Curriculum Information & Policy

What do we teach, believe and aim for here at South Hylton Primary Academy?

We aim for excellence in all that we do here at South Hylton Primary Academy and believe strongly that all children should be ready for the next stage in their education. We encourage children to grow into active, responsible and thoughtful members of the local and wider community and work tirelessly to ensure all groups of learners can access an exciting, broad and balanced curriculum which is heavily influenced by our school aims:

  • Respect
  • Support
  • Enjoy
  • Achieve

Ofsted (2012) stated:

“Decisive action to increase the richness of the good curriculum is engaging pupils increasingly successfully and this is adding to their enjoyment and raising achievement.”

Where possible we incorporate subjects into topics; these are planned carefully by class teachers so that children’s skills in a range of subject areas are developed over time and reflect the issues which are occurring locally, nationally and internationally. We are passionate about providing children with experiences that will last a lifetime and offer an extensive choice of after school clubs (see below) which enrich our curriculum and inspire children to be the best that they can be at all times! Within topics, children are encouraged to develop and embed essential skills in reading, writing and maths so that these are secure and can be applied within a range of contexts. Ofsted (2012) said, “Increasingly the curriculum is used to enable pupils to apply their skills to meaningful contexts, incrementally building on their previous knowledge and understanding… [Pupils’] are very eager to learn and, as a consequence, make a highly positive contribution to the climate for learning.”

Our curriculum embraces the abilities of all children and lessons are carefully planned and prepared to ensure every child reaches their full potential – not only academically but as well rounded, respectable and hardworking members of society! Teachers incorporate and consider all learning styles when planning and aim to offer kinaesthetic, visual and auditory learners the opportunity to achieve. We recognise that our school’s curriculum is the foundation for everything that we do and ensure that children, teachers and parents are excited about what we have to offer here at South Hylton!

“Pupils respond exceptionally positively to the high expectations set for them and, as a consequence, the mutual respect with staff is evident. Increasingly thoughtful use is made of the widening range of curricular experiences to engage and hold the interest of pupils.” Ofsted (2012).

Educational Visits & Curriculum Enrichment:

All year groups arrange visits to a place of interest every half term. These relate to the work that children are doing or have done in class and are designed to enhance and add to the learning that has occurred in school. We believe strongly that children’s excitement, willingness to learn and the way in which they apply themselves to the work they do, is heavily influenced by the opportunity to experience it for themselves and relate their learning to real-life contexts. (Please refer to class pages for additional information and to see what is happening across school at the moment!)

“The good curriculum is continuously enriched and provides excellent opportunities for pupils’ personal development. Themed activities engage pupils’ interest, especially that of boys.” Ofsted (2012).

After School Clubs:

“The breakfast-club provides a calm and safe start to the day and the after-school clubs nurture pupils’ talents and interests well.” Ofsted (2012)

To see the wide range of clubs we offer click here

English:

At South Hylton Primary Academy we believe English is a fundamental life skill; it develops children’s ability to communicate effectively - to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, with confidence and enjoyment. Children are given opportunities, through English lessons and across the curriculum, to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts.

South Hylton Primary Academy works to ensure that all children develop the ability to communicate effectively and that any barriers to learning are swiftly identified and steps taken to remove them so that all children are given the chance to flourish and access the whole curriculum.

Mathematics:

We are committed to enabling children to develop and use their knowledge and understanding of mathematics confidently in a way that promotes creativity, curiosity and excitement about the subject and the world in which they live. Through a practical and investigative approach, the children will develop a sound understanding of number, algebra, measurement, geometry and statistics. Children are assessed on a regular basis to ensure that the learning they undertake is suitable for their ability, with sufficient challenge to develop progression.

Science:

In science children learn through a practical and investigative approach. Through a variety of topics children will develop skills which will enable them to become increasingly independent with their approach to practical work. They will choose and use equipment safely, make predictions and observations, plan experiments, record results using a variety of methods and draw conclusions. Where possible, class teachers incorporate the science curriculum into cross curricular topics and aim to develop children’s skills in other curriculum areas such as: maths, English, design and technology and computing.

Computing:

We aim to prepare children for a rapidly changing world. We recognise that technology is changing fast and it is essential that children can use a range of technological tools which will help them to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly and creatively! We believe that competent ICT users are better equipped to use their initiative and the skills will open the door towards independent learning. We encourage children to make informed judgements about when and where to use ICT to its best effect and place a strong emphasis upon E-Safety.

All teaching areas have an interactive white board and access to computers, visualisers and cameras. Children have the opportunity to develop their skills when using this hardware as well as using a variety of programmes which enhance other areas of the curriculum. Using the internet, our children are taught to access the wider world safely, both in school and at home.

E-Safety:

Please take some time to read some of these guidelines which aim to keep you and your children safe online. They do not cover everything, but provide a start and give links to other on-line guides and help.

Official thinkuknow site has information for all ages, including parents.

Other useful resources are childnet and kidSMART.

Art:

Linked to our topics, children have regular opportunities to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products. They use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination. They are taught how to develop a wide range of art and design techniques by using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. They learn about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, enabling them to describe the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and make links to their own work.

Design Technology:

Through a variety of creative and practical activities, our children are given opportunities to develop the creative, technical and practical skills needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. They build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for themselves and others. As part of their work with food, our children are also taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. We regularly make use of our fantastic cookery room – a great opportunity for children to cook in a fully equipped kitchen!

Geography:

A high quality geography education should inspire pupils to explore and investigate the world around them on a local, national and international level.  We foster curiosity and fascinations and ensure that we provide an environment where all pupils are equipped with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments whilst enhancing their understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes and the interactions between these.

History:

The aims of teaching History at South Hylton Primary Academy are consistent with our school philosophy and we follow the statutory requirements outlined by the National Curriculum. Work in History is divided into Key Stages and organised into levels of increasing challenge. Children develop a secure knowledge of chronology and time, develop their understanding of the use of evidence and we encourage them to reflect upon the thoughts, beliefs, motives and actions of people in the past. Teachers carefully plan opportunities for children to reflect upon what is ‘fact’ so they can explain and ask historical questions, such as ‘Why did this happen?’ or ‘How do we know this is true?’

Physical Education:

We believe that physical education, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is a unique and vital contributor to a pupil's physical development and well-being.

We recognise the importance of children living active and healthy lifestyles. If children take part in physical activity they feel good about themselves, they are happy and more relaxed, and they have improved heart-lung health, which reduces the risk of developing heart disease and type II diabetes later in life. As well as improving physical skills such as coordination, balance, motor skills and strength, children can also develop good social skills such as getting along with others and obeying rules.

Religious Education:

We follow Sunderland’s Syllabus for Religious Education and approach this through stories, visits, and whole school topics.  In order to develop our children’s understanding of a changing society and in order to reflect our city’s diverse culture we also study other religions such as: Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. We foster mutual understanding between differing religious and cultural backgrounds and pupils are encouraged to respect differences and contribute towards the promotion of a harmonious society.

“A wide range of cultural experiences promotes pupils’ good understanding of the diversity that exists in the world around them.” Ofsted (2012).

We have developed links with the local church and ministers and each half term they are welcomed into a whole school assembly and work alongside staff to further develop an understanding of the Bible and of the Christian faith. Parents are provided with the opportunity to share in our work at Harvest and Christmas.

Languages:

French is the language taught at South Hylton Primary Academy.  Children begin with basic French in key stage 1 and will build upon this throughout key stage 2.  Lessons are interactive with children learning through games, songs and stories.

Music:

Through the teaching of Music, staff provide children with the opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation of a wide range of different kinds of music. Children acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to make music and develop skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subject areas, for example:  listening skills, the ability to concentrate, creativity, intuition, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others. We have a growing stock of musical instruments and these are stored in our well resourced Music Room! Children in each year group learn to play an instrument and are taught by experienced, knowledgeable music tutors and all children are encouraged to take part in musical productions during different stages of the year.

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education:

PSHCE is an important part of our curriculum and underpins the ethos of our school. We firmly believe in encouraging children to lead healthy lives through a range of different daily activities and incorporate these principles into our curriculum. Children across school learn about the importance of: daily exercise; healthy eating; being a responsible citizen within their own community and beyond; they learn to build and maintain successful relationships with family and friends; and learn to value themselves as an individual. We also actively encourage children to develop their own understanding of how to set and achieve personal targets and challenges. We are currently working towards achieving the UNICEF Rights Respecting Award.

As a result, Ofsted (2012) recognised that our childrens’ behavior in and around school was outstanding:

“The strong family ethos, including outstanding links with parents and carers, promotes pupils’ excellent spiritual, moral, social and cultural development... Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding. Their excellent attitudes and their thoughtful, responsible and sensible behavior creates a happy, friendly atmosphere throughout the school.”

Sex and Relationships Education:

Children in upper key stage two are offered the opportunity to access age-appropriate activities and information which will support their understanding of how their bodies grow and develop. In years five and six pupils spend some time with the school nurse and are educated about emotional and physical development, hormonal change and puberty.