Making a Difference
A Memorable Curriculum
At Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School we offer a broad and balanced curriculum which enriches the children's vocabulary, provides them with both declarative (facts) and procedural knowledge (skills and ways of knowing) through fun experiences and hands on learning. Our curriculum is influenced by the principles and values of the Swedish curriculum, equipping our children with life skills and a love of the outdoors.
We embrace the Danish Hygge approach to living well, focusing on being in the moment and embracing feelings of warmth, simplicity and togetherness.
Our curriculum is called 'Making a Difference' as all of our learning is guiding our children to grow and develop into wonderful and thoughtful citizens who make a difference to their community and society and take social action whilst taking ownership of their own actions.
Units of learning and components will work towards a purposeful act that will make a difference. Our curriculum plan is strategically sequenced to ensure that children build upon their previous learning and gain the knowledge and vocabulary for their next sequence or component of learning. Subject areas are built through concepts which enable children to develop schemas and make connections with their learning.
Planning for learning sessions is built around components of knowledge and are embedded to promote automaticity for children to be fluent in the subject.
The curriculum is created for the children of Swaffham and a curriculum that aims to meet the needs of the community by influencing speaking and listening, social skills, respect, responsibility and enhancing cultural capital.
Golden Threads of the curriculum
The golden threads of the 'Making a Difference' curriculum at Heartwood are influenced by the Church of England's vision for education. We aim to deliver excellence in education and we strive for the best outcomes to enable all children to flourish. An excellent education must promote life in all its fullness and this is what our curriculum sets out to do through the 3 golden strands which are informed by the local demographic need for our children.
Our golden threads are:
Making a difference- society, environment, school relationships, others and social action
Academic aspirations- quality teaching an learning throughout the whole curriculum. Window into the wide world of future aspirations
Wellbeing- mental health, relationships, self-esteem, conflict management, RSHE, living well together
How do we teach our curriculum at Heartwood?
Subjects are taught in their own discipline which provides a curriculum aims to inspire our children to become artists, historians, scientists, designers, musicians, computing scientists, mathematicians, writers, readers, geographers and sports men and women. We use different vehicles, methods and strategies to teach different subjects of the curriculum, these are evidence based to ensure the best delivering and implementation of the curriculum content. These include; forest school, Mantle of the Expert (see below), drama, specialised teachers (art, football and music). Children are taught the knowledge and vocabulary that they need to know for the subject in order to apply to different contexts as 'skills'.
Please click on the subjects below to find our more about the subject and how it is taught at Heartwood.
Mantle of the Expert
At Heartwood we use the Mantle of the Expert drama based approach to support children with making connections with their learning and internalising in the long-term memory.
Mantle of the Expert does not mean the students are magically endowed with expertise. In the real world they are still children. It is only inside the fiction they work ‘as if’ they are experts. That is in the sense that they take on the powers and responsibilities of a team of experts, working on important assignments, caring about the things they do, and taking pride in their status.
The creation of a fictional context where the students experiment with making decisions, taking on responsibilities, and meeting challenging situations, is a kind of ‘safe zone’ within the classroom. Unlike in the real world, where children would rarely, if ever, have the kinds of experiences generated by MoE, in an imaginary world they can explore, discuss, and evaluate them as if they were real.
Stories are important for the organisation and retrieval of knowledge. Stories have been used as pathways for memories for tens of thousands of years- long before the invention of writing.
Mantle of the Expert is an approach that organises curriculum learning- knowledge, vocabulary and understanding- through stories created with the students in the classroom. These generate pathways in the process.
Fundamentally this what the approach is all about.
78 of the things that children at Heartwood Primary experience before they are 12
Enhancing our educational offer we have the '78 of the things that children at Heartwood Primary experience before they are 12' which enhances our curriculum offer and gives our children a wealth of experiences, skills and vocabulary.
Find information about our curriculum subjects here. If you require any further information regarding the curriculum we follow please email or call the school Office and ask for Mrs McMillen who would love to discuss further.
Please see the Life Skills page on the main curriculum page for more information on how we implement the Relationships, Sex and Education curriculum.
Our curriculum is designed to make a difference globally as well as locally.
We plan in enrichment weeks across the school which are led by the children's interests. Teachers plan a progressive sequence of experiences for the children over the week.
At Heartwood, promoting diversity is an extremely important value.
We are proud to be part of the Norfolk Diocese Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working party group.
We are aware that our Primary school consists predominantly of white British pupils. Their day-to-day experiences do not expose them to a very broad cultural background. One of our areas for improvement is to help children learn more about the customs and beliefs of the many different communities in our own country and to develop the core values of acceptance and respect. Conversations with and between children demonstrate a lack of awareness of diversity at times – we want to change this and to challenge stereotypical views.
At Heartwood, diversity is celebrated throughout as many curriculum areas as possible and we are constantly seeking opportunities to extend this further. Our aim is to provide as many opportunities as possible in order for our children to widen and enrich their understanding and acceptance of different cultures.
We are conscious that diversity is not an add on thing. Our books, resources and toys reflect a wide range of cultures and diversities. Celebrations of key black influencers, both male and female are carefully planned throughout the school curriculum.
What will the children be learning each half term?
Promoting Fundamental British Values
In accordance with The Department for Education we aim to actively promote British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is "right" and "wrong", all people living in England are subject to its law.
The Key Values are: