Learning in the Foundation stage
Reception is where the excitement begins! In the Foundation stage children learn together in an environment, which is developed around the children’s interests. We pride ourselves on being an exciting and engaging place to be - encouraging our children to be independent learners through a range of practical activities. We follow a thematic curriculum which allows us to be creative with our lessons and let the children lead their own learning.
As our Foundation Stage children enter the classroom they learn primarily through a variety of play and real-life experiences. Our teaching is delivered through carefully planned tasks and guided key jobs. The children access their environment freely; however they understand they must complete 'key jobs' throughout the week which will scaffold and extend their learning. Their development is tracked through detailed, daily observations and child-initiated interaction. This information is then transferred into your child's personal learning journey - a diary of information and photographs. We use these to record individual interests, progress and plan the next steps of your child's learning.
The EYFS Curriculum
In Reception, our Foundation Stage children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS). This curriculum is based upon four themes and principles.
The Unique Child - We understand that every child is an individual child who is capable in their own right. The holistic child has a variety of needs that need meeting over their time in the Foundation Stage.
Positive Relationships - Social interaction is key to children’s development. Children become strong, independent learners; as well as scaffolding their learning through positive social interaction.
Enabling Environments - Providing a safe, secure and stimulating base for your children is key to their development. The framework allows for experiences that respond to the child’s individual needs/ interests; as well as developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.
Learning and Development - Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Early Learning Goals
Within ‘Development Matters’ there are 3 prime areas of learning and 4 specific areas. This framework provides the basis of how we structure the setting, the activities and opportunities we provide; as well as how we assess your child’s development. For each of these areas your child will have an ‘Early Learning Goal’ to work towards.
- Communication and language
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Physical development
- Problem solving, numeracy and reasoning
- Understanding the World
- Expressive arts and design
Characteristics of Effective Learning
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
At Holy Trinity School we teach phonics daily for 20 minutes. The school follows the scheme Letters and Sounds supported by Cued Articulation. In Reception and Year 1 the children work through 5 phases of phonics. By the time the children have reached Year 2 the children will continue with Letters and Sounds phase 6 and use phonics to support for spelling.
We follow a lesson plan that: introduces a new sound, revisits previous sounds, practices new/old sounds and words (blending and segmenting words), applies sounds learnt and assesses what the children have learnt.Read More
KS1 / KS2 Curriculum
The Computing curriculum now places less focus on simply being able to use technology, but on the children being able to create and program for themselves. Through the teaching of Computing we aim to equip pupils at Holy Trinity School with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Our children will develop an understanding of computer science, become digitally literate and be able to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology.
These are some of the key skills which pupils at Holy Trinity School will develop:
- Use a range of technology confidently and safely including cameras, Beebots, computers and laptops.
- Create and write simple programs
- Debug programs
- Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
- Use technology purposefully
- Create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
- Develop understanding of computer networks and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
- Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
At Holy Trinity School, we ensure that the children are taught how to be safe when using the internet. We use age-appropriate resources from The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, or CEOP, to teach the children how to stay safe online. We also take part in Safer Internet Day every year, by dedicating a day to exploring how to use technology safely.
KS1: use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
KS2: use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.Read More
At Holy Trinity, we are a writing school. From Reception to Year 6 we ensure that our children are given the opportunity to express themselves through the written word for a variety of different purposes. Our writing tasks come through both current events and our class topics, which we hope will inspire and interest the children in what they are writing.
Writing begins with ‘mark making’ in Reception class. In their classroom environment, our youngest writers are presented with a range of different writing activities, from tracing letter shapes in sand and foam, to writing on whiteboards to proudly show off their work on display.
As our children progress through KS1, writing starts to become more structured and the children start writing ‘Star Writes’. All children have a Star Write book which holds all of these pieces of independent writing and are a great means of seeing just how much our children at Holy Trinity improve and progress in their writing throughout the year. At the end of each half term, each teacher chooses one child from their class to be awarded with a ‘Super Star Writer’ certificate to celebrate their efforts.
In KS2, our children carry on writing Star Writes and each child completes at least 2 pieces of independent work every half term. To further develop writing skills and content, KS2 children have ‘8 Minute Writes’. These are short, sharp bursts of writing – usually based on a picture stimulus – where our children can practise skills or grammatical concepts that they have learned in class.
Another crucial part of the writing process in Holy Trinity is ‘editing and improving’. The children are taught from an early age that even the best and most accomplished authors must check through their work before it is published and, bearing this in mind, we teach the children the skills needed to improve their writing in this way. As part of making their writing the best it can be, we also encourage our children to consider their presentation. In Holy Trinity, we teach cursive handwriting right from Reception and, as the children move through to Year 6, we expect cursive to be present in all of the children’s work across all subjects.
Writing progress and attainment is monitored closely to ensure that resources and topics are adapted according to the needs and interests of the children.
Reading is a key part of life in Holy Trinity. As you walk through Prep School, there is an abundance of evidence highlighting the enthusiasm for and importance of books. There is rarely a day when the Prep library is not full of children eager to share a story with a friend; borrow a book to take home or acquire valuable library and research skills.
Each classroom has outside its door, a poster sharing which book each class is currently reading. At Holy Trinity, we recognise the importance of allowing time to listen to and enjoy stories and so each class has at least ten minutes of reading time scheduled into their timetable every day. During this time, the children can listen to their teacher reading, listen to an audio book or discuss what they have read with their friends. These and other books that the children regularly experience in class, will inspire their work in a variety of subjects.
At Holy Trinity, we encourage our children to read a variety of both fiction and non-fiction. We do this by giving them access to a range of books, newspapers and other reading material. We also enjoy many celebrations of books throughout the year. Recent events have included Roald Dahl Day, Shakespeare Week and our annual celebrations of World Book Day. Participation in these events in Holy Trinity is exceptional and they are something both staff and children look forward to
As well as learning different reading skills through our inquiry-based themes each half-term, each class also has daily Guided Reading sessions. During these sessions, children will usually work through a carousel of activities throughout the week. Each child will have an opportunity to read with the class teacher or teaching assistant in a small group at least once a week. During this session, the children will be asked comprehension questions tailored to stretch and challenge them and to develop skills of information retrieval, inference and deduction and summary and comparison of a range of texts. During the rest of the week, the children will complete activities including comprehension tasks, grammar tasks, follow-up tasks based on their reading and, importantly, reading for pleasure.
Reading progress and attainment is monitored closely to ensure that resources and topics are adapted according to the needs and interests of the children.Read More
At Holy Trinity we aim to provide the pupils with the opportunities to develop a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We aim to provide the children with opportunities to learn about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments as well as developing their understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes (in order to foster their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes) and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.
The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant countries
understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world
are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
a) collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
b) interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
c) communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length
Key Stage 1
At Holy Trinity, Key Stage 1 pupils will, over the two year cycle, investigate their local area (the school and its surroundings), a contrasting area in the United Kingdom and abroad. They will find out about the environment in chosen areas relevant to the year groups PYP focus. They will also begin to learn about the wider world (looking at hot and cold places in the world, the continents and seas) and the UK (its four countries, capital cities, surrounding seas and weather patterns). They will carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. Through such exploration, they will ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, compasses and photographs.
Key Stage 2
During Lower Key Stage 2, over the two year cycle, our pupils will investigate a variety of people, places and environments both in the United Kingdom and abroad which may link to their PYP focus. The pupils will find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. They will carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. Through such exploration, children will ask geographical questions and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and technology. There will be a specific focus on developing geographical skills and field work each year building on the work done at Key Stage 1.
During Upper Key Stage 2, over the three year cycle, pupils will have the opportunity to investigate people, places and environments, focusing specifically on the physical geography and the impact of deforestation and tourism (human geography), Mountains and Water and Rivers. The pupils will find out how people affect their environment and how they are affected by it. They will carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. From such exploration, children will ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and technology. Each year there will be a specific focus on developing geographical skills and field work, building on the work done at Lower Key Stage 2.
Cross Curricular Links
Geography provides a number of opportunities for cross curricular links with Math, English, Art and Computing. Computing provides a different medium for research and presentation of the topics covered and also allows mathematical skills to be developed. All aspects of English are used within the Geography curriculum, especially building a rich vocabulary, deeming it a source of a wide variety of opportunities to enhance the English curriculum.Read More
At Holy Trinity, children are immersed in historical enquiry through our Primary Years Programme. From Year 1 to Year 6, our half-termly PYP ‘units of inquiry’ allow children to fulfil the National Curriculum requirements in a child-led and child-centred manner.
We ensure that history teaching inspires our children’s curiosity in the world around them. For example, in Year 1, children gain historical perspective in the context of our local area, looking at Worcestershire’s historical carpet industry. Similarly, in Year 3, children inquire into ‘Holy Trinity past and present’, contrasting the life of students at the school’s founding in 1903 with the modernisation of the school and children’s lives today.
Children learn the chronological progression of British history from the Paleolithic era to the present day, including looking in-depth at both world wars. By Year 6, children have garnered the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to analyse how historical events have impact on current affairs, in, for example, their unit of inquiry based upon human migration. Children are skilled in scrutinising historical evidence in terms of its authenticity, using various secondary sources of information and primary sources where possible.
Children also look further afield, in inquiries into Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome and the Mayans.
The children’s learning in history is enriched by theme days, artefacts, the use of ICT for independent research and high-quality day trips. For example, recent history-based trips include Bewdley Museum, the Heritage Severn Valley Railway and Blists Hill Victorian town and museum.
PYP units of inquiry present myriad cross-curricular opportunities. Wherever possible, history-based units of inquiry also link to teaching and learning in English. Teachers use high-quality texts to further enrich the children’s understanding of specific historical eras and events.
Our teachers are skilled in ensuring that a child-led, PYP pedagogy also meets the demands of the national curriculum, and steer some inquiry in order to do so. History is assessed against the National Curriculum objectives.Read More
Mathematics is crucial in everyday life and it is integral to all aspects of life. Mathematics teaches pupils how to make sense of the world around them by equipping them with a powerful set of tools to understand and develop their computational skills, and an ability to solve number problems in a variety of contexts. Success also requires practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered by counting and measuring, and is presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
We endeavour to ensure that pupils develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards Mathematics that will stay with them as they go through education and beyond. The pupils need to show fluency for each objective; they need to show they can apply each objective and then show they have mastered each objective through problem solving and reasoning.
The planning is based on White Rose Maths Hub schemes of work that provides a curriculum plan that will support ‘Teaching for Mastery’. There is a termly plan for each year group. As part of each overview, a significant amount of time is devoted to developing key number concepts each year. This ensures pupils build their fluency as number sense will affect their success in other areas of mathematics. Pupils who are successful with number are much more confident mathematicians.
In an effort to raise mathematical standards, the pupils (from Year 3 onwards) answer a series of mathematical questions on a weekly basis. When the pupils answer the questions correctly within a 10 minute time limit, they move up the ‘GEM’ level. Certificates are awarded in the weekly Achievement assembly.Read More
Holy Trinity follow the IB PYP Programme, an international curriculum framework, which focuses on the development of the child, addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to just academic progress and attainment. It is a relevant and engaging programme which encourages the individuals to develop as inquiry based learners.
The pupils are encouraged to develop independence and to take responsibility for their own learning. Under the guidance of the teacher, they gain confidence and develop self-management skills which give them a firm platform for the future, and prepare them for the demands of their next stage of education as well as the complex world around them. Furthermore it establishes themselves as life-long learners.
We use a broad range of teaching strategies that take into account the various ways in which children learn in order to promote engagement, curiosity and creativity.
There are six trans-disciplinary themes (these focus on relevant issues that go across subject areas) around which learning is planned on a half-termly basis - these are:
•Who we are (Inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human).
•Where we are in place and time (Inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives).
•How we express ourselves (Inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic).
•How the world works (Inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment).
•How we organize ourselves (Inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment).
•Sharing the planet (Inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution).
The broad aim of religious education at Holy Trinity School is to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural and intellectual development of children. We enable children to develop knowledge not only of Christianity but also of other world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. This is achieved by encouraging children to explore and respond to these aspects of religion and draw upon their own experiences. We help the children learn about religions as well as from religions.
At Holy Trinity we believe RE subject matter gives particular opportunities to promote an ethos of respect for others, challenge stereotypes and build understanding of other cultures and beliefs. This contributes to promoting a positive and inclusive school ethos. We believe RE enables pupils to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society. It teaches pupils to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice and prompts pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.
Our RE curriculum is in accordance with Worcestershire LA Agreed Syllabus. We ensure that topics build on prior learning. There is a planned progression built into the scheme of work. An RE topic is taught every half term, often as a blocked area of study rather than as a set of individual weekly lessons.Read More
Academic Year-By-Year Breakdown
Below are the year-by-year summaries of the programmes of study from the National Curriculum for English and Maths. In addition, we provide parents and carers with information outlining the subjects and areas we will be covering for the following half term. This is provided for each year group and links to the National Curriculum and PYP themes.
Curriculum Information Year 1
Curriculum Information Year 2
Curriculum Information Year 3
Curriculum Information Year 4
Curriculum Information Year 6
Curriculum Information Reception
The complete National Curriculum framework can be found here.