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Curriculum

Hawkes Farm follows a curriculum which based on the content of the National Curriculum.

Year groups are categorised into what is known as Key Stages, with Year 1 and 2 being Key Stage 1 and Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 being Key Stage 2.  The National Curriculum for both key stages consists of the core subjects: mathematics, English, science and computing; and the foundation subjects; history, geography, design & technology, art and design, music and P.E. The East Sussex agreed syllabus is used for the teaching of religious education (R.E).

Phonics

At Hawkes Farm  Academy we teach reading through Linguistic Phonics. The rationale for Linguistic Phonics is that children are taught to understand the relationship between spoken language and written words. It starts with what the children naturally acquire, spoken language, and teaches them the relationship between sound-spelling correspondences. Teaching children to read through Linguistic Phonics allows them to develop their decoding skills; this supports children in learning to blend graphemes (letters) for reading, segment phonemes (sounds) for spelling and manipulate phonemes (sounds) to develop accuracy in reading and spelling. Linguistic Phonics teaches the concept that all sounds can be spelled. We therefore do not promote silent letters, magic letters, or memorising whole words by sight. We appreciate parental support and ask that you read with your children in this way, encouraging children to use their decoding skills to read and spell.
All of our teachers receive training to deliver the Sounds~Write phonics programme. Sounds~Write takes children through systematic, incremental steps to teach children the 44 sounds in the English language and their multiple spellings.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the children study the Initial Code. This teaches them the concept of one sound, one spelling. They begin with CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant e.g. dog, mum, big). When all single-letter sound-spelling correspondences are taught, they discuss double consonant spellings (e.g. pull, miss, buzz). Once the children understand the concept of two letters representing one sound, they are exposed to spellings with two different letters (e.g. ch in chip, sh in ship). As the programme progresses children learn to read and write words that follow the structure of VCC, CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVCC, CCVCCC etc. such as ‘old,’ ‘pink,’ ‘crisps’ etc. In Key Stage 1, children learn the one, two, three and four letter spellings of sounds. This is called the Extended Code. They learn the concept that one sound can be represented by multiple spellings. For example, the first spellings of the /ae/ sound include in rain, in play, in steak, and in cake. They also learn the concept that one spelling can represent multiple sounds. For example, represents the /ae/ sound in steak and the /ee/ sound in clean. Running parallel to the Extended Code is the application of phonics at the Polysyllabic Level. Children are explicitly taught strategies to read and spell words with 2 or more syllables. This stage is essential as an estimated 80% of words in the English language are polysyllabic. Polysyllabic words begin at the Initial Code Level with compound words such as ‘backpack’ and ‘jumping’ before moving on to words with Extended Code spellings and 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 syllables.

 

English

English Context

We plan our context learning on the knowledge the children will need to understand the book they are reading. Teachers are expected to read the book and identify areas of knowledge that the children will need to know. This knowledge is then the basis for the medium term planning. The medium term planning takes the form of a learning sequence – ‘what do the children need to know in order to understand this part of the book?’ This sequence shows a progression of learning which can then be broken down into individual lessons. The learning sequence generally follows the plot outline of the book however some teachers may decide to teach certain contextual knowledge earlier in order to support the reading later on. Reception and Year 1 currently study one book per half term while Year 2 and KS2 have one book for a whole term. The context lessons will have a geographical or historical focus with the expectation that elements of both are taught throughout the course of the term. This is monitored regularly and updated when necessary in order to ensure a balanced curriculum. Alongside this, the planning of music, art, and RE links are to be made where appropriate. Teachers are also expected to identify educational visits or invite visitors into the academy in order to not only enhance the children’s learning but also to improve personal and cultural capital.

Reading
The same high-quality text is used in the whole class reading lessons. Across the whole school, specific reading techniques are used to ensure that all children join in with reading aloud. Additional scaffolding may be required for the slower graspers, for example, the teacher informs the child in advance which part they are expected to read. Teachers plan in advance which child reads which part of the text in order to push the faster graspers with more complex vocabulary or allowing opportunities for fluency for the slower graspers. As well as whole class reading aloud there are regular opportunities for ‘close reading’ and ‘art of the sentence’ where children are expected to answer questions and write specific sentences
about the passage of text they have just read. After writing, the class then have an in-depth discussion about the passage they have just read. We run our reading lessons in this way in order to expose children to high-quality literature and develop their fluency and prosody.

Writing
Using the same text, teachers plan a learning sequence for writing. This begins with identifying the purpose for writing – to entertain, to inform, to persuade or to discuss. The skills needed for each writing purpose are built and the children have time to practice and consolidate this learning in their English books. When the children are ready to write they then begin drafting in their Writing Progression books. They are reminded that their work is in draft form so they are ready to edit and improve. After conferencing with the teacher, the child is then expected to begin the work again - building on and improving their work based on the conversation with their teacher. If the teacher is unable to speak to them in that lesson, they are expected to respond to feedback the following writing lesson. If after professional discussions with year group colleagues the teachers feel they need to return to the skills building, they are able to stop the writing process and return to the skills building element at any time during the writing process. The cycle of write, correct, improve, practice is encouraged to continue throughout a unit of work. We do not give teachers a time frame on how long a writing sequence may take.

 

Maths

At Hawkes Farm Academy, we take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Fundamentally, this rests on the belief that all children can – and, indeed, must – be successful in the study of mathematics. We do not accept that ‘some people cannot do maths’; we do not accept that mathematical study is boring or unnecessary; we do not accept that prior attainment should limit what a child is capable of learning. Mathematics is for everyone at Hawkes Farm.

Planning 

We plan our learning by designing coherent extended units of work in the medium term which take into account the relevant mathematical progression. This allows our children to master the area of mathematics being studied before moving on to new learning. To support us in our long and medium term planning, we use Mathematics Mastery plans from Reception to Year 2 and other mastery based resources for plans in Years 3 to 6. However, we adapt these plans to suit the needs of our children. We break our medium-term plans down into small steps which become our individual lessons.

Mixed-ability grouping
We do not set or stream by ability at Hawkes Farm. Similarly, we do not group children by their prior attainment, except for where significant gaps in learning exist. Nor do we use the language of high ability and low-ability children. Instead, we refer to faster or slower graspers, reflecting our belief that children may struggle with one area of mathematics initially, but with sufficient time and effective instruction van be successful. We never pre-decide the children who will excel at or struggle with a particular lesson. We expect all our children to grasp the learning of the lesson. Meeting children’s needs At Hawkes Farm, we aim for all children to move together through the learning in order to avoid gaps in understanding from forming. Such gaps serve to hold some children back in the future. Therefore, we do not differentiate by activity; we believe that this creates gaps in learning and sends a message that not all children need to learn the content of each lesson. It represents a cap on expectations. All children are given the same work initially. Slower graspers are provided with additional scaffolding, which could be adult support, concrete resources or adapted work in some cases. Faster graspers are given the opportunity to deepen their understanding through targeted questioning and tasks planned for this specific purpose.

Intervention
Children who do not meet the learning objective for a lesson are identified in the lesson and are given a same-day intervention where possible to ensure that they are ready to move on to the next day’s learning. If the majority of the class have struggled, our teachers would seek to identify if there was a step in the progression that had been missed, if a pre-requisite from earlier learning was not understood fully by the children, or if the learning objective of the lesson needed further honing. After a professional discussion with their year group colleagues, our teachers would then respond appropriately the next day. This fluidity in the short term allows us to respond precisely to the needs of our children.

Children’s work and feedback
Work in books usually includes elements of fluency, reasoning and problem solving to ensure that our children are exposed to varied question and problem styles. We aim to use progressive questioning within lessons, starting with easier questions that are accessible, but finishing with questions that pose more of a challenge, but always based around the same piece of learning. Our teachers do not give our children endless calculations to solve, but use procedural variation in their question selection – the process of using fewer carefully-chosen questions which reveal mathematical structures to the children and deepen their understanding. Most of our feedback in mathematics is oral and at the point of learning, and written feedback supports this where it is useful.

 

 

Knowledge Organisers

At Hawkes Farm, we use Knowledge Organisers to provide children and parents with the key information that pupils will need to know in order to fully understand their class text. Children are quizzed regularly on these facts to ensure that they are committed to long-term memory. We encourage parents to use these documents at home when talking to their child about their learning. Below are the latest Knowledge Organisers for the autumn term:

Reception Knowledge Organiser 

Year 1 Knowledge Organiser

Year 2 Knowledge Organiser

Year 3 Knowledge Organiser

Year 4 Knowledge Organiser

Year 5 Knowledge Organiser

Year 6 Knowledge Organiser