Curriculum Statement of Intent
At Houghton Conquest Lower School Lower School, we believe that our curriculum should challenge and inspire pupils, encouraging them to look beyond their immediate environment. We want to promote a love of learning and believe that practice, resilience and patience will bring success and build confidence. Curiosity, creativity and empathy will be nurtured and valued. Developing these traits in our pupils will assist them in finding a happier path through an increasingly complex world. Everything we do is therefore rooted in our values-based approach to education.
Our children learn through an exciting and challenging thematic based approach to learning called our ‘Creative Curriculum’. Each term the children embark on new learning journeys and learning environments are transformed to reflect these. Each learning journey has been designed to enable the children to meet the expectations of the 2014 National Curriculum programmes of study, both in terms of content and skills, in an engaging, inspiring and memorable way. Each learning journey is planned around engaging texts which are suited to children’s ages and experiences. High quality visits and visitors are an important part of our curriculum planning and our wonderful outdoor environment is used to support the children’s learning wherever possible.
We endeavour to make learning in all subjects cross-curricular and meaningful to each child; providing real depth of understanding. However, we also provide opportunities to teach certain knowledge and skills discreetly that don’t fit harmoniously within our learning journeys, for example phonics, spelling, handwriting, mathematics, religious education, physical education, PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Education) and French (Key Stage 2 only). Our children also have the opportunity to take part in planned Forest School sessions throughout the year.
Our curriculum is carefully planned to sequence the introduction of new knowledge and the consolidation of prior understanding. Children connect new knowledge with existing knowledge and revisit the key skills which form the essence of each subject through a rich variety of contexts as prescribed by each topic where they also practise and refine their developing skills. In this way, children acquire the knowledge and facts they need for History for example, and consolidate their understanding by writing about it in English, whilst simultaneously improving and developing their English skills.
Our curriculum is inclusive for all, and its design provides a strong foundation and opportunity for our children to work in teams and develop social skills both indoors and out. Pupils at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and encouraged to expand their skills through higher order questioning and problem solving skills and those who find learning more challenging are given targeted intervention, differentiated learning tasks and support to embed skills and to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs. Qualified teaching assistants offer nurture and emotional interventions.
Embedded within our curriculum, throughout our teaching and learning is a whole school culture of ‘growth mindset’, encouraging our pupils to become confident and resilient learners. Our curriculum encourages pupils to relish challenges and embrace mistakes as part of the learning process, to value the importance of effort, to respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. This will help them to achieve in their future lives as adults and as they move onto middle school.
Our school curriculum reflects the principles and aims of our Values based Education that we promote through our school environment. This allows pupils to be curious, show initiative and be unique. This curiosity and drive also applies to staff at Houghton, who all embrace the values teaching. Through these and through other areas of our curriculum pupils are given opportunities to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally, ultimately preparing them for life in 21st century Britain.
Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year. Children leave Houghton Conquest with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
We plan the curriculum carefully and systematically to ensure coherence, full coverage of all subjects and planned progression. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that children develop the skills they need to become confident, self-motivated learners, who can engage with and solve challenges innovatively. We have an agreed long term plan for the school through our curriculum maps. These indicate which topics are to be taught in each year group. This is reviewed by the Senior Leaders and Subject Leaders prior to the start of each academic year and mapped out to indicate what will be taught in each term.
Our curriculum map and progression skills give clear guidance on the skills that we are developing within each topic. An entry point into the topic is used to immerse the children immediately into the topic. During this a very clear exit point is explored to give the children a purpose for their learning throughout a set period of time.
Our curriculum is monitored regularly and according to our whole school monitoring and evaluation schedule, through lesson observations, learning walks, book looks and pupil progress meetings. Termly input from governors and the school ‘s Improvement Advisor also forms part of the monitoring and evaluation process.
Assessment is carried out by teachers to inform them of the children’s gaps in learning, and this feeds into the next lesson so that the pace of learning is determined by the children’s confidence in each area. Parents receive reports three times per year, and are invited in to Parent Consultations twice a year. Further information evenings and open classrooms are hosted across the academic year.
The impact of the curriculum is monitored though triangulation of outcomes: pupil voice, test/data outcomes, planning, monitoring of books and displays, lesson learning walks, discussions with teaching staff, pupils and parents.
The desired outcomes of the curriculum will ensure that pupils are well rounded, ready to embark on further education. They will be equipped with the foundations and skills to achieve success in later education. Pupils will understand what they are good at and have developed skills to face their challenges.
Overview of topics
|Autumn 1||Autumn 2||Spring 1||Spring 2||Summer 1||Summer 2|
|Preschool||Marvellous Me||Festivals and Celebrations||People who help us / Superheroes||Transport||Watch me Grow||Fantasy and Fiction|
|Foundation||All about Me||Celebrations||Once Upon a Time||Amazing Adventures||Up above & down below||Our Wonderful World|
|Year 1||Into the Woods||Fire and Ice||Wild and Wonderful|
|Year 2||Splish, Splash, Splosh||Turrets and Tiara’s||Into the Garden|
|Year 3||The Egyptians||Extreme Earth||Roman Britain|
|Year 4||World War II||Stone Age to Iron Age||Rainforests|