At Castle Hill School we strive to enable the children with a broad and balanced learning experience through an exciting creative approach to learning. We feel that by using a Creative Curriculum, this enables and enriches the lives of the children through a variety of experiences. We use innovative approaches to the learning experiences, working together as a team to make the difference to our children’s education.
The National Curriculum requires that children study the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Design and Technology, Information Technology, History, Geography, Art, Music, P.S.H.E. and Physical Education. In addition each school must provide Religious Education and an act of collective worship. We are also pleased to welcome visitors to provide us with knowledge and insight into their values and beliefs. We encourage children to ask questions, make comments and be tolerant of the viewpoints expressed by others. We would appreciate information about your beliefs so that we can be sensitive to children’s family experiences.
Within the National Curriculum, programmes of study set out the essential learning in each subject. There are national tests for children at age 7, until 2016, called Standardised Assessment Tasks (S.A.T.s). These assessments are planned as part of daily learning activities.
We place great emphasis on the teaching of reading. Our reading approaches are carefully planned to give children broad experience at each level of their reading development. The children are also encouraged to use reference books and to read for information as well as enjoyment. We want the children to be good communicators and so we encourage them to speak with confidence using appropriate forms of speech. We also develop the capacity to listen with attention and understand the viewpoint expressed by others. Our main aim in developing writing skills is to enable our children to express their ideas in a variety of ways, using accurate spelling and punctuation. Literacy takes place in each class every day, through a creative curriculum.
We do not use any specific reading scheme, but we use letters and sounds for the teaching of phonics.
We aim to give children a powerful means of communication. This includes the ability to solve problems, understand numbers, shapes and relationships, and to predict likely results. We try to arouse a lively interest and pleasure in mathematics and in its creative use in everyday life. The children are encouraged to work independently and co-operatively to develop skills. Mathematics lesson are structured in accordance with new National Curriculum.
Pupils have the opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding in many areas of science. The children learn about life and living processes, materials and their properties, and physical processes through experiments and investigations. Individual and group skills of planning, decision-making, investigating and communicating results, as well as observing, classifying, recording, making and testing hypotheses, designing experiments and drawing information from evidence are vital to science-based activities, but can also be applied to everyday life.
Pupils are encouraged to develop designing and making skills as well as developing their knowledge and understanding of how things work. Focused practical tasks enable pupils to develop and practise particular skills and knowledge. There are also opportunities for pupils to investigate, disassemble and evaluate simple products, applications and structures.
Pupils are encouraged to use IT equipment to communicate ideas and handle information. The new curriculum encourages children to understand the programming of software and how this is utilised in everyday life. The use and purpose of everyday devices are also considered through controlling and modelling. ICT is integrated into all areas of the curriculum where pertinent as a teaching and learning tool.
Children are introduced to the study of the local area as well as extending their knowledge of other parts of the world. We encourage children to appreciate the variety of physical and human features around them and how to protect the environment.
The study of history develops skills, which enable children to interpret the world around them, and which help them to understand the relationship between the past and the present.
Children gain a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction from experiences, which provide a means of self-expression. They are given the opportunity to experience a variety of activities and use a wide range of materials. They are taught to observe and record, to use their imagination and creativity and to respond to the work of other artists. They are also given opportunities to draw, paint, design and make products and to work with textiles.
A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. Children are given experiences of gymnastics, athletics, dance, outdoor and adventurous activities, individual and team games in order to develop good body co-ordination and control.
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should 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. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
Children are rewarded for good behaviour, as well as kindness to others. They are encouraged to think about the feelings of others and to help wherever possible, in and around school and also within the community. We also encourage children to think about the needs of others within our world community and to offer support through school projects.
Children and young people need the self-awareness, positive self-esteem and confidence to stay as healthy as possible; keep themselves and others safe; have worthwhile and fulfilling relationships; respect the differences between people; develop independence and responsibility; play an active role as members of a democratic society; make the most of their own and other’s abilities; PHSE Information.
If you require any further information regarding the curriculum we follow here at Castle Hill School, please do not hesitate to get in contact.
We believe that children learn best when the curriculum is built on inspirational learning activities and high-quality teaching. All teaching staff are part of a Teaching and Learning focus group and are responsible for the development of the curriculum throughout the school.
In addition to the more academic subjects, we strive to:
- Use our extensive grounds to enrich learning. We are currently introducing the ‘Forest Schools’ approach.
- Provide musical opportunities for free to all pupils as they pass through the school.
- Provide sporting opportunities. Our pupils participate in swimming lessons at the local swimming pool. We use ‘Inspire’ coaches to enhance the teaching of PE, who also run daily lunchtime activities. We also play competitive sports matches against other local schools.
- Provide clubs to enrich learning. The school runs a variety of different clubs over the course of the year ranging from traditional sports such as football and netball to other sports such as Judo. We also have a daily Friendship/Nuture club, a drama club which has performed at the Wolsey theatre, a dance club as well as lunchtime sports coaching.
- All year groups take part in planned educational visits linked to their topics. Year 6 enjoy a week long residential visit each November.
The school follows the National Curriculum which you can view by following this link.