Our Curriculum

At Whitehill Primary school our aim is to build learners for the future through a creative curriculum. Click the year group tabs below to discover what your child will be doing this academic year


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Early Years

What is the Early Years curriculum?

Nursery and Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The EYFS is a very important stage for children as it helps prepare them for more formal teaching and lifelong learning. Children’s early years experience should be a happy, active, exciting, fun and safe time which enables every individual child to achieve their full potential.

Here at Whitehill Primary School, we aim to ensure that all children learn by ‘doing’ and leave both our Nursery and Reception year with a love of learning, feeling safe and excited by the opportunities that learning offers. The EYFS ensures that children learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

The Early Years Curriculum

There are 3 prime areas which are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The prime areas help children to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Outside Learning is a fundamental part of children’s learning at Whitehill Primary School. We believe that children should have regular access to outside learning opportunities and that the outdoor environment should complement and extend the learning which takes place indoors. Each day we plan exciting and fun activities for the children to explore and develop their learning. The outside environment can offer unique opportunities for learning as the children have more space to move freely, which is crucial for their physical, social and emotional development.

Working with Parents

At Whitehill Primary School, we work hard to develop an active partnership with parents. We value the contribution that parents make to their children’s learning and continual development. In EYFS we send home weekly learning letters, we have an open door policy, termly parent workshops and activity sessions, contact books and learning diaries.

Transition

At Whitehill Primary School and Nursery, we want to ensure the best possible start to school life. The move to the ‘big school’ is an exciting and important time for children and their parents. We feel that children who are supported in a positive way learn to deal with transition whenever it may occur in their lives, and will become more confident learners. We want children to feel safe, secure and comfortable, and staff to have an awareness of the needs of the children to ensure continuity and progression.

In order to make transitions as smooth as possible into school and nursery we offer home and school visits, weekly outdoor learning sessions, we visit other nursery settings and meet key workers.

Year 1

In Year 1, the curriculum continues to build on the learning the pupils have achieved in the Foundation Stage. There is a strong emphasis on pupils continuing to develop their basic English and Maths skills through a range of activities, including the Year 1 Outdoor Learning area. Year 1 will continue to use Numicon to deepen their understanding of mathematics.

Year 1

Pupils will be developing their knowledge of spelling patterns through the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme on a daily basis. Pupils will take a home reading book daily from the Oxford Reading Scheme. Year 1 are also focussing on their presentation and handwriting, through the introduction of the Nelson Handwriting Scheme.

The foundation subjects are taught through a topic-based approach using ‘Cornerstones’. Year 1 are excited and enthusiastic about this year’s topics: Enchanted Woodland, Bright Lights Big City, Dinosaurs, Superheroes, Moon Zoom and Paws Claws and Whiskers. We encourage exploration of the topics to continue at home through home learning activities and projects. In Year 1, a great emphasis is put upon developing pupils’ growing independence skills. They begin to see how they can challenge themselves to try harder and persevere at activities they find challenging.

Year 2

In Year 2, children are provided with challenging, meaningful and enjoyable learning experiences. In all curriculum areas, teaching is matched to the abilities and aptitudes of children. Tasks are differentiated to ensure all children are challenged. Children are encouraged and inspired to achieve to the best of their abilities.

Year 2

Through a range of topic themes, children will develop their understanding of the world around them and their personal and social skills. The children in Year 2 are excited about this year’s topics: Street Detectives, Towers, Tunnels and Turrets, Wriggle and Crawl, Land Ahoy, Scented Gardens and Beach Combers. To deepen children’s understanding we plan for opportunities for them to use and apply aspects of their learning across a range of subjects.

Children will have the opportunity to listen to and discuss a wide range of stories, poems, plays and information books. Through the use of Read Write Inc, children will build on their on their ability to read graphemes, and become increasingly able to read common and exception words. Children will produce writing for different purposes. In mathematics, children will continue to develop their understanding of number, measures, shape and space and data handling.

Year 3

This year, Year 3 are learning about Gravesend and the surrounding area, including the history of the town. We’ll take a look at predators and how they live; tribal tales and where they come from and heroes and villains. We will also be delving into the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for our topic ‘Scrumdiddlyumptious’. We’ve already been on a trip to Windmill Hill to see the landscape of Gravesend and we have plenty more to come in the year ahead.

Year 3

In English we have created leaflets, written persuasive texts and have begun to look at poetry. As the year continues, we will be creating fact files, writing letters and also studying newspaper reports. In Mathematics, we have continued with addition and subtraction, looking at different methods and resources such as Numicon to help find the answer. We will continue to learn our times tables and will build on our knowledge of money, fractions and shape. We’ll be taking a look at Islam and Christianity, learning street dance in P.E. and we’ll study the different rivers and cities of the United Kingdom. Our Home Learning books will provide challenges to work on at home and any writing, pictures or things of interest can be stuck in and then shared with the class during the week.

Year 3 is a really exciting year as it is our first time in the juniors. We’ve already settled in really well to our new surroundings and we know it’s going to be a fantastic year. We’ve got lots of exciting things to do and we can’t wait to share our experiences with you!

Year 4

In Year 4 we study a diverse range of topics from the Cornerstones curriculum, such as Blue Abyss, Road Trip USA, 1066, Burps Bottoms and Bile, Playlist and Potions. These give pupils the opportunity to access, explore and ask questions about interesting and unique areas of life. Throughout these topics we research historical facts using primary and secondary sources. We learn about science and carry out scientific investigations. We also design and make models in DT and art that relate to our topics, as well as going on school trips that provide exciting and interesting opportunities to learn.

"Learning is fun and we discover new things!"

In English our learning is shaped around the books that we study each term. We spend time reading a book as a class, discussing key points and word as well as exploring thoughts, feelings and actions of the characters involved. This helps us share ideas about how to adapt stories and invent our own, justifying the changes we make based on our knowledge of characters and events. We use Accelerated Reader to encourage our children to read daily and to improve their comprehension skills. In Mathematics, we secure our knowledge and develop our reasoning skills. We study all areas of maths including place value, calculations, shape, measure and fractions.

Each term we send home a variety of fun and creative ideas for home learning based around our topic. We also ask children to ensure they are reading for at least 15 minutes each day and to practise their times tables.

Year 5

Topics

In Year 5 we study a range of exciting and engaging topics! Some of the topics we learn about include: The Egyptians, Earth and Beyond, Time Travellers, Allotment, Scream Machine and Bug Creator. Throughout these topics we research historical facts by using the computers and reading books that are in our classroom. We also design and make models in Design and Technology which relate to our topics e.g. Egyptian pyramids, the solar system and mechanical pulley structures such as the London Eye. We go on school trips that help us learn about different topics. We visit the London Eye to look at the structure and the use of pulleys and levers. We also get to visit Shorne Country Park to research and find out about different types of habitats. In Science we do lots of experiments and investigations to aid our Scientific Enquiry Skills. We learn about life cycles and how creatures evolve. We also learn about different materials and what they can be used for.

In art lessons we design and make felt characters which we then write about in our English lessons. We also look at different William Morris patterns and then design our own patterns to make wallpaper. We have an opportunity to make clay pots using a coiling technique. We are really lucky because we have a kiln in school, which means we can actually use the pots we make when they have been fired!

We use lots of percussion instruments in music lessons and compose and perform our own pieces of music. We learn about the different genres of music and use ICT to manipulate sounds and experiment by making our own sounds.

In computing we use a program called 2Simplemusic to compose our own music. We extend our understanding of ICT by learning about algorithms and coding using a variety of programs. As well as this, we will be looking at how people used to communicate through morse code. We also present information using different Microsoft applications, presenting information in tables and graphs. In French we learn greetings, numbers, colours, food, animals and different types of transport. We will also be having a tasty French breakfast!

Year 5 take part in lots of different sports for PE. We are taught the rules and positions of different games such as football, basketball, netball, tennis and badminton. When we have learnt a range of skills to become successful in a particular type of sport, we have the opportunity to play the game and compete with another class.

Year 5: In Literacy we write creative stories and use drama to retell stories.

English

In English we write creative stories and use drama to retell stories. We also learn a variety of poems and create our own poems that we can perform. The books that we read as a year group include: Cosmic Disco, Cosmic, Growing Around Us and Pharaohs. In Year 5 we also learn about how to write different types of non-fiction texts e.g. fact files, leaflets, newspaper reports and explanation texts.

Mathematics

In our mathematics lessons we learn lots of fun and interesting facts about number, shape, fractions and geometry. We like to make our mathematics lessons active and encourage pupils to use what we have learnt in mathematics outside school. Our lessons are linked to our topic and put into a real-life context where possible. We challenge ourselves through investigative mathematics and mathematical puzzles.

Year 6

Year 6 is an incredibly important year for our children in preparing them for the transition to secondary school. We are committed to providing our children with a broad and balanced curriculum with a high level of challenge in order to provide them with the best opportunities in the future.

This year's Year 6 topics are: Gallery Rebels, A Child's War, Frozen Kingdom, Darwin’s Delights, Tomorrow's World and Blood Heart. 'Gallery Rebels' takes us on a journey to discover a variety of different artistic styles and create artistic styles of our own. In 'A Child's War', we take a step back into the past and look at the life of children during World War 2 and life within Victorian classrooms. We will study a range of religions to ensure we develop a respect and understanding of all faiths. 'Tomorrow's World' involves looking at technology and the future of our planet, focusing on ICT in order to do this. In 'Blood Heart' and 'Darwin's Delights' we study the human body and its evolution over millions of years!

Year 6 take parts in lots of different sports for PE, learning the rules and positions of different games such as football, basketball, netball, tennis and badminton. When we have learnt skills needed for a sport, we then take opportunities to play the game and compete with other classes. We also get to do lots of athletics and gymnastics using a range of equipment. PE is an opportunity to develop our team-building skills as well as to stay healthy and develop our sporting knowledge.

Year 6 work hard this term to prepare for SATs

English

In order to enhance our English skills, we read a variety of high quality texts, including: Holes, Goodnight Mr Tom, Wolf Brother and Stormbreaker. These books are used to support creative writing, including writing in role and developing our own writing styles. We also read daily in class and study texts in detail in order to improve our reading. This helps us to enhance skills in written communication, where we develop our skills of persuasion, written arguments and creating information texts. Grammar, punctuation and spelling is a strong focus this year. We learn how to use a wide range of punctuation for effect, including higher-level punctuation such as colons, semi-colons, dashes, and also the names and uses of different word classes, locating them within sentences. We also develop our understanding of spelling by practising weekly both in school and at home.

Mathematics

In Mathematics we learn to master a range of mathematical concepts by engaging in challenges, including opportunities to apply our maths to puzzles and investigations. We cover all areas of mathematics and revise what we already know in greater depth. We recognise the importance of applying these skills to real-life situations in order to prepare the children for the future.

Key Stage 2 Tests

In May, Year 6 will be sitting Key Stage 2 National Statutory Assessments (SATs) in Reading, Mathematics and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling. Children's writing is also assessed against government criteria. We work incredibly hard throughout the year to prepare for these, whilst still experiencing a broad and interesting curriculum filled with RE, art, history, geography, French, computing, music and PE as well as English, Mathematics and Science. You will be provided with information about the Key Stage 2 national assessments; for further information now, please visit the Department for Education website.

Maths and English Resources and Programs

At Whitehill, we want to instil a love of reading and writing for every child. We aim to achieve this using a variety of resources and programs to support and challenge pupils.



Oxford Reading Tree

Pupils in Years R-3 will follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme for their home reading. This will be regularly reviewed to ensure your child is moving forward in their reading.

Accelerated Reader

In Years 4-6, pupils will follow the Accelerated Reader program. Through a carefully levelled system, pupils read a book, take an online quiz and receive immediate feedback. This program is an excellent motivator, enabling children to progress with their reading skills. For further information about Accelerated Reader, visit: this link

Read Write Inc.

In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, pupils will follow the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme on a daily basis. Children will be provided with a reading scheme book for you to share with them at home. If you would like any advice about how to best support your child with their phonics learning, please don’t hesitate to speak with the class teacher. For further information on Read Write Inc, please visit: this link

Power of Reading

In English, all pupils are learning reading, writing and speaking and listening skills through the ‘Power of Reading’ project. This is a whole-text approach in which children read a high-quality text and use this as inspiration for drama, reading, art and writing. Pupils learn to plan, draft, edit and improve their writing the way that real authors do! This approach broadens children’s experiences of books and authors, whilst developing their writing skills. The children will be given a variety of opportunities to develop and extend their writing skills in all areas of the curriculum. For further information about the Power of Reading project please visit: https://www.clpe.org.uk/powerofreading To continue to enhance your child’s experience of reading, please continue to read a variety of fiction and non-fiction books with your child regularly, talking about the books you read together. Most of all, make reading fun!

Mathematics

At Whitehill, our focus is on developing pupils’ understanding of number, with a strong emphasis on number values. Pupils will be expected to develop a secure understanding of their times tables, as well as extend their calculation skills involving the four operations. Pupils will also be challenged to apply their mathematical knowledge through problem solving, including in real-life contexts.

Numicon

At Whitehill, we have introduced Numicon as a whole-school approach to develop pupils’ mathematical skills, knowledge and application in order to create confident mathematicians. This approach develops mathematical conversation, reasoning and problem-solving, using concrete apparatus and imagery to embed deep understanding.

Cornerstones

We have introduced a topic-based approach to learning in all other areas of the curriculum through the introduction ‘Cornerstones’. This exciting approach aims to inspire children through a range of engaging topics to support their learning in line with the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Topics such as ‘Scream Machine’ and ‘Scrumdiddlyumptious’ have truly captured pupils’ imaginations and helped them grow as learners. Cornerstones’ creative approach to mixing up subjects has had a positive effect on pupils enthusiasm and gives them a real purpose for learning. For more information about Cornerstones, please visit: https://cornerstoneseducation.co.uk/

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education (SMSC)

At Whitehill, our aim is for pupils to develop a strong sense of moral purpose, in addition to a respect and understanding of people who have different characteristics to themselves, whether it be age, disability, gender, race or sexuality. This will enable our children to be well-rounded young people who have a desire to learn and respect for all around them. Religious Education exposes pupils to a range of religions to ensure they are able to appreciate religious and cultural differences in our multi-cultural society.

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