Curriculum 2020-2021: Achievement through Aspiration
At Thomas Harding Junior School we provide our children with a broad, exciting and aspirational curriculum that is built on an in depth knowledge and understanding of our pupils. Our ASPIRE curriculum is driven by our values so that ALL learners are able to experience full and diverse opportunities that successfully meets their needs and builds cultural capital, enabling them to become global citizens of the 21st century.
Aspiration and Success ensure that a challenging curriculum enables all to succeed to a high standard. Pride, Integrity and Resilience ensure children develop learning behaviours such as: high expectations, openness, thinking independently, having a growth mindset and self-regulation. These enable our pupils to believe they can achieve their potential and maximise opportunities for pupils to take greater responsibility for their own learning. Equality ensures our pupils respect the value of education and learning and are well prepared for the next stage of their learning journey, within the community in which they live.
ASPIRE firmly states that self-belief can and will lead to personal success and our curriculum enables pupils to do that. Core British Values run through our curriculum to ensure that pupils understand the rights and responsibilities, as well as the roles of law and democracy that they need in life now and in the future. 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.
Our curriculum allows for fundamental key skills in maths, reading, writing and spoken language to become embedded, ensuring that knowledge and skills can be applied in a range of contexts and remain in children's long term memory.
Outdoor learning, and the 10 outcomes for high quality outdoor learning, makes a significant contribution to our curriculum. We ensure ALL pupils enjoy experiences beyond the classroom that not only enrich learning but also develop pupils' sense of character and well-being. We achieve this through our vast and varied school grounds; using our local area and educational visits and visitors.
If you would like any further information about the curriculum that your child is following you can look on the class pages on our website, make an appointment to talk to the class teacher or for more detailed information contact Mr Turner, the Deputy Headteacher and curriculum lead, via email@example.com or by telephoning the school office.
Curriculum subjects - Intent and Implementation
Our curriculum has, at its heart, a focus on developing children’s reading, writing, language and communication skills in all subjects. Our English curriculum is built around the idea of ‘purpose’, and carefully sequenced learning journeys create a cohesive link between reading, writing and spoken language, which enables children to make systematic progress and embed essential concepts and skills
Through English, we enthuse and excite children with a wide range of high quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction, immersing all pupils in a language-rich learning environment, where they develop confidence in themselves as readers, writers and orators. Writing always builds upon the foundations of reading and spoken language and is taught through English, as well as through writing opportunities in other curriculum areas where children can apply their skills.
At Thomas Harding Junior School we recognise the importance of Maths in everyday life and, as such, equip our children with the mathematical knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Using the White Rose materials as a foundation, our Maths curriculum enables pupils to spend a greater amount of time building number competency so that skills and knowledge are embedded in pupils' long term memory. Our Maths curriculum ensures there is clear progression in the acquisition of fundamental skills such as fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Maths is taught in a language rich environment, using a wide range of resources and practical activities that enable all pupils to explore concepts through CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract).
Our innovative STEM curriculum, which is underpinned by the National Curriculum, provides opportunities for cross-curricular links in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The application of skills allows children to have a better understanding of STEM in the wider world as cross curricular links are explicit. Children are provided with opportunities to develop their enquiry and resilience through pupil-led investigations and STEM challenges. We make use of our extensive school grounds, local area and educational visits so learning is purposeful and memorable.
Thomas Harding Junior School is dedicated to providing all pupils with excellent ICT skills, knowledge and understanding that will allow them to broaden their learning across the curriculum. We 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 proud to offer a History curriculum that is ambitious, coherent and that inspires all children’s curiosity to learn more about the past. Progression is carefully planned so that children will build upon their historical knowledge and skills and develop these, year upon year. Children are taught a sense of chronology through sequenced lessons thus allowing them to understand how significant events in the past have influenced life in Britain today and to gain a more accurate historical perspective. Children study a range of civilisations including ancient civilisations in Britain, Egypt and Greece, the British invaders and settlers, from the Romans to the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, and then finally focusing on Crime and Punishment beyond 1066 in Year 6. Children make use of independent research both in school and as part of their homework in order to extend their knowledge. With a strong focus on topic specific vocabulary, we enable children to articulate their learning with accuracy. Our aim is to foster a continuous thirst for knowledge of history and develop in children the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
Our inspirational and innovative Geography curriculum provides children with the opportunity to learn about the world that they are living in, as well as explore areas around the world that they may be less familiar with. Year upon year, children are empowered to show progression in their geographical skills and knowledge about physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Through carefully sequenced geography lessons taught throughout the school, the children build on the skills learnt already and are able to locate places and geographical features on maps and ordnance surveys, developing their ability to be able to read co-ordinates accurately in order to help them. The geography topics taught offer children the opportunity to broaden their outdoor learning skills as many lessons develop their skills of enquiry and exploration both in the school environment and the local community. Children independently carry out research to extend their knowledge throughout the geography topic, and using the correct topical vocabulary, they are able to articulate their learning demonstrating a coherent understanding.
Art and Design
Art and Design at Thomas Harding engages, inspires and challenges children to increase their knowledge and ability to experiment in order to create their own works of art. It enables our children to work with a range of art tools, media and processes to develop their skills and sequenced lessons ensure there is clear progression in learning. Art and Design is taught using a cross-curricular approach, embedding knowledge and transferring and applying skills across subjects.
We believe sporting excellence and participation go hand in hand with high academic standards for all learners. As part of their physical activity, pupils are provided with opportunities to develop motor skills as well as increase fitness and well-being. The PE curriculum ensures clear progression in the essential skills and knowledge that enables learners to incorporate safe and satisfying physical activity into their lives. The sequencing of learning means that the application of these skills is built upon throughout the key stage, ensuring that pupils are ready for the next stage of their physical development. Inclusive practice means that all learners have the opportunity to fully participate in lessons, across a range of sports.
At Thomas Harding, we follow the Buckinghamshire Agreed Syllabus for RE 2016 – 2021, which is ambitious and designed to give all pupils knowledge, skills and personal development to succeed in their learning in school as well as in life. Our RE curriculum exposes children to a wider range of religions and provides the opportunity for our RE curriculum to reflect children in our school community. The sequencing of learning means that pupils are able to revisit religions in different contexts and embed their learning, through a variety of stimulating lessons. RE helps pupils (and the school as a whole) to reflect on the ways in which beliefs influence the way people live their lives.
At Thomas Harding, we use the PSHE Association’s Programme of Study as a framework for our curriculum planning in PSHE. The core themes covered throughout the year are: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. There are a wide range of opportunities for all children to develop and apply their skills and knowledge in each core theme. The children’s learning is sequenced to ensure progression in each of the core themes throughout their time at Thomas Harding. As part of the PSHE curriculum, children participate in themed weeks, for example Anti-bullying Week and Healthy Eating Week, and experience workshops and assemblies from a range of visitors from the wider world and local community.
In line with government guidance, which becomes statutory in September 2020, our school teaches Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) using the PSHE Association recommended Christopher Winter Project resources during the Summer term. RSE lessons at Thomas Harding give the children essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful relationships and staying safe both on and offline.
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 skills, as well as an understanding of musical traditions, styles and cultures. Music topics are sequenced so that children’s knowledge and skills develop progressively throughout topics and each year group.
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 and orchestra perform at local events and the choir has even performed at the O2 Arena.
At Thomas Harding, the children are exposed to a challenging Modern Foreign Languages curriculum which develops language fluency through increased focus on oracy. The curriculum has a core focus on vocabulary, which is built upon each year as the children progress through the school. We have created a scheme of work, based on the Buckinghamshire County Council French scheme of work, which ensures progression throughout the years and meets the needs of our pupils at Thomas Harding. In lessons, pupils are given opportunities to use and practise the target language through a variety of activities, songs and games, as well as exercises which develop their reading and writing skills.