Our curriculum aims are that each child should:
- Develop an understanding and concern for the world in which we live
- Develop the social skills of learning. To work and play co-operatively, to value others and to accept responsibility.
- Develop attitudes of perseverance, independence and self-discipline.
- Acquire knowledge and skills relevant to their future lived in a rapidly changing world.
- Be able to communicate effectively through language and mathematics and expressive arts.
- Develop lively, enquiring minds, imagination and the ability to question rationally.
- Develop respect for religious and moral values and empathy with people of other races, religions, gender and nations.
- Enjoy physical activity and develop their physical skills.
- Appreciate past and present human achievements and aspirations
- Develop an understanding of scientific ideas, knowledge and methods.
Our work at school is based on the National Curriculum. At Howe Park we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. All children from Year 1 onwards are taught the following subjects.
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
- Design Technology
- Physical Education (PE)
In addition we also teach Religious Education, Personal and Social and Health Education, Citizenship and Multicultural Education.
The teaching week for all children is 21 hours and 40 minutes. This does not include time spent on our daily act of collective worship and registration.
20% of the total teaching time is at the school’s discretion. In Howe Park School this is used as extra time on National Curriculum core subjects and also covers special curriculum events such as Book Week and Christmas Concerts.
In Years 1 and 2, in line with the National Literacy Strategy, we dedicate at least one hour per day to English. There is also a period spent on mathematics each day. Generally each class is taught all areas of the curriculum by their own class teacher. Within each class a mixture of whole class, group and individual teaching methods are used as appropriate.
Children Under 5 – The Foundation Stage
Our Foundation Stage Curriculum is planned around the following areas of learning:
- Language and literacy
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Creative Development
- Physical Development
- Personal and Social Development
Further information can be found in our booklet Information for Parents of Children in the Foundation Stage
At Howe Park we organise our teaching of English carefully in order to best develop the skills of our children. Our approach and programmes of work are in line with the National Literacy Strategy. We aim to create a language-rich environment and provide purposeful tasks that integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening.
We aim that children should be able to read a range of different kinds of material fluently and with understanding. We hope that they will find pleasure in reading for interest, enjoyment and information.
Children read with their teachers in school as part of a structured programme. The daily teaching of phonics is an important part of this approach. All children are encouraged to take books home to share with parents. Our well-equipped library supports all aspects of English and enables them to borrow books on a regular basis. A Book Week is held each year and children have the opportunity to explore books, their authors and illustrators in some detail.
A school booklet Helping Your Child with Reading, A Guide for Parents is available at school.
In writing, children are encouraged to write independently from an early stage. Phonics, spelling, grammar and handwriting are taught as skills to be used in writing for a range of purposes e.g. stories, poems, descriptions, lists, notes, reports.
Speaking and Listening
Children are encouraged to express themselves clearly and confidently and to listen attentively to others. They take part in activities such as story telling, imaginative play, drama and group discussion.
Work in mathematics is planned to follow the framework of the National Numeracy Strategy, which sets out what is to be taught each year. Oral and mental work features strongly in each lesson. Over the year children are taught to use numbers, make calculations, handle data and solve problems. They are also given opportunities to measure and work with shapes.
Children learn about the natural and man-made world through first hand exploration of objects and events.
Children are encouraged to develop investigative skills by putting forward ideas, testing them and drawing conclusions from the results. Findings are recorded through drawings, charts, models, writing and the use of information and communications technology.
Science is a core subject in the National Curriculum. Our scheme of work follows that laid out in the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) document. This establishes a framework for how topics within science are taught and organised.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
At Howe Park we have developed an ICT suite which contains 15 computers with a range of software. All are networked to access the Internet. These are used to teach large groups of children. In addition each class has access to their own computers to support their work across the whole curriculum. Listening centres are also part of the equipment of each class.
Children are taught to use ICT equipment confidently and purposefully, to word process, handle data and develop drawing and graphical skills.
In History we aim to develop a sense of time and the past through the study of everyday life, work, leisure and culture of people, progressing from familiar situations to those more distant in time. Children have the opportunity to explore the lives of different famous men and women, as well as past local and national events. The use of television and radio programmes and where possible, visits to local centres of interest, supplement our work.
In Geography children develop a sense of place through the study of localities in and beyond their own country. They are encouraged to observe their surroundings and examine pictures and pictorial maps of distant places. Where possible, our work is based upon children’s first hand experiences of places.
In Design Technology children are encouraged to make their own designs and then choose suitable materials and methods to construct them. They are then asked to evaluate their own work and suggest possible improvements. Children are taught to use a range of techniques and handle a variety of tools safely.
We aim to encourage enjoyment and understanding of music through listening, composing and performing. Children are taught a wide range of songs and introduced to a variety of instruments.
Children develop their understanding and enjoyment of art, craft and design through a wide range of activities that include drawing, printing, painting, collage, sewing, clay work and weaving. They are taught to use a range of materials, tools and techniques to produce a variety of work. They are introduced to the work of artists, craftsmen and designers, locally and from other cultures.
Through Physical Education (PE) we aim to develop co-ordination, strength, stamina and skills. Above all, we hope to promote a healthy lifestyle and enjoyment of physical activity.
Children participate in a wide range of physical activities including games, gymnastics and dance, including country dancing.
At Howe Park School we follow the Milton Keynes Religious Education Syllabus. Children have the opportunity to discuss the difference between right and wrong, express their feelings and consider the viewpoint of others through topics such as relationships, special places and occasions. Our children bring to school a range of religious and cultural beliefs and we encourage them to share these with others. Our studies include Christianity as well as aspects of other religions.
Our daily act of collective worship is of a broadly Christian nature. Assembly themes include relationships, values, customs and events. During the year members of the local community may be invited to an assembly. If a parent thinks that they wish to withdraw their child from any form of religious education or collective worship they should discuss this with the Headteacher.
Multi-cultural education is not taught as a specific subject. At Howe Park School we promote the attitudes and values on which respectful and tolerant behaviour is based.
Personal, Social, Health Education and Citizenship (including Sex and Relationships Education)
As part of our curriculum programme all members of staff promote good health and fitness habits. Our school nurse contributes towards this programme. During the school year opportunities are provided for children to discuss environmental dangers.
During their time at Howe Park School children will explore topics including our bodies, keeping safe, changes that occur as we grow and families and friendships. Questions concerning sex education may arise naturally and it is the policy of our school for teachers to answer children’s questions honestly and sensitively. In all year groups the teacher will focus on the needs of children at their current level of development.
As part of our Citizenship programme children have opportunities to show they can take some responsibility for themselves and their environment. They begin to learn about their own and other people’s feelings and become aware of the views, needs and the rights of other children and older people.
Our school has an equal opportunities statement applying to all areas of the curriculum.
Our curriculum is:
- Open to all pupils irrespective of their attainment or aptitude.
- Encouraging and enabling with regard to pupils with Special Educational Needs.
- Fair and unbiased in terms of gender, ethnic or cultural background of the pupil.
During the year educational visits may be organised to enhance the work in the classroom. The majority of visits are to sites within our immediate environment but some of the visits may be further afield and require the use of transport. For all educational visits parents receive prior written notification and are requested to give written permission for their child to take part.
Howe Park School gives high priority to the teaching of reading and writing and our success is due in part to the partnership between home and school.
Reading and library books are taken home on a daily basis so that children can share their books with their families. Children may also bring home word cards, lists and games. Where appropriate children are given lists of spellings to learn at home. A covering letter or instructions will accompany any work sent home.
The School organises the following clubs:
||After School Clubs|
|The School Choir
||MK Dons Football Club*|
||MK Springers Gymnastics Club*|
||Armor Golf *|
* These clubs require parents to pay a small tuition fee