The Beech Hill curriculum is designed to develop a passion for learning. Our bespoke, broad and balanced curriculum – addressing academic and social needs - fosters progress, achievement and ambition for all children, recognising and celebrating success in everyone.
We celebrate our rich linguistic diversity and use exposure to vocabulary and language acquisition as the building blocks for our teaching and learning – this filters through the curriculum in its entirety.
In common with all community schools, we follow the National Curriculum.
English and Maths are taught each day. Other curriculum areas are covered at various intervals during the term. At the start of each new academic year a curriculum briefing is held by the year leaders to highlight to parents the overview of subjects/topics, trips, homework and expectations. Every term a curriculum newsletter will be issued to give families more information about what their child is learning.
Phonics is taught systematically using the Letters and Sounds programme https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds (Nursery to Year 2) with spelling support from the THRASS programme. We have dedicated members of staff assigned to support children with no prior phonic or language knowledge.
The No Nonsense Spelling scheme accompanies Letters and Sounds from Year 2 onwards to teach spelling.
Reciprocal and shared reading
Reciprocal reading provides children with the opportunity to be exposed to unfamiliar vocabulary with adult support to aid understanding. In addition, pupils are taught to search for text-based evidence, along with developing their ability to deduce and infer hidden meaning. The opportunity to work in a small, teacher led group provides targeted support to develop oral responses to comprehension questions, as well as small group discussions to compare and contrast responses.
All texts used for shared, reciprocal and whole class reading have been meticulously chosen in order to ensure breadth of text types and authors.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Children with English as an additional language, or pupils who are new to the language, receive 1:1 and group support for integration into the classroom environment. The initial focus for these pupils is basic vocabulary that is used in everyday life at school and at home. Once pupils are settled in and understand the basic language needed, the English as an Additional Language team will continue to develop the pupils’ English skills in all areas through continuous exposure to new vocabulary and pre-teaching.
We are currently working with colleagues from the Bell Foundation on how to improve and support language acquisition within our school. In classes we use communication in print to support and develop vocabulary and language skills.
PE is an important subject. We are fortunate to have a team of sports instructors, two good sized halls and, a recent addition to the school, a MUGA pitch which consists of an all-weather basketball and football pitch. In September 2019 we also introduced a new fitness area consisting of gym equipment which can be used during PE lessons and play times.
All of our children participate in PE and we host a number of sporting activities and clubs during lunch times and after school.
(1996 Education Act)
In our RE teaching we follow the Agreed Luton Syllabus. Children are encouraged to reflect on emotions, moral codes, relationships, the wonders of life and religious stories, beliefs and festivals. These experiences will help them to develop thoughtful and sensitive attitudes to all aspects of religious life.
We encourage children to read to parents as often as possible throughout their time in school. We also encourage parents to share books and stories with children.
Children will receive homework at regular intervals during the term. In early years we encourage parents and children to work together in order develop language skills of the topic studied.
Year Leaders will share expectations with parents about homework during updates and during curriculum briefings, but as a quick reference:
Early Years – Mixture of sounds and words as well as a home reading book and learning log. Around ten minutes per evening.
Years 1/2: Around an hour of homework each week. We encourage children to read every day and complete the activity in their learning log.
Years 3/4: Equivalent of twenty minutes of homework each night. On the whole this is related to English and Maths, reading and their learning log activity.
Years 5/6: Children in Years 5 and 6 are expected to do the equivalent of thirty minutes of homework each night. On the whole this is related to English and Maths targets, reading and their learning log activity.
Assessment is a continual process and is used by teachers to plan the next learning steps for your child. Teachers use observations of children and evidence from their work to make assessments. The progress made by each child is closely monitored by teachers and senior staff each term.
During Year 2 children have end of Key Stage 1 assessments. These are assessments made by the class teacher and backed up by relevant tests (SATs).
The teacher assessments are reported to parents.
At the end of Year 6 pupils will undertake end of Key Stage 2 assessments (SATs) in English and Mathematics. Their results will be sent home at the end of the summer term.
You will receive two written reports during the year. The main report will be passed out before the end of the spring term. This will then be discussed during parents’ consultation evenings. A summary report will be passed out at the end of academic year.
Parent/Carer consultation meetings
There will be an opportunity for parents to meet the staff each term. At these consultations teachers will discuss your child, the progress they are making and will share what your child needs to further develop, so you can also support at home.
If you would like to talk to a teacher about your child between these meetings please contact the class teacher who will schedule an appointment.
We have a number of staff who support small groups and individuals so that all children can achieve to their full potential. If we identify barriers hindering your child’s progress we will discuss this with you. The school has good experience in supporting children with a range of special needs.