The curriculum at Hockliffe Lower School is firmly rooted in the National Curriculum 2014. We offer a challenging curriculum that enthuses, excites and motivates children to learn. Our curriculum values all learners, encouraging independent enquiry, individual approaches and divergent thinking. It aims to provide children with memorable learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, and gives them the opportunity to develop into imaginative and creative learners who value each other and work co-operatively together.
Staff make creative links between curriculum subject areas, making learning enjoyable, ambitious and relevant for the children. Teachers and Support Staff promote the development of thinking skills and positive learning behaviours to equip children to be resilient, independent and motivated learners. Much of the children’s learning centres around cross-curricular themes, through which curriculum subjects are taught discretely. Staff are committed to enabling each child to achieve their fullest potential. Lessons and activities are designed to encourage children to enjoy and seek a challenge, to view mistakes as helpful learning experiences and to not set limits on themselves.
We share our learning with our parents via a Class Curriculum News, a copy of which can be downloaded from the class pages on this website, and in our termly class newspapers.
Each class regularly enjoy learning experiences at educational sites away from school which really enhance their learning. In the past the children have visited, Celtic Harmony, Bedford Castle, The Shuttleworth Collection and Year 3 and 4 were evacuated to Holdenby House.
Positivity, Individuality, Diversity
We aim to provide our children with the Cultural Capital they need to succeed in life; the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that pupils can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness and knowledge. It is one of the key ingredients they can rely upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work.
To avoid insularity and to encourage pupils to understand and appreciate the wider society that the school is preparing them for, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural and anti-racist provision is evidenced in Medium Term plans, across the curriculum. Staff seek to provide opportunities in all aspects of the curriculum to develop pupils’ understanding of themselves, others as well as allocating time to reflect on their own and others’ behaviours and ideas.
We encourage a positive mindset amongst our children as it is through our mistakes that we learn the most. Every child at Hockliffe is recognised as a unique individual with their own special circumstances and to this end we celebrate the diversity within our school community.
We employ a ‘Values Based Education’ by creating an environment which fosters a culture of respect, kindness and hard work where the highest standards of behaviour are expected. Pupils and the wider school community articulate the Values and are encouraged to recognise them in their and others’ behaviour. As a result, pupils develop strong emotional literacy skills and this supports their behaviour, attitudes to learning and relationships.
We aim to teach children how to be good learners. We use 7 words whose initials letters spell out the word Meerkat. Every class has a Meerkat who shows them the qualities they need to be a good learner. At the end of each week a child is chosen who has showed good learning qualities to awarded the class Meerkat. They take the Meerkat home and write entries into a diary to say activities they have done with the Meerkat and share this with their class on a Monday.
The curriculum is carefully planned and sequenced with the introduction of new knowledge and the consolidation of prior understanding. This is derived from our understanding of Relational Learning, and is what underpins our mastery teaching approach which leads to embedded learning, or changes in long term memory. Children connect new knowledge with existing knowledge and revisit the key skills which form the essence of each subject through a rich variety of contexts as prescribed by each topic where they also practise and refine their developing skills. These are timed across the school year and a child’s school career to maximise opportunities to revisit skills and knowledge sequentially.
Learning in Subjects and Key Stages follows the programmes of study in the National Curriculum, delivered via half-termly topics which are woven into all subjects except mathematics. In this way, children acquire the knowledge and facts they need for History for example, and consolidate their understanding by writing about it in English, whilst simultaneously improving and developing their English skills.
We support children with additional needs to access the curriculum through differentiated learning tasks designed specifically for them. We offer targeted interventions using proven approaches which are short but frequent.
Systems are in place for assessing the quality of education. These systems use a full range of monitoring tools, including book scrutiny, planning scrutiny, learning walks, review of pupil attainment and progress data, pupil voice and formal lesson observation. Such monitoring is undertaken by a range of senior and middle leaders, ensuring that judgements are shared and leadership is effectively distributed.
Staff and Governors are strongly committed to ongoing professional development. CPD records demonstrate the wide and purposeful range of training undertaken by staff in order to deepen their understanding to the benefit of the pupils in their care. Subject leaders take their subject responsibilities very seriously and, through collaboration, provide effective support and development for colleagues.
Lessons are well-planned and pitched to enable all pupils to access the learning appropriate for their age and stage of development, in line with national curriculum expectations. As a result, expectations are high and pupils show high levels of engagement in their learning as seen through lesson observations and talking to pupils. This is further evidenced by the quality of learning logs and activities that are undertaken at home. This extends beyond core areas to include all foundation subject areas.
Teaching at Hockliffe is never less than good, and over time produces outstanding achievement. It is monitored regularly through lesson observations, learning walks, book looks and pupil progress meetings, with input from governors and the School ‘s Improvement Advisor.
Assessment is carried out by teachers to inform them of the children’s gaps in learning, and this feeds into the next lesson so that the pace of learning is determined by the children’s confidence in each area. Parents receive a written report each year, and are invited in to Parent Consultations one per term. Further information evenings are hosted across the academic year.
Pupils are well prepared for transition and achieve well at their Middles School – data is shared.
Hockliffe is proud of its achievement record. Results shown are for Summer 2019:
- 73% of our pupils achieved the nationally expected level of achievement at the end of Reception compared with a national outcome of 72%
- 75% of our pupils (cohort of 8) passed the Phonics check in Year 1 compared to 82% nationally.
- In Year 2 Reading 85% of our children are working at national expectation (75% national) 31% of our children are working at Greater Depths (26% national)
- In Year 2 Writing 75% of our children are working at national expectation (70% national) 8% of our children are working at Greater Depths (16% national)
- In Year 2 Maths 85% are working at national expectation (77% national) 8% of our children are working at Greater Depths (22% national)