Our aim at Howbridge Church of England School is to offer a broad and balanced curriculum which inspires children to achieve excellence and enjoyment in their learning. We have worked together as a staff to devise a series of topics for each year group which provides wide and varied opportunities for academic achievement across all subjects. These topics allow children to be enthused and engaged through a cross curricular approach which also links to current topical issues or fun stimulating environments. The topics include such titles as ’Best of British’ and ‘Marvellous Magic’as well as the more traditional ones of World War II and the Ancient Egyptians. Through this cross curricular approach, we aim to nurture and develop pupils’ skills and talents through the breadth and creativity of the curriculum in school and in extra-curricular activities. Each topic has an entry and exit point to give purpose to the whole learning journey across the term.
Where appropriate single subject teaching also takes place especially in English and Maths although links to other curricular areas are often made to enable children to apply lifelong skills in a variety of scenarios. Computing and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a key area of the curriculum and with our extensive computer network, numerous computers, i-pads, laptops and interactive whiteboards in each classroom, the library and computer room, we are well equipped to meet this challenge. Computing and logical thinking is taught to a good standard and ICT is utilised across the curriculum.
In English we use a combination of reading books including Oxford Reading Tree, Wellington Square, Ransom and Sound Start. Children progress through the different stages of these books towards being a free reader whereby they choose their own books from home or class libraries. Children who require extra support with their reading are also heard read by other adults on a regular basis as well as reading with their class teacher in a group. Throughout the school children take part in the Accelerated Reading Scheme. Every time a child has read a book they take an on-line quiz to motivate them to progress with their reading.
Within Year 3, children take part in phonics sessions. They undertake activities to practise reading and writing the phonemes and graphemes studied. Children who need additional practise with phonics work in a small group with a Learning Support Assistant to re-visit letter sounds and blends. This may continue into other year groups. We also dedicate time within our day to SPaG and key Maths skills
At the beginning of each term a curriculum parent guide is shown on this page. This outlines the topics and learning for the term.
In addition to this structured curriculum, Howbridge takes every opportunity to extend the children’s learning in other ways. Numerous events and opportunities are provided. These include:
- Excellent sporting activities including swimming lessons for all year groups.
- A wide range of music opportunities including a choir and individual tuition for a wide variety of musical instruments. Children are able to share their musical successes by performing in various concerts and venues in Witham.
- Regular themed learning days or weeks. These have recently included Science Day, World Book Day and International Week.
- Annual School Council Elections to help the children to understand the democratic process.
In addition to this we are committed to developing children’s independence skills, understanding of responsibility and communication skills. We therefore plan many opportunities for children to develop these life skills so that they leave the school confident and articulate. Some of these include:
- Class assemblies where the children present some aspect of their recent learning to their parents and the rest of the school
- Annual productions for all years which are performed to parents and children and incorporates music, drama and dancing
- Providing opportunities for children in year 6 to take in school ‘jobs’ around the school.
- An annual school residential journey for children in year 6. This is organised and lead by the Assistant Head teacher, and supports learning in history, geography, science and personal development. Children have the opportunity to undertake some forms of adventurous activities. They are also encouraged to organise themselves for each day’s events and develop their team working skills.
The Governors have agreed that Sex Education should be sensitively integrated into our Personal, Social and Health Education programme giving the children a wider and deeper understanding. However, parents have a right to withdraw their children from these lessons except from that part that is contained within the science curriculum. The video resources and other materials used to develop this aspect of school work with years 5 & 6, are available for parents prior to their use in the classroom if required.
At Howbridge, we believe that children learn best when parents work together in partnership with the school. Homework is one way in which parents can support and enhance their child’s learning. The nature and length of any homework set varies according to the age of the child. Some of the homework will be in the form of themed projects to be carried out at home. Class teachers value the homework that is carried out by children and will acknowledge and discuss it; however, it is not possible for each individual piece to be marked in detail.