The teaching of maths at Great Hucklow School aims to provide the children with a foundation for understanding maths in the world around them through:
We follow a mastery curriculum. The expectation is that most children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. All children are given the opportunity to think more deeply about mathematical processes, with an emphasis on being able to reason and problem solve. Children who grasp new concepts more quickly are asked to apply their thinking to more challenging contexts. Children who take longer to achieve fluency or to apply a new concept are helped to consolidate their learning before moving on. Same day interventions are used to enable pupils to “keep up” rather than “catch up”, the aim being that that misconceptions are “nipped in the bud” at the point where they occur. Decisions about when to move on are made on the basis of this level of understanding, rather than a fixed point in the school year.
The curriculum is planned in blocks of work around the different areas of maths, based on the White Rose Maths schemes of learning. There is a great emphasis on number work in the first half of the year. Spending longer on mastering these key number topics helps to build a child’s confidence and to secure their understanding With a firm foundation in number, children are less likely to struggle with other aspects of mathematics. This number work is then reinforced throughout the year with regular number fluency activities. As we move on to other areas of the maths curriculum, such as measure and shape the children are required to apply these number skills. For example, when children look at measurement they tackle lots of questions which practise the four operations and fractions. This practice and consolidation helps children to grasp the links between topics and to understand them more deeply.
We work hard to give the children positive messages about maths, encouraging all children to see themselves as mathematicians and to understand that there is no such thing as a ‘maths person’ but that everyone is capable of thinking mathematically. Children are regularly asked to work together, discussing problems, sharing ideas and using key mathematical vocabulary. An emphasis is put on children checking their work carefully, for example by using an inverse operation, and children are regularly asked to justify their answer by explaining their reasoning.
We have recently introduced the Power Maths scheme which provides a whole-class mastery programme aligned to the White Rose Maths progressions and schemes of learning. We supplement these resources with a range of activites, including those from nrich, NCETM and youcubed.
We use the Talk for Writing approach to help our children become brilliant writers. This approach is based on the principles of how people learn. It moves through three stages: imitation, innovation to independent application.
To make a new topic fun, we start with a “hook” to interest and excite the children about the new topic. This is an experience that the children will remember. For example, one morning Class 2 found their classroom had been turned into Narnia!
The children begin by learning a model text which is a good example text of the genre they are studying. The learning involves repetition and actions to help the text become well embedded.
The next phase is innovation where children begin to create their own work which is based on their growing understanding of the features of the genre and the model text.
Finally, using all they have learnt, children show all their skills in a piece of writing which is their own example of the genre they have been studying.
Underpinning all of our work in Talk for Writing is good quality fiction. A class novel is shared throughout the topic. This is a source of ideas and vocabulary for the children.
We adopted the active reading approach in September 2019 to help our children to become better readers. This approach involves making it very clear to children what good, or “active” readers do.
These skills help the children to process what they are reading and be able to answer questions about it. The strategies we have been working on with the children are:
Active readers use visualisation – they make pictures in their heads.
Active readers use fix it strategies – they stop, fix it and clarify
Active readers use their background knowledge to help them understand what they read
Active readers ask questions as they read
Active readers predict what will happen in the text
Active readers use inference. They look for clues in the text.
Active readers summarise what they have read.
The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:
develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this.
At Great Hucklow School, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes.
We believe that children learn best by doing, so wherever possible, they are given the opportunity to experiment and carry out practical investigations.
We have a fantastic location which we use wherever possible to enhance our science curriculum. Children have the opportunity to learn about pond habitats by using our pond area and woodland habitats in the woods.
Topic at Great Hucklow
At Great Hucklow school, we believe that our curriculum should equip our children to become useful citizens of the 21st Century. We have considered our children’s starting points and life experiences in designing a curriculum that is useful and relevant to them while addressing the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum.
In designing the curriculum, we thought about what we want for our children and what we believe are effective methods of delivering it to them so that they learn and, more importantly, remember the learning.
In order to help them remember what they have learnt, we are creating a curriculum that is experience rich. Examples of experiences may include trips, visitors to school or role playing a historical event such as a Viking trading market.
Each term, we have a subject focus. In term one it is History, in term two, Geography and term 3, the Arts. There is a topic heading such as “The Victorians” and a series of key questions for the topic. In planning each topic, we try to make it relevant for the children. For example, as part of the Victorians topic, we will look at how life changed for people who lived in the Peak District during Victorian Times.
At the end of the term, each class has an outcome. This may be creating a museum about the building of the Ladybower reservoirs and opening it to the local community or creating an art gallery to display their work.
Through our curriculum topics, we have three core aims:
To improve basic skills
Children should be given the opportunity to practise, apply and improve the skills they learn in literacy and maths.
To make learning active
Children should have opportunities to get out of their seats and experience things as much as possible.
To make learning creative
We want the children’s learning to be fun and experience rich.
All junior children are taught music through the Derbyshire Music Partnership. This year, all the junior children are learning to play the flute / clarinet in weekly lessons with a specialist teacher.
Foundation and Key Stage 1 children are taught music by their class teacher in weekly lesson.
Religious Education is taught through theme days once a term. These theme days enable the children to find out in more depth about the topic they are studying and have experiences which help them to remember more. These days are fun and interactive with children often doing art, craft or cooking as part of the day.
RE days are planned using the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus.
PSHE teaches children the skills knowledge, and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe and to prepare them for life and work in modern Britain. At Great Hucklow School, it is taught using the PSHE matters scheme of work in weekly sessions.
Where possible, British Values such as democracy are taught through relevant foundation subjects such as history. In addition, we also have termly theme days on British Values where children learn about a different value each time and its relevance to them.