The Academic Curriculum
“The headteacher has very high expectations for both staff and pupils. There is a culture of continuous improvement to teaching and learning that secures excellent outcomes for all its pupils.” OFSTED
The Hendreds School is proud of the enriched curriculum it offers its pupils. Teaching is based around a core of learning in English and Maths. Other subjects, including Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, Art and Latin, are taught throughout the school and complement these core subjects.
A thematic approach is taken to much of the learning with a chosen topic being used to explore different areas of many subjects. This inventive and imaginative approach to the curriculum ensures all children are engaged with and enthused by what they are doing.
All teachers are trained to recognise the abilities of each child and to ensure that, through differentiated teaching, the range of abilities within the class group is catered for and that as a result every child meets its full potential.
“The Headteacher and staff strive to attain the school’s vision for each child to achieve well, academically and socially, regardless of their background or ability.” Inspection of Anglican School Report
This approach and the teaching environment ensure that children leaving the school are well equipped to go on and succeed in secondary school and later life.
At the Hendreds, children experience a broad, stimulating curriculum which is designed to fire their curiosity, support their social, emotional, spiritual and academic development and to prepare them for entering the wider world of secondary school and beyond.
Subjects studied include all of the statutory curriculum and more; we add Latin, and Judo forms part of our PE curriculum. All children learn either the violin or cello, for free, for a year, as part of our commitment to music.
The curriculum for us is not simply academic subjects, but everything that makes up the daily life of the school: decisions, focus, effort, responsibility, contributing. All these are based on Christian values that shape how we grow and develop.
“Distinctive Christian values are deeply embedded in the daily life of the school, clearly contributing to pupils’ personal values and achievements”. Inspection of Anglican School Report
We have talented teachers who regard the daily interactions both in class and in the playground as learning in its broadest sense. Our tight-knit, small, supportive community allows us to overcome a range of barriers to learning.
We know that the development of the person, through lessons, participation in managing the life of the school (for example, older ones looking after the younger ones), being part of a wonderful drama production or an exciting sports tournament all help the children to learn about themselves and others, and build the confidence and resilience needed to make the most of their potential.
The curriculum consists of every aspect of school life from assemblies, acts of worship, traditional lessons through to field trips, an exceptional PE curriculum and RE.
“The personal development of each pupil is at the heart of the school’s work. No opportunity is wasted in the pursuit of this goal.” OFSTED
We aim to make our curriculum broad and engaging with many subjects, such as art and drama, used to bring our topics alive. Our approach is to offer many additional experiences such as musical productions, philosophy, Latin and French, learning an instrument, cooking and, for the oldest, building and racing a car!
The topic plan acts as a scaffold for our work but is subject to change depending on a particular class’s strengths, needs and enthusiasms.
The Hendreds follows the National Curriculum, this publication sets out the framework for key stages 1 and 2. For further information on the National Curriculum, see the link below:
Phonics and Reading Schemes
In EYFS and Y1, the development of reading skills begins when children are introduced to phonics using Letters and Sounds. Children are assessed regularly and additional interventions offer support to those requiring it. Reading skills are developed through guided reading groups.
Although Phonics is the main way in which early reading is taught, we nurture a love of reading and books through using high quality reading texts to allow pupils to fully engage in reading for pleasure.
As readers become more fluent, we move towards embedding and deepening reading skills through
- The class novel where the teacher reads to the whole class and, through book-talk, encourages in depth discussion of characters, setting, inference, deduction and prediction. This approach nurtures a broadening of vocabulary and understanding of the writers’ craft in much more detail. In turn, this feeds into pupils’ writing skills, reflecting on how authors write.
- Guided reading where the book is selected by the class teacher at the appropriate level from our group book scheme (based on the Collins book banding system. Pupils have access to books which allow reading success whilst providing the right level of challenge to support reading progression).
- Individual reading where children can select from the high quality selection in the class library.