We recognise that children work best in a secure, structured, happy and stimulating environment, which promotes self-esteem and a positive attitude to learning. Accordingly, we seek to provide a framework in which a parent or carer's knowledge of their child's early school years is valued, shared and used in promoting a successful partnership between home and school.
Our curriculum aim is to empower every child with the skills they will need to be happy and successful in the modern world. To this end, a child at Hillcrest will experience a broad and balanced curriculum, which develops their intellectual, inter-personal, physical and emotional skills whilst delivering knowledge and understanding, which is both relevant and useful.
Early Years Curriculum
All children in reception classes and pre-school settings follow the curriculum for the foundation stage. This forms the basis for planning and a guide to expectations of achievement at the age of 5 years. The curriculum promotes learning in six areas of experience:
Language and literacy
Knowledge and understanding of the world
Personal, social and emotional development
Staff in the two reception classes plan together to provide an early years curriculum that is specific to the needs of the youngest children in the school. The curriculum recognises that individual children will be at different developmental stages and meets Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) requirements. Hillcrest Primary School also believes that priority should be given to providing additional qualified nursery trained staff in the Reception classes.
All children entering the Reception classes will be assessed during their first term. This takes place during normal classroom activities. This assessment forms a baseline to help identify children's strengths and need and is also used to monitor progress. Information gathered is shared with parents/carers. At the end of the Reception year children will be required to transfer to the National Curriculum programmes of study.
Key Stage 1 and 2 curriculum units
Extra Curricular Activities
Each half term, children are provided with a topic theme on which they will be working. Parents/carers are sent a Curriculum Summary to keep them informed. Currently, children are expected to spend at least an hour daily doing language work (the Literacy Hour) and maths work (the Numeracy Hour), plus half an hour on another area of study from the National Curriculum each morning: Information and Communication Technology, Science, Geography, History, Art Design and Technology, Physical Education and Music are also taught.
In addition to these subjects, the child's 24-hour week will also include the teaching of:
Health and hygiene
Personal and social education
International awareness and citizenship
A child will work as part of a whole-class activity, a group or individually, depending on the activity in which they are involved. For most of this work they will remain with their class teacher, work with a learning Support Assistant or Curriculum Support teacher.
Occasionally they will work with parents, carers or members of the school community who have volunteered their help. Such voluntary support considerably enhances and enriches the experience of the children in numerous ways. They may also work with supervised teacher training, nursery nurse or other students.
Children's achievements in all areas of school life are acknowledged and rewarded in a variety of ways. Interested adults are most welcome to work with groups or individual children in any area of the curriculum - guidance will be given. To represent the work done in all the curricular areas the children's work is displayed in the foyer, corridors, halls and classrooms. This, we believe, gives children a sense of achievement and pride in their learning, as well as being good to look at!
The after-school clubs are voluntarily organised by staff, parents and carers and form an important part of school life. Currently the range of activities includes Drama, Football, Basketball, Netball, Rounders, Dance, Batik, Pottery and Gymnastics. Some of these are restricted to Years 4, 5 and 6 because of the numbers involved and the problem of younger children walking home. Also, opportunities are open for children to receive violin, recorder or piano tuition although for these there is a charge. In addition, children can take part in swimming and athletic training and events, which are organised on a citywide basis for which there is also a small charge.
During the school year, regular class visits relating to the topic being studied are made and regular visits to the school by adults interested in passing on skills, e.g. computer skills, woodworking, sewing, knitting, cooking, hobbies and interests, dance. If you, or any other interested adults would like to help with the above activities or have a particular interest or skill you would be willing to demonstrate or share with the children, we would love to hear from you. Interested adults are also most welcome to work with groups or individual children in any area of the curriculum - guidance/training will be given.