Our Horfield Curriculum
This is a school where meaningful, memorable learning ignites creativity, cultivates curiosity and promotes challenge.
Our vibrant and enriching curriculum stems directly from our shared school vision and values and is responsive to our local context. Our curriculum holds pupils’ learning and personal development at its heart.
We aim to inspire and develop our children to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world; to develop future citizens who are able to cope with change and take a useful, satisfying and personally successful place in society. Through the provision of a rich and stimulating curriculum we ignite curiosity in our learners and provide a range of opportunities to empower them to achieve excellent standards and to become lifelong learners.
Our staff have a passionate commitment to learning and recognise the uniqueness of individual learners. Our aspirational and fully inclusive curriculum is driven by our desire to offer the best possible education for all of our children working in partnership with parents, governors and the local community. Our approach inspires a love of learning which engages children’s hearts and minds and is completely irresistible!
Creativity plays a vital role in the Horfield School ethos and is truly embedded throughout the school. An awareness of aesthetic values is encouraged and our rich cultural diversity is celebrated. It is our intention to care for and develop each child to lead a healthy lifestyle, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Our aim is to powerfully address social disadvantage by developing cultural capital through the provision of opportunities pupils may not experience anywhere else.
Meaningful, memorable learning experiences are systematically planned in our curriculum in order to build the knowledge and skills that pupils need to be successful in later life. Teachers love to inspire one another by suggesting new and exciting ideas which are embraced by the whole team. Staff are clear about what pupils need to know and be able to do in order to reach clearly defined curriculum end points.
We review the curriculum regularly in order to ensure that we are providing the very best for all of our children. The curriculum is carefully constructed so that key concepts and core knowledge and skills are taught and then revisited so that children are able to embed concepts in their long term memory and apply them fluently.
Parents are highly valued as co-educators and our curriculum plans are shared with them so that they can support their children at home.
Children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum when they start in Reception. The children’s learning in their indoor and outdoor classrooms is play-based so that they can enjoy exploring and discovering more about their own world and the wider world. Learning behaviours, routines and fundamental skills are carefully established in order to provide children with a secure foundation for their future learning. The learning environment is stimulating and responsive and reflects practitioners’ understanding of how to nurture the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Experiences are different every day, promoting engagement and allowing all seven areas of learning to be explored in a multi-sensory way so that meaningful memorable learning takes place.
In Years 1 to 6 our pupils enjoy the stated aims of the national curriculum:
‘The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’
The full range of national curriculum subjects is delivered and local and national contexts are taken into account, so that the curriculum is relevant and responsive to children’s interests. Participation in uplifting whole school projects such as the prestigious UKLA Book Award, residential visits and visits to places of interest bring the curriculum to life and give children broad and enriched curriculum experiences. It is our intention to build pupils’ resilience, confidence and self-esteem as a result of these opportunities.
Cross-curricular learning and topic-based work links both to prior learning and across areas of learning. This means that children are able to build on and develop the knowledge and skills they have learnt in previous years in order to make good progress.
In response to our local context we have chosen to focus on the development of Oracy so that children develop as articulate and confident speakers. These skills underpin all areas of learning and life and so we are incorporating regular practice of these essential life skills into our teaching.
The potential of our indoor and outdoor learning environments is maximised and is used creatively by all staff to deliver the curriculum. Children are taught to care for their environment through our curriculum and practices, to respect our world and care for its future and to appreciate the basic independence of all peoples.
Our whole school year begins with our learning metaphor. This unifying theme draws us together as one school. Staff choose a powerful image for the metaphor for example, 'Exploration’ in 2019 - 20 that can be applied to all curriculum subjects and areas of learning. We buy a large range of themed, inspiring texts for children to enjoy and respond to through poetry, drama, art and writing.
Whatever their year group, children begin the year with this deep idea that enables them to respond in a creative way. They are exposed to challenging and meaningful texts so that they can reflect on how language can have many layers and meanings. This enables us to demonstrate our distinctiveness as a school in a way that encourages all children to feel part of a learning community.
The metaphor is the focus of the first INSET day of the year. Our aim is to harness the exceptional creative talent we have in our school; teachers interpret the metaphor in their own ways. Teacher autonomy is important to us at Horfield.