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 our arts based curriculum brings learning 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 creative 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 creative 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
- linking subjects to the creative arts e.g. sculpture, dance and music
- visits to galleries, museums, nature parks etc. as teaching areas.
We give our teachers these top tips for creative 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 & St. 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 a structured, daily teaching of synthetic phonics. The teaching of phonics helps children to recognise the different units that make up to support them in learning how to read and spell effectively.
Children in Reception & Y1 focus on reading fully decodable texts linked to our Phonics Bugs resources which are shared in class and taken home. These are supplemented with another text to share at home for enjoyment or to develop reading skills. As children progress they then 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 and weekly at 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.
Guided Reading – The children work in small groups developing reading skills and on a twice weekly basis, 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 – To give those children who may need an extra boost with their desire for, and confidence in reading, we use the Accelerated Reading Programme. We see how positively it impacts progress and enjoyment and is a key stepping stone for some children to gain the necessary skills that will, in turn have them choosing to read.
Once children have mastered phonics, we target identified children who may not be reading regularly at home for additional early morning one to one reading with a teacher or teaching assistant. We also have reading volunteers that visit weekly to hear children read in KS2. Our EAL teacher and drama specialist leads a reading group with children in Y5 & Y6.
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 three times a week in the infants or with the older classes at least once a week. These are monitored by school and where 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 Wellbeing Education
The school teaches personal, social and health education (PSHE) through Character and Wellbeing (see All About Me document opposite). This is taught through a scheme of work designed by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, part of the University of Birmingham. In addition to this children are taught about sex education and drugs education through the Camden suggested schemes of work.
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.