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Juniper Hill School

Welcome to Juniper Hill School…

“We take pride in all we do”

Curriculum Statement

Juniper Hill School Curriculum Statement

 

Our school provides a broad and balanced curriculum including not only the requirements of the National Curriculum, but an understanding of our diverse society. The whole curriculum is taught in such a way that it maximises each child’s knowledge, awareness of moral values and capacity for enjoyment.

A range of teaching strategies is employed by which children are taught individually, in ability or mixed groups, or as a whole class. The school is organised into two parallel, mixed ability classes within each year group wherever possible. Teachers plan together activities which effectively deliver the curriculum for all our children and ensure equal opportunities for all children within each year group. In each year children may be grouped across the two classes for some activities and in Upper Key Stage 2 the children are taught in ability sets for some lessons.

 

“Pupils at Juniper Hill School display real passion and enthusiasm for learning.”

Ofsted 2017

 

By careful planning based on the results of tracking the progress of each child we are able to meet the needs of individual children. All lessons are differentiated to at least three levels to ensure that the work is tailored to the children’s needs. If we have any concern about any aspect of your child’s development in school your child’s teacher or another member of staff will contact you. Similarly if you have concerns about your child’s life at school, please talk to us as soon as possible. Any pupil with significant special educational needs will have an individual programme and provision, which may include additional adult support. Children who are especially able will have the appropriate level of challenge provided for them. We work closely in partnership with parents to address any concerns and to ensure that all children make good progress.

In all year groups additional cross-curricular opportunities are provided for learning through visits, outside speakers and Inspiration Days, which provide exciting opportunities for investigation and creative activities. Recent topics have included the Environment, Mathematics, Science, the Arts and History. Our environmental area continues to be put to great use by the children and their families.

 

In Year 4 and Year 6 the children are able to take part in a week-long study visits. These trips involve aspects of history, geography and outdoor education as well as the opportunity to develop social skills and independence. All years undertake educational visits and inspirational topic days, examples of which are given in the table below.

 

Reception

Woolley Firs Environmental Centre, Shortenills

Year 1

Farm to Fork, Hampton Court

Year 2

Whipsnade Zoo, Seaside Day

Year 3

Ancient Greeks Day, Hazard Alley

Year 4

Shortenills, Viking Day, Roman Day, Residential visit

Year 5

Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chiltern Rangers Sessions

Year 6

River & Rowing Museum, Young Enterprise, Residential visit

 

Before a visit takes place, the initial plan must be approved by the head teacher and risk assessments must be completed. In order for educational visits to take place, parents are asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost. Further information can be found in the school’s Charging Policy.

 

The National Curriculum (Key Stages 1 and 2)

 

The school implemented the new National Curriculum in September 2014.

The National Curriculum sets out what children between the ages of 5 and 16 should be taught. The curriculum for children aged between 5 and 11 is organised into two key stages:
 

Key Stage

Child Ages

Year Groups

KS1

5 – 7

Years 1 and 2

KS2

7 – 11

Years 3, 4, 5 and 6

 

In the 2014 National Curriculum, English, maths and science and information are the core subjects. The foundation subjects are art, computing, design and technology, geography, history, music, a modern foreign language and physical education. Religious education is a compulsory subject but is not part of the national curriculum because local authorities decide what is taught. In addition all children follow a programme of personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship.

 

Maths

Our school uses the National Curriculum as the basis for all our teaching. We work to ensure that every child is proficient in number, confident with basic knowledge such as number bonds, the four rules, tables knowledge and understanding of place value. Teaching and learning activities incorporate all the important concepts of mathematics such as using and applying mathematical knowledge, data handling, number, measure, shape and space. Children learn to use written and mental methods efficiently and perform calculations accurately.

A key feature is the emphasis that is placed on children developing the confidence to learn to use a range of strategies to solve mathematical problems, including practical work. A wide range of resources is used to support the teaching and learning.

 

English (Literacy)

We view the development of children’s literacy skills as a partnership between home and school. The children’s reading skills in particular benefit significantly from close co-operation between parents and teachers, and we expect that all children will read every day at home with a family member, starting with sounds from early in the Reception year. Home reading to develop fluency and comprehension continues throughout the school to develop the children as independent readers, with the skills to learn effectively in all areas of the curriculum. It is also important that children hear stories read aloud to them as this will develop their vocabulary and imagination, and model good reading behaviour. Recent research information from the Institute for Education at the University of London highlights the importance of reading for pleasure on the whole of a child’s academic progress, including maths as well as literacy skills.

 

The school has extensive resources to support the teaching of English, including the home reading scheme books that are taken home to read every day, and books specifically for use in the classroom. Children are taught a joined cursive handwriting style from the very beginning of learning to write. They learn phonics, word recognition and spelling strategies. A range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry enables children to develop comprehension and writing skills and provide opportunities to focus on grammar and punctuation, sentence structure and writing in a variety of styles for a range of purposes.

We have a large and well-stocked library from which all children are able to borrow books. The library contains a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, which are used to broaden the children’s reading opportunities and develop their research skills.

 

Science

Our children are taught to develop investigative skills and an understanding of scientific principles using a variety of familiar contexts. Lessons are structured around the concepts of scientific enquiry, life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes. Children are encouraged to ask and answer their own questions and use scientific language to talk about what they have found out and to communicate their ideas. Learning is done through the use of first hand practical experiences and the use of appropriate books, photographs and videos. Children develop the skills of carrying out simple tests, drawing conclusions and relating these to their scientific understanding. They draw conclusions based on their observations, use evidence to justify their ideas and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.

The environment of the school itself plays an important part of the curriculum. There is a large environmental area (The David Clare Orchard), which is used to support learning in many areas of the curriculum.

 

Computing

Our school has a well-equipped computer suite which is linked to the Internet by broadband and which is used weekly by each class. We have thirty-one workstations and twenty networked laptops for classroom use. The school now has a ratio of one computer per seven pupils. We also have a number of tablets and ipads. Each classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard which enhance the quality of the children’s education and help to make learning fun. ICT is taught in a way that allows the children to use the skills that they develop in all curriculum areas.

History

During Key Stage 1 pupils learn about people's lives and lifestyles. They listen and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the past is different from the present.

Key Stage 2 pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.

 

Geography

During Key Stage 1 pupils begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps and photographs.

In Key Stage 2 pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this they ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT.

 

Modern Foreign Languages

French is taught by specialist teachers throughout Key Stage 2.

 

Religious Education

The school has no specific religious affiliation. Children will learn the stories and beliefs predominantly of the Christian religion, and they will also be taught about the other major religions of the world. Pupils may be withdrawn from religious instruction and assemblies if parents so wish. In such an event, children will be provided with a quiet place to reflect and think, or in which they can practise their own faith, properly supervised by members of staff. Children have the opportunity to join an act of collective worship each day.

 

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)

The children discuss a range of issues related to their health and well-being in PSHE and Science lessons, such as healthy eating, drug awareness, and personal safety and at a level relevant to their age. In Year 6 there is a specific drugs awareness programme which is delivered in conjunction with Thames Valley Police.

Sex Education is taught progressively through the school, with more specific information being provided in Year 6. The emphasis for younger children is on a basic understanding of their body and the need to keep their bodies healthy and is taught in the context of building good, caring relationships with their peers. These themes are developed throughout the school, each year adding further knowledge and understanding. In Year 6, more detailed information about the human reproduction system and the responsibilities of relationships are taught and discussed.

 

Home Learning

Home Learning plays an important role in consolidating and extending children’s knowledge and understanding and in helping them to become independent learners. In Reception and Key Stage 1 children may be asked to carry out simple tasks which are appropriate to their classroom activities. Daily reading at home is strongly encouraged from Reception onwards, following our own Reading Scheme which uses a variety of resources and is frequently updated. We also encourage the children to acquire a solid understanding of number facts such as number bonds and simple tables knowledge.

During Key Stage 2, children are expected to take on an increasing amount of home learning. They will bring home both literacy and numeracy homework most weeks, and other subjects will be added as they get older, including French. The children may sometimes be asked to complete work that has been studied during the day. A home learning log diary is used in which to detail home learning activities and as an additional form of communication with parents about their child’s learning and progress.

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