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Canada Hill

The Curriculum

Please use the menu on the right to find out more about various aspects of the curriculum at Canada Hill.

-Not all that counts can be counted-

Test scores and measures of achievement tell you where a student is, but they don’t tell you where a student could end up.”

Carol Dweck

What we are aiming for?

Canada Hill Primary School will provide a broad and challenging curriculum that inspires children (and staff) and prepares them to be successful learners and active citizens in the 21st century.

We will strive to ensure that all children quickly gain key skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening and numeracy. The broader curriculum will recognise and celebrate our history and will celebrate different cultures, whilst connecting learning to the contemporary issues of our times such as sustainability, globalisation, community cohesion and developments in technology.

We will plan explicitly for the development of positive dispositions and attitudes to learning and for successful social interaction. Throughout the school, staff and children will be taught about characteristics of effective learning and having a ‘Growth Mindset’ approach to life. We will plan our knowledge-first curriculum in detail and ensure that children build on prior knowledge in each subject discipline throughout their time at the school.

Curriculum Delivery

Our curriculum will be flexible in its delivery, time allocations and teaching styles.

At the heart of our curriculum we have 6 main teaching tenets that we see as crucial to a successful curriculum

Our Curriculum…

…is child centred

If it’s not good for our pupils we don’t do it.

We monitor the effect of changes we make and make decisions quickly if things are not working at a school level, class level, group or individual level.

…has purposeful outcomes that are driven by knowledge first.

Our staff work hard to ensure that the knowledge in each subject discipline is linked, revisited and built upon in order to develop deeper subject understanding over time. Subjects may still be linked by a common theme but not at the expense of their own subject identities.  Key drivers for a half term will vary from subjects such as Geography, History and Science, to local and national events or one off moments that inspire everyone to take a new direction.

At the end of a term or half term a key purposeful outcome is decided upon that children and staff can work towards. 

… is assessed via a robust elicitation process

Our curriculum delivery is based on a robust elicitation process that:

  • Values progress over attainment
  • Stimulates regular fluid groupings in classes relevant to current strength and weaknesses within a short unit of work.
  • Prevents children limiting their expectations by labelling themselves.
  • Allows us to challenge children in each unit of work in order to deepen their learning experiences and be continually challenged.
  • Encourages children to meaningfully self-assess against relevant short term targets.

…celebrated mistakes and misunderstandings

We celebrate mistakes at every opportunity as a chance to learn and ensure that our pupils learn in classrooms where they feel safe to take risks, make mistakes and share those mistakes so that we can all learn and mover forward. Children are taught to find their own mistakes and respond positively to evaluation from others be it teachers or pupils. If we can't do something we 'haven't got there yet'.

…is challenging for all

Our teachers challenges pupils at the point of learning so that they are made to ‘struggle’ on a daily basis. If they are struggling but progressing, then they are learning. If they are not struggling they are unlikely to be learning very much at all.

…has a love of books at its core

Books are central to everyday life at Canada Hill. We want our children to have a love of reading and made the decision that they needed time to get to know books in order to understand their amazing potential. Over the past few years we have dedicated more and more time to reading. Key Stage 2 classes have at least 30 minutes at the start of each day to read their books and quiz on Accelerated Reader whilst teachers work with small guided/reciprocal reading groups, discuss book recommendations or visit our regularly restocked library. We also took the decision a few years ago to have whole class reading lessons in the afternoons in which we focus on specific reading skills whilst engaging with texts linked to our foundation studies rather than trying to run a rotation of guided reading. Staff are also trying to use high quality class texts as drivers for writing so that books really do underpin our curriculum.

…develops positive learning attitudes

We actively encourage positive learning behaviours, in particular we focus on the ones below

  • Courage – take a risk, seek a challenge; we love new mistakes.
  • Curiosity – ask questions; listen; look.
  • Resilience – don’t give up; push on through; believe in yourself.
  • Responsibility – stickability.
  • Respect – all things

…happens in a calm, collaborative and inspiring learning environment

At Canada Hill pupils come into class calmly and quietly and are ready to learn. As soon as they enter the class they are given an appropriate activity so that they are immediately engaged and active.

The classrooms at Canada Hill are all kept clean and tidy, with very little clutter so that they are calm spaces in which to learn. The walls have ‘live’ displays and working walls that celebrate the learning journeys and outcomes being created in each class. There are no ‘dead’ displays at Canada Hill.

At Canada Hill we all work together to make our time at the school the very best it can be. We all believe in each other and help each other face up to the challenges that real learning presents us and we all work together to climb out of ‘the pit’ of confusion that we often find ourselves in.

We are praised for our progress rather than our attainment.

…is carefully linked so key concepts in each subject discipline are developed and deepened during a pupil's time at the school

We are developing a knowledge-first curriculum map to ensure that we are building on prior learning and are choosing the best knowledge content so that staff are clear of the direction that we are taking children in each subject and what part their lesson sequences play in the journey.

Teams are working together using cloud-based collaborative tools to edit key documents as a whole staff. We are then identifying key-knowledge in each half term and making this explicit, in knowledge organisers, to our pupils as pre-learning aids, post learning quizzes and then they will be used as spaced repetition reminders to interrupt the forgetting of these key concepts and promote long-term recall. 

Our staff work hard when planning to ensure that the knowledge in each subject discipline is linked, revisited and built upon in order to develop deeper subject understanding over time. Subjects may still be linked by a common theme but not at the expense of their own subject identities.  Key drivers for a half term will vary from subjects such as Geography, History and Science, to local and national events or one off moments that inspire everyone to take a new direction.

At the end of a term or half term a key purposeful outcome is decided upon that children and staff can work towards. 

 

Class organisation

What are the main changes as the children move through the school?

Reception

Taught in two Reception classes with an outdoor area.

Learning through structured play is at the heart of the curriculum for our under 5s, with effective adult-child interactions promoting sustained shared thinking. Independent time will also include compulsory critical-thinking activities that will present the children with challenges and help them develop a Growth Mindset from an early age. Children will then access more direct learning activities with adults for their Mathematics and Literacy skills whilst other pupils get to play and explore independently.

Reception classes also spend one morning a week in our Forest School.

Key Stage 1 - Year 1 and 2

Taught in three parallel Year 1/2 classes

Transition into Key Stage 1 will recognise the need to incorporate elements of Foundation Stage practice into the infant curriculum and learning environment with independent learning challenges made available through the ‘Learning Lab’.

Children are taught five lessons of English a week and five lessons of Maths in their mixed ability classes. We aim to teach 2 hours PE a week. They are in sets for phonic lessons.

Key Stage 2 - Years 3, 4, 5 and 6

 Taught in three parallel Year 3/4 classes and three Year 5/6 classes.

Year 3/4

Children are taught five lesson of English a week and five lessons of Maths in their mixed ability classes.

Year 5/6

Children are taught five lesson of English a week and five lessons of Maths in their mixed ability classes.

Children in Year 5/6 are given lots of opportunities to take on responsibilities throughout the school in order to develop their leadership, reciprocity, self-esteem and enterprise skills through:

  • School Council and School Ambassadors
  • School News Team
  • Digital Leaders
  • Play Leaders
  • Reading Buddies
  • Reception Challenge Play Leaders
  • Eco Councillors