The curriculum at Halifax Primary School gives children opportunities to learn, build on, and develop new skills. We aim to make it as exciting and interesting as possible, and our curriculum is always supported by a wide range of trips, visits and activities. Our curriculum is underpinned by high quality teaching. Teaching meets the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, the National Curriculum and the agreed local syllabus for Religious Education.
Daily assemblies (Collective Worship) are also an important part of our school curriculum. Assemblies contribute to the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) and British Values experiences and development of the children. Our assemblies are planned to cover a range of different elements over the school year. Assemblies for each term are detailed below.
During the summer term staff reviewed our curriculum and they have made a few tweaks and changes to topics, to make them even better! Alongside this, we have reviewed the trips and visits, and again made a few changes, so that they really fit in with the new curriculum.
To find out more about the National Curriculum please click here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4/the-national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4
Below are the new curriculum maps for this year, so you can see the breadth of learning your child will experience and the sorts of topics they will be covering.
You will continue to receive the termly curriculum booklet that gives you more detail about what your child will be learning, and information about swimming days etc. You will find these on the class pages.
We hope that this gives you a clear idea about what your children will be learning and when, but if you have any questions please get in touch.
Educational Trips and Visits
We believe that trips and visits play an important part in children’s learning and development. During their time at Halifax all children will have the opportunity to take part in a number of trips, both within the local community, and further afield.
All children have the chance to take part in residential trips, often experiencing their first night away from home.
Year 4 have a 2 day visit to African Adventure at Sizewell, where they take part in problem solving activities and sleep in African huts!
Year 5 have an amazing 3 day visit to London, sleeping on HMS Belfast, visiting museums and galleries and seeing a West End show (and talking our way into Downing Street when we can!)
Year 6 do a 5 day trip to Aylmerton in Norfolk, where they learn a lot about living together, working co-operatively, looking after the environment and dealing with challenges.
Because of the importance we place on these trips we do encourage all children to join in. We are able to offer support in cases of financial difficulty. Parents are encouraged to speak to Mrs Karen Read, School Business Manager, in complete confidence, about help with paying for trips.
Reading at Halifax
Our aim at Halifax Primary School is for all children to become fluent readers and develop a passion for reading. We use engaging texts with the whole class across the school, from Reception to Year 6 so the children become enthusiastic about reading, enhance and develop their vocabulary, and to inspire their writing. We aim to teach reading to children through phonics, using pictorial clues and through their understanding of the text they are reading. Children are heard to read on a one to one basis, in small groups and in KS2 the children read alongside the whole class.
Once the children have the basic fundamentals of reading and are beginning to read texts fluently we then use a powerful tool called Accelerated Reader which assists with monitoring and managing independent reading. With Accelerated reader children have the opportunity to take a quiz each time they complete a text – which ideally should be on a weekly basis. Accelerated reader asks the children comprehension questions about the text they have been reading independently in school and at home.
As Parents you can log onto the Accelerated Reader website at home (using your child’s password) and see for yourselves how your children are getting on. You can view progress towards reading goals, review results of quizzes taken, look at the number of books read and the total words read.
The attached guide is designed to answer your questions about Accelerated Reader. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or visit the Accelerated Reader website at
Across the school we have set the children a ‘Reading Challenge’. A board has been put up in each year group area and children are awarded points for reading at home. Your child can gain points by reading to you and by you signing their Reading Diary. Please try to hear your child read at least three times a week, which will give them three points. The children can gain a maximum of seven points a week. The diary must be signed each time your child reads to you in order for the points to be awarded. A prize is given at the end of term to children who travel all the way around the board and gain maximum points i.e. 70 points in KS1 and 80 points in KS2.
Each day all classes from Year One upwards participate in Guided Reading. During guided reading, children work in small groups with other children who are working on a similar level text and the teacher supports the children to read and interpret the text. The children are encouraged to share their opinions on a text, make predictions, and develop their vocabulary. When the children are not working with the adult, they undertake carefully planned and prepared activities which build on the work which they were undertaking with the adult.
Writing at Halifax Primary School
The use of engaging, relevant and high quality texts is central to our writing curriculum. These act as stimuli for children to develop and explore their writing skills. Children write for purpose wherever possible, on a theme linked to the half termly topic. Teacher-led activities show children how to plan, draft, rehearse and edit texts preparing them to write ambitiously. Children learn how to debate and present: to reason and justify their answers. Grammar is integrated into our English curriculum and is taught discretely and in context.
We strive to ensure all children become fluent and enthusiastic readers by the end of Key Stage One. Phonics is the beginning of children’s body of knowledge, skills and understanding that are an essential part of learning to read and write.
Our phonics planning is exclusive to Halifax. To enable children to make outstanding progress we follow the Letters and Sounds scheme and use Read Write Inc strategies alongside Jolly Phonics actions.
Once a week, the children will fill in their ‘Home School Diary’ using spellings from their learning that have been identified by the teacher/themselves. These diaries will go home daily in their book bags/bags so that their families can support them at home.
From Reception, children are encouraged to use their knowledge of the sounds (phonics) to spell (encode) and read (decode) regular words. Once the children have learnt most of the sounds, they move onto ‘Get Spelling’ books to help them to continue to develop their understanding and consolidate their knowledge of the spelling rules
At Halifax, joined up handwriting is taught with a sequential and progressive approach. We believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised by good quality presentation.
We use Cambridge Pen Pals handwriting scheme throughout school, thus ensuring there is a continuity and progression across classes. During lessons we ensure that children sit, position their paper / book and hold their pen/pencil correctly using their other hand to hold their work firmly. Chair height is checked to ensure it is correct. Handwriting is taught weekly, as a class in all year groups and teachers and learning support staff model the handwriting style.
Mathematics at Halifax Primary School
At Halifax Primary School, Maths is a core part of our curriculum. We follow the requirements of the national curriculum for maths. There is a new, revised national curriculum form September 2014. Our planning and calculation policy have been revised to reflect the new requirements. However, this year (2014 -15) pupils in Year 2 and Year 6 will be assessed at the end of the school year against the previous national curriculum objectives. Therefore they will continue to be taught the skills and knowledge from the previous curriculum during this transition year.
The calculation policy is at the heart of our maths teaching. It has been drawn up by a group of local schools including high schools, to provide continuity and progress of knowledge and skills from Key Stage 1 (year 1 & 2) to Key stage 4 (Years 10 & 11).
We aim to teach the children all the basic skills but more importantly we teach ways of using these skills in real life contexts using problem solving situations. Every lesson will involve problem solving of some kind to ensure our learners can use and apply the skills they have been taught.
Additionally, we have a real focus on the vocabulary of Maths. Within each class we display key vocabulary on “Learning Walls” to reinforce and support each child’s development of Maths vocabulary.
Within Reception, Key Stage One and Lower Key Stage Two, maths is taught within the child’s class and the skills are differentiated so that it challenges the needs of all learners.
In Upper Key Stage Two, the children are grouped within their Year Groups by ability so that the learning is precisely targeted. We use a process called “Assertive Mentoring” to identify the strengths and gaps in children’s knowledge and understanding and use this information to support the children’s progress.
We welcome visits to Numeracy lessons (by appointment) and have also created parent’s leaflets explaining the written calculations that we use at school so that you can help to support your child further. As always, class teachers are on hand to support you with supporting your child.