We are committed to meeting the requirements of the primary national curriculum, reflecting its content and challenge. We believe in providing children with rich, broad and creative experiences in order to engage and deepen their learning within a culture of high aspirations and expectations.
Our whole school community work together to ensure that our curriculum is engaging, relevant, and progressive. It develops the academic abilities of each child whilst keeping the Holmbush values at the heart of everything it does in order to nurture social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding.
Our curriculum is inclusive and is taught with the consideration of the needs of all our learners. Each child is seen as unique and we aim to provide equity of opportunity and a challenging curriculum that builds on strong foundations.
Teaching and learning takes place through a wide range of exciting topics, designed to be relevant to the pupils we teach. We provide pupils with the knowledge and skills that are essential to future success. We encourage them to ask questions, apply their knowledge in different contexts, link their learning to real life experiences and solve problems.
Developing outstanding skills in reading, writing and maths opens doors to many life opportunities and enables pupils to learn effectively across a wide range of subjects. We use high quality texts as a stimulus to engage and motivate learners.
We also recognise the importance of developing and unlocking our children’s abilities and talents in areas beyond this. Therefore, these skills are embedded within the teaching of the arts, humanities, sport and modern foreign languages. Through this, we improve the children’s knowledge and understanding of both their local community and the wider world. It is important that the children in our community understand a range of cultures beyond their immediate experience therefore, this is included within our curriculum.
At Holmbush, we believe that learning should take place both inside and outside the classroom. Therefore, we use forest schools and other visits to enrich our curriculum and provide meaningful experiences for all our children.
English curriculum statement
We believe that fluency in language and literacy skills will open the door to effective learning across the curriculum and give each child the tools to participate fully as a member of society.
The development of language and literacy skills follows a clear progression as children advance through the English curriculum and is integral to their ‘learning journey.’ Developing vocabulary and good oral language skills provides a firm foundation upon which to build reading and writing skills.
High quality literature lies at the heart of each ‘learning journey,’ helping to bring the curriculum to life and enhancing learning across all subjects. Reading widely across both fiction and non-fiction develops pupils’ vocabulary, knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. We passionately believe that reading high quality texts will feed curiosity and imagination, nurturing a culture where children love to read and are inspired to write.
Our intentions in writing are for children to:
- Write for a purpose, which is relevant and meaningful
- See themselves as real writers who take pride in their composition and presentation
- Take ownership of their writing
- See writing as a creative and enjoyable process
The English curriculum at Holmbush closely follows the aims of the national curriculum for English:
- To encourage a life-long love of reading through immersing them in rich and varied texts from across a range of genres and authors
- To enrich children’s vocabulary
- To develop an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage
- To ensure children can read independently, fluently and with good understanding, enabling them to access the full curriculum
- To promote reading regularly for both pleasure and information, in school and at home
- To provide robust, systematic phonics teaching to support reading and spelling
- To ensure children write clearly and coherently to engage the audience; adapting their language and style to suit the purpose
- To develop the grammar and linguistic conventions for speaking, reading and writing, enabling effective communication
We follow the Sounds Write phonic programme from EYFS* through to Year 6. This programme teaches pupils to understand the way the alphabet code works. It teaches all key elements of conceptual understanding, factual knowledge, and the three essential skills of blending, segmenting and phoneme manipulation necessary for learning to read and spell. It does so on a daily basis until all children achieve the automaticity that underlies the fluency of every successful reader.
Reading in Key Stage 1
Daily Supported Reading
This programme provides a coherent and systematic approach where children enjoy daily independent reading in small groups supported by a trained adult. It is introduced in the Summer term of Reception class and used throughout Year 1, following the progression of the coloured book band system. In Reception and key stage 1 reading books closely match the phonic ‘code’ that the children have been learning, enabling them to apply phonic skills when reading continuous text and to see themselves as readers from the very beginning.
In Year 2 pupils continue to progress through the coloured book bands in guided reading groups. In the summer term, whole class shared reading sessions are used to model good word reading and comprehension strategies. This supports pupils with their understanding of high-quality texts and prepares them for the transition to key stage 2.
Reading in Key Stage 2
Destination Reader is a rigorous and systematic approach to the teaching and learning of reading across key stage 2, using well-proven strategies known to deepen comprehension of texts. It fully meets the requirements of the national curriculum for reading and speaking and listening. The approach is centred around the use of high-quality texts, often linked to class topics and the wider curriculum. Destination Reader blends a range of ‘learning behaviours’ and reading strategies which, brought together, allow children to explore and understand texts independently, at a deeper level.
Accelerated Reader is used in key stage 2 to ensure that texts are closely matched to pupils’ reading ability. Each levelled book has a quiz to support reading comprehension. The quiz and reward systems motivate pupils to read regularly and foster enjoyment. Pupils can read books and take a quiz both at home and at school.
Parents are welcome to join their child for their weekly library session. This is a great opportunity to enjoy reading together and select a book to take home from our wide range of quality texts.
How you can help at home
We encourage each child to read every day at home to help them develop their reading skills and promote enjoyment of reading. Reading must be recorded in their reading card to ensure that children are rewarded for achieving at least 5 reads per week. In ks1 the focus is on ‘learning to read’ (e.g. decoding), the focus then shifts in ks2 towards ‘reading to learn’ (comprehension). The reading card provides information and ways to support your child in reaching the end of year expectations.
At Holmbush we follow the Talk for Writing process.
What is Talk for Writing?
Is based on the principles of how children learn. It enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version. Children study the writing of key authors linked to their ‘Learning Journey’ and the wider curriculum. The Holmbush literature spine ensures pupils study a breadth of writing genres and progression from year to year.
We teach a cursive script from Year 1 and pupils quickly learn to join their writing.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Children will regularly bring spellings home to learn. Please support your child with this to ensure that they become confident spellers! Below is a useful list of grammatical terminology children are expected to use.
We fulfil the requirements of primary national curriculum for maths, differentiating the curriculum as required, and teaching subject specific vocabulary which enables all children to:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of maths through varied and frequent practice to develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge both quickly and accurately.
- Reason mathematically by conjecturing relationships and generalisations and justifying or proving these using mathematical language.
- Solve problems by applying their maths to a wide range of problems and persevering in seeking solutions.
These skills are embedded within maths lessons and developed consistently over time, so that each child can develop a mastery of maths. We teach children maths skills and knowledge which they can use confidently during their lives, in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy and have a sense of curiosity about maths as well as experience success. This is assisted by promoting a self-awareness of their learning and by providing independent opportunities to select appropriate challenge within a differentiated range of fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
We develop links between maths and other curriculum areas such as PE and science and want to ensure that all children leave Holmbush Primary Academy as confident mathematicians.
We take a concrete – pictorial – abstract (CPA) approach to maths lessons using the White Rose scheme for learning.
First the children are introduced to new concepts throughout concrete, physical resources before moving onto to pictorial, visual representations to further solidify their understanding.
Finally, children will be introduced to abstract ideas on paper where they can apply their knowledge throughout a range of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving activities in the following areas:
- CPA Number
- Statistics (KS2)
- Ratio and Proportion (Year 6)
Every child at has the potential to become a confident and successful mathematician. During their time here, the children will develop their fluency and learn how to reason and problem solve effectively and efficiently. These skills will help them to solve real life problems and succeed with mathematical challenges in the future.
How you can help at home
The best way you can help your child is to be positive about maths! Reasoning and problem solving are at the heart of mathematics ; try and talk through your own reasoning when you are solving day to day problems e.g. working out quantities of food needed for dinner / a tea party, what time to leave home to get to a appointment, what is the new price after the 20% sale?
Try to encourage your children to become fluent with basic number facts as this will really help their mathematics learning. Our new fluency cards give lots of specific ideas for you to try with your child.
There are various links that pupils can use at home to practice their maths! Please visit our useful links page for all links. If your child has lost their login(s), please contact the academy.
Our science curriculum aims to give children the ability to raise questions and think independently. Our children will develop a range of skills and knowledge as well as carrying out exciting, practical scientific investigations. We aim through our teaching that all children will develop a passion for science.
Our curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
What Does Working Scientifically Involve?
- Asking a question
- Choosing ways to try to answer the question
- Planning how to answer the question
- Carrying out (doing) some form of enquiry or investigation
- Reviewing and reflecting on the findings
- Trying to answer the question
- Raising more questions
Children should be taught to…
Key stage 1
- Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways
- They should experience different types of scientific enquiries and begin to recognise ways in which they might answer scientific questions
Lower key stage 2
- Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
- They should start to make their own decisions about the most appropriate types of scientific enquiry they might use to answer questions
Upper key stage 2
- Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions
- Select and plan the most appropriate type of scientific enquiry to use to answer scientific questions
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We aim to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
We are extremely passionate about the creative arts and aim to encourage and inspire children to share our enthusiasm.
Key Stage 1
Pupils are taught to:
- Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
- Play tuned and untuned instruments musically
- Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
- Experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
Key Stage 2
Pupils are taught to:
- Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
- Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
- Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
- Use and understand staff and other musical notations
- Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
- Develop an understanding of the history of music.
Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. We aim to deliver a high-quality art and design education which engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
We are extremely passionate about the creative arts and we aim to encourage and inspire children to share our enthusiasm.
Key Stage 1
Pupils should be taught:
- To use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
- To use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination
- To develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
- About the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.
Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught:
- To create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
- To improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials (for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay)
- About great artists, architects and designers in history.
At the end of the Summer term, all children enjoy being a part of the gallery experience! This is an exciting event where children are asked to create a piece of art work that will be framed and displayed in the Holmbush Gallery. Parents are also given the opportunity to purchase their child’s art work if they wish and all funds go towards academy resources.
We Aim to Raise Children’s Fitness By:
Developing the use of morning fitness sessions to cover a wide variety of skills
Continuing with the Walk to School project (the school has already been identified as the top user in West Sussex of the online tracking system)
Introducing an online tool to monitor pupil fitness levels
Introducing regular running sessions for pupils to improve stamina
We Aim to Improve the Quality of Teaching and Learning in PE By:
Recruiting a qualified sports apprentice (£744 to support the cost of salary) to work with teachers during PE lessons, organise physical activities during Early Bird, break times and lunch and support coaching teams to participate in school competitions
Acquiring new medium term maps and games units tailored to Holmbush and the new PE curriculum by Activ8 (£2000)
Providing CPD for teachers in dance
We aim to provide opportunities for competitive sports within our school cluster
Becoming part of the School Sport Coordinator Project with Cluster schools (£1000)
We Aim to encourage A Greater Number Of Children To Participate in After School Clubs and Competitions
Offering a wider variety of sports clubs both before and after school
Monitoring pupil involvement
Have more than one team participating in competitions
Re-introduce ‘Play Leaders’ scheme
Our computing focus
To ensure the effective teaching and learning of the computing curriculum and to ensure that all children develop effective IT skills to support and extend learning across the curriculum by:
- Regular, planned use of iPads and Learn Pads to support, extend and inspire learning
- Encouraging pupils to discuss and explain their use of IT
- Moving beyond Internet research and subject specific apps
- Class teachers’ use of IT to support teaching, learning and assessment.
Aims and Objectives
Design and technology prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life. The subject encourages children to become autonomous and creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas and eventually making products and systems.
Through the study of design and technology they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on, and evaluate, present and past design and technology, its uses and its impacts. Design and technology helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators.
During key stage 1 and 2, children work on their own and as part of a team on a range of designing and making activities. They think about what products are used for and the needs of the people who use them. They plan what has to be done and identify what works well and what could be improved in their own and other people’s designs. They draw on knowledge and understanding from other areas of the curriculum and use computers in a range of ways.
We are very lucky to have a kitchen for Food Technology at Holmbush. All pupils have the opportunity to cook termly. Pupils plan, make and evaluate the food they prepare and are introduced to technical knowledge and vocabulary throughout this process.