At Walter Halls we offer a rich and varied curriculum whilst also focusing on the vital basic skills of reading, writing, maths and language which form the basis of children's educational development and help to create opportunities for children throughout their lives. It is our aim to ensure that all children reach their potential and have opportunities to develop across all subject areas. We strive to engage our learners by including a range of trips, visits and visitors and by adapting learning to suit the interests of the children where possible.
Maths is taught daily. We use the White Rose Maths Scheme supplemented by a range of the latest text books and resources such as Maths No Problem which are a range of books based around the successful Singapore teaching methods. We use lots of equipment and models throughout school to support and embed children's learning and we try to make real life links and provide plenty of application opportunities to bring depth and mastery to the curriculum. Mr Jones is our Maths Lead and he provides support and coaching around school for staff.
English is taught daily and is often linked in to the children's main theme. Many of our themes are based upon high quality texts such as The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Macbeth. The children's English sessions focus on reading and writing. The children will work towards writing a final piece in a specific genre (type of text eg an adventure story or a report). These sessions are not the only way in which elements of English are taught. The children will also have Phonics in Early Years and KS1. We use the Read, Write Inc. Scheme to support this and have seen a huge improvement in the children's reading in school as a result. In KS2 the children will have weekly spelling also taught through the Read, Write Inc. Scheme, Reading comprehension and fast paced discreet grammar sessions also take place each week. We also include cross-curricular writing opportunities where we can. The children read every day when they return from lunch and teachers timetable a class story. Teachers, teaching assistants, our Reading Recovery teachers and volunteers regularly hear the children read. Some children who require extra support work with Anne Garfoot or Chris Hallmark who are our Reading Recovery teachers or carry out a Switch On Reading Program with our trained Teaching Assistants. Bronwen Kwame is our English Lead and she provides support and training on English and Phonics in school.
The Wider Curriculum
At Walter Halls the teachers plan a themed based curriculum. at the beginning of the year they produce an annual overview which shows each terms theme and the subjects which are linked into them as drivers. Each theme has an exit and an entry point. For example the children may start with an experience or a trip to challenge their thinking and promote excitement. All years are expected to include a trip, visit or visitor with every theme. We cover a wide range of topics and staff include opportunities to celebrate diversity for example Walter Tull, Slavery and Islam have been recent KS2 topics. Many themes will be linked into books such as The Secret Life of Dragons. Some subjects may not fit easily into a topic. Where this is the case it will not be forced, rather teachers will plan to teach this discretely. Coverage is ensured as we have a skills overview for each year group and subject leaders audit the coverage every year. The curriculum coverage is shared with parents at our Welcome Meetings in September where they have a chance to comment and ask questions.
PSHE is the teaching of personal, social and health skills. This is covered in different ways in school:
PE is taught each week by the class teachers and sometimes specialist coaches who work alongside the class teachers to support their professional development or who introduce new sports to the children such as tag rugby or street hockey. The children go swimming in Year 2 and 3 where we aim to get as many pupils swimming as possible. Any children who can not swim after this point have additional lessons in later school years.
Music has always been a large part of our school culture. Information about our music provision is outlined in its own section under the Curriculum section on the website.