At Hollybrook Infant School we strive to make our children passionate for learning and make their learning as much fun and as meaningful and relevant as possible. We offer children an excellent education in a safe, calm, creative, inclusive and stimulating environment. Every child is valued as an individual; we aim to nurture well rounded, respectful and confident children who will develop skills for life-long learning.
We take our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain very seriously and ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of our school. We believe that learning is an enjoyable life-long process through which everyone can achieve and exceed their expectations.
Our broad and balanced curriculum follows a topic based approach which ensures that learners are able to be confident, develop an enquiring attitude, be increasingly independent learners and be willing to take risks. We use ‘bags of skills’ to enable children to be able to talk about the knowledge and skills they are learning and applying in and across subjects.
In all subjects the SOLO taxonomy approach and specific verbs linked to this approach are used in planning and teaching. We follow the Growth Mindset model which support our ethos of every person in our school being a lifelong learner.
The curriculum is all the planned activities that we as a school organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. It includes, not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experiences of our children. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave.
We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and cooperate with others, whilst developing knowledge, skills and attitudes to learning, in order that they achieve their true potential. The school monitors and evaluates its effectiveness in providing an appropriate curriculum for pupils of all backgrounds. Each area of the curriculum is planned to incorporate the principles of equality and promotes positive attitudes to diversity. All subjects contribute to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils. Adaptations to curriculum or resources, and extra support is made available to pupils with disabilities to enable them to have inclusive access to the whole curriculum, school activities and learning experiences.
The content of the curriculum reflects and values diversity. It encourages staff and pupils to explore bias and to challenge prejudice and stereotypical ideals exhibited in language, behaviour, and attitudes which might limit children’s achievement. Extra-curricular activities and special events cater for the interests and capabilities of all pupils and take account of parental concerns related to religion and culture. Some funding is made available, where possible, to enable disadvantaged children to participate in extra-curricular activities.
Our Religious Education curriculum is based on the Living Difference 3 Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. This syllabus is enquiry based and teaches children to have respect for others, including religious beliefs. As a non-secular school, we are also sensitive to those families who may not have religious beliefs.
Reading and Phonics
We do not use a specific reading scheme although we have Oxford Reading Tree books at the early stages of reading. We do use a book band system to be able to direct children to a range of books suitable for their reading ability. We encourage children to be independent and change their own reading books as soon as they have finished a book. Parents / Carers are very welcome to come in and change a book with their child if they seem to be forgetting! The children progress through to "free readers" starting initially with short chapter books then progressing to longer books of their choice.
We teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds scheme. Every year, in September, we invite parents in so that we can explain how we teach reading and phonics.
Parents are encouraged to hear their children read every day. In Year R high frequency words are sent home for the children to learn. Words may also be sent home in Years 1 and 2 to either learn to read or spell. In addition, topic based home learning is set whereby children are encouraged to present their learning in a way of their choice. They may like to build a lego model or do some writing. They then share their learning with the rest of the class. We really value the support that parents give with this and are frequently amazed at the quality of the learning that is brought in.
If you would like further information for Early Years, please click on the following link for Development Matters EYFS http://foundationyears.org.uk/files/2012/03/Development-Matters-FINAL-PRINT-AMENDED.pdf
If you would like further information for Key Stage 1, please click on the following link for the National Curriculum https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4/the-national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4
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