Curriculum Overview for Parents
At Highfields we provide a curriculum that has suitable breadth, depth and relevance so that it meets the needs and interests of our children and provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the real world. We passionately believe in providing a curriculum that is inspiring and engaging for the children. Underpinning our curriculum is carefully planned skills and knowledge progression to ensure that children are taught key skills from each of the subjects in the National Curriculum, thus ensuring that the children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
We use a method of planning which is based around planning a unit of work to incorporate a 'stunning start', a 'marvellous middle' and a 'fabulous finish'; these may take the form of visitors coming into school, special days in school, events or trips out. Trips out take place on a termly basis for most year groups and are always linked to the theme that the children are learning about. The cost of each trip varies and is based on actual costs such as transport and entrance fees.
Staff go to great lengths to prepare their classrooms to reflect the theme that is being taught that term. For example, at any given time you may experience a jungle in the Reception Class, wonder through a circus tent in Year 1 or experience the sights and sounds of a rainforest in Year 4.
Our curriculum is enriched with a variety of music opportunities; all of our children in Year 3 learn to play the trumpet and can continue learning a brass instrument throughout the rest of their time here if they wish. In addition, there are other music lessons available; provided by both Sandwell peripatetic teachers and also through Rocksteady who have formed year group rock bands throughout the school. We also have a large school choir who have performed at venues ranging from the local Salvation Army church hall to the Genting Arena! French is taught for an hour per week from Year 3 to Year 6 and 1 of the two hour sessions of PE is taught by our specialist Sports Coach who teaches a range of lessons covering games, gymnastics, dance and team games. Y4 also have swimming lessons at a local pool.
As a school we believe strongly in the children having first hand experiences and so we also run 2 residentials during a child's time at Highfields. The first is a three day residential in Year 4 where the children attend Boundless Outdoors's Bell Heath centre in nearby Clent. Surrounded by 20 acres of woodland this gives our children to dip their toes into outdoor adventure! Then in Year 6 we offer our children a 5 day residential to Plas Gwynant in Sonwdonia National Park in North Wales. This site is based at the foot of the highest peak in Wales and so we try to combine the power and magic of the natural environment with the challenge of adventurous activities to inspire our children and help them to recognise what they are capable of achieving. Both of these residentials ensure that at Highfields we offer children the opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime!
At Highfields we believe that our curriculum does not tell teachers how to teach, but it focusses on what we believe are the essential knowledge and skills that every child should have so that are able to succeed in the real world, we are free to do this be ensuring our teachers have the freedom to shape the curriculum to their pupils' needs.