Here at Horndean Infant School we believe that the curriculum should be rich and engaging, that it should be skills driven and that it should prepare our children for life. We aspire to our curriculum here being unique to us.
Our Curriculum Intent:
Children learn best when experiences are first hand, linked to their interests. We aim to create life-long learners and children are encouraged to think creatively, to question and to explore. We systematically teach key learning behaviours which involve teaching children how to learn and develop resilience and creativity, how to work effectively within a team and to become aware of themselves as learners through our Horndean UNITED: Uniqueness, Never giving Up, Independence, Team-work, Engagement and Determination.
Here at Horndean Infant School we believe that the curriculum should be rich and engaging, that it should be skills driven and that it should prepare our children for life.
We ensure that learning is staged and builds on prior knowledge providing the children with the opportunity to revisit vital skills and knowledge regularly and embed this learning; therefore becoming experts. We aspire to our curriculum here being unique to us.
Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and they learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. Creating a love of learning through an exciting, child led curriculum has to go hand in hand with outstanding levels of progress and, ultimately, raised attainment. We strongly believe that we achieve this through dedicated guided group teaching and an expectation that each child will independently apply this learning. This is underpinned by daily assessment and planning in the light of this assessment, ensuring our children’s learning needs are addressed.
We have 2 dogs in school 4 days a week who are well trained and have been assessed as having suitable temperaments to be used as registered therapy dogs, with Therapy Dogs Nationwide.
Therapy dogs in schools have been shown to:
- Have a calming effect on pupils,
- Improve behaviour and concentration, reduce stress and improve self-esteem
- Encourage expression and participation
- Motivate children to think/learn
- Help children build confidence in reading
- Give comfort to children who are upset
- Foster a sense of responsibility
- Encourage respect and improve relationships
English & Mathematics
The teaching and learning of English is fully integrated into a broad and varied curriculum, which could mean writing labels and captions for pictures and photographs taken in a geographical enquiry, to writing letters on an environmental issue. Maths is taught with problem solving and using and applying at its heart. Children are given opportunities not only to build skills in number, data handling, shape and space but also apply these skills in real life contexts and mathematical investigations. They are taught how to develop their mathematical thinking and reasoning skills. Children’s manipulation of concrete materials and resources are taught as a lead into pictorial and then abstract written methods at an appropriate pace. Children are taught efficient mental strategies and encouraged to consider when a mental strategy would be more appropriate than a written method.
Science is taught in as practical a way as possible so that the children experience the investigations and experiments first hand. We are fortunate to have a Forest School as part of our curriculum and use our school grounds across the Science curriculum for example for minibeast hunts, exploring shadows and testing parachutes. Our children are very fortunate to benefit from wireless laptops, netbooks and iPads which are all used to support learning around the school.
Geography, History, Art and Design Technology
Geography, History, Art and Design Technology are taught as cross curricular topics. Over their time with us at Horndean Infant School the children will find out about famous people from the past, how schools and homes have changed over time, the local history of Horndean and its surroundings as well as key historical events.
Geographical mapping and enquiry skills are developed from an early age. They find out information for themselves through surveys and measurements as well as using books and other sources of information. As they move through the year groups their study of geography moves from the immediate locality to finding out about the people and places in a variety of countries and continents. An important element of geography is the study of the environment, our impact on it and what we can do about sustainable development, this is developed in our Forest School curriculum.
In Art children learn to draw with a range of media, manipulate 3D materials, make models from clay and plasticene and develop their textile skills through collage. Similarly in Design Technology the children learn to handle different tools and materials, but here the emphasis is on producing a product to a given specification for a known audience.
All our children receive a minimum of two hours of PE, games or activity each week. They experience games, dance, gymnastics and athletics both with the class teacher and professional sports coaches. The teaching and learning of Music includes singing, composing and performing, working independently and in groups. The children have lots of opportunities to perform to audiences in class assemblies, Christmas Concerts and a final Year 2 production. Staff model this in their annual Pantomime and end of year concert for the children and the school’s volunteer community.
The enjoyment and lifelong benefits of reading have been central to the learning culture at Horndean Infant School.
The creation of a new library space has given reading a higher profile and a timetable of reading to the therapy dogs is well established.
The Project X Programme provides the core spine of reading in the school and runs alongside the systematic teaching of phonics through the Letters and Sounds Programme. Children also have access to a selection of banded books to complement their reading in school in order to provide variety and breadth. Independent reading for sustained periods is encouraged to help children develop fluency and to become self-reliant readers. Children are encouraged to share and discuss their understanding of books through a dialogic approach where all children’s ideas and opinions are valued.
Children’s reading skills are developed through focused guided reading sessions with the teacher, whole class discussion and further complemented through a read-aloud curriculum with each year group having a specific selection of books to be read to them therefore closing the vocabulary gap for our most disadvantaged children.
Religious Education and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC)
RE is taught using Hampshire’s Living Difference programme of work. Living Difference III is the Agreed Syllabus for religious education (RE) in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. It builds on an approach to religious education, enriched by philosophical and theological enquiry, as well as current research. Children are taught to respect and understand different faiths and to express and explore their own understanding and beliefs.
Philosophy for Children also develops thinking and questioning skills to explore wider concepts and ideas.
SMSC is taught alongside our British Values curriculum and is a key focus at the start of each week.
Please contact the school if you require any further information about the Horndean curriculum.