Curriculum

This is a summary of the curriculum taught at Hollywood. Full details of National Curriculum and the school’s major curriculum policies and schemes of work are available to be looked at in school.  We consult parents on major curriculum and policy changes and provide copies of new policies to every family.

At Hollywood School the Governors and the staff seek to work together with parents to create a constructive working environment for the children. We aim to provide a strong foundation thus enabling each pupil to reach his or her full potential.

We work to create an atmosphere that encourages confidence and self-esteem, where each child is happy, enjoys learning and develops skills for education and life.  The curriculum is stimulating, relevant and varied and the working environment enables the development of individual strengths and co-operative skills.  We always aim to improve on our previous best.

The school community is caring and challenging, where children grow in confidence.  Each child has a significant place in this community, contributing varied abilities and gifts and experiencing its support.  The school has a contribution to make to its neighbourhood, and values contacts with people in the area.

The school has its own carefully planned curriculum policies, which ensure that the children learn the full range of the National Curriculum in a continuous, structured and progressive manner.  The National Curriculum subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Information and Communication Technology, Design and Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art and Physical Education are covered at suitable levels for each age group and for individual children’s ability. These are usually taught through general topics that relate the different subjects under one title.  The school also provides teaching programmes on Health issues, which includes Sex Education. In addition lessons on Religious Education form a part of the children’s learning experiences.

English

English teaching covers speaking, listening, reading and writing and is now mainly taught through the daily Literacy Hour. Opportunities for learning in all these areas are used throughout the child’s school life. The children read on a regular basis during group reading sessions to assist with developing language and reading skills. All pupils are expected to read at home. A wide range of reading materials is used as children progress.  There is a strong emphasis on reading stories and poems as well as factual information.

A planned mix of teaching approaches is used to help younger children with phonics.  Spelling is regarded as important and strategies for teaching accurate spelling are used from years 1 - 6. Children write for a variety of purposes throughout school and there is a valuable book-making tradition.

Parental involvement in children’s reading development is valued. Early in the child’s first year in school, the Reception staff arrange reading/writing talks for parents to discuss our approaches and how parents can help their child. Such meetings are followed up at various times during the child’s time at Hollywood. Children are always encouraged to take books home and we appreciate parental help in this area.

Mathematics

The school uses the now well-established National Numeracy Strategy. which takes a strong mental and oral approach to teaching the Mathematics National Curriculum.  It is highly structured in content and delivery and places an emphasis on whole class teaching.  Practical activity to develop understanding is important and at every level children are expected to apply mathematics in real situations.  Much investigative work is planned alongside the acquisition of basic skills.  Developing good mathematical language is a vital aspect of all our work.  Parents are encouraged to assist children with learning in some areas such as number bonds (e.g. 6+4=10, 7+3=10, 70+30=100) and multiplication tables, which need regular practice.

Children are set by ability in Years 2 – 6. This is to enable the particular needs of groups of children to be more readily addressed. Ongoing monitoring and twice yearly tests help us to track pupil progress. The facility for children to move sets is always available as appropriate.

Science

Science topics are arranged so that all areas of National Curriculum science are revisited every 2 years. This enables the children to experience continuity and progression over a very broad content.  As a core subject children spend a significant amount of class time each week on practical and experimental work.  There is an emphasis on scientific skills and processes as well as knowledge.

Information and Communication Technology  (ICT)

With a fully networked computer suite and at least one computer in every classroom together with digital cameras, scanners, video equipment and programmable toys, we aim to cover every aspect of ICT. The curriculum is broad and incorporates keyboard skills, information retrieval using CD ROMs, graphics, word processing through to newspaper production, control technology for moving technical models and data handling to advanced Excel levels.  This is structured to ensure development in each year and is linked to practical topics in every subject as appropriate. The school is linked to the Birmingham Grid for Learning and Parents can visit our website to gain a further insight into the school.

History and Geography

These subjects are taught, as detailed in the National Curriculum, in topic units and related to the science topics where possible. Termly there is often more of an emphasis on one rather than the other to enable the range of content to be covered in depth with the overall balance ensured over the 6 years.  Visits are a particularly important aspect of our History and Geography work and we appreciate the co-operation of parents in supporting us when these are scheduled to take place.

Design and Technology

The National Curriculum requires that children look at real-life problems, propose solutions, model these, evaluate them and modify them.  We plan such opportunities across the whole curriculum.  This includes sewing and cooking as well as the more engineering aspects of technology. Our Year 6 children progress to advanced work on car design and production supported by a very successful business link with Jaguar.

Art

All children experience a full range of opportunities planned for 2D and 3D artwork from Reception to Year 6, as well as developing an appreciation of art in our own and other cultures. The school maintains a wide variety of materials and equipment for drawing, painting, printing, plasticine, papier mache, clay, wood, fabrics and threads, metals, plaster and photography. The high quality of children’s art, which is displayed around school and in classrooms, is evidence of a strong and varied art curriculum.

Music

The school has a strong musical tradition with it’s own school choir.  At present all children benefit from class lessons that include appreciation of all kinds of music, singing, learning to play instruments, composing and performing.  All Year 3 children have regular opportunities to learn the recorder with a specialist teacher and a chance to develop this in Years 4 – 6.  Children from Year 3 have the opportunity to begin tuition in keyboards, brass, or woodwind.  Small ensembles are developing from these groups and perform regularly in school.

Music Tuition

Charges for Instrumental Tuition from peripatetic music staff are subsidised from the school budget. However parents who accept music lessons for their child are expected to make a financial contribution. This is currently £50.00 per term payable in advance. Even at this level the fees represent exceptional value for money and are well below the actual cost of the lessons. Parents in receipt of Income Support, Working Families Tax Credit or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance may be entitled to a remission of fees. This is to ensure equal access to all children.

Physical Education

At Hollywood Primary School we believe that the Physical Education Curriculum makes a significant contribution to a child’s physical, emotional, intellectual and personal development.  Children’s feelings about their physical ability and their attitude to sport will often carry over into adolescence and adult life.  We aim to provide an enjoyable, satisfying and balanced programme, which will develop these skills and attitudes conducive to involvement in an active and healthy lifestyle.

We aim to promote enjoyment of a physical activity and children take part regularly in gymnastics, dance, fitness exercises, games and team games of all sorts, both indoors and outdoors.  Swimming is available to all Year 3 and Year 4 children.  We have regular visiting skills workshops, often with well-known local sports people, for rugby, cricket, basketball and tennis.  Several after school clubs and teams extend and promote this with inter-school competitions in netball, football, tag rugby, cricket and athletics at different periods throughout the year.

Assessment

Teachers assess the children throughout the year on all their national curriculum work. In addition there is more formal twice-yearly assessment in English and Mathematics to give us a greater amount of information to plan progress and to prepare all children for the national tests (SAT’s) at the end of Year 2 and Year 6.  You will be informed about your child’s progress at parents evenings and in their end of year report. As a result of teacher assessment all children are set targets for improvement. These targets are set in consultation with the pupil and shared with parents.

Religious Education

Education about major world religions with an emphasis on Christianity takes place regularly in every class. School guidelines relate specific class work to History, Geography and Science topics where possible and to festivals and celebrations throughout the year.

Any parent has the right to request that their child be withdrawn from all or part of religious education but we would ask that parents wishing to do so come to school to discuss with us the full implications of withdrawal from this important part of the curriculum.  To help parents we always try to inform them of any visits or activities which may be more sensitive in this area.

Assembly / Daily Act of Collective Worship

By law, provision is made for pupils to attend a daily collective act of religious worship.  This may be in class, in junior or infant groups or whole school and take many forms.  They reflect in the main, the broad traditions of Christian belief whilst including aspects of the festivals and beliefs of other faiths. Children and teachers, the local Vicar and other invited guests may lead these assemblies and parents are invited to those led by their child’s class.

Parents have the right to ask for children to be withdrawn from assembly but we do ask that you come to school to talk to us before making a final decision

Sex and Relationships Education

Sex and Relationships (S&R) Education takes place as a natural part of both our health education programme and work on the life cycles of plants and animals, which form part of the National Curriculum in Science.

Parts of the programme that deal specifically with puberty and human reproduction are normally covered in Years 5 and 6 and parents are told when this is likely to happen during the year. Such issues are dealt with sensitively and involve discussions about emotions, caring relationships, security and stability of families as well as personal health and biological aspects of reproduction. Lessons are usually mixed whole class lessons with the normal class teachers. Some aspects are discussed separately with boys and girls, though all aspects are taught to both.

Parents are welcome to look at teaching plans and organisation of lessons and to discuss their own views with us in order for home and school to be mutually supportive. Parents can withdraw their child from all or part of the sex education provided except that which forms part of the National Curriculum in Science. Parents should discuss any such request with the Head teacher.

A full copy of the schools Health and Sex Education Policy is available on request.

Homework

We promote the use of homework and see it as a valuable tool in developing and expanding academic achievement. Homework is used to extend school learning, by using some time out of school to improve academic attainment and to develop the independence and self-discipline required for successful future study. Our aim is to engage parents/carers in the learning process and to utilise resources for learning, of all kinds, in the home.

Each child in school is set homework each week the amount being determined by the age and, as far as is practical, the ability of the child. Homework is always an extension of work introduced in class or covered as part of “topic work”.  Children will be asked to complete tasks that directly relate to learning being undertaken at school at that time.  Most homework is completed in a separate homework book.  The back page of the book is available for parents/carers to make comments. Where homework is Numeracy/Literacy based, Numeracy is set as part of schools setting arrangements, Literacy homework is linked to the teaching objectives as part of the Literacy Hour. As children get older homework tasks are broadened. However, the focus is still predominately on Maths and English.

Special Educational Needs

It sometimes becomes clear during a child’s time at school that a particular kind of extra support is needed so that the child can take part in every aspect of the national curriculum.  Teachers and parents are both important in identifying these needs.

All teachers will take into consideration the varying abilities in any class and use suitable teaching materials and methods for the range of abilities within all lessons.

We have a specialist teacher in school that can do a more detailed assessment and assist in the development of programmes of work as appropriate. A specialist classroom assistant also helps in the delivery of regular intensive reading programmes for children in small groups. We will tell you if your child has been identified as having a special need and on which stage of the “Code of Practice” they have been placed. “Stage One” is used to describe a child who needs a little extra help from their class teacher to “Stage Five,” children who require a great amount of extra help and/or specialist support.

We often ask advice from other experts such as doctors, specialist visiting teachers or the educational psychologist attached to our school, but parents are always informed and involved in requests for this advice.

Some children have greater and more specific need for extra help and these may be given a “Statement of Special Educational Need” which sets out the kind of help needed so the Local Education Authority can help with its provision.  Again, parents are always fully involved at every stage if it is thought that a statement will be beneficial to the child.

A full copy of the schools Special Educational Needs Policy is available on request.

Curriculum Time

The children will experience weekly, on average, the following amounts of teaching (this excludes registration, break times and assemblies):-

JUNIORS   23.5 HOURS                                           INFANTS   22.0 HOURS