At Holywell School we believe in the value of lifelong learning and that people learn new things every day. Learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone. Our teaching aims to equip children with the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to make informed choices about the important things in their lives and to take responsibility for their own learning. We believe that appropriate learning will lead to happy and rewarding lives.
The development of English language skills is a really important part of every aspect of school life. Each day provides the opportunity to develop children’s speaking and listening skills, reading and writing. A daily Literacy Hour ensures that all these skills are covered.
The daily maths session ensures that all children have a well planned and challenging maths education throughout their time at Holywell School. Times tables and mental arithmetic skills are regularly practised and we consider these essential for children to know. Calculators are sometimes used in the classroom so children can learn to use them well. Maths is also regularly included in other curriculum areas, such as history and geography.
Science topics are a major part of every term’s work. The science curriculum is planned so that each child covers the learning areas of the National Curriculum twice; introducing a theme, then returning to it to consolidate and develop their learning. The teachers’ approach to teaching science aims to develop the skills of planning, hypothesising and predicting, designing and carrying out investigations.
We have a cross curricular approach to learning and emphasise the opportunity to use the skills children develop in speaking, listening, reading, writing, maths and ICT in all other areas of the curriculum.
At Holywell, children thrive learning Spanish. They develop skills and get familiar with concepts like word formation, word order and agreement between words. They spot patterns, infer and predict word changes and deduct grammar rules. Children compare the Spanish language with their own native languages and with English. This practice reinforces their English competence and makes them not only good at learning languages but fantastic learners for life.
Design and Technology
Each year the curriculum will include the teaching of specific skills e.g. electric circuits, and provide opportunities to apply children’s skills in a “design and make” project.
All children participate in a weekly class music lesson and whole school singing. All children in year 3 and 4 have the opportunity to learn to play the drums as part of the curriculum.
Geographical themes form a major part of the curriculum, and include food, weather, the world, rivers, settlement, and the environment. A study of places is included in a number of the other topics, as are the skills of map reading, investigating geographical features and the use of geographical tools.
Our work in Art will sometimes develop a particular skill e.g. colour mixing, or the study of a particular artist, or may complement other areas of the curriculum e.g. their topic or language work. Children will have the opportunity to develop their skills in painting, drawing, printing, collage work, modelling, pottery and needlework. Our resident art teacher will often design large-scale projects for the children to focus on each term.
Historical themes are a major focus of much of our topic work. The teaching of History aims to develop a sense of chronology and the abilities to enquire, organise, interpret and understand.
All children have regular PE lessons. These include indoor gym and outdoor lessons which focus on particular games or skills (such as dance).The children’s achievements in PE are celebrated in a whole school Sports Day at the end of the summer term.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT is increasingly integrated into the curriculum. In addition to the ICT suite, we have a networked computer system throughout the school and a number of laptops that can be used in the classrooms. Computers are seen as an aid to learning, rather than as an end in themselves. We have a selection of software that supports a range of curriculum areas. In particular, the children will have opportunities to develop their word processing and graphics skills.
Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE)
This is a very important part of the children’s development and time is allocated both to deal with issues or problems which arise and also to focus on planned areas such as disability, friendships, drugs and sex education.
Religious Education (RE)
Religious Education is received by all children in classroom teaching and during school assemblies. The children will be involved in learning about many religions of the world. The teaching of Religious Education follows the guidelines laid down by Herts County Council in the Agreed Syllabus. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and those wishing to do so should consult the Headteacher.
Sex Education is included in the PSHE curriculum. Although there is an identified programme of sex education in Year 5 & 6, questions concerning sexual matters may arise at any time and teachers answer simply and frankly. Discussions on relationships form part of the school’s approach to personal and social education. The School’s Sex Education Policy is available to parents from the office.