At Holme Hall Primary School, we offer a positive climate where children are encouraged to develop their learning, practise their skills and become confident learners through cross-curricular themes. We have developed a knowledge-engaged curriculum rich with innovative and exciting learning opportunities built upon our core, underpinning values.

Taking a thematic approach, the curriculum has been organised under topic headings for each year group, each topic having a primary subject focus. Creative planning ensures that as well as discrete teaching in some subject areas, cross-curricular links are made and National Curriculum 2014 Programmes of study for KS1, KS2 and EYFS are delivered through the topics, ensuring breadth and balance in core and foundation subjects. Hooks for learning engage the children from the beginning, while working towards authentic outcomes for each topic provides real purpose which motivates children to produce high quality work. Literacy skills are taught within the context of the topic and the focus on written work is central to every topic. We aim to provide opportunities for children to be creative, flexible and innovative in their approach to learning and developing new skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for future success.

At Holme Hall Primary School, we actively promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. We uphold and teach children about the fundamental ‘British Values’ which are defined as: democracy; rule of law; individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. These values are taught explicitly through Jigsaw PSHE and Religious Education (R.E), assemblies and special presentations while our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for children to explore these values

For further details about the Jigsaw PSHE curriculum please see below.

Reading at Holme Hall Primary School
Over the past year, we’ve worked really hard to raise the profile of reading: we’ve introduced Book Group and held a number of whole school reading events including Books on Blankets, Big Book Swap and a highly successful sponsored read which raised money for the purchase of new books for our school library. Our Junior Librarians are in charge of organising our library and promoting various authors and genres and we have a lunch-time book club for KS1 children which is run by one of our Year 5 Star Learners.

We feel that we are succeeding in creating a real community of readers. By this we mean that our children read, and read a lot! Many of our children read because they want to read, not just because they have to read. They read because they’re captivated by the story they’re reading; they read because they want to find out information; they read because they love reading. And the more they read, the better they become at it; and the better they are at reading, the easier it is and the more they want to do it. They begin to read more challenging texts, broadening their vocabulary and deepening their thinking. Michael Rosen, former Children’s Laureate and author of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ says: ‘If we don’t learn to love books, we don’t read. And if we don’t read widely, we don’t think deeply.’ And we want our children to be thinkers. We want them to be independent learners who know the joy of books. It is vitally important that children learn the skills needed for reading but it’s as important that they learn to enjoy reading.

Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers. As well as raising attainment, there are numerous other benefits of reading for pleasure and a growing number of studies show that promoting reading can have a major impact on children, adults and their future. According to the DfE in ‘Research evidence on reading for please’, some of the main areas of benefit to reading for pleasure include:

  • Reading attainment and writing ability;
  • Text comprehension and grammar;
  • Breadth of vocabulary;
  • Positive reading attitudes;
  • Greater self-confidence as a reader;
  • Pleasure in reading in later life;
  • General knowledge;
  • A better understanding of other cultures;
  • Community participation;
  • A greater insight into human nature and decision-making

‘Research evidence on reading for pleasure’ – (DfE, 2012)

Reading for pleasure is about choosing to spend time reading and that is something that parents can support from a very early age. Children who are read to, read with and listened to even before they start school, not only develop early reading skills but they begin to see the value in books and the pleasure that books can bring. As we work on developing those skills at school, it’s vitally important that children see the value of reading at home too. For this reason, we ask that you spend at least a few minutes a day sharing a book with your young children and listen to them practise their skills as they become more independent.

Book Group
Book Group is dedicated reading time across the Key Stage when every child goes to their group to read, discuss and enjoy a shared text. The aim of Book Group is to foster in the children a love of real books and reading for pleasure while at the same time developing the skills necessary to access high quality texts. There is a real focus on vocabulary and we ensure that children are given the chance to explore and widen their own vocabulary through exposure and exploration of a rich diet of words.

The main focus of Book Group is reading and most of each session is spent reading text, either together as a group, in pairs or individually. Children are also asked to carry out practical activities such as role-play, debating or hot-seating to support their understanding of the text and to help them explore characters’ motives.

In KS1 and the lower level groups in lower KS2, phonics teaching takes place at the beginning of each session. Phonic skills are then applied when reading the shared text together, thus consolidating understanding and encouraging transference of skills.

Curriculum Timetable