Curriculum Philosophy

At Holmer Lake, we offer, through a range of stimulating and challenging experiences an exciting and vibrant curriculum. Each half-term we focus on a new fascination; this ensures that there is a memorable experience; educational visits and innovative teaching approaches; which enable us to deliver the requirements of the Early Years’ Curriculum and National Curriculum through a cross-curricular approach to learning.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

In their first year of school, your child will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This is the same curriculum as they followed at nursery. This allows for continuity during their first year of school.

Play underpins the EYFS. It also underpins learning and all aspects of children’s development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra help from adults. Play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practice new ideas and skills learnt in the classroom, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others. The role that adults have is crucial. Adults provide time and space and appropriate resources that will inspire play and fire children’s imaginations. They observe play and join in when invited, watching and listening before intervening. They value play and provide safe but challenging environments that support and extend learning and development.

Child-initiated play supports children in having ideas and being in control of their learning. It enables them to learn through first-hand experiences, allowing them to choose how to use the resources to do so. Child-led activities may start out as an adult initiated activity however by allowing the child space and time; the child may extend the resources and ideas given to create their own experience. It is important to strike a balance between adult led and child initiated activities to meet best the children’s outcomes. 

The National Curriculum

By law, each child aged 5-11 years must be taught a range of subjects that make up the National Curriculum. These subjects are English, Science, Mathematics, Design and Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art, Information Technology and Physical Education. For each of these subjects a description of what children will be taught is detailed in the appropriate schemes of work which are based on nationally approved guidelines.

In addition to these subjects children will be taught Religious Education and a range of cross-curricular ideas such as Sustainable Education, Health Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Economic and Industrial Understanding. French is taught to all children across Key Stage 2.

Key Stage One children must be taught for a minimum of 21 hours per week and Key Stage Two children for 23.5 hours per week.

How Is The Curriculum Taught?

Classes are of mixed ability. Sometimes it is necessary, because of numbers, to have mixed age groups in a class. However, all the teaching in the school is based on the needs of the children so; being in a class with older or younger children will not affect the learning and development of any child.

We endeavor to ensure that the curriculum offered to your child is creative and enjoyable. Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum (2014) with real contexts for learning, so that your child is motivated to learn. Our aim is to develop your child into an independent and lifelong learner, with the appropriate knowledge and skills.

Information on the school curriculum

Each term your child’s curriculum will be based on a theme which will match your child’s interests and age. There will be opportunities for your child to have an input into the curriculum and also for them to have first-hand experiences through educational visits and practical activities. Your child will bring home a booklet each term, detailing the curriculum, so that you are able to talk to them about their learning at home.

Religious Education

Religious Education is provided in accordance with current legislation and the recommendations of the Local Authority. We encourage children to develop a caring and tolerant attitude towards people with beliefs different from their own.

The aims of Religious Education in our school are:

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage.
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  • To enable pupils to know and understand about other major world religions and worldviews, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.EXPLORE: making sense of religious texts and teachings.   APPLY: evaluating and reflecting on how they can make connections between the belief and their own lives and the wider world. Relationships and Sex EducationHow Children Are AssessedIn addition to this kind of continuous teacher assessment there is also a more formal assessment that schools are required to carry out as part of the National Curriculum. This comes at the end of Year 1(when your child is aged 5 or 6) and they complete the Phonic Screening Test in June. In Year 2, the end of Key Stage One (when your child is aged 7) and Key Stage Two (when your child is aged 11; in Year Six). Your child will completes standard assessment tests in English (reading, writing and spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Mathematics (arithmetic and reasoning) in the Summer term of Year 2 and Year 6. The results of these assessments are shared with you. Copies of the National Curriculum and school subject policy documents are available for parents to see by arrangement with the Headteacher.
  • Children are assessed on their work as part of their daily activity in the classroom. This includes responding to the teacher’s marking and opportunities to be involved in peer and self-assessment. Teachers are always in a position to describe the progress that the children in the class are making.
  • Governors have agreed that the children will be taught relationships and sex education from Reception to Year 6 based on the Respect Yourself programme. Your child will be taught age appropriate content to ensure a realistic understanding of their developing and changing bodies. Aspects of Sex Education are contained within the Science National Curriculum Programme of Study, for example developing knowledge of the parts of the body, their function and how they work. These are included within our normal curriculum planning. Should you wish to view the materials and discuss the content of the curriculum, please get in touch with your child’s teacher.
  • Assemblies, in accordance with current requirements, contain a broadly Christian act of worship. We believe it important to support parents in developing the spiritual and moral values of their child and we respect the beliefs and faith of all families. If parents wish to withdraw their children from worship or R.E., we ask that they visit the school to discuss our policy. They will be given opportunities to be involved in appropriate alternative activities.
  • RELATE: examining ways in which believers respond to texts and teachings and how the actions of believers relate to their beliefs
  • Each unit of work includes these three broad elements of study
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