Our aim is to provide our children with an engaging, exciting and empowering curriculum which prepares and equips then with the knowledge, skills and understanding for life in modern Britain and the twenty first century. At Hempstalls along with other schools within our Trust the curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand experiences, allowing children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical and highly motivated thinkers.
The Power of a Conceptual Lens
At Hempstalls we have adapted basic curriculum materials from the National Curriculum around the use of a concept lens. Using these lenses to organise and prioritise information allowing teachers to chart a pathway for a child’s thinking. The conceptual lens uses an idea or concept to bring about focus and depth to a programme of study ensuring that knowledge is both relevant and at a deeper level.
Creativity and creative thinking is also another extremely important element of our curriculum. Curiosity are key components of what and how we teach at Hempstalls. We want our children to reflect critically on information and to see alternative points of view looking for patterns and connections. Our curriculum is three dimensional, focussing on concepts, knowledge and skills, not just skills and knowledge.
Please click on the links below for more detail on our topic based curriculum:
All children within our school follow the ‘Oxford Reading Tree Scheme’. This is a levelled reading scheme that provides high quality texts covering a range of genres. To ensure a breadth of choice and interest we support this scheme with a variety of other schemes depending upon the child’s needs. Our aim is to inspire a love of reading in all children and as the children progress through the school we offer a wide range of current ‘free reading books’. This is supported by guided reading sessions, shared reading opportunities and whole class text.
All children in Early Years, Key Stage 1 and for some children in Key Stage 2 follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, once they are secure they progress to the school’s personalised spelling scheme, ensuring that all phonics and spelling teaching is matched to the needs of the child.
Each term we give all parents and carers the opportunity to attend our school open evenings. This provides an opportunity for parents to visit the school to talk to the class teacher about progress, achievements and targets for the new term and have a look through their child’s work. In addition to this we also hold a ‘Meet the Class teacher Evening’ during the second week in September, this provides opportunities to meet with the new class teacher to discuss the curriculum and the expectations for the new academic year.
Modern Foreign Languages at Hempstalls
French is taught throughout the school at Hempstalls by a specialist language teacher.
The journey begins in Nursery and Reception where children are introduced to the language through a variety of songs and actions however as the year progresses simple vocabulary is also introduced. The children thoroughly enjoy these sessions and are more than happy to share their new found learning with staff and older children.
In Key Stage 1 the areas of study are taught through topics and more than often relate to the curriculum areas of study to support learning through cross-curricuular links. During Year 2 the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking are introduced.
Finally in Key Stage 2 the four skills are firmly embedded and more focus is placed on the writing process. Throughout the year in each class we hold theme days where we look at the various elements of culture including art, music and literature.
We are very fortunate at Hempstalls to have our own swimming pool and our own swimming teacher – therefore all our children swim from Nursery all the way to Year 6. Children receive certificates for the various levels of competency which follows our own swimming curriculum. In addition to this we use the school swimming pool to support out-of-school clubs such as Water Polo and Splash club. Many of our staff are trained as Life Guards which means that as part of a week extra swimming lessons can be used as an incentive to work hard in other subject areas.