As from April 2017 Hearsall Community Primary School became Hearsall Community Academy, part of the Inspire Education Trust. This provided the exciting opportunity to design a curriculum tailored to the needs, experiences and background of our children, linked to the 2014 National Curriculum programmes of study.
At the forefront of our thinking was the strong belief that primary-age children should have real breadth and balance within their learning. All children should have the opportunity to experience a range of subjects and activities, so that all can find their talent, passion and success, whether it be Music, Performing Arts, Design and Technology or Maths. At the heart of our curriculum is a real connection with our locality, Coventry. We have much to celebrate about where we live, and we believe our children should build their knowledge and understanding of Coventry as they progress throughout our schools.
We devised a two-year rolling programme to ensure that children experience real breadth and depth in their themes.
Particular themes also include a Local Study, focusing on the school’s locality, the history of Coventry over time, and geographical features of the local environment.
To complement the main driver, a termly ‘Enrichment Day’ takes place, where children from across the school learn together with a focus on another of the curriculum drivers.
Each theme has been devised with a clear thread in mind that takes children on an engaging journey through their theme, helping them to make links and build upon their learning in a variety of ways. Themes begin with a Launch, and include opportunities to explore, energise and celebrate, through trips and events in school.
Children’s learning is captured in scrapbook-style theme books which celebrate all the learning opportunities the children have throughout their themes. This is done using a range of techniques, including written and photographic evidence, art work and QR codes.
Learning at home
In order to extend our themes into learning at home, we use POWer projects – theme-based homework projects, designed to provide children with maximum opportunities to develop their creativity through selecting from a range of activities. These support children in developing organisational and time-management skills, whilst encouraging opportunities to share time and skills with adults at home.