Our curriculum framework recognises that children learn best when they are actively engaged, can make links in their learning and are given opportunities to talk about and apply their learning in different contexts. As such our curriculum, in addition to meeting all statutory requirements and challenge, is contextualised and learning is enriched through the arts and visits to places of interest.
Our ‘Heronsgate Charter for Secondary Ready’ not only outlines the high academic performance we expect our children to have achieved but an array of opportunities they will have had such as, for example, learning a musical instrument or a visit to the theatre. This we hope will give them the confidence, motivation and skills needed to flourish in secondary school and beyond.
Here is some further detail about the curriculum that is covered in each year group:
Programmes of Study
Below are links to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study, published by the Department for Education.
- Art and Design
- Design and Technology
We use the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, starting in Reception and continuing into Key Stage . Initially children learn to listen for sounds and rhythms and then begin to learn the sounds of single letters. Reception use the Jolly Phonics rhymes to help in learning the single letter sounds and then learn to blend these sounds into words (e.g. ‘h-a-t’ becomes hat). Children are then taught to segment sounds and blend them together into words in order that they can read and write efficiently. The video below demonstrates how to say the sounds.
By the end of Year 2, most children will have a secure grasp of complicated letter strings, enabling them to decode two and three syllable words. Reading then progresses from learning to read, to reading to learn. Phonics is taught everyday with the children learning a new sound and revising sounds already taught. Children are placed in groups depending on their stage in phonics development, which enables children to move onto new sounds and letter patterns if they are ready, or to revisit sounds and letter patterns to ensure their knowledge is embedded. Some children will receive additional phonics support if we feel that this will be of benefit.
The school uses a range of books for our early readers, including Oxford Reading Tree and Phonics Bug. These are supplemented with other books. We believe that children need exposure to a variety of reading material to appeal to their different learning styles. Reading in class may sometimes be on screen, using the interactive whiteboard or computer.
At the early stages of reading development, the children initially use books without text and progress to books that are linked to the phonics sounds that they are learning. Children progress through the reading scheme at their own pace; they do not need to read a certain number of books in each stage before moving on to the next level. We do stress the importance of understanding and chatting about what they are reading to ensure the children understand what they have read and not just focusing on their ability to decode the words on the page. We ask that parents and anyone hearing children read always chat about the story with them. This is a vital skill all children need throughout their school life.
Reading Champions Home/School Record
Children are encouraged to read at home as frequently as possible and parents and carers are asked to record their reading in the child’s Reading Champions Book. This really makes a huge difference to a child’s reading skills! As a school, we very much appreciate all families who support reading and hear children read at home – we know your time is precious, but it is a vital part of every child’s education. As well as hearing children read, it is important that adults chat with children about their book – the characters, what they are doing and what might happen next!