At Staple Hill Primary School, our purpose for our curriculum is embodied in our school aims:
- We strive to provide opportunities for every child to learn in a variety of ways that inspire and motivate them.
- Teachers plan a wide ranging curriculum focused on engaging pupils in learning that sparks children’s imagination, creativity and curiosity.
- We want our children to take risks in their learning and challenge themselves.
- We provide a cross-curricular topic approach to learning in addition to discrete subject teaching in order to cover the new curriculum framework.
- We base our curriculum on a foundation of skills, knowledge and an understanding of the local area.
- We exploit community links and partnerships with local organisations and enrich learning with purposeful educational trips.
Since September 2014, we have been teaching our core and foundation subjects as directed by ‘The national curriculum in England Framework document’ [July 2013] and will continue to weave these subjects into our creative curriculum. Most of our foundation subjects are taught through cross-curricular topics. Some key skills, knowledge and understanding are taught discretely where they do not fit into a topic.
English is taught as a discrete subject daily but also features across the creative curriculum. We promote cross-curricular writing and celebrate our best pieces through our termly ‘Write Away’ display board. Big Write takes place every week and is used to showcase, support and challenge children in writing a variety of genres e.g. stories, poetry, recounts, explanation texts, etc. Guided Writing is used by all our staff to scaffold and challenge all learners to improve their writing. A structured phonics and spelling programme is used to teach patterns and rules of spelling. We also uphold a structured handwriting policy which consistently sees children from Reception to Year 6 joining their writing. Our children earn pen licences from Year 2 onwards in recognition of a joined and neat writing style in accordance to our handwriting policy. We provide regular sessions focusing on grammar as part of our English lessons. The high standards expected in English are continually reinforced across the curriculum. We challenge our More-Able learners further through timetabled More-Able and Talented English sessions and through a differentiated, personalised teaching and learning programme. We provide key interventions to support and challenge pupils with English as an Additional Language [EAL]. Support is planned and delivered by an identified Teaching Assistant specialising in delivering programmes to meet the specific needs of our EAL pupils.
We are committed to inspiring children to love mathematics and overcome barriers through clearly differentiated and personalised learning opportunities. We challenge our More-Able Mathematicians further through additional More-Able and Talented weekly sessions and through a differentiated, personalised teaching and learning programme. We promote Mathematics through outdoor learning and practical experiences and plan purposeful learning and make links to their everyday lives. Mathematics teaching builds on prior knowledge and gaps are addressed through regular guided sessions. Our children’s mental maths and problem-solving skills are developed through frequent rehearsal in different contexts. We emphasise this through regular homework activities including revision for ‘Tables’ tests. We follow a ‘Calculations Strategies’ policy which we share in booklet form with parents and carers in addition to providing Mathematics workshops to share our practice.
In Science, we promote a balance of activities based on the acquisition of knowledge and investigative skills. We encourage independence and team work founded in a curriculum that engages and inspires children to think for themselves. We plan activities that explore the local environment and exploit outdoor learning using our grounds, pond and local area. Links are made between Science in the classroom and everyday life along with understanding of the world we live in. We are wholly committed to cultivating curiosity, engagement and exploration of scientific ideas and concepts while making important decisions about health and safety.
We mostly study our Foundation Subjects through the Creative Curriculum using a cross-curricular topic approach. Links are made between subjects and where links cannot be made then subjects are taught discretely.
Geography: Our children learn about people, places and physical processes through topics such as ‘Through my Window [KS 1], ‘Staple Hill and Me’ [LKS2] and ‘Building Brunel’s Bristol’ [UKS2]. They study their local area and learn key geographical skills and vocabulary to describe their observations of the world around them. They consider environmental issues and consider the impact change has on their local area and other places.
History: Children learn about significant people and events from the past, in Britain and the wider world. Historical enquiry and research is used to support children in the investigation and study of events and people in the past. They learn to place events and people on a timeline considering chronology and the impact of change over time. They learn to ask questions and find answers through research, handling artefacts and investigating their recent past. We often look to the community to support our teaching and learning across the school. Topics include ‘Flash! Bang!’ [KS 1 which includes a study of ‘The Great Fire of London’], ‘Yabadabadoo’ [LKS2 focusing on the Stone Age] and ‘Building Brunel’s Bristol’ [UKS2 focusing on the achievements of Isambard Kingdom Brunel].
Please note that curriculum maps are working documents and are constantly updated.
More information is available in our Curriculum and Subject Policies.
Find out more about the Year Group Topics
To enrich the curriculum and provide the pupils with opportunities to have different experiences a variety of school trips are planned. Some school trips have included visits to:
- Avon Valley Country Park
- Big Pit
- Chepstow Castle
- Bristol Zoo
- Willsbridge Mill
- Bristol Museum
In addition, Year 4 and Year 6 have the opportunity to take part in residential school trips.
Computing: ICT is used regularly in cross-curricular ways to teach then rehearse key ICT skills. Through explicit teaching children are learning to:
- understand algorithms,
- create and debug programs that accomplish specific goals
- use logical reasoning to predict behaviour of simple programs
- understand computer networks and the internet including E-Safety
- use technology purposefully and effectively
- use search technologies
Art & Design and Design Technology: We promote Art and Technology across our topics and celebrate our highlights through our ‘Artist of the Term’ initiative. We plan opportunities for children to:
- use a range of materials and media in a creative and imaginative way
- learn about a range of artists, craft makers and designers across cultures and historical periods
- refine their art and design techniques, including through sketch work
Our topics include experiences that allow our children to rehearse and develop their creative and practical skills within key design, make and evaluate contexts. Children use a range of tools, equipment and materials and explore a range of mechanisms. Topics include ‘Fur and Fangs’ & ‘On the Move’ [in KS1 focusing on moving monsters and vehicles], ‘Bright Sparks’ [LKS2 focusing on torches] and ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’ [UKS2 focusing on puppets]. We include regular opportunities to explore cooking and nutrition especially through topics such as ‘’Food, Glorious, Food!’ [KS1], ‘Fire & Ice’ [LKS2 focusing on hot and cold foods/meals], ‘Earth & Space’ [UKS2 focusing on cooking pizzas and designing pizza boxes]. We also include creative opportunities set within the context of festivals across cultures including cooking, making cards and other art & design activities for Eid, Diwali, Christmas and more. We also embed these creative experiences into our core subjects such as weighing ingredients before cooking/baking [Maths], writing instructions on how to make artefacts such as masks/puppets or on how to carry out a task [English].
Every year, each Key Stage team engages in an enterprise activity which focuses on children deciding on their product before requesting funds from the Headteacher to subsidise the project. The children make their product then sell them at an enterprise event to which parents are invited. So far we have offered a range of products including decorated photo frames and garden party [Reception], a wildlife dvd and decorated plant pots with home-grown plants [KS1], decorated canvas bags and sweets in a basket [LKS2] and finally handcrafted photo frames & mythology books [written by our UKS2]. The money earned from the sales are kept by the team and the children themselves decide what they would like the team to spend it on. Over the years, the children have opted to spend the money on:
- school scooters
- play equipment for outside and indoors
- an ice cream party
- a trip to a museum
We promote our Music curriculum through our latest initiative known as ‘Marvellous Musicians’. We have a school choir and celebrate our musicality at school events including Christmas and Summer Fayres, Singalongs and other performances. We also attend annual Music Festivals with other cluster schools and visit local retirement homes to perform to different audiences. We offer peripatetic teaching sessions for the harmonica, ukulele, guitar and fiddle. Every year, we book sessions for one year group to learn to play an instrument as a class. We have so far learnt the recorder, fife and African drums. Through the Music curriculum, we teach children to:
- use their voices expressively
- play tuned and unturned instruments musically
- listen with concentration and understanding to live and recorded music
- experiment with and compose music for a range of purposes
- understand the history of music and value music from different cultures and times
We promote every aspect of Physical Education and enjoy taking part in inter- and intra-sports’ tournaments. We enter the MAD Olympiad every year and compete in Tag Rugby, Tennis and Athletics competitions. We regularly invite outside agencies to run sports and games activities including Tag Rugby, Multi-Sports, Agility challenges and more. We currently offer a trained sports coach leading PPA sports once a week with an additional lunchtime sports’ club on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes. We run Playrangers sessions over Friday afternoons and after-school to support children’s play development. We follow the Val Sabin units of work and ensure we offer children an opportunity to:
- master movements and skills that allow them to take part in a range of activities
- participate in team games and develop tactics for attacking and defending
- perform dances
- take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges
- improve their swimming skills throughout their time in KS2
Foreign Languages: In KS2, we study French and offer children the opportunity to:
- listen attentively and show understanding by joining in conversations
- learn songs and rhymes
- speak in sentences using familiar vocabulary
- present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- understand basic grammar
- read carefully and show understanding
- develop accurate pronunciation and intonation
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development [SMSC]
We promote SMSC throughout the school in a number of ways. We teach SMSC themes through the R.E., PSHE and P4C curriculum, as part of cross-curricular units and in discrete lessons. We learn about a range of faith festivals throughout the year including Harvest, Easter, Christmas, Eid, Diwali, Hanukah and Chinese New Year to name but a few. We visit places of worship from different faiths e.g. church and mosque. Assemblies cover a wide range of moral, philosophical, faith, social, emotional, environmental and cultural issues, as well as marking specific dates such as Remembrance Day, Black History Month, Earth Day. We also raise awareness of a range of charities and take part in a wide range of fundraising activities each year. We foster pride in our cultural identities by including home languages in class and corridor displays and through our Language of the Term programme. Every day, at our school, we promote positive moral values through our interactions with children and in our responses, both positive and corrective to their behaviour and social interactions. As part of our pastoral programme and in tune with the school’s stated values, we work very hard, in partnership with parents and carers to develop high self-esteem, positive behaviour and a keen sense of mutual respect in our pupils.
Life-skills and preparing for the world of work
Children are encouraged to be punctual in their attendance, to take pride in their appearance, to have good manners and to work hard in lessons. We encourage awareness of money matters through the maths curriculum and teach business skills through cross-curricular Enterprise units which are used to raise funds for class resources. In Year 6, we send pupils on a Lifeskills training day where they learn about how to deal safely with real-life hazardous situations.
We are keen to give children a sense of what it means to be British, for them to have a sense of themselves as active members of their local community and to be aware of how this community is a part of Bristol, the United Kingdom and the wider global community. In promoting an awareness of British Values, we use the curriculum, daily class community activities, and whole school pupil-involvement initiatives to help the children learn about Democracy, The Rule of Law, Liberty, Respect, Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs and a general ‘Awareness of What it Means to be British’ (see British Values for more information).