Our Creative Curriculum
Our school’s curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. We offer children broad, balanced, differentiated and relevant curriculum which recognises individual developmental needs and takes account of National Curriculum subjects. The following topics are developed from Chris Quigley’s Creative Themes for learning - to find out more about this skills based curriculum visit Chris Quigley website here or talk to your child’s teacher.
We aim to provide children with the ability to meet the unknown challenges of the twenty-first century. We focus on developing children’s learning capacity so that they can become positive, responsible citizens who can work and co-operate with others while at the same time developing their knowledge and skills, in order to be the best they can be. The aim is for our curriculum to be the best for our children at Harpenden Academy. We want it to be exciting, interesting and engaging so that children are curious and want to learn. We want children to come home from school excited about what they are learning about. We also want our curriculum to be about raising standards. Our curriculum is now skills based, with a focus on improving key subject skills. This is so that children gain the subject knowledge, skills and understanding appropriate to their stage of development. We do this by following three simple principles. The what, why and how of the curriculum planning:
As an Academy we are not required to teach the National Curriculum, so in its place we have created an effective school curriculum which is based upon our curriculum drivers of first hand experience, global awareness, emotional awareness and aspirations as well as reflecting the breadth of National Curriculum subjects.
So that children learn and get better at using key subject skills.
We plan exciting contexts for learning that ‘hook’ and engage learners so that they want to learn more. We aim to make learning real and relevant to the lives of our children. As a new school and will be continuously growing until we reach full capacity of year groups in 2018. This means the curriculum is constantly being reviewed to ensure that it meets the needs of our children.
The Creative Curriculum has been organised through a ‘topic based’ approach which incorporates the key skills set out on the National Curriculum. The use of ICT is encouraged on all topic areas set out in its own right and in both the teaching of the topic and in the opportunities for children’s independent learning. Each class teacher is responsible for the delivery of the Creative Curriculum. Although links can be made with all subjects, the following subjects are dedicated, discrete sessions:
We follow the Maths scheme called Maths No Problem which teaches the skills of reasoning, maths fluency and incorporates the use of resources, problem solving and group work. The maths scheme is child-centred and fun to teach and was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery.
We follow the Talk for Writing approach, developed by Pie Corbett, supported by Julia Strong, this programme is based upon the principles of how children learn and is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. Phonics, Guided Reading and handwriting are taught as discrete subjects as they build up basic skills.
Religious Education (RE) is a necessary part of a broad and balanced curriculum. As RE is not nationally determined a locally agreed syllabus of RE is prepared by a local Standard Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) and adopted by a local authority. It is this Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education 2017-2022 which we use as the basis of our planning and delivering of RE at Harpenden Academy.
PE AND SWIMMING
PE in KS1 & KS2 is taught by the class teachers. Physical fitness and physical awareness are important in developing a healthy lifestyle. A range of dance, gym, sports and swimming will be covered.
Swimming is taught by specialist staff at the local swimming pool.
MFL - FRENCH
These lessons are linked to the creative curriculum and allow the chance for children to become familiar with another language.
We follow the scheme charanga which is a complete scheme to teach the national curriculum for music. It incorporates a vast library of songs, topics, instrument courses and creative apps, in also provides in-depth support for assessment, SEND and personalised teaching and learning.
Teaching staff are also encouraged to broaden the experience of the topics for the children through trips, visitors into school and shared experiences of the wider school community, e.g. involvement with parents and school links etc.