The School Curriculum
We recognise that every child has an entitlement as laid out in the new National Curriculum (2014) requirements. We also feel that all of our learners need to be enabled to reach their full potential.
Our curriculum has evolved over time from 'big questions' and 'big ideas' to our current topic based approach to learning. Every term, the children in each year group will concentrate on a specific area of an over arching trust wide topic. These are centred around both modern and historical themes and include opportunities for our children to learn about a range of local and global places and events. We believe that our curriculum is more realistic and meaningful when appropriate cross-curricular links are made and learning is not only broad and balanced but also relevant.
Wherever possible, the knowledge, understanding and skill of subject areas are planned to support the research of the topic that will be covered, giving purpose, momentum and motivation to learning. Each term ends with a whole school open afternoon whereby classes display their responses to the topic ensuring that there is a defined end point and purpose to all learning that takes place.
Most of all we aim to enjoy our learning, have fun together and develop positive attitudes to what we hope will be life-long learning for all.
The why, what and how of learning
The ‘why’ of our learning policy states that all learners, most specifically pupils, need to be enabled to reach their full potential.
The ‘what’ of our learning policy is that every child has an entitlement as laid out within the new National Curriculum requirements.
The ‘how’ of learning is embodied within our four agreed learning values of aspiration, collaboration, creativity and independence. These values are considered and planned for within all aspects of our curriculum. Two of the values are the subject of specific focus in each term.
The 'why', 'what' and 'how' of learning are firmly linked in our planning which focuses on a enquiry/research approach to an overarching topic which is set for the whole school.
Please see our Long Term Curriculum Plan below to see how each year group will cover the curriculum. Alongside this, you will also find our termly overviews where you can find more information about how you can support your child at home. For any additional information about the new National Curriculum, please follow this link: www.gov.uk/dfe/nationalcurriculum or speak to a member of the senior leadership team.
Each term the children in years 1-6 complete a passport to learning project. These can either be based around our termly topics or on the children's interests and hobbies. Children therefore have a degree of freedom as to how they respond to the topic they have been given. It is expected that the children complete their projects as independently as possible and bring them in at the end of each term to display at the open afternoon. They can then be shared with our visitors and other children in the class.
Alongside this, children are also expected to practise their spellings and times tables regularly and ensure that they read their school accelerated reader book.
Special Educational Needs
It is recognised that 1 in 5 children can have a specific educational need at some stage in their learning. Our school policy aims to identify needs as early as possible in order to support children effectively before the need has too great an impact upon their learning. For many children the needs are supported by the class teacher and teaching assistant but all children are monitored on a regular basis and for some children more specialised intervention is required. The school is able to call upon external agencies for further support when required. It is our policy to involve parents as much as possible in their children’s needs.
Sex and Relationships Education
Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) is a key aspect of Personal, Social and Health Education at Halfway Houses Primary School. As such it is more than the biology of reproduction and is taught in the context of caring relationships. The SRE is provided in upper Key Stage 2 and forms a foundation for further work in secondary schools.
Religious Education is included in the basic curriculum alongside the core and foundation subjects. The work undertaken is non-denominational; whilst reflecting the broad traditions of Christian belief, the work also draws on the beliefs of other faiths.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education if they so wish - we will make the necessary arrangements on receipt of a written request.
During the time the children are at the school, they will have the opportunity to accompany their class on a variety of educational visits, either linked with the current programme of study in the classroom, or educationally worthwhile in their own right. These visits are an important part of the children's learning, and are planned with that in mind. There are also regular visits to the school by a variety of providers.
Parents and School
Children's education does not start at the age of 5; it does not only happen between 8.30a.m. and 3.20 p.m.; and it does not always need a teacher to contribute towards it. As a school, we value - and require - the care and support that individual parents give to their own children; to derive the greatest benefit from school, the child must be at the centre of a partnership between home and school, where the aim is the full development of the child. As professionals, we can guide the children's learning, we can stimulate their imaginations, and we can equip them with the skills they need for a successful life. We can do it on our own - but we can do it so much more effectively and efficiently with the full support of the parents. We hope that you will feel able to be fully involved not only in your child's learning, but also in the life and work of the school. Busy teachers with large classes will always appreciate the offer of classroom assistance. Many parents find it not only enjoyable, but also eye-opening to help in their child's classroom.
Progress and development are matters of great concern to both parents and teachers alike. We have formal Open Evenings early in the Autumn Term and midway through the Spring Term. Reports are sent out annually towards the end of the Summer Term and parents have the opportunity to come and discuss this report with the class teacher. Whilst these are all important occasions, we place a lot of emphasis on the school's open door policy whereby parents can visit the school whenever they feel there is a problem that they wish to discuss. Class teachers, Phase Leaders, Year Leaders, SENCo, the Deputy Headteacher, and the Headteacher are quite happy to talk with parents when the need arises, rather than wait for the next official open evening. Similarly, we would far rather invite parents to the school when we feel there is a problem than delay the discussions unnecessarily.
The Friends of Halfway School is an association of parents, teachers and others who are extremely active in arranging a variety of social and fund-raising events. All parents are automatically members of the Friends and the organising committee is always looking for new faces to provide fresh ideas and inspirations.