Halam is a small family school; we pride ourselves on our friendly, inclusive and caring school community. We are proud of our Christian ethos and values, which underpin all pupils’ spiritual, social and personal development.
We offer a high quality, exciting and challenging, broad and balanced curriculum. We have high expectations of behavior, engagement and foster positive learning attitudes such as resilience through metacognition and character education.
We have a strong history in Sports and the Arts; we provide a curriculum that supports all pupils’ personal development and provide ‘Life in all its fullness.’
We are following a Learning Challenge Curriculum, which is knowledge rich, based on learning through enquiry and with explicit links to Mastery. The Challenge Curriculum links essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within subject disciplines alongside National Curriculum requirements. https://www.learningchallengecurriculum.com/
The Learning Challenge Curriculum is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their learning. Learning activities and tasks are based on metacognitive research, pedagogy and principles. The curriculum requires deeper thinking from pupils and encourages learners to use a question as the starting point to their learning. Each learning challenge or topic is based around a series of questions. These challenges provide opportunities for pupils to research, ask their own questions, and reflect on their own learning. The topics are linked to Science, History and Geography, each topic is linked to high quality literature texts.
The Curriculum is woven through by Knowledge, Skills and Understanding. This approach demands learners to be inquisitive, and is built on key knowledge and skills linked directly to the National Curriculum. The curriculum is cyclic and knowledge-rich, key pieces of information that pupils will need to have embedded in their long-term memory are at the heart of each topic. These are reviewed, revisited and built upon as pupils progress through school.
Teachers use pre-learning tasks as the starting point for each challenge, these indicate what learners already know; what misconceptions they may have and what really interests them. This ensures that the learning challenges are relevant to and make sense to all learners. Time for learners to reflect or review their learning is central to the whole process. Pre and post learning challenges ensure that that teachers plan according to actual pupil need, check pupils’ understanding and retention of key skills and knowledge after learning activities have taken place.
We have mixed aged classes throughout school and use mixed aged planning over a two year cycle. The long term planning from the Challenge Curriculum provides a two year cycle in Science, Geography and History. With explicit links to High quality texts which underpin English and links to Art and DT.
National curriculum coverage is ensured over each key stage as part of the two year cycle, in some curriculum areas these are specified as year group or key stage specific and this has been built into the long term planning tools.
English and Maths
In English we use high quality texts, as part of the Challenge Curriculum. These high quality texts are linked, directly to our topic focus, and are used as starting points to plan for purposeful learning in English. This gives pupils reasons for writing as well as the skills they need to write with impact on their reader. It gives context to shared and guided reading and ensures pupils passion to become independent readers. It ensures depth of reasoning in Reading. We use Read Write Ink to teach high quality phonics in Foundation and Key Stage One.
In Maths we use a Mastery approach, and use the White Rose mixed age group planning to ensure deep and lasting understanding. Mathematical talk, reasoning, conjecture and problem solving are essential elements to ensure pupils fluency and deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Pupils are able to apply their mathematical knowledge and skills to show their deep understanding.
RSE, PSHE, citizenship and RE
The development of the whole child is the focus of all teaching and learning at Halam. This is supported through explicit teaching and whole school behaviours, ethos and routines such as assemblies.
An essential element of personal development at Halam is access for all pupils to high quality RSE, PSHE and RE teaching, these subjects are linked and planned to be complementary in order to develop pupils confidence, relationships and responsible place in the world.
As a church school developing pupils thinking and understanding of Christianity, is essential to helping pupils hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief. We use the Understanding Christianity resource to support the teaching of Christianity in RE alongside the Agreed Syllabus for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire (2021-2026). Pupils develop knowledge of world religions as well as other world views, in order to become responsible citizens, ready to contribute positively to our society and the wider world.
Our approach to teaching RE is linked directly to RSE and PSHE. We use the PSHE Association “Question Based Model” an overarching question is used to teach three core themes of Relationships, Health and Wellbeing, and Living in the Wider World. Pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe. This programme covers the statutory requirements for Relationships Education, RSE and Health education.
These link directly to pupils development and learning in the Challenge Curriculum through direct teaching of Metacognition and Character education. By explicitly teaching and modelling metacognition and Character education pupils become resilient; show empathy; commitment; have self-awareness; are problem solvers and team workers.
If you would like to find out more about our curriculum please speak to your class teacher or Mrs McGinley.