Here at Whitehall Park we follow a creative approach to our thematic curriculum. The topics are mapped out across the year groups from Reception classes up to Year 6 using Science as the main driver and all the other subjects are incorporated into the topic through a range of engaging and hands on lessons. The teachers adapt the curriculum throughout the year in order to cater for the needs of the children and to follow their interests. Below are links to the whole school curriculum coverage and each of the year groups with a brief summary of the half termly topics. Please be aware that these plans are likely to be adapted and amended regularly but can be viewed as an example of what is taught in each year level. At Whitehall Park School we pride ourselves on the breadth and depth of our curriculum.
Our curriculum has been developed so that we can deliver exciting and stimulating lessons and topics to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills.
As a free school we are not tied down to the national curriculum as other state schools are. We are free to choose how we teach and what we teach. We have chosen to use the national curriculum as the foundation for our own curriculum. We have designed it to be exciting and inspiring with the children’s enjoyment and love of learning at its heart. The freedom that we have as a free school enables our curriculum to be innovative and responsive. We are able to tailor our curriculum to the needs and interests of our children. For example Year 1 have found that the children really loved their Polar Explorers Topic. The year group was able to explore this topic in greater depth and really immerse themselves in the topic.
Science is the key driver for all topics at Whitehall Park School as we believe that the investigative and skills based features of effective science learning are paramount in developing the whole child.
Rather than being a knowledge based curriculum it instead focuses on research skills and other such capabilities. It has several advantages over discreet subject teaching. For example we can tailor our curriculum to our own children’s interests, needs and abilities; it provides an over-arching theme thereby making learning memorable. It makes the curriculum make sense for children by connecting areas of knowledge rather than separating them and puts an emphasis on learning over knowledge. Knowledge can always be discovered. Learning how to discover is what is truly important.
The Whitehall Park Curriculum encompasses a wide range of learning experiences for the children. Children learn effectively through direct experience. We therefore offer opportunities for pupils, from the earliest stage, to enhance their learning experiences by bringing the Curriculum alive and making their learning more relevant.
We achieve this through the use of well-chosen educational visits, workshops (both on and off site) and topic related costume and role play days. Examples of these include visits to the National Portrait Gallery, the Science Museum and Kew Gardens, workshops relating to The Great Fire of London and World War II evacuees and ‘dressing up’ days for Pirates, Romans and international focuses. Visitors are also invited into school to enhance the curriculum and regularly include authors, artists, parents and other members of our local community.
Below you will find more information about the overarching themes for each term and year level. It details what will be explored and learnt within each theme and the books that will be read to support children’s learning. Please keep in mind that the books listed may change from year to year.