Here at Hilldene we want our curriculum to be exciting, engaging, informative but most of all based on the skills that our pupils will need in all aspects of their lives, not just for the time that they are with us. We strongly believe in providing our pupils with experiences that they can then relate their learning to.
Hilldene’s Five Principles:
Our curriculum is built around our five principles of which our curriculum has been designed:
- Effective Communication – providing all pupils the opportunity to effectively communicate with each other and adults around the school. Language development is also key for pupils being able to effectively communicate. Being able to effectively communicate with others in a wide range of situations encourages pupils to think about their own ideas, thoughts and opinions as well as developing skills to challenge others in appropriate ways.
- Transferable Skills – we are living in a society where we don’t yet know what occupations will exist when our pupils are ready to pursue their dreams and careers. ensuring that curriculum lessons are based around skills in a range of curriculum areas, not just knowledge. Knowledge is at the fingertips (with the use of the Internet) of our pupils so we need to ensure we are providing opportunities where pupils are learning and developing skills. These skills should be transferable and pupils will be able to use these in a variety of curriculum areas.
- Opportunities and Experiences – for pupils to learn effectively and embed their knowledge and skills it is important for them to build their learning on ‘lived experiences’, at Hilldene we strive to offer all pupils experiences that will strengthen and deepen their understanding whilst pupils enjoying different experiences. Developing general knowledge, building vocabulary will improve confidence in pupils in all areas of the curriculum.
- Making Connections ln Learning – pupils will revisit prior learning to ensure that this is embedded meaning that newly acquired knowledge is building on foundations that have already been learnt. Making connections between learning that has already taken place, is being learnt and future learning is vital for pupils to see how their learning is coming together to build their education.
- Life Skills – ensuring that all of our pupils at Hilldene are equipped with the life skills that are needed in their later life as well as their time with us is important to us. As a school we aim to build resilience and independence to allow pupils to learn valuable skills for their futures.
Our curriculum has been designed to enthuse, excite and keep pupils interested in their learning. Curriculum maps have been designed to give pupils opportunities to learn about a variety of topics that are relevant to their lives today whilst also covering the National Curriculum. Within our curriculum design, we have been mindful to include representations of everyday life, relationships and topical events that impact our pupils’ lives today. We aim to ensure that all learning is meaningful and purposeful.
The curriculum is organised into curriculum areas which are taught according to the National Curriculum guidelines. English and Mathematics are taught daily and foundation curriculum areas are often taught in blocked units. This allows pupils to be fully immersed into the curriculum area, building upon their knowledge and skills to fully develop their understanding of the curriculum area and particular unit of work.
Units of work have been carefully planned to ensure that pupils are using skills that have been previously taught so that they can build upon these as well as learning or deepening their knowledge and understanding of a curriculum area.
Where possible, units of work will be taught to coincide with national, local and school events so that pupils are able to apply their learning to a wider picture and to be able to make connections outside of their school learning. At times, this may be whole school themes or events that allow all pupils across the school to focus on a particular aspect of the curriculum.
At Hilldene we have carefully researched, trialled and implemented a range of different approaches to ensure that our pupils have a well rounded, balancenced curriculum that we truly believe is the best of them. Where approaches are implemented; these are adapted to the needs of our pupils to ensure that all pupils are making progress and reach their full potential.
The Early Years Curriculum (for pupils in Nursery and Reception) develops the whole child; pupils learn through play and develop their early stages of their education through exploration. It is also designed to develop their social, personal, emotional, care and learning needs. The Early Years Curriculum has 7 Prime Areas and pupils are assessed at the end of Reception using expectations called Early Learning Goals (EGLs).
The National Curriculum (for pupils in Year 1 to 6) comprises of Core and Foundation Subject areas, these are:
- English (Reading and Writing)
- Design and Technology
- Modern Forgein Languages (Spanish)
- Personal, Social, Health, Relationships Education
- Physical Education
- Religious Education