding and Family Support Team who are able to assist children and families as well as signpost to outside agencies where needed.  We regularly hold curriculum activities, celebration events, sporting, art and musical performances where parents are encouraged and welcomed to work with their children in school.   Along with a parent forum group, weekly newsletter, weekly year group letters, updates through the Hill Farm ‘app’ and Twitter, families are kept well informed of their children’s progress.   All elements of the curriculum are clearly mapped into journeys that link together so families can easily see how they can contribute to and support their child’s educational journey by helping with homework, trips and visits and feeding this back into school as a continuous educational partnership. Curriculum Maps 

Implementation of the Curriculum

Self-regulated learning

Focussing on the three essential components of self-regulated learning: cognition - the mental process involved in knowing, understanding, and learning, metacognition (learning to learn) and motivation - willingness to engage, the delivery of the curriculum includes teaching pupils specific strategies for planning, monitoring and evaluating their learning and encouraging children to take greater responsibility for their learning and developing their understanding of what is required to succeed.  Using concepts that are regularly repeated over each key stage, connections can be made, knowledge and skills can be built upon and learning is secured in the long-term memory.

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) research has shown this approach has high levels of impact with pupils making an average of seven months additional progress and also showing that teaching these strategies can be particularly effective for low achieving older pupils.  

Values Education

As an accredited (Values-based Education website & Values Audit Report) Values-based Education provider, Hill Farm combines a cognitive learning approach with  teaching and inspiring children, young people and adults to adopt and live positive human values.  We firmly believe that a focus on ethical and emotional intelligence leads to deepened relationships and the embedded values-culture provides pupils with the best chance of academic success.

We have twenty two values taught over a rolling two year period that are introduced in whole school assemblies and then explicitly taught and discussed in class, promoted in activities and recognised and rewarded in actions.    The ‘values’ provide a basis for our behaviour system and compliment out Ambition Behaviour Policy which encompasses ways to reward the individual, class, and house.    Pupils discuss which of the values need to be shown to complete work successfully, and values are often referred to in ‘learning comments’ from the pupils following a piece of work. Values Education is delivered alongside Philosophy for Children in order to help children learn to take personal responsibility for their own thoughts and actions whilst promoting philosophical enquiry and reflection. 

Hill Farm is also mindful of the mental health agenda and routinely promote various approaches such as reflection time and teaching how the brain works (neurology).   We incorporate into lessons ways to develop healthy habits for life, based on Professor Steve Peters’  ‘Chimp Management’ book and have staff members who are trained in this approach. We want pupils to understand their own behaviour and develop planned strategies for managing themselves emotionally.   Our Inclusion Team also deliver further ‘nurture’ groups for specific high-need children such as ‘Emotion Coaching’ and ‘Diffuze’ to help them identify strategies for dealing with problems they may face outside of school.

Feedback for success

EEF research suggests that the provision of high-quality feedback can lead to an average of eight additional months’ progress over the course of a year so this is a vital tool that teachers and pupils alike fully understand in order to maximise impact. 

Feedback at Hill Farm can take a range of different forms and is dependent on factors such as the age and ability of the learner, motivation, type of task and intended learning outcome.  The most effective and commonly used form is oral feedback at the point of teach so pupils can act immediately on advice, rectify mistakes and make changes while the work is still fresh.  Peer to peer feedback is used which enables and encourages pupils to reflect with their peers about their work and there is also traditional written feedback in the form of marking.  Editing and improving work is a natural ‘way of working’ in each of these ways.

 While written marking of work still takes place after lessons, teachers are encouraged to assess pupils throughout the lesson, examples of which are:  noting advice they have given to individual pupils, working with a small group on a common misconception,  or picking up whole class errors and adapting the lesson accordingly. It is expected that any advice given to a pupil is acted upon, with pupils responding and editing in purple pen.   Responses from pupils further aid teacher’s assessments and feed into termly assessments which enable teachers to reflect on the learning and establish that children are on track or require additional intervention.

Decisions as to the frequency, timing and focus of feedback are made during planning and take into account guidance from the Eliminating unnecessary workload around marking’ report (March 2019)

Impact of the Curriculum

The impact of our curriculum can be seen through year on year improvement in academic achievement compared with national outcomes:

 

National 2018/19

2018

2019 Actual

GLD

72%

63%

65%

Year 1 Phonics

82%

 79%

82%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Key Stage One Attainment

 

Expected standard

 

National 2018/19

School 2018

School 2019 Actual

Combined  RWM

65%

58%

59%

Reading

75%

52%

65%

Writing

69%

52%

62%

Maths

76%

59%

68%

Higher standard

 

National 2018/19

School 2018

School 2019Actual

Combined  RWM

11%

2.5%

4%

Reading

25%

14%

22%

Writing

15%

3%

6%

Maths

22%

10%

24%

 

Key Stage Two Attainment

Expected standard

 

National 2018/19

School 2018

School 2019Actual

Combined  RWM

65%

51%

55%

Reading

73%

62%

63%

Writing

78%

74%

73%

Maths

79%

62%

71%

 Higher standard/Greater depth

 

National 2018/19

School 2018

School 2019Actual

Combined RWM

11%

2%

8%

Reading

27%

24%

19%

Writing

20%

7%

13%

Maths

27%

13%

25%

However, of equal importance is the further impact of the high quality learning experience we offer which include the extra and co-curricular activities, the inner curriculums and interventions delivered by our inclusion staff as evidenced by the following:

A rise in school attendance and a decrease in persistent absence.

A significant uptake in after school clubs and activities including the opportunity to represent the school in various teams and experiences.

Parents are also very positive about the school as is evidenced in questionnaires conducted throughout the school year with 100% stating that they would recommend the school. Parent Forum, who meet once a month on behalf of parents, further demonstrate positive feedback.  

Link to:

Whole school overview

Theme Curriculum maps

Hill Farm Promise


 

Curriculum Intent Statement  

Written: May 2019    

Reviewed: September 2020

Next Review Date: September 2021