Heath's Curriculum: Our Bespoke Approach to Learning
We are very proud of the curriculum that we have developed at our school. From their first days here, our children are encouraged to explore, discover and create. Encouraging a love of learning is at the centre of what we do, and our children leave the school with the knowledge and skills that will help them thrive at high school and beyond.
Learning for Life
The world is constantly evolving and many of the jobs of the future will look very different to what they look like today. This is something that we embrace at the school, and our forward-thinking curriculum helps our children to develop the skills that will be required in tomorrow's world. Problem solving, innovation, enterprise, creativity and critical thinking run throughout our curriculum and provide engaging and memorable lessons and experiences for our children.
We have developed our learning threads to create 'journeys of learning' that run throughout the school. The threads centre around local and global themes to provide relevance and context to the children's learning and help to weave together content from across the different subjects in the curriculum. The learning builds upon what the children have learnt previously in the school, enabling the children to gain a deeper understanding of the content.
Heath's Learning Threads:
The children gain an appreciation of the challenges we face today, both locally and globally. The children consider the factors that have contributed to these challenges, the impact that they have caused, the views of different groups of people, and the role that we can play in the future. The work of our school eco-council runs alongside the thread, with our children having a direct say in helping us to be a green school.
Incorporating science, PSHE, PE and DT, this learning thread focuses on how to keep a healthy body and healthy mind. The children discover how the human body works and how diet and exercise affect both our physical and mental health. Wellbeing is a central theme of the PSHE strand of the thread, and the children explore the factors that affect our mental health and what we can do to keep a healthy mind.
Innovation, Invention and Enterprise
This thread celebrates the achievements of innovators and inventors and explores the impact that they have had on the world around us. Our children take part in enterprise projects in which they design, make, market and sell a product, and have worked alongside local businesses such as Dingley Dell Farm, Stokes Sauces and Metcalfe's Skinny Popcorn. Outdoor learning weaves its way into the thread, with our children selling fresh produce grown in the school garden from our very own fruit and veg market stall.
This thread looks at the wonders of our planet. The natural world is explored in detail and the children also look at how science helps us to understand the world around us. The children learn about life across the different continents, with links being made to the issues identified in the Global Challenges learning thread.
Incorporating geography and history, this thread explores different settlements both geographically and through time. The children learn extensively about Kesgrave and Suffolk and how the area has evolved over time. There is also a national and global dimension, with the children comparing and contrasting our local area with other settlements in the UK and across the world.
Farming and Agriculture
Keeping with the local theme, and making links to the rural areas surrounding the school, this thread weaves in and out of many of our other learning threads. We study the impact that farming and agriculture has had on the local area, and how this has changed over time. The children also look at farming in other parts of the world and delve into the science behind plants and animals. We look at the impact that some of the issues studied as part of our global challenges thread have on food production and what the potential solutions may be.
Leaders and Democracy
The children discover more about some of the key leaders throughout history and the impact that they had both at the time, and also subsequent to their rule. The children consider what makes a good leader and learn about how modern day democracy has been shaped by leaders and democracies from the past. We look at British leaders from recent times and the thread sits alongside the democratic processes in our own school. We have an elected school council and eco-council, and we have regular school elections in which the children have their say in important issues such as the renaming of our house groups.
You can find out more about our learning threads beyond the summaries provided above by clicking here.
We are very fortunate to have extensive grounds at the school which we make the most of for outdoor learning. As well as having our own Forest Schools wooded area, we have a pond with a dipping platform, and a school garden too. Children across the school take part in outdoor learning regularly and this is supported our Reception Lead who has Level 3 Forest Schools training, and two dedicated outdoor learning teaching assistants.
Local links are integral to our curriculum. The children learn about Kesgrave and the surrounding areas as part of our learning threads and the curriculum is enriched through trips and visits. We have built extensive links with local groups, organisations and businesses that help to bring real-life experiences, knowledge and expertise to our children's learning.
The definition of having a growth mindset is the belief that skills and intelligence can be improved with effort and persistence. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, stay resilient in the face of difficulties, learn from constructive criticism and seek out inspiration in others’ success. This is the approach that we have adopted at the school, and our culture is one where effort and perseverance is celebrated and rewarded.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
We have a rich and diverse extra-curriculum programme at the school, which varies throughout the year. The clubs are run my members of our own staff as well as outside organisations to maximise the opportunities for the children to develop their own individual skills and interests. Our current programme of clubs can be found here.
Heath's Core SkillsWe have a set of higher order skills that run across our foundation subject curriculum. These skills help the children to apply information rather than just learning it in isolation. The skills also help to develop the children as learners and will be useful tools for them to use and apply throughout their education and throughout their lives.
Our curriculum has been carefully designed by our curriculum team alongside our teachers, with the end result being an approach that is completely unique to our school. We provide context that is relevant to our children, and we appeal to every child's natural sense of curiosity and discovery through an enquiry-based approach. The learning is carefully sequenced so that the children build upon what they have learnt in previous years and our learning threads help them to make links across multiple subjects. We believe that parents play a key part in a child's learning and it essential for them to be kept up-to-date with what they are learning in class; for this reason, we ensure that our parents have access to the knowledge planners for each subject, allowing parents to gain a thorough understanding of what the children are learning about in class and how they can help their child to further their interest of a topic at home. Our lessons provide opportunities for our children to develop higher order skills to apply what they've learnt and, alongside this, they use a range of methods, such as knowledge mapping, to help embed what they have learnt into their long-term memory.