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There are four main elements to the English curriculum: spoken language, reading, writing and grammar/punctuation/spelling.
Woodhall’s approach to speaking and listening is cross-curricular and holistic. There are also discrete opportunities for the development of spoken language through presentations, talent shows, assemblies, discussion, debate and drama.
At Woodhall, we strive to ensure that children are able to access information and the curriculum whilst finding pleasure in reading. Phonics (‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme) form the daily basis of reading development in EYFS and phonically decodable reading books are used to develop children’s reading skills. Phonics are taught on a daily basis in Key Stage 1 with extra support for those children who are not progressing as quickly as their peers. Children take part in guided reading sessions at least three times a week from Year 1 to Year 6. In Key Stage 2, as children become more fluent readers, there is a more independent emphasis on reading. Discrete comprehension sessions help children develop strategies to explore texts and respond to a variety of questions.
Much of the writing at Woodhall is cross-curricular in nature, giving children a real purpose and context in which to write and also covering a variety of genres. Writing can be produced individually, in pairs or groups, with a variety of inspirations to reflect the wide variety of reasons to write in everyday life.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar
These are taught both in context and discretely to enable children to use language more creatively and with greater understanding and confidence.
Science is taught each term so that we cover the Science National Curriculum. Each year group has science units of study that are covered in depth. Children are encouraged to be independent and collaborative science investigators by their involvement in exciting practical investigations and a developing knowledge of scientific concepts.
Our Computing curriculum allows all children to learn about the important area of ‘Programming’. There are many games and apps that children are already familiar with at home that allow them to develop their programming skills at a very early age.
At school, we build on these skills and the children learn to create algorithms where they create a sequence of instructions to make something happen.
In Key Stage 1, children learn basic skills of creating, organising, storing, manipulating and retrieving digital content. As they progress into Key Stage 2, pupils learn to work more independently, selecting, using and combining a variety of software (including
internet services) on a range of digital devices.
All pupils learn to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly and identify where to go for support when they have concerns about the internet/other online technologies. E-safety is regularly addressed in school.
Art stimulates creativity and imagination. Understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts has the power to enrich our lives. During their time at Woodhall, children are introduced to a wide variety of creative activities including drawing, painting, modelling, and needlecraft, and they are taught to use materials with precision and care.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology is about making things. Children are able to work on a range of designing and making activities. They explore how familiar things work and think about what products are used for and the needs of people who use them. They plan what has to be done and identify what works well and what could be improved in their own and other people’s designs. Both art and design technology are closely linked to the termly class topic.
In Geography pupils develop their knowledge of people and places to understand the physical, social and economic forces which shape those places and the lifestyles of the people who live there. We study local areas/issues and extend these studies into the wider world. The children learn to use maps to locate cities, countries, mountain ranges, rivers, seas and oceans. They use atlases, photos and the internet to explore the environment and economics of those countries which they study. They then use the skills they have developed in literacy, maths and ICT to report and record their findings.
At Woodhall, we aim to develop a secure understanding and awareness of chronology and the passing of time. We want the children to understand local, national and world events from the past which have had an impact upon their lives. The children study the lives of significant men and women in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements. They learn about ancient civilisations and features of the past; and begin to explore historical interpretation. Children’s geographical and historical vocabulary is developed to ensure the use of appropriate terminology.
The RE curriculum we follow is taken from the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus. There are two main strands: learning about major world religions, and learning from religions (reflecting and exploring) The children are encouraged to understand and respect some of the practices and beliefs from the major world faiths. Children are helped to explore questions within their own beliefs and develop sensitivity to the beliefs and cultures of others, and acknowledge the right to not believe. Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons. Lessons are not tackled from a personal belief point and do not indoctrinate in any way.
Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education
The promotion of British Values takes place across the curriculum. British Values are promoted so that the children can be prepared for life in modern Britain. They are helped to accept and engage with the fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Spiritual development encourages the children to reflect on their beliefs, religious or otherwise, and reflect upon their experiences. Moral development encourages the children to recognise the differences between right and wrong; to have a concern for others and to understand the consequences of their actions. Social development encourages the children to work and socialise with others and to relate to those from different backgrounds (religious, ethnic and socio-economic) and to participate fully and contribute positively to life in modern Britain. Cultural development encourages the children to understand and appreciate the wider range of cultures in their local community and further afield. They are taught to respect different faiths and diversity in local, national and global communities.
Modern Foreign Language
At Woodhall, children in Key Stage 2 are taught French for one lesson per week. The children are taught using the National Curriculum 2014. They learn through a mixture of discussion, visual, ‘hands-on’ and written activities.