For detailed curriculum information, please read through The Halifax Academy Primary Hearts and Minds Curriculum 2019-2020 document.
Children in EYFS follow a curriculum that seeks to engage them in their learning whilst also allowing them to investigate and develop their understanding of the world through provision based learning. The two classes operate in conjunction with each other and have equal access to both an indoor and outdoor provision area. Each child will partake in daily phonics, Maths and English lessons as well as partaking in a daily Maths Meeting as a part of our commitment to the Maths Mastery approach to teaching.
Activities for the children throughout their time in EYFS follow the aims and intentions of the seven areas of learning that make up the foundation stage teaching programme. These seven areas are split into two aspects as follows:
• Prime areas of learning – Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
• Specific areas of learning – Literacy, Maths, Understanding the world, Expressive arts and design.
Children are assessed over the course of the year with assessments linking back to these key aspects. The assessments include a baseline assessment at the start of the year to ascertain where a child is in terms of their development and an end of year assessment linked to the national standard to check if the child has reached a Good Level of Development (GLD).
Key Stage 1
As children progress into Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) they begin to experience the more traditional programme of study with the teaching of individual subjects. This form of learning introduces children to both discrete subject teaching and interwoven units of study which might link together the study of an historical figure such as Amelia Earhart with the skills of descriptive setting writing.
Our curriculum seeks to use both the local and wider contexts to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. As a part of their learning, children will visit local historical locations such as The Piece Hall, Shibden Park and local places of religious significance.
Our curriculum in this stage emphasises the key aspects of our ethos; Hearts, minds and communication (as outlines in our vision and values).
• English – this is taught through daily lessons which focus on both the skills of reading and writing; activities are linked to other areas of study where applicable and children are taught the key aspects of grammar, punctuation and spelling either discretely or as a part of their wider application of writing skills. Reading sessions take place daily and weekly and will involve individual, small group and whole class reading sessions.
• Phonics – this is taught as an implicit lesson to all EYFS and Year 1 pupils on a daily basis. All pupils will be exposed to the 6 phonic phases throughout their time at the Academy. Children may be grouped due to their level of application and some children who were not at the national standard for phonics at the end of Year 1 will also revisit this programme of study.
• Mathematics is taught to all students in KS1 through a Mastery approach. Mathematics Mastery is an engaging and accessible style of mathematics teaching, inspired by Singapore and Shanghai. The approach is designed to enhance understanding and enjoyment, as well as raise attainment for every child. Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils a richer and deeper learning experience. Children work both independently and with partners to
Additionally pupils receive lessons in Science, History, Geography, Music, Art and Design, Design Technology, Religious Education, Physical Education, Computing and Personal, Social, Health Care Education.
Our five curriculum development days are used to augment our teaching and learning and bring to life experiences that the children may not normally have. These can be themed around a specific area such as keeping safe or being healthy; or they may be subject based such as musical inspiration days.
Key Stage 2
As children move into Key Stage 2 (Year 3-6) the curriculum both widens in terms of areas covered and deepens in terms of the level of understanding and knowledge the children are expected to attain. Key Stage 2 culminates in the end of KS2 SATs which take place in the May of Year 6.
The overall teaching and learning process is similar to that of Key Stage 1 but it includes the addition of Modern Foreign Languages as an area of study (Spanish).
Spelling – as phonics is not taught implicitly to all pupils in Years 3-6 the area of focus shifts to the teaching of spelling and spelling rules. This involves learning the application of key spelling rules, the investigation into exceptions and both the rote learning and understanding of spelling patterns.
As with Key Stage 1 the children in Key Stage 2 also enjoy the five curriculum development days. Wider learning opportunities are scheduled to enhance experiences such as the work with a Hydroponic Pod in Year 4.
All pupils operate within a house system with the house teams competing in various events throughout the year to develop skills in teamwork, competitiveness, fair play and how to win and lose with dignity and grace. These house teams run throughout the entire through school and children within the same family are positioned within the same house.
As a fully inclusive school, the curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all students, whatever their needs. We provide many personalised programmes for students who are identified as vulnerable during their school career, which might include classroom support, reading programmes or mentoring support. We encourage all students to support each other and display our values of ‘Hearts and Minds’ when working with others.
For further information about the Primary curriculum at The Halifax Academy, please contact:
Headteacher of Primary - Richard Shaw