The Holy Brook School Curriculum Statement
The Holy Brook School (HBS) curriculum prioritises the key knowledge, skills and understanding we believe are essential for our pupils to have secured by the time they leave their school. Covering pre-key stage standard 1 and progressing to the end of year 6 national curriculum expectations, the HBS curriculum focusses on the key learning outcomes we consider most relevant to our pupils. The HBS curriculum starting point is the assessed level of each individual pupil when they are admitted to HBS. What skills and knowledge do they have? What do they already know about themselves? What do they know about their world and their environment? What connections can they make?
The HBS curriculum end point is the knowledge, skills and understanding we want each pupil to have thoroughly secured by the time they leave HBS. When a pupil leaves HBS they will know, understand and be able to explain our mission statement, aims and values and they will be cognitively and emotionally ready for the next stage in their education, wherever that maybe.
Our child centered curriculum is designed to assess and then build on what a pupil already knows through well sequenced and carefully modelled and scaffolded small steps. Pupils are encouraged to make connections and see patterns. They are provided with a range of practical opportunities to develop understanding, practice and rehearse skills, respond to questions and, importantly, learn through making mistakes. Pupil progression is built on secure knowledge; the next small step in learning will not be introduced until it is clear that knowledge and understanding has been firmly embedded.
We value the integrity of each curriculum subject, however we believe that reading is the most important subject we teach, as it gives children access to all other areas of learning.
The HBS curriculum is organised into individual subject Programmes of Study (POS). Each POS identifies both the skills and knowledge pupils will learn and how these will progress, build and develop towards the agreed end point in each curriculum subject. The HBS curriculum POS for English, Maths and PSHE are delivered through each pupil’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Up to six ‘learning’ or ‘learning to learn’ targets are agreed and set for each pupil for each of the six school terms. Pupils’ progress is assessed and monitored continually and targets are reviewed and updated in response to clear evidence that the learning has been embedded into the pupils’ long-term memory. Through these small yet confident steps pupils, parents, teachers and associated professionals can observe and celebrate the clear progress being made.
The POS for Science is delivered through termly Schemes of Work (SOW) titled Myself, My World and My Environment. Each topic heading provides a structure for the Science POS to be delivered and reinforced through the teaching of the foundation subjects of art and design, design and technology etc. This simple clear cycle avoids fragmenting the curriculum and emphasises patterns and connections which support pupils’ learning as their skills, knowledge and understanding build, develop and grow each time the topic cycle is repeated.
RE and the foundation subjects are taught separately to the Science topic headings as in these subjects learning is much more linear. That is to say that progression in these subjects follows a clear trajectory with a clear pattern of how knowledge connects and builds; starting from their own immediate experiences and then radiating and expanding to a knowledge and understanding of time and places beyond their own experience.
In History, pupils will initially learn about events that have occurred during their life time and how they, themselves, have grown and changed. They will then learn about the changes that have occurred during the life time of their parents, then their grandparents. Then, when they are ready they will learn about how their locality has changed and developed since key historical eras.
In Geography, pupils will initially learn about where they come from, where they live, their community and their school; their immediate environment. They will then learn about the human and physical geography of their country and then their world.
Coherence in the school curriculum ensures there is a point to the pupils’ learning. Teachers are able to explain why they are teaching a lesson, what previous learning the current lesson is based on and where the intended learning is going and what learning will follow? Learning is also supported by a developmental programme of cultural experiences which are linked to the pupils learning and social and emotional needs. These experiences provide additional context, reinforcement and much needed opportunities to learn outside the classroom, for example, pupils will have opportunities to visit areas of outstanding natural beauty, farms, museums, zoos, places of worship and theatres. A useful metaphor is envisaging the HBS curriculum as a spiral. Each pupil’s starting point is at the centre; their centre. As each pupil progresses up through the school their understanding of their world grows
Pupils will leave Holy Brook School as tolerant, respectful and confident young people who can look forward to the rest of their lives and look back at their time at Holy Brook with happy memories. When it is time for pupils to leave Holy Brook, they will be:
- secure in the basic skills of Reading, Writing and Mathematics
- confident problem solvers
- proud of their strengths and talents
- confident in their knowledge and understanding of themselves, their world and their environment, and ready to build on these at their next school.
145 Ashampstead Road, Southcote, Reading, RG30 3LJ
0118 937 5489