Our Curriculum Vision and Ethos
Hennock prides itself on being a wonderful place in which children and adults can grow, challenge themselves and learn. Our staff and families support each other and are fully committed to nurturing children as ‘thinkers’, ‘achievers’ and ‘risk takers’. It’s a place where excellence is expected and successes are celebrated alongside positive efforts – a small school can celebrate achievement for all. We encourage children to know themselves well, to be adventurous and to hold resilience at the very core of their being.
Responsibility and respect play a big role in our culture. Our School Council strap line ‘To Make a Difference’ is just as it says. Pupils play a real and significant part in shaping their school and contributing to their community. They are passionate, generous and well-informed. It is our aim that every pupil feels like they belong at Hennock, and this is naturally followed by the fact that they will achieve, often beyond their own expectations. Instilling a sense of self-belief through valuing, encouraging and insisting on high expectations is something we look for daily – we recognise here that every communication matters.
Our creative approach to learning drives our growth as pupils, staff and families. Our curriculum is led by an approach steeped in experiences and hands-on learning. We strive to ensure that personal engagement underpins all we do and give time to the importance of learning to learn – children discussing their own thoughts and feelings as learners is fully embedded in our ethos. We ‘squeeze’ every available learning opportunity for our pupils out of the minutes they spend in our care with the aim of developing a lifelong love of learning.
As a part of the Link Academy Trust, we want to be known to be nationally recognised for putting our pupils first by:
- Delivering educational excellence underpinned by strong moral values
- Each learner exceeding their aspirations in a quality learning environment
- Highly motivated, research-led, passionate teaching
- Schools being at the heart of and an integral part of their community
- Being a partner of choice
Our mission is to deliver the best for our children, families and communities through:
- Innovative approaches to learning
- The development of partnership and collaborative working to create a cutting edge approach
- An uncompromising approach to health, safety, nurturing and inclusion
We will achieve this by investment in:
- High quality provision for staff and their pathways to success
- School environments that provide stimulating learning spaces
- Strong business planning to maximise the Trust’s geographical range and collective expertise
The Hennock message is simply that we want all the children to feel the warm glow of success and be motivated individuals who are constantly striving to do exceptional things.
A 5-star education and our 5-star pledge:
During their time in our school, children will be offered the opportunity to:
- To perform to an audience in a professional environment
- To grow, harvest, cook and serve a meal
- To learn a survival skill and put it to the test
- To use initiative to make something out of nothing
- To make a difference to other people’s lives, both locally and further afield
We believe that a broad, balanced, creative curriculum will enable children to flourish. With this in mind we have implemented a programme of enriching activities, visits and memorable experiences which underpin our five star core offer.
Children spent a week “off timetable” where they take part in enriching experiences such as city visits, love your school days, STEM workshops, author visits, crafting and learning new skills, sports, nature walks, farming and natural learning, Dartmoor on our Doorstep challenge walks and more.
Natural Learning underpins our curriculum and we plan for opportunities to use natural spaces to enhance learning. The national curriculum is woven through natural learning and we build social and emotional skills to encourage solid learning behaviours. Strands of the PSHE curriculum are taught through natural learning so that child have skills for life.
Many of our extra-curricular clubs offer children opportunities beyond traditional sports taught in PE such as skating and scootering club, badminton and orienteering.
Children have the opportunity to take part in a nationally recognised qualification – the Arts Award – where they learn from a range of artists and performers to create their own projects. The arts (music, drama, dance, art and design) are further supported through Christmas production, art and music project, DAISI experiences and any other opportunities that allow children to create.
‘Back To School’ sessions
We invite parents into school on a termly basis to share in children’s learning and update parents on how subjects are taught in school.
Experience events linked to the church calendar and national events:
Harvest, Remembrance Day, Christmas Nativities & Carol in the community, Easter and leavers services. We also support various charities throughout the year and take opportunities where we can to engage in local and national events such as Climate Change Day, World Book Day and Internet Safety Week.
Together with, and underpinning our core offer, we ensure that our curriculum has its roots in knowledge and skills. Our teaching of reading is well established and we have systems in place for ensuring that children secure basic skills at the earliest point possible. We teach writing through the Talk for Writing approach and use synthetic phonics and No-nonsense Spelling and Grammar to support skills children need to acquire. Alongside this staff ‘forensically’ analyse children’s written work to enable focussed targets.
Our maths teaching is through a mastery approach. The children are exposed to discussions, vocabulary and CAPED (check it, another way (show), prove it, explain, draw your learning). This ensures children’s understanding of new concepts is both secure and challenged.
The core curriculum at Hennock is of a high standard and supports our creativity. It focuses on the necessary priorities for ensuring that all pupils make excellent progress in reading, writing and maths. It allows for progress within all groups of children across the school and results in high standards. We also put children’s emotional development at the core of everything we do and use a wide range of strategies (Thrive, ELSA, Attachment-based mentoring) across the whole school to ensure our children are happy, feel emotionally secure and are ready to learn.
Our Early Years curriculum is designed with the characteristics of effective learning and development matters at its core. Beyond EYFS, the curriculum ensures coverage of the statutory requirements of the national curriculum. The school’s curriculum builds on pupils’ prior learning and develops deep understanding of the material covered, introduces subject content progressively and constantly demands more of pupils embedding reading, writing and communication, and maths where appropriate, across all subjects. We aim to develop pupils who love the challenge of learning, are resilient to failure and are curious to seek out new information to deepen knowledge, understanding and skills.
The curriculum has been designed making the best use of our unique staff and their varying experiences and skills, our children’s passions and interests and the passions of our families who often share their expertise with us. Through our curriculum design, we aim for our children to think and talk like historians, designers, artists, scientists (etc.) being immersed in a subject which carries real meaning and purpose.
Our two-year programme was created in 2018/19 in conjunction with Bearnes Primary School to ensure children are being taught broad and balanced curriculum that has engaging and exciting content, linked to the requirements of the National Curriculum, and topics/themes that link to our rural locality and the children’s interests. These are available to view on this website but may alter yearly as we aim to make the most of learning from local, national and global events.
At Hennock, the curriculum is brought alive by the range of quality resources used by the staff. ‘Hooks’/inquiry days are used to engage and enthuse pupils who inquire and use their curiosity to pose questions and design part of their own learning journey.
The importance of inquiry learning is that pupils learn how to continue learning. This is something they can take with them throughout life -- beyond parental help and security, beyond a textbook, beyond the time of a teacher, beyond school -- to a time when they will often be alone in their learning. A tool for life.
Resources we use may include:
- Forest School
- Vertically grouped themed days
- Local artists
- Farm visits
- Developing, growing harvesting and cooking from our school garden
- Local businesses
- Visits to places of worship
- Visitors with specific skills, event programmes or from different cultural backgrounds,
- Educational visits linked to our topics,
- Parent expertise,
- Stem leaders,
- Museum visits,
- Zoo/wildlife centre visits
- Residential centres
- Story tellers
This list is not exhaustive, but is a sample of the many ways we engage and enthuse children, families and staff.
Reviewing and evaluating
Life at school is never dull; education is constantly changing and evolving in order to meet the needs of the world in which we live, and to prepare the children for the world in which they will live as adults. As a staff we never feel that we have quite finished planning our curriculum as we always want to create an even better product for the children in our care.
With this in mind, we review our curriculum on a 2-year cycle. Through collecting the views of our school council, pupils - via questionnaires, and staff discussion we review its current impact and aim to continue to personalise our curriculum for Hennock, making the most of our children, families, community and environment.
We review and evaluate our curriculum and 2-year rolling programme; strategically planning our 5 Star Core offer and enrichment activities to ensure high levels of interest, enthusiasm, challenge and motivation.
We will ensure:
- Each topic is enrichment led – share ideas, develop what is in place now.
- Enrichment activities will underpin each block of learning.
- Make community links for events and people where possible.
- Ensure our pupils’ voice impacts on school curriculum
- Ensures our pupils’ horizons are broadened and prepares them to be global citizens and life-long learners.
- Design with our pupils in mind, to support them and to build on their skill and knowledge set.
- Extended better use of outdoor learning.
- Key vocabulary is clearly identified and taught to enable best outcomes.
- Our curriculum offers children opportunities to think and talk like an expert in each area of the curriculum.
Throughout our curriculum design process, our principles and values stand strong; we are a school with a view to giving children the best education possible