Our curriculum is closely linked to the school’s vision and aims and is underpinned by Christian values. Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our diverse school community.
The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills with a vision to prepare our children for life beyond primary school; to be happy and safe within a rapidly changing world.
Our curriculum is designed to inspire a passion for life-long learning and to develop an ability to embrace challenge.
Ultimately, we aim for our children to be responsible, resilient, understanding and compassionate citizens who aspire to be the best they can be and to make a positive difference to their communities.
During their time at Howbridge, children will immerse themselves in our creative curriculum; studying a wide range of stimulating topics. Topics include such titles as ‘Reach for the Stars and ‘Mighty Mountains’ as well as more traditional ones of ‘World War II’ and ‘Marvellous Maya’. 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. The Curriculum Maps and Parent Guides are provided below, to provide more detail on each year group’s curriculum.
Computing and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a key area of the curriculum and with our extensive computer network, numerous computers, iPads and interactive whiteboards in each classroom, the library and computer suite, we are well equipped to meet this challenge.
In English, we use quality and challenging texts as a stimulus to support the teaching of reading and writing. Where appropriate this is integrated into the topic. The Accelerated Reading Scheme is embedded across the school. Every time a child has read a book they take an on-line quiz to motivate them to progress with their reading.
Time is dedicated to SPaG and key Maths skills each day across the school. Within Year 3, children take part in phonics sessions. They undertake activities to practise reading and writing the phonemes and graphemes studied.
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 Musical Theatre group, the Howbridge 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 BBC Ten Pieces Week, World Book Day and Global Awareness Day.
- 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. 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 Year 6 Team, and supports learning in: history, geography, science and personal development.
Reading Intent Statement
At Howbridge Church of England Junior school we promote a love of reading to enable our pupils to become lifelong learners. We value reading as a key life skill therefore provide opportunities across the curriculum to encourage and develop reading and understanding. In order for children to be passionate about reading, we provide all learners with a wide variety of texts which they can select from our richly resourced library filled with quality texts that are of interest to the pupils; class corridors or from their class reading boxes which are alternated termly within a year group. As well as this, teachers select engaging class novels where they read to their students at the end of the day to expose children to a wide bank of vocabulary; widen their knowledge of different authors and genres; and teach children how voice can match a text through expression and fluency.
Termly, children will be assessed on their reading through the Accelerated Reading Programme. This will generate reading ZPD levels for every child. Children will then match their level appropriately to the reading scheme books in our class corridors or to the books in the school library. Teachers will closely monitor their children’s levels to ensure children are choosing and reading books within their reading range. This will be achieved through regular reading with the class teacher or LSA. In addition to this, years 3 – 5 will complete the NFER assessment tests at the end of each term. Year 6 will continue throughout the year to be monitored through SATs testing and Year 3 will participate in a baseline at the start of the school year.
At Howbridge, we intend to build on the prior knowledge of all pupils from the infant school by teaching them through an 8-week rigorous phonics programme which is based on the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document. Sessions are differentiated according to ability and focus on the phase 5 letter sounds. This develops their knowledge of the phoneme sounds and their spelling of the alternative graphemes. After this half termly programme, children who were unsuccessful in passing their phase 5 screening test (or other children who have been identified for needing further support) will receive a phonic intervention three times a week.
Ultimately, it is our aim for all children to be able to read age appropriate books or above. As a result, we expose all learners to a wide range of challenging texts within their reading sessions through a consistent whole class reading approach focusing upon the key skills. In addition to this, we also intend to promote reading across our curriculum using a variety of different reading resources such as secondary sources, recounts, letters, diary entries, newspaper articles, information texts and pictures. This is to challenge every learner to reach their potential. As well as this, to respond to the needs of our pupils, Howbridge Church of England Junior School emphasises a key focus on vocabulary and inference across all year groups.
By the time children leave Howbridge Church of England Junior School our aim is that they will be competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.
Writing Intent Statement
At Howbridge Church of England Junior school we promote a love of writing to enable our pupils to become lifelong learners. We intend for pupils to be able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. To be able to do this effectively, pupils will focus on developing effective transcription and effective composition. They will also develop an awareness of different genres, audiences, purposes and contexts, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We also intend for pupils to leave school being able to use fluent, legible and speedy handwriting that can be applied in different contexts.
With regards to Spelling, children will investigate various spelling rules and patterns in every year group. They will also develop the ability to apply these spellings independently in their writing, across the curriculum. To be able to do this, pupils will take part in planned, weekly spelling sessions.
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. Homework is set weekly for Maths and English. This also includes Reading and Spellings. 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.