At Blue Bell Hill we believe that all children are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum which is interesting, engaging and provides a range of learning opportunities that help develop children’s life-long love of learning.
The curriculum aims to:
- Develop children who are ‘Reciprocal, ‘Resourceful’, ‘Reflective’ and ‘Resilient’
- Increase children’s motivation, enthusiasm and engagement in their learning by making learning meaningful through putting it into a context
- Support the raising of standards in both teaching and learning
- Help children to become more independent and take greater ownership of their learning, developing their confidence and motivation to learn through the use of a range of teaching and learning styles
- Establish strong cross curricular links to ensure a broader understanding
- Create and maintain an exciting and stimulating learning environment
- Include whole school “theme weeks” and learning events
- Provide opportunities to apply knowledge and learning in practical ways and to solve problems in a variety of situations
- Provide enrichment opportunities where learning and teaching can take place beyond the classroom
- Give opportunity for a flexible timetabling approach to make space for true depth of study
- Ensure that learning is fun.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings. These are:
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
- children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
The curriculum is divided into seven areas. Three prime areas and four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design.
Staff at Blue Bell Hill plan for each of the above areas on a weekly basis. In some cases this will involve discreet teaching but where possible all learning will be centred around a theme. All planning includes opportunities to:
- Use the outdoor environment
- Take part in focussed activities
- Consolidate their knowledge through structured play
- Assesses children’s progress.
Staff use ongoing assessments in order to inform future planning and to set interventions. Children are also assessed on a more formal basis using the Early Learning Goals and the Development Matters Document. At the end of the reception year staff will complete the Foundation Stage Profile.
The curriculum is based on the National Curriculum objectives and covers the subjects highlighted in this document.
The key document in determining the teaching of RE is the locally agreed syllabus within the LA concerned (Nottingham City).
- Art and Design
- Design and Technology
- Physical Education
- Citizenship – non statutory
- Religious Education – non statutory
At Blue Bell Hill we have linked the objectives of the Locally Agreed RE Syllabus and the Citizenship objectives to form a new curriculum area called ‘People and Communities’, during these sessions children also engage in philosophical debates about beliefs, morals and customs.
Children in Years 1 to 6 get taught Maths and English every day and have a guided reading session at least once a week. From entering school in Nursery the children are taught phonics and follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme.
The use of ICT is encouraged in all topic areas as a subject in its own right, in the teaching of the topic and in the opportunities for children’s independent learning.
Each class teacher is responsible for the delivery of the curriculum through a ‘topic based’ approach which incorporates key skills and meets the needs and interests of the children in the class. Although links can be made with all subjects, English, Literacy, PE and MFL are taught as discrete learning areas. This may be the case for other subject areas if a particular focus is needed. We deliberately do not set a whole year teaching plan for year groups as our topics are designed to meet with the current needs and interests of the children.
During a week all children will usually access:
5 English lessons
5 Mathematics lesson
2 hours of PE
4 phonics or spelling sessions
2 Guided Reading sessions
The rest of the time is devoted to the current topic and discreet lessons not covered by the topic.
TEACHING AND LEARNING STYLES
At Blue Bell we use a variety of teaching styles.
Lessons will include whole class teaching, using open ended probing questions, visual stimuli and talk partners; a period of learning, where children may work independently, in pairs or as groups; the opportunity to work in a guided group to reinforce learning. A plenary may be delivered at any point during the session to extend or review learning.
We recognise that children have preferred learning styles, and so make allowances for this in our planning and delivery. However we believe it essential to teach children to learn in a variety of ways and expect children to use this knowledge to have a go at any task. We provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by: matching the challenge of the task to the ability and interests of the children. We achieve this in a variety of ways by:
- setting common, open ended tasks to elicit a variety and depth of response;
- grouping children in a variety of ways and setting tasks of increasing difficulty, scaffolding where appropriate;
- using Teaching Assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children;
- providing practical opportunities;
- using visual stimuli and artefacts to promote interest;
- using trips and visitors to further understanding;
- group work to allow collaboration and to develop thinking skills.
- work with community groups and businesses to enhance learning opportunities.
Teaching staff are encouraged to capture children’s interest and broaden their experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.
Children’s achievements are celebrated regularly through displays in classrooms, shared areas around the school and in the wider community and during school assemblies.
The school also engages in Whole School ‘Theme Weeks’ which are planned throughout the year.
If you would like any further information about the curriculum in school please feel free to book an appointment to speak to a member of staff.
Blue Bell Hill Primary School Building Learning Power Curriculum Overview
Getting on and Falling Out
Good to be Me
Going for Goals
Promoting British Values at Blue Bell Hill
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The teaching of these values is at the heart of our curriculum and is supported and runs alongside our Building Learning Power curriculum and People and Communities (a curriculum area that links RE, PSHE and Philosophy).
Democracy is rife within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of House Captains and Council Representatives, as well as the selection of the school lunches are all carried out by pupil vote. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the pupils vote on through the school council.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour issues and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and People and Communities lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Blue Bell Hill adopts the core value of ‘Respect and Care for Each Other’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our school rules, as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices have been followed and supported by learning in People and Communities. The school celebrates its diverse community and makes links to languages spoken by our EAL pupils. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.