Our school has developed our own curriculum, which is based on the National Curriculum.
The underpinning principles of our curriculum are committed to providing quality and excellence through an exciting, stimulating environment that stretches and develops the child as a whole.
We believe that every child in our school will be able to develop the necessary skills needed to progress to secondary school and the skills they need to succeed as learners in life.
Our curriculum rests on a firm foundation of basic skills which will enable our children to ultimately explore and pursue their own interests. Although content is important and is taught according to National Curriculum requirements, skills and attitudes will be developed throughout. Children will discover that learning is not passive, but an active process that leads somewhere and in turn allows the child to see physical, tangible evidence of the skills they have learnt. This also helps children develop an evaluative attitude towards their work and a sense of not only pride in their work but a focus for areas to improve.
As a Church of England school RE is planned and taught discretely in RE days and through our Values curriculum.
Through our curriculum we aim to raise standards. Primary education is not just about targets and results in league tables, nor is it simply a preparatory step for secondary school; it is much more than that. As a school we believe that by developing skills in a stimulating, enjoyable environment, we help children develop as individuals that have access to enjoy learning through a rich and varied curriculum. We want children to take advantage of their primary curriculum. We want children to have a memorable experience at Grimley and Holt that encourages and inspires them to achieve in life and to aim to exceed their potential. We hope to foster the attitude of wanting to learn as well as needing to learn.
The curriculum at Grimley and Holt allows us to:
Early Years Foundation Stage
We believe as a school that basic skills must be at the heart of what we teach and we are delighted that this has been recognised in the new EYFS curriculum. We have ensured that we deliver an Early Years curriculum that focuses on the three prime areas of learning which are most essential for children’s readiness for future learning and healthy development as well as deliver on the four specific areas of learning which build on the prime areas.
Literacy lies at the heart of the National Curriculum covering speaking, listening, reading and writing – which includes spelling and handwriting. Phonics is taught in a systematic way using Read Write Inc. to support children’s rapid acquisition of phonic skills in the Foundation stage and Key Stage 1 and ability spelling groupings in Key Stage 2. We use Read Write Inc. as our main reading scheme but also value children reading a wide range of books and encourage a close home/school partnership. We emphasise the relationship between reading and writing and plan to create a balanced curriculum for writing in developing each child’s skills in style, content and presentation. Drama is the focus for developing speaking and listening skills. Our English Action Plan for 2020-21 can be viewed here.
Mathematics is a combination of concepts, facts, rules, patterns and processes. We use a variety of teaching approaches to promote the skills and knowledge that children are expected to learn. We encourage children to think and enjoy challenges and apply this to solving problems associated with practical real life contexts through our Mantle of the Expert system. We teach a 50 minute session of Calculation skills and then apply these skills in Mantle of the Expert sessions.
The Maths Action plan for 2020-21 can be viewed here.
We aim to develop the children’s scientific skills through first-hand experiences. Children are encouraged to solve problems by making close observations, planning, predicting, fair testing and recording their findings in a systematic way. We foster responsible attitudes towards the environment and all living things.
The Science Action plan for 2020-21 can be viewed here.
Our vision statement is “Loving Science for Life – Excite, Challenge & Question”
At Grimley & Holt CE Primary School, we aim to ensure our children leave us with a lifelong love of Science. We do this by our three main principles to what makes good science teaching and learning, we believe science is good when we ‘Excite, Challenge & Question.’
Excite – Teachers plan fast paced, hands on enquiry lessons which quickly grab the children’s attention and sustain their interest throughout through hands on activities. Children are excited to learn Science and stay on task with their learning and understand the knowledge and skills they have developed during a lesson.
Challenge – Teachers know where children are through on-going assessment for learning activities. They plan activities to consolidate and build on prior learning and children know how they can move their own learning on. Children feel safe to suggest answers even if they are unsure and see no failure in being wrong but only satisfaction and success to learn something new.
Question – Questioning is used effectively by teachers to stimulate discussion, for assessment for learning and to extend learning in the classroom. Children’s natural curiosity and experience of enquiry means children develop their confidence and independence in answering their own questions and understand there are different ways of answering a question.
The school has learning platform to celebrate work, record progress, share resources and as a place to access homework. The school is forward thinking has a specialist teacher who teaches computer coding. The school has an enviable ratio of 1:2 workstations to children. We have 8 desk- top computers. We also have 1 mobile trolley of 24 laptops and 1 mobile trolley of 20 Ipads with wireless access throughout the school. All children are computer literate and able to use the applications available through Office365. Data projector, white boards, visualisers, voting systems, voice recorders and digi fip cameras are used by the staff and children in all classes. All children have supervised access to the internet and e-mail. We have an acceptable use policy and we teach all children about e -safety every term.
The school has recently updated fibre links and is in the process of reinvigourating hardware and the computing curriculum in general. We have an Action plan for 2020-21 which can be accessed here.
R.E. is taught in all classes and follows the procedures and guidelines laid down in the Worcestershire diocese Agreed Syllabus (2020). Through Religious Education we aim to enable children to understand the nature of religion, its beliefs and practices. We actively promote peace and tolerance.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from R.E. lessons and religious assemblies if they wish. You need to talk to the Head teacher before doing so. Alternative provision will be made for your child. We hold experiential RE days which include activities such as arts, cooking, films, visitors and visits to places of worship.
Our RE and Worship Action Plan for 2020-21 can be viewed here.
We give children a hands-on learning approach. Trips are planned to extend the learning. The children’s experience of history is broadened by events. In geography, children can compare our local environment and that of a school in South Africa. Children learn about Fair trade through special events and they have recently studied Mantle of the Expert sessions about India, Africa.
We are very proud of our children’s musical abilities and particularly the enthusiasm with which children take part in singing and music making. Children have the opportunity to play an active part in school productions, concerts and religious services. All children in our school learn to play musical instruments in class time including ocarinas, recorders, drums and keyboards.
In addition, those who join the choir take part in church services and provide entertainment for the local community at various times of the year. We encourage our children’s love and appreciation of music by taking every opportunity to invite musicians to perform live in our school. Children in Key Stage 2 can also take part in instrumental lessons provided by the Worcester Youth Music service.
Our school Music curriculum was developed prior to the new National Curriculum being launched in 2014 by staff in consultation with the Local Music Authority (now the local Music Hub – Severn Arts), The Chantry School at Martley, (the local high school that the majority of our year 6 pupils attend after leaving here) and a retired University professor of Music Education from Birmingham University. This curriculum formed a two year rolling programme of study due to the school’s split year group classes and has been used with minor alterations since the academic year 2014-2015.
This curriculum, and the school’s passion for music teaching, has been rewarded with the Music Mark for the years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.
The Music curriculum that is included within this policy has been revised in April 2020 for use in the school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. At its heart are the same key elements that were present within the original curriculum (designed in 2014) but it now reflects the greater range of resources available within school and online. It continues our strong focus of instrumental teaching and singing but this now appears alongside specific piece / genre studies which are taken from a range of styles both popular and classical and from different stages of musical history. Teaching of the Key Musical Elements is embedded throughout. There is also an increase of focus on music technology due to major developments in this area since 2014. This again uses a two year rolling programme.
The new scheme uses units from music schemes including Music Express, Charanga, BBC Ten Pieces and Sing Up.
For more details about Music at Grimley, click here.
We work closely with artists through the year. Children gain knowledge and understanding of artists, craftspeople and designers from different times and cultures. Art work includes painting, collage, printing, ICT, textiles and sculpture. We hold an annual Arts Week and, in the past, themes have included portraits, different cultures and the environment. During these weeks we have visits from dancers, storytellers, musicians and artists. The experiences children gain from such an event are very rewarding and enjoyable for all.
Through Design and Technology, the children are taught to identify, examine and solve practical problems and how to improve them. Our Mantle of the Expert system provides many opportunities to design for a purpose. The children are given access to a wide range of materials and tools and have the opportunity to develop, modify and evaluate their ideas through a series of projects. Children become inventive problem solvers; inventive in their design, resourceful in their making and innovative in their thinking.
We aim to develop agility, co-ordination and confidence through physical activity. All children have two sessions of P.E. a week. Dance, gymnastics, swimming and games are taught. We encourage a competitive spirit and recognise the value of co- operation with others. The children have many opportunities to take part of inter school competitions and outside providers work with the school to provide multi – skills. We have football and netball teams and friendly matches are played throughout the year. There is an annual Sports Day held in the summer term. In their final year at school, children are given the opportunity to take part in a cycling proficiency scheme.
We have an Action Plan for 2020-21, which can be accessed here.
Robert Mitchell is a High Jumper. He shared many of his experiences with the school during assembly and gave the children some nutritional advice. Hopefully the children enjoyed their experience and maybe he has motivated some future Olympians!
Mr. Mitchell helped the children to complete an exhausting exercise routine which included four different exercises.
The children that were kindly sponsored by their family and friends raised £441.50 for The Sports for Champions Organisation. A percentage of the money raised will go towards new PE equipment for the children.
Well done to all the children for making the afternoon so much fun.
Many thanks to all the parents that raised so much money.
Thank you to Robert Mitchell for visiting us and helping to inspire our children.
What is Mantle of the Expert?
Our curriculum is built around Mantle of the Expert – a drama enterprise approach invented by Professor Dorothy Heathcote to give children greater responsibility in their learning. The key elements in Mantle of the Expert are that:
We have been using ‘Mantle’, as the children call it, for four years; with every class running a new drama enterprise each term. They might be running an animal sanctuary, a museum, a factory, a hotel or a shop. They might be documentary makers, party planners, safari park keepers, publishers, underwater archaeologists, travel agents or scientists. The children learn about real life companies, they have deadlines to meet and clients to please. However, the enterprise is not ‘real’ in the sense that there is no profit involved, and the companies can be based upon pure fantasy. Recently, our Y5/6 class became dragon trainers in a world of Vikings, which was, of course, based upon the world created by Cressida Cowell in her famous series of children’s books. If you like the sound of this approach, why not try one of these examples that have been successful across our school?
• Party planners who have to plan an authentic Roman party for Victoria and David Beckham
• A board game company commissioned to create a game of Monopoly with a World War 2 context
• Healthy hoteliers who were asked to design a hotel for Jamie Oliver to put his name to
• Underwater archaeologists who are asked to find lost artefacts from the wreck of the Titanic.
But how does it work?
Imagine being part of a KS1 class when Mummy Pig (the client) enters the room looking very upset! She needs some help because the three little pigs have left home, but they haven’t got a clue about building houses. What’s worse, there’s a wolf on the loose! Mummy Pig needs some help from the experts at the Story Town Council.
Stepping out of role, the teacher can then ask the children “Shall we agree to help her as town councillors?” (The children will be very willing to help.)
After spending some time ‘building belief’ through a variety of tasks such as creating badges and writing about their character, the children decide to meet with Mummy Pig and listen to her concerns. They agree that they must design and build houses for the three pigs that will protect them from the wolf, and that to do this they must find out about wolves. Mummy Pig then sets the criteria for the maths and technology work that follows. For example, she wants all drawings labelled with measurements, as the children have been learning how to use a ruler accurately in maths.
The town councillors then receive a call from the Wolf Protection League who ask them to ensure that the Wolf will not be hurt. This naturally leads the children to more inquiry using a range of sources, and the children also go home talking about the dilemma.
Even young children are able to present their ideas, debate and discuss. They know they are all a valued part of their ethical company and it is serious work trying to meet their clients’ needs. This style of learning is child-led and it also challenges the children to use higher level communication and thinking skills.
A sense of purpose
The client is crucial to ensure challenge is high and children are given clear feedback. The teacher can use the client to ensure that learning outcomes are clear and challenging and we find that constructive feedback from the client is often more readily received.
In the Story Town ‘Mantle’ the children were introduced to many clients, like the Giant’s wife who wanted Jack found and locked up as he had hurt her husband and destroyed their home. The client can be introduced in many ways using the drama conventions set out by Dorothy Heathcote (see mantleoftheexpert.com). Examples include letters, pictures, the person speaking in role, a phone call, an email, and two people conversing in role – as if the children are watching a film and cannot interact. It is possible to cover so many curriculum areas in a natural, engaging way. Our children will tell you that their teachers treat them as adults with really important work to do. One pupil said, “You are more in control of things when you work in Mantle and the things you do are like they are real.”
Modern Foreign Languages (German)
“You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language, you only live once.” Czech proverb.
At Grimley and Holt Primary School, modern foreign languages are introduced across the school in Key Stage 1 and German is taught formally in Key Stage 2. We believe that learning a language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils but it also prepares them for a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly carried out in languages other than English. “Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures.”(National Curriculum 2014)
The MFL curriculum is based on a scheme of work developed by the subject leader. This is linked to the statutory guidelines for KS2 outlined in the National Curriculum Framework as well as the learning objectives of the non-statutory KS2 Framework for Languages. The curriculum is delivered in weekly sessions across Years 3 to 6, taught by the Subject Leader who is a fluent German speaker. ICT is used through language web-sites to support the teaching, providing engaging and fun games, songs and activities as well as ensuring that correct pronunciation is taught to the children.
Through our teaching of German we aim to:
Additional opportunities to use the German language the children are learning, are explored in a variety of ways, including year group assemblies, family days and European Day of Languages annually. Other languages are taught as part of the Mantle of the Expert approach- for instance, in preparation for work on WW1, children have the opportunity to expend on French skills.
“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” (Frank Smith)
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Teaching may be of any modern or ancient foreign language and should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. The teaching should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.
The focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication. If an ancient language is chosen the focus will be to provide a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation. Pupils studying ancient languages may take part in simple oral exchanges, while discussion of what they read will be conducted in English. A linguistic foundation in ancient languages may support the study of modern languages at key stage 3.
Pupils should be taught to:
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