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Thomas Harding
Junior School

Achievement Through Aspiration
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Thomas Harding

Curriculum 2016: Inspiration through Innovation

Curriculum 2016-17

At Thomas Harding Junior School we provide children with a broad and exciting curriculum. It is our belief that children learn best when they have a clear purpose for learning and when lessons are engaging. As a result we have a themed approach to learning. Each term, children are introduced to a new ‘theme’ that encompasses a wide range of skills, subject areas and cross-curricular activities. This approach to learning enables children to fully immerse themselves into a topic that instantly captures their imagination and attention, whilst having the opportunity to draw upon skills from a variety of curriculum areas. Our curriculum allows for additional opportunities for children to use their fundamental key skills in Maths, Reading and Writing.
 
Children are encouraged to play an active role in their learning journey by exploring possibilities and opportunities and by asking questions that extend their knowledge and understanding. Children are encouraged to think independently and work with partners and groups in all curriculum areas to promote the positive use of communication skills. We aim to give our children a full and clear insight into what being British is all about, to celebrate British culture and heritage and to give clear insight into 21st Century Britain so that all children are fully prepared for their life long journey of learning and understanding. Furthermore, as a culturally diverse school, our children are well equipped with the suitable knowledge, behaviours and attitudes that allow them to live harmoniously in a multi-cultural society. 

We use 'outdoor learning' to extend children's experiences beyond the classroom and use our vast and varied school grounds, as well as the local area, to engage children through irresistible learning. 

Curriculum Areas

English

Our curriculum has, at its heart, a focus on developing children’s reading, writing and communication skills in all subjects. Through English lessons we enthuse and excite children with a wide range of literature, including a clear celebration of the great British authors such as Charles Dickens, and encourage children to select books from classrooms and the library that challenge them and help them to develop confidence in themselves as readers. The skills of writing are taught through English, as well as through writing opportunities in other curriculum areas, linking to each year group’s themes. High expectations encourage high standards of spelling, grammar and presentation.

Mathematics
At Thomas Harding Junior School we recognise the importance of Mathematics in everyday life and, as such, aim to equip our children with the mathematical knowledge and skills they need to succeed in this subject.
Mathematics is taught using a wide range of resources and practical activities including games and investigational work to help the children achieve their full potential in this subject area. Lessons are varied and tailored to suit the needs of the children in each class and are linked, where appropriate, to other curriculum areas especially ICT and Science.
We run a popular Mathematics Club that is open to all year groups at different times of the year, we provide regular information to parents via Parent Talks and a half-termly newsletter that gives ideas to parents as to how they can support their child in this subject as well as including ideas and views of our children.

Science
Pupils in all year groups follow schemes of work developed by the school to suit the needs of the National Curriculum 2014. Children are taught to observe and question through topics. Through the use of extended writing and talking children develop scientific techniques to generate, complete and make generalisation on their own investigations.

Computing 
Thomas Harding Junior School is dedicated to providing all pupils with the outstanding ICT skills, knowledge and understanding that will allow them to broaden their learning across the curriculum. We aim to deliver a high-quality computing education which equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity.  Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. Pupils are taught how to use technology sensible and safely.  Pupils are able to develop their skills in engaging ways across the curriculum and have access to variety of ICT facilities. We are currently updating our school schemes of work to ensure the children are using the most up to date technical software and hardware. 

Humanities
History is a key basis to many of our ‘themes’. Again we focus on British history as well as looking at elements of history from other parts of the world. Through cross-curricular opportunities, for example with Geography, Computing and English, children are encouraged to learn about the past and make informed judgements on the significance of past events and how they influence life today. Children study a range of civilisations including ancient civilisations in Britain, Eygpt and Greece, the British invaders and settlers, from the Romans to the Vikings, and further into history to the Normans. Children make use of independent research both in school and as part of their homework in order to extend their knowledge.
Presently Geography is taught as part of a theme in a cross curricular manner with History, English and ICT. Using the 2014 framework, Geography inspires a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Children are empowered to develop their geographical skills and knowledge about physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. As well as ICT and technological tools we also encourage physical activities and experiences in both the school environment and local community.

Art, Design and Technology 
Children are given the opportunity to explore arts and technology through their theme. They are encouraged to use a range of materials, tools and food items to make and produce relevant products that are fit for purpose. Children work both independently and collaboratively to evaluate their work and the work of others so that they are able to identify successes and areas for improvement. 
Art projects and activities allow children to work creatively, with different tools and media, at the same time as developing skills and techniques. Paint, pastels, textiles, clay and other sculpture materials are regularly used to create works of art, connected to other curriculum areas and each year group’s theme, e.g. Greek theatre masks and Impressionist paintings.

PE
At Thomas Harding we believe sporting excellence and participation, alongside strong cultural opportunities, go hand in hand with high academic standards.  During PE lessons, pupils are provided with opportunities to learn motor skills, develop fitness and gain understanding about physical activity. Pupils learn about all of the benefits gained from being physically active as well as the skills and knowledge to incorporate safe, satisfying physical activity into their lives. The school also encourages links with local experts who provide specialist tuition in such areas as cricket, rugby, football, basketball and tennis.  We have good links with local leisure services to ensure sufficient pool time to teach swimming.  After-school clubs and events are supported by coaches, and teachers, enabling inter-school competitions. 

Religious Education
At Thomas Harding we follow the Bucks Agreed Syllabus for RE 2011-16. However, we have the freedom to plan appropriately for our pupils so that the provision is both academic but also personal. Children are given the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences, and explore their beliefs and values, in a variety of stimulating lessons which include discussion, debate, research, outside visits, drama, handling artefacts and art work. They work independently and collaboratively, learning both about religion and from religion. How we behave affects other people and our school community. RE helps pupils (and the school as a whole) to reflect on the ways in which beliefs influence the way people live their lives.

P.S.H.E.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is taught as a stand-alone subject but it’s influence is far reaching, making a major contribution to the ethos of our school community and underpinning all of our pastoral care. At Thomas Harding we run a 2 year rolling programme of learning opportunities and experiences that help our children develop as individuals, as family and school members and as part of the wider social and economic world. We use the Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development Programme as our framework but it is organised to suit the specific needs of the children at Thomas Harding. We want our pupils to feel physically and emotionally safe in school so they can learn and achieve. This emotional well being includes focused work on bullying, relationship education, managing money, empathy, handling emotions and communicating in a variety of settings.  Regular ‘circle time’ activities encourage pupils to play an active part in decision making and establish relationships within the school community. Our lessons provide many opportunities which encourage active learning and reflection; the ability to work with others and an understanding of themselves.

Music
Our Music curriculum fosters the enjoyment and appreciation of music at the same time as developing creativity and technical ability. The essential skills of music are taught regularly to enable children to develop vocal, rhythmic and instrumental ability, as well as an understanding of musical traditions, styles and cultures. Music topics link to the themes in each year group, e.g. African Djembe Drumming and Journeys into Space etc.
Technology is considered fundamental to modern music learning at Thomas Harding and the children regularly use a variety of music software programmes, iPads, electronic instruments and digital microphones for listening and appraisal, composition and performance.
Children can also select from a variety of instruments to learn with a specialist teacher, including guitar, recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone, keyboard and brass instruments. In addition to this, children have the opportunity to join our orchestra and choir. The choir performs at local events and has even performed at the O2 Arena.

French
The main aim of our French curriculum is for children to be able to speak and understand the spoken language.  Children learn French for one hour, spread over two thirty minute sessions, following the Buckinghamshire County Council schemes of work throughout Years 3 to 6. Children are given opportunities to use and practise the target language through a variety of activities, songs and games. This allows them to consolidate their understanding, pronunciation and fluency.

Outlined below is our ‘typical’ school timetable. 

 

  8:50 – 9:00 9:00 – 10:25
Session 1 and Session 2
 
10:25-
10:40
10:40-
11:00
11:00-12:00
Session 3
12:00 – 1:00 1:00 – 1:20 1:20 – 3:25
Afternoon Sessions
 
 
Mon
Registration  
Maths or  English
 
Guided Reading
Assembly Break  
Maths or  English
 
Lunch Afternoon Registration and Handwriting
 
 
Sessions 4 and 5
 
Tues
 
Maths or  English
 
Guided Reading
 
Maths or  English
 
 
Sessions 4 and 5
 
Weds
 
Maths or  English
 
Guided Reading
 
Maths or  English
 
 
Sessions 4 and 5
 
Thurs
 
Maths or  English
 
Guided Reading
 
Maths or  English
 
 
Sessions 4 and 5
 
Fri
 
Maths or  English
 
Guided Reading
 
Maths or  English
 
 
Sessions 4 and 5

 

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