Curriculum Overview

At Hawthorn we give our children a curriculum that gives them the basic skills they need to be ready for the next stage of education at secondary school, the key skills they need for life and work, and a love for learning and finding things out. We want children to be excited about coming to school.

The curriculum is planned according to the children’s needs, within the new National Curriculum 2014 framework. Children are involved in the initial discussions about their termly or half-termly topics so that their interests and needs can be met. We follow a thematic curriculum approach so that children can see how links can be made within and across the wider curriculum.

With the children, the class teacher identifies aspects of the topic given that they would like to focus on over the duration of their learning. From these initial discussions, the teacher is then able to devise a topic web that illustrates a thematic approach to the topic. Opportunities for extended writing across the topic are identified so that we can maintain a rigorous focus on developing writing across school.

All topic webs are available on the Class pages so parents can see exactly what their children are doing that term.

We give the children every opportunity to learn in different ways. We have used the Mantle of the Expert (drama based approach) this year in some classes to engage the children by making their learning relavant and real. The children have loved it and the teachers learned new ways to approach tricky subjects!

Daily plans show the specific National Curriculum objectives being covered and the activities groups of children will be doing to meet these objectives. Plans are flexible and will change as a result of assessment for learning to meet the needs of individual children.

Religious Education is taught discretely and in accordance with the agreed local authority RE syllabus.
Not all subjects will be covered each term but all objectives (from the 2014 National Curriculum) will be covered across the Key Stages.

Reading and Phonics

Reading plays a vital role in the development and education of your child. At Hawthorn we ensure that pupils have lots of opportunities to read in lots of different contexts and for different reasons. We continually strive to promote a love of reading to ensure that pupils are ready for the next stages in their learning and to make sure that they will learn to love books and words.

We encourage parents to become involved in reading activities with their child. A group of Reception parents have become reading ambassadors for our school and will help us to raise the profile of reading across the school.


In Key Stage One we deliver a consistent approach to phonics. We follow a combination of Letters and Sounds and Read, Write Inc specially adapted to our school. Every pupil in Key Stage One works through the programme to help them decode (sound out) words that they read and spell. Children are in ability groups based on the up to date information about how well they are doing. Videos are available to help parents help thier child to practise their phonics at home.

Reading is linked to understanding what they have read. Links are made between reading, writing and phonics through short writing activities. Using small group work, on a daily basis, allows staff to pin point any individuals who may need additional support in this area, planning intervention activities if needed.
Teachers will always keep you informed if your child is having additional support.

Reading schemes in Key Stage 1 and 2

Pupils have opportunity to choose their own book from reading schemes Spotlights, Rigby Star, Oxford Reading tree, Read Write Inc. The children are guided to choose each new book by staff and to make them more challenging each time. As children progress and become more confident when reading, they are encouraged to choose their own reading book from outside a scheme, although a member of staff will always read with your children to check that it is appropriate for them.

Opportunities for reading

Pupils also read regularly in other areas of the curriculum and in other parts of the school day through:

Guided Reading - Teachers work with small groups of pupils to teach specific and targeted reading skills in a book or text that is sufficiently challenging.
Whole class Reading lessons – staff have had additional training from September 2016 to ensure lessons are appropriate for all groups. This allows children to look at a text in more depth to help develop a range of reading skills upon which they base their writing.
Reading Across the Curriculum - Pupils read a range of books linked to other areas of their learning and their topics. They will often use these texts for research and as a prompt for a writing activity. Sometimes, this reading will also help the work children complete in their English lessons.
Class novels - In all classes, books are read to pupils allowing them to hear good examples of reading aloud and to develop a love for reading books themselves. Class books are shared with pupils, where they read along with the teacher. This gives children the chance to discuss what they are reading with both the class teacher and the other children in their class.
Children take books home every week - Parents' workshops are held regularly to show parents how to read with their child and how to ask challenging questions to check understanding. Children also have weekly reading homework which focuses on a specific skill in reading.
Y6 children take a book home every night, they write book reviews and report back to the other children in their class. This is regularly checked by a member of staff.