At Holy Trinity & S. Silas School it is our intention to provide a rich, diverse and inspiring curriculum that ensures children have a wide range of opportunities to engage, explore, question and deepen their thinking, their knowledge and their understanding. We believe that through the arts learning comes alive and enables our children to develop skills that prepare them for life beyond school. Exposure to the arts unlocks potential in our young people, developing skills in communication, collaboration, empathy and problem solving.
Our curriculum is enhanced by key texts which link to topics and themes. These are then threaded into the everyday teaching of subject areas and are brought alive through art, drama and music. At Holy Trinity, we believe that the use of specialists in the classroom enhances the curriculum, develops and builds upon teachers’ skills and improves learning for all pupils.
We believe learning at Holy Trinity includes the following:
- a structured and well-paced curriculum that demonstrates year on year progression
- supporting children in the development of their skills of investigation, experimentation and application of their thinking
- providing children with rich and deep questioning that probes their understanding of key concepts, skills and ideas
- ensuring that children confidently share their learning and progression in a range of different ways
- an inclusive approach that adapts to strengths and needs
- the use of music, drama and images to bring experiences alive in preparation for writing
- visits to galleries, museums, nature parks etc. as teaching areas.
We give our teachers these top tips for engaging classrooms:
- explore what’s possible through the senses;
- value all contributions;
- focus on questions rather than answers;
- make it safe to take risks;
- allow time for ideas to emerge;
- encourage and develop visualisation;
- dream, draw and describe before you write;
- make connections and then make some more;
- make the familiar unfamiliar and the unfamiliar familiar.
Maths and English curriculum overviews
On your child’s class page section there is a related documents section where you will find a Maths Curriculum Overview and an English Curriculum Overview, as well as a Curriculum Map for their year. Click here for Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 or Year 6.
For additional information about our curriculum, you are welcome to come in and arrange a meeting with your child’s class teacher. Parents of prospective pupils can arrange to speak to Ms Dolan or Mr McIntyre.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Reception follows the EYFS curriculum and aims to plan to support children to extend and develop their interests across the seven areas of learning:
PRIME AREAS (particular focus on these in the Autumn term)
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Planning gives equal weighting to all seven areas of the curriculum and creates opportunities for children to learn through play, initiating their own learning as well as being supported by adults.
Click here to visit Reception class page for related documents.
At Holy Trinity & S. Silas Primary School we want all our children to flourish with a love of language and reading – it is at the heart of everything we do. We know reading is a hugely important life skill and so the way in which we teach reading must enable them to become confident, reflective, quizzical and skilled readers. The sooner children learn to read, the greater their success at school. In EYFS and KS1 we focus on learning to read and in KS2 the emphasis shifts to reading to learn.
On entry to Reception class, children are taught to read through structured, daily teaching of systematic synthetic phonics. We use the Department for Education validated scheme, Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised. The teaching of phonics helps children to recognise the different units of sounds that make up words, supporting them in learning how to read and spell effectively.
As part of our phonics programme, children in Reception & Year 1 read fully decodable texts linked to our Little Wandle programme. These reading practice books are used in class and taken home. These are supplemented with a sharing book – a picture book from the class book corner for parents to read to children at home for reading for enjoyment. As children progress through the programme, they go on to read a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, to give breadth and balance in developing their independent reading skills.
Reading Enrichment – The children across all year groups are captivated by adults reading aloud to them daily in class during story time. We also run weekly key stage storytelling, led by our drama specialist. This practice truly fosters the enjoyment and love of reading and it enables the children to develop their own imaginations.
Our class book corners are planned and designed to stimulate and enthuse children into reading and choosing books independently. They are also an area that has reading prompts to promote discussion around reading. They are organised in a way that shows the importance of looking after books and are categorised enabling children to gain an understanding of how they would see books organised in a bookshop or library.
In Year 1, we run Daily Supported Reader, giving children the opportunity to share natural language texts and to engage in high-quality book talk and discussion. This supports children with language development, comprehension skills and reading enjoyment. Each group of no more than six children is run by a trained adult.
Guided Reading – once children have completed our phonics programme and are fluent readers, they move onto book bands. These are natural language books provided by different publishers and include both fiction and non-fiction. Children work in small groups developing reading skills and are supported by an adult to take part in guided reading sessions. The sessions develop specific reading skills and strategies using texts that are selected with the appropriate level of challenge.
We have key skills characters (Inspector Inference, Awesome Author and Rover Retrieval) that support children’s understanding of reading skills and are referenced in guided reading sessions. There are also prompts around the classrooms so that, when children are reading independently, they can make reference to them.
Reading Interventions – As part of our phonics programme, we run Keep up sessions to give children who need some extra practise with learning their sounds additional opportunity to consolidate their learning. These are individual or group depending on the area of need, for example learning new sounds, revising previously learnt sounds or practising blending (saying sounds together to make words).
In KS2, to give those children who may need an extra boost with their desire for, and confidence in reading, we run additional Guided Reading sessions led by class teachers. This boosts children fluency and comprehension, as well as their interest in books and reading.
School Library – We have a school library that was set up by our pupil leadership team to promote a love of reading and give the children access to a range of books and genres. It operates on a simple borrowing system and is run our Y6 librarians.
Curriculum – We believe that texts are key to unlocking the real and imaginary world for children and therefore plan our topics around key texts. This means that we can make tangible links for children and deepen experiences across subject areas. The children are exposed to and read a range of fiction and non-fiction books, which are also used as a stimulus and as models for their own writing. The children have opportunities to explore texts they have heard or read, through weekly drama lessons, which also prepare them for their writing.
We love words and language at Holy Trinity & S. Silas and high quality books enable us, and the children, to magpie words that excite us as readers, which we can then use in our writing.
Parents & Home Reading – We have home reading records that parents complete when books are changed. These are monitored by school and where there are signs of minimal reading at home, parents are met with and support is put in place to ensure daily reading. Where necessary, this is supplemented at school.
Parents support school book events such as World Book Day and Book Fairs. The infant classes invite parents in weekly to be ‘mystery readers’ which creates much excitement!
We know that the world of books can lead to discovery, exploration and sparks our imagination. It is our mission to enable and skill all our children to build the blocks that lead to opening up a world of opportunity.
We have a specialist PE teacher, Coach Steve, who teaches classes across the school, from Reception to Year 6.
In Key Stage 1 children develop fundamental movement skills, accessing a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and co-ordination, individually and with others. Pupils are taught to:
- master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities;
- participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending;
- perform dances using simple movement patterns.
In Key Stage 2 children continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. Children are taught to:
- use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination;
- play competitive games, modified where appropriate (for example, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball and rounders), and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending;
- develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance (for example, through athletics and gymnastics);
- perform dances using a range of movement patterns (and perform in our annual Shakespeare festival);
- take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team (for example, orienteering, residential trips);
- compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.
In Key Stage 2 children attend swimming lessons, where children are taught to:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres;
- use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke;
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.
Character and well-being education (PSHE)
We believe that PSHE (Personal social health education) should be integrated into all aspects of school life. Our PSHE curriculum therefore consists of three key stands:
- Relationships education
- Character education
Relationships Education is taught through a planned programme of PSHE which is taught as timetabled lessons in all years. We use the Camden Scheme of work so as to deliver the statutory requirements for Relationships education, including: sex education (All About Me); drugs and alcohol; online safety and mental health awareness.
Our school’s character values, our Three Cs of caring, courage and cooperation, are incorporated into our PSHE curriculum, with discrete lessons being timetabled at the beginning of each term. These values are promoted across the school at all times necessary, including: break times; drama sessions and performances; sporting activities; Hero buddies events; service projects; school trips; transition programmes; weekly Three C’s awards; and whole school and classroom displays.
Children’s well-being is a priority in our school and opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their emotions and how to manage them are found across the curriculum, including: discrete PSHE lessons about mental health; mental health awareness week; picture books used for story times, in English lessons and in book corners that promote diversity and equality, as well as emotional literacy; whole school mindfulness programme Ten Minutes Peace; and Human Utopia workshops and Hero buddy days. We work closely with the Mercers/Anna Freud Centre to regularly review and develop our school’s wellbeing initiatives.
Cooking and Nutrition
As part of their work with food, pupils are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.
In Reception and Key Stage 1 children are taught to:
- use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes;
- understand where food comes from.
In Key Stage 2 children are taught to:
- understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet;
- prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques;
- understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.