Sugar Hill Curriculum Intent
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ― W.B. Yeats
At Sugar Hill this year we launched our reviewed curriculum, a curriculum that remains inclusive, broad and balanced and which builds on knowledge and skills needed to achieve and succeed. Sugar Hill children are at the heart of everything and when they leave our school, we will have provided the teaching and experiences that enable them to live in our ever changing and diverse world
We have designed a curriculum that fits the needs of our children and that will “light their fire”. Our key aims are as follows:
Happy, safe, nurtured and supported
Our greatest aim in Sugar Hill is to ensure the children want to come to school and are happy to be here, without this they will not achieve in any way. The children are taught in an environment where it is not a problem to make mistakes and learn from them, where it is acceptable to show emotion and where there is time for friends, fun and laughter.
The curriculum is designed to ensure children enjoy coming to school and being involved in lessons. They help to plan the curriculum in that topics start with questions that allow the children to shape the rest of the sessions and they learn about what is relevant to them.
The children work closely with the Learning Mentor and are fully aware of her role and the support she can give.
Individual talents are supported and nurtured whatever that might be. There is an annual Talent Show and after school clubs are across a wide variety of subjects.
Aspirations and aiming high
There are high expectations throughout school and the curriculum is designed to implement these. All groups have the same high expectations in all subjects. This is seen in the work produced in books and in progress made. All staff encourage children to be the best they can be to achieve at their level. Lessons are planned so that work matches ability to build confidence but then challenge is provided to enable aiming high.
The school arranges yearly career days for Year 6 children and has links with universities to ensure aspirations are high for the next steps of life after education and to help inform choices in Secondary schools.
Creative and motivating
Lessons across all subjects are planned to excite and motivate the children. Creativity is key in the way teaching takes place at Sugar Hill, allowing the children to reach high expectations set. Work is planned through books and novels, each with its own exciting start or hook. These have included, aliens in the classroom, red doors in the wood, visits from Vikings and Saxons and unknown footprints across the floor. There are also whole school themed weeks using large scale hooks for learning.
Wherever possible the children are taken on visits to show life beyond Newton Aycliffe.
Bering able to communicate well is a vital life skill and a very important part of our curriculum.
With exciting lessons planned children are encouraged to ask questions and discuss scenarios. The hooks are planned to encourage the children to talk about what might be happening and where it might lead.
Work and evidence from lessons is not always written in a book as children are given the opportunity to present their work in a variety of ways including presentations and the use of ICT. This allows for discussion on their findings and sharing of ideas.
Tasks are planned that allow children to collaborate with each other and work as part of a team.
Time is given specifically for speaking and listening activities including allowing children reading out loud to the class. This also encourages confidence along with drama activities and school performances.
Children are chosen to represent school in roles such as head boy and girl, mini SMT, mini police and E CADETS. Within these roles the children are required to communicate well with others.
Independent and Resilient - learning new skills and knowledge
As well as being able to communicate well our curriculum has been designed to allow children to become resilient learners and to tackle challenges head on.
It is important as the children move through school that they are allowed to become independent and not reliant on the teacher at all times. Strategies are taught to allow the children to work things out for themselves and time given to discuss answers and outcomes
Key skills reading, writing and maths
Underpinning all of the curriculum at Sugar Hill are the key skills in reading, writing and maths. These subjects are at the core of what we do, enabling children to aim high, be creative and motivated, communicate well and ultimately achieve.
These skills are seen throughout the curriculum, applied in all lessons.
Reading is key to all children so that they can access all areas of the curriculum. Our aim is that all children will leave KS1 reading confidently. This is given very high priority across school and particularly in EYs and across KS1. Phonics is taught through “Sounds Write” starting in Reception. EYs and KS1 staff are all trained in this method of teaching which in turn has an impact on spelling.
Key skills in writing, the use of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are applied across all subjects. This is given high priority across school and children are very aware from writing checklists what they need to do.
Key skills in maths are applied across subjects like ICT, geography and science.
Although impact can be measured in outcomes and data, much of the impact of our curriculum cannot be measured in that way.
See Subject Pages
As you walk round our school you will see:
Happy, confident well-behaved and polite children aware of what is expected and who are well prepared for life after Sugar Hill
Happy staff, confident in what they are expected to teach through high quality CPD enabling exciting and motivating lessons to be planned in all subjects
A safe, inclusive environment where children can be themselves and accept each other for who they are.
Creative, confident children who are able to articulate their learning and can present their ideas across all subjects
Work displayed that is of the very highest quality and that show cases the exciting, wide ranging opportunities provided for our children.
Children confidently reading a wide range of material set up in exciting places to read