Our vision is to deliver an education for the 21st century that enables our students to contribute and influence their community and the world in which they live.
The aim of our curriculum is to ensure that all learners are independent and self-regulated learners who are curious, creative and collaborative with a love of learning. Our curriculum aims to equip learners to achieve individual academic progress and a ‘can do’ attitude.
We believe that our curriculum should equip all learners with the knowledge and skills required to play an active and successful role in today’s highly competitive and changing world.
Whilst our curriculum allows for the development of the knowledge, skills and qualifications required for success in the globalized world of today, it also aims to encourage creativity, celebrate diversity and link with the cultural and business experiences of the local community.
As an all-through school, our curriculum provides a roadmap that allows learners to embark on a journey developing the knowledge and skills through both the formal curriculum and the wider experiences offered.
Heyford Park Free School’s curriculum aims to:
- Ensure a broad curriculum coverage utilising a “national curriculum plus” model
- Develop a knowledge-engaged curriculum through both single discipline and transdisciplinary learning
- Ensure that knowledge acquisition is enhanced through problem solving and connectivity
- Ensure that all learning is challenging and engaging
- Develop transferrable future skills through the application of knowledge and skills through our “Challenge Days”
- Ensure high rates of progress for all students
- Promote teacher planning that is integral to the success of the curriculum but also manageable
Heyford Park Free School core principles for curriculum planning are:
- The curriculum is a narrative that builds connections through knowledge and skills vertically through subjects as well as transdisciplinary
- All subjects have “powerful knowledge” & “big key concepts” that all children have the right to experience
- As human beings we learn through problem solving
- Knowledge can only be utilised when developed alongside skills
At Heyford Park Free School our values underpin our expectations which are:
- Ready- Matching interests with activities that will help learners leave school well-rounded and confident to flourish now and in future lives
- Respectful – Having the cultural awareness needed to communicate in our interconnected world
- Kind – Being understanding of others and the very best they can be in school and community
- Safe- having the personal and social skills to care for self, others and the world we live in
Our HPFS Curriculum Plus is designed as a journey through school that builds on the national curriculum through the development of themes. These themes are:
- Heyford Park – our community! Our site!
- Connecting with the world around us
Implementation of the curriculum
At HPFS we believe curriculum implementation is the provision, design and pedagogical practices that lead to a positive impact on achievement for all learners.
(For the intent and implementation of individual subjects or primary year groups please see specific web pages)
Our curriculum is designed as an all-through curriculum beginning at nursery. As a school we follow the national curriculum but have enhanced this with the HPFS Curriculum Plus.
In Key Stage 4, personal development, Careers and RE are offered through Challenge Days supported through tutor time and assemblies.
Our subject leads and phase leads plan sequenced units of learning through curriculum provision planning which builds and secures powerful knowledge and subject specific big key concepts. Curriculum provision is mapped vertically as well as horizontally; it is planned for progression, challenge and coherence. The provision is mapped for powerful knowledge; development of skills, subject specific and our 3C skills of curiosity, collaboration and creativity; SMSC, literacy and numeracy.
Through lesson delivery … our teachers plan lessons which are sequenced and coherent within the planned provision across the year, which build on prior learning, provide challenge to deepen understanding and cumulative knowledge. As an evidence-based school we have utilised research from a variety of sources such as the Education Endowment Foundation, as well integrated approaches from Doug Lemov and Andy Tharby to develop our pedagogic practice. As a result learners will experience in our lessons:
- that introductory activities that act as hooks, recaps or support retention (Do Now);
- the big question shared (I do);
- knowledge transfer through guided practice to ensures that new material is presented in small steps with student practice that is supported through modelling and memorization strategies (We do);
- independent practice of high challenge and applied knowledge and skills, which is monitored, questioned and scaffolded for difficult tasks; (You do)
- a review and reflect period for consolidation and assessment.
In our primary classrooms, these lesson phases will be more fluid; in our secondary classrooms, the lesson phases will be clearly signposted, with these labels used and understood in classes.
Our SEND and disadvantaged students will encounter the same challenging content and skill development, but teachers will scaffold and personalise as necessary. Occasionally, in the first few years of school, a curriculum will be designed specifically for a child: this will be responsive to the needs of the child and in collaboration with external specialist advice.
As a school we are committed to developing the skills that students will need to be successful in their education now, in the next stage and for employability and citizenship.
We believe that in order to develop successful individuals in the 21st century, our learners need to develop the skills of curiosity, creativity and collaboration. Our staff place a lens over the skills they are targeting to teach these explicitly within the context of the subject being delivered. In secondary, subject specific thinking skills from our “Think like a….” skill set are identified by the subject teams as well as our 3Cs.
We have recognized the importance of metacognition. Memorisation and guided modelling are key in our pedagogical practice in developing independent and self-regulated learners.
Home learning supports our students in preparing for or applying learning. This supports the development of their independence. This year we will be working to further develop home learning so that it is coherent and supports the principles of our curriculum promoting independence.
Our assessments are regular, rigorous and robust. We moderate in departments/phases after each data capture ensuring standardization occurs consistently over the year through our Friday CPD. Once a year we moderate with an external partner supporting professional development and accuracy of assessment. The assessment and results of each year group are scrutinised at team and senior team level and utilised to check progress and to plan for next steps in terms of intervention and teaching. Our assessments are based on cumulative knowledge, in that knowledge or skills from previous units of learning are revisited in later assessments.
Through professional development staff participate in professional development which is based around universal, bespoke and specialist provision. Our professional development universal offer is focused on the development of pedagogic practices of metacognition. This year we are continuing to embed guided modelling and memorization strategies and introduce further methods to develop independence. We are focusing on developing collaboration and curiosity through planning and implementation with a particular focus on our vulnerable groups.
Universal professional development is planned through our INSET days and Friday CPD across the school. We commit time for teams to plan together to develop a shared understanding and approach to subject specific delivery of content and skills outlined in the curriculum plans.
Bespoke CPD is focused around team priorities. This year this is supporting middle leaders in leading the quality of education and writing in primary.
Specialist CPD is to support both individuals and teams to address a priority. As a school our mathematics teachers from primary and secondary will be working together to develop a shared but graduated approach to the teaching of mathematics. Across teams, there are a variety of specialist CPD requirements such as support for new KS4 specifications and statutory SATs updates.
Through personal development our teachers deliver character education, personal and social education, citizenship, careers and guidance education, health and well-being and British values. In primary personal development is delivered through our curriculum offer and extended through our specialist days. Our assembly programme supports the personal development curriculum. In Year 7 and 8, we deliver content and skills through weekly lessons which are extended through our challenge days, tutor programme and assemblies. In Y9 – 13 we deliver this through challenge days also supported by assemblies and our tutor programme. We currently meet Gatsby Benchmarks with our curriculum offer mapped against these.
RE is delivered as a curriculum subject in primary and Y7 and 8 in line with the locally agreed syllabus. RE/Ethics is mapped into challenge days in secondary in Years 9-13 supported by our assemblies.
We believe that both embodied and institutionalised cultural capital is fundamental when planning enrichment. We recognise the formal curriculum in securing institutional cultural capital or currency. We ensure that students, regardless of ability, educational need or disadvantage are developing their embodied cultural capital through a variety of experiences which are related directly to the subjects. These are integrated into phase, subject and whole school planning. For example: Challenge Days, work experience, Duke of Edinburgh, local, national and international trips, leadership experiences and partnership activities.
We believe this is an entitlement and we track those who participate in those activities on offer and analyse by gender, SEND and disadvantage.
At HPFS, we believe that a well thought out curriculum, which meets the needs of all students, should lead to at least good results reflecting what has been learned and students that have a “Can Do” attitude to progress.
The impact of the curriculum is evaluated through the following measures:
- The percentage of students who achieve at least expected academic progress and high levels of attainment in national assessments and examinations (ELG, Phonics, KS1 sats, KS2 Sats, GCSE and GCE A level)
- Progress and attainment of current students
- Reading Test data
- ‘Cultural Capital’ for disadvantaged and students with SEND (progress and HPFS passport)
- Completion of the HPFS passport at each stage of the the journey
- Destinations data – The percentage of students entering employment or higher levels of study
- The percentage of learning that is challenging and engaging
- Attendance data
- The percentage of students engaging in enrichment activities
- Student Voice
- Behaviour data
The curriculum incorporates the national curriculum 2014 statutory requirements and Department of Education guidance. Supplementary, the curriculum of the school reflects the local context and development needs of students.
At HPFS we also offer the HPFS PLUS. This is designed as a journey through school that builds on the national curriculum through the development of themes. These themes are:
- Heyford Park – our community! Our site!
- Connecting with the world around us
Our EYFS setting offers a curriculum rich in experiences across the seven areas of learning for young children.
The three Prime Areas of learning are:
- Personal, Social & Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The four Specific Areas are:
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
We develop lifelong learning skills through The Characteristics of Effective Learning.
These skills include:
- Playing and exploring – engagement
- Active learning – motivation
- Creating and thinking critically – thinking
Key Stage 1 and 2
At Key Stage 1 and 2, we cover the following subjects in our timetabled teaching time:
- Design Technology
Sometimes, subjects are combined so that objectives from more than one subject are covered in one lesson or unit of work; sometimes subjects are taught as stand-alone lessons or units of work; sometimes classes or phases use drop-down days to cover one or more subject/topic.
In EYFS and KS1 we deliver phonics, mainly through using Letters and Sounds, although Read Write Inc. is available for us to use for some children in Year 1 and 2 if needed. We use books from the Oxford Reading Tree as our main source for our Reading scheme, but add books from other providers to ensure breadth and depth, such as National Geographic.
Note: Schools must provide religious education (RE) and sex education but parents can ask for their children to be taken out of the whole lesson or part of it.