This sets out the Intent, Implementation and Impact of our curriculum at Hillcrest - how we teach the knowledge and skills (INTENT), what we teach and assess (IMPLEMENTATION) and the outcomes our pupils achieve (IMPACT).
Hillcrest 'House' Curriculum
The INTENT of our curriculum
The foundations of our 'house':
At Hillcrest we intend to implement an inspiring curriculum rooted in our shared vision:
‘Where all children learn and discover together to create a better world’
and our values:
Resilience, Innovation, Partnership and Excellence
We intend to help our children become life-long learners, to be curious, to live healthy lifestyles, not to be afraid to ask philosophical questions, to be moral citizens, take opportunities to extend their horizons and have an attitude of gratitude for who they are and what they can achieve.
Our children come from all over the world and we promote British Values so that they all understand what the people of our society see as being important and what we feel is right and wrong.
We intend to do this with a creative and relevant curriculum which will inspire and motivate all pupils to become the best that they can be and strive for academic excellence.
Our curriculum teaches them essential skills for life such as resilience, innovation, partnership and excellence. These core values are at the heart of all we do and are interwoven into all learning opportunities.
The walls of our 'house':
Reading, handwriting, spelling, grammar, phonics, arithmetic, number fluency, times tables – all classes teach these basic skills every morning in focused sessions.
The floors of our 'house':
Enquiry based learning through our Curious CityTM programme which includes immersion and challenges:
All foundation subjects are taught through enquiries which are planned with the support of Curious City. For each enquiry there is an ‘Experience’ which is intended to enthuse and engage the children. These are often used to launch an enquiry or to consolidate prior learning. There is also a ‘Challenge’ to develop a range of skills that are additional to the National Curriculum eg. assessing risk, timed tasks, presenting a manifesto, create a visual flowchart and team resilience.
The roof of our 'house':
eg. singing, sports, art, design & technology and languages – these are all the areas of the school curriculum that enrich learning.
The IMPLEMENTATION of our curriculum
The foundations of our 'house':
We want our children to be kind, safe and respectful towards others, their environment and themselves, both inside and outside of the classroom. Hillcrest children talk about ‘managing their inner chimp’ and taking responsibility for their own behaviours. (Find out about the Chimp Model here).
We will provide a range of opportunities for pupils to move learning from the short term to the long-term memory, resulting in mastery of the subject taught.
By the time learners have left Hillcrest Primary, they will have mastered a range of both procedural knowledge (skills) and factual knowledge through opportunities which are carefully planned for progression and depth.
We believe that the curriculum we offer should fire children’s imaginations and be challenging yet enable all to experience success, regardless of their ability or interests. It should promote self-belief and confidence which will enable them to reach their full potential.
At Hillcrest, we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful. Consequently, instilling all our pupils with a 'growth mindset' continues to be a key priority. (Find out about Growth Mindset here).
As part of a growth mindset, we use the metaphor of the Learning Pit to help children face new challenges and build resilience when things get tough (there's a great video explaining the Learning Pit here). We want to change the attitude of children who don’t react positively to challenges by ensuring a safe atmosphere, removing the fear of failure and also getting them excited by the notion of having a go.
We believe that it is important that children have a strong awareness of their local community of who they are and where they fit in the world.
We believe that successful learning depends on a positive partnership between home, school and the wider community and we are constantly looking to deepen those links.
The walls, the floors and the roof of our 'house'
True learning is defined as changes in the long-term memory and creating mental models that allow children to apply learning in a specific context; all lessons at Hillcrest Primary are crafted to follow the Rosenshine Ten Principals of Instruction framework:
As part of the planning process for our enquiry led curriculum, teachers plan the following:
- A knowledge organiser which outlines knowledge (including vocabulary) all children must master;
- A cycle of lessons, within an enquiry, for each subject, which carefully plans for progression and depth;
- A low stakes quiz which is tested regularly to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory;
- Challenge questions for pupils to apply their learning in a philosophical/open manner;
- Trips and visiting experts who will enhance the learning experience.
Hillcrest Primary has a wide variety of extra-curricular activities involving children from all year groups. We make a conscious effort to monitor, encourage and facilitate attendance in these activities in order to ensure that children develop drive and resilience.
Examples of some of the clubs on offer are:
Puppetry, Football, Gardening, Choir, Homework, Basketball, Spanish, Chess, Spheros Robotics and Ukulele.
We are committed to setting regular home learning opportunities appropriate to the age, needs and experiences of the child. The aims of home learning are:
- To support children’s learning opportunities via reinforcement and revision
- to provide opportunities for parents, pupils and teachers to work in partnership
- to share with parents the expectations school has regarding their child.
As well as weekly homework, children are expected to read regularly at home and are encouraged to practice all of their times tables up to 12 x 12, which they should know by the end of Year 4.
We use Seesaw which is a pupil-driven digital portfolio. Teachers can empower their children to create, reflect, share and collaborate. The children "show what they know" using photos, videos, drawings, text, PDFs and links on a weekly basis.
In Terms 2, 4 & 6, Teachers also set Small Dish Challenges - where children choose to complete a variety of challenges before moving on to a Large Plate Challenge. We offer a homework club each week to allow children to receive support from teacher if they need it.
The IMPACT of our curriculum
Everything we do is with our children in mind and our staff’s strong relationships with pupils, parents and one another creates an atmosphere for learning which is conducive to success and enjoyment.
The outcomes of our curriculum can be seen around the school. Children in classrooms are engaged in their learning, enjoy their learning and want to find out more. They show pride in their performance and develop understanding and learning to a deeper level. Work is completed to high standards and our children become rounded and interested individuals.
Our curriculum is carefully planned for progression; it is designed to be challenging and relevant to our pupils and their local identity and builds upon their prior knowledge and understanding.
If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making the amount of progress required and are therefore working at the expected standard for their year group.
The secure foundations of our vision and values result in children becoming life-long, curious learners, who ask philosophical questions and are more than ready to take opportunities to extend their horizons.