At Hillside, we believe that a curriculum fit for the 21st century must be broad, varied and enriched with exciting experiences that fire children’s imaginations and give them the confidence to face new challenges and solve problems. Our vision and values are at the core of everything we do and underpin our teaching and learning. We know that children learn best when they are offered engaging and immersive opportunities and this is fostered through our approach. We believe that learning should be exciting, interactive and focused on children’s own personal needs.
Through careful planning, teachers ensure that topics are bespoke, tailored to pupils’ needs and interests, relevant to modern day events and our community. We use the National Curriculum as a starting point for all planning, ensuring that key knowledge and objectives are covered throughout units. Teachers then meet in teams to discuss what key skills and experiences they want pupils to have by the end of the year, and their primary school journey. These experiences, along with the other subjects, are woven into each year group’s planning in a very cross curricular way. Although there are times where it is appropriate for a subject area to be taught explicitly, we are confident that if you were to walk into one of our lessons, you would see a number of themes flowing throughout.
Pupil learning at Hillside is enhanced by trips, visitors and curriculum days, whereby children are able to immerse themselves in the lives of those they are studying. Our curriculum is also heavily Values based, and our core values of learning, independence, collaboration, respect, resilience and happiness are at the heart of everything we do.
With each unit, we aim to pass on knowledge outlined in the National Curriculum, as well as the skills required to face our rapidly changing world. We want children to enjoy the challenge and adventure of learning, to follow their own curiosities and to make a positive contribution to the local and wider community.
Throughout our curriculum, learning is connected by our key concept of ‘influence’. It is the golden thread that ties all year groups’ learning together, regardless of subject, or topic.
With so many areas to cover in the National Curriculum, it is not difficult to see why children may find it difficult to link learning across year groups. Take History for example, throughout their school careers, children will encounter the Ancient Egyptians, Anglo Saxons, Mayans, the World Wars, and more. At face value, it can be difficult to identify similarities that these topics have or see how they relate to one another, other than being areas of ‘history’. But, when you discuss the influence that these peoples or events had on the world, their link becomes much clearer.
We also found that discussions around influence could lead to deeper discussions focusing on separate concepts. For instance, talking about the influence that the Ancient Egyptians had, led onto conversations surrounding legacy, heritage and power.
For this reason, ‘silver threads’ were introduced to each year group’s curriculum, where one key concept can be used to build connections between pupils’ individual Autumn, Spring and Summer topics.
Below is a list of each year group’s silver threads:
Year 1: Change
Year 2: Power
Year 3: Heritage
Year 4: Resilience
Year 5: Legacy
Year 6: Conflict
Below are the year group overviews to show what each year group will be covering across the year from Year 1-6.