Curriculum Aims

Our Beliefs Our curriculum is exciting and draws from the best of what has been. It is knowledge-engaged and broad and balanced. We understand the importance of ensuring our children are not offered a narrowed curriculum. Our curriculum is ambitious for all our pupils including those with SEND and the most disadvantaged. We have a key role in addressing social disadvantage and ensuring our children have the very best chance of future success and happiness. Our curriculum is designed to be ambitious for our SEND pupils whilst ensuring it is adapted to develop knowledge, skills and ability with increasing fluency and independence. Our curriculum is coherently planned around individual subjects rather than topics. This ensures that everything we teach is planned with a secure progression of knowledge and skills. Links are drawn between related learning points which also ensures prior learning is recapped often within a different subject.
Adapting the Curriculum
National Curriculum
 We ensure that our children are taught the National Curriculum and don’t just encounter it. We believe that learning has occurred when a child has experienced a change in their long-term memory.
We recognise that many of our learners do not have a broad base of key vocabulary. This must be addressed within our curriculum to prevent this from affecting children’s outcomes.
We recognise that the constituency in which the school sits has higher than average rates of obesity. Liskeard West and Dobwalls has the highest rate of childhood obesity and excess weight in Cornwall. It also ranks in the top 12% of all council wards in England.
Community & Cornish Roots
We ensure that our children experience the best that Cornwall has to offer so that they appreciate the beautiful landscape and enriching opportunities that are ‘on our doorstep’.
Multicultural Links
We embrace a rich, diverse British culture and actively seek out opportunities for our children to experience the multi-culturalism that they may not experience in their home country. Beyond Britain, we ensure our children develop an understanding of, and curiosity about, the wider world, preparing them for their role as a global citizen.
Our school values are embedded into our learning: challenge, resilience, aspiration, courage and kindness.

 Reading  We recognise that reading is key when assuring the future prosperity of our children. Early Reading
The systematic use of synthetic phonics scheme (RWI) gives children the building blocks to blend sounds into words. This is matched with whole word recognition and comprehension strategies to ensure fluency and understanding go hand-in-hand with phonic decoding.
As children progress in their reading skills, we ensure books are matched to their ability initially using RWI phonics matched books until children progress onto the Accelerated Reader scheme.
We understand the importance of children building a wide and varied vocabulary and don’t leave this to chance. From EYFS through to Year 6, our teachers teach new vocabulary through topics and by reading a range of rich challenging texts.
Reading Skills
We recognise the importance of word recognition going hand in hand with language comprehension. We ensure that teachers teach children all the skills they need to be accomplished readers.
Love Reading
Teaching children to read without installing a love of reading is only doing half a job. We want our children to devour books, opening up the wide world of rich literature.
RADAR Principles Ready?
Before we teach anything, we ensure that our children are ready to learn it and that they don’t have gaps which may lead to misconceptions. This is done through effective AfL.
Acquire Knowledge & Skills
When we are teaching, we think it is important that children acquire, and are not just introduced to, key knowledge and key skills. This ensures, for example, that children haven’t just been introduced to the Romans but that they actually know the key aspects of the Roman unity. This is achieved through deliberate practice.
Develop Knowledge and Skills
Although, the teacher modelling key skills and passing on knowledge is important, it is also important that children develop their knowledge and skills. Without this, there is a danger that the curriculum could become spoon-fed.
Apply Knowledge and Skills
At Hillfort, we believe that children should have, express and be able to justify an opinion.
Learning has only taken place if there has been a change in long-term memory. Our teachers support children to recap and retain key knowledge and skills so that they know more, remember more and can do more.
Teaching: Acquiring Knowledge and Skills Modelling
When teachers are modelling new learning, they understand the importance of breaking it into small steps and achieving success at each step before moving on. Aspects of modelling include using explicit narration, a completed version and a conceptual model.
We recognise the importance of children practising key skills to embed them into their long-term memory. This practice is controlled. It starts as guided practice and, only once children are secure, are they allowed to move to independent practice. This ensures that children don’t practice is wrong. This enables children to free up working memory as they achieve automatically in skills and knowledge.
Recap and Recall
We ensure that learning is not fleeting. Recap is mapped into our curriculum so that once children acquire new knowledge and skills, they don’t lose them.
Subject Leadership Subject Knowledge
Our subject leaders are the experts in their area. They have subject specific knowledge and skills which enable them to lead their subject for the whole school.
Subject Pedagogy
Our subject leaders are the experts in the pedagogy of their subject.
Subject Specific SEND
Working closely with the school’s SENDCo, our subject leaders understand how specific SENs need to be supported within their subject.
Building Cultural Capital
Subject leaders understand the importance of building cultural capital and build in opportunities for this into their long-term plans. This includes ensuring that children have access to high quality experiences outside of the classroom. Eg trips, visitors, residentials, and charity / community events.
Subject leaders understand the importance of reading around the curriculum for children to acquire tier 2 vocabulary. Opportunities for reading are therefore built into their long term plans.
Planning Subjects not Topics
We have a linear curriculum model which ensures that all subjects are taught and given equitable curriculum time. What we teach in any subject is chosen because it is important in that subject. Links are made between subjects horizontally, vertically and obliquely where they are useful for children in securing a deeper understanding.
Long Term & Medium Term Planning
Long term and medium term planning is written by our subject leads. We have high expectations and ensure work is demanding and matches the aims of the curriculum.
Short Term Planning
Individual lessons are mapped by our subject leads, and delivered by class teachers. All lessons have a clear purpose. Some lessons may be tightly mapped by the subject lead whereas others may be left more open for class teachers to be creative in the delivery of the task.
Teacher Workload
We value our teachers and understand the importance of managing workload. This is particularly evident in our assessment and feedback policy. In addition, we have a staff welfare committee lead by a governor.
We use a variety of assessment methods including GL standardised tests. We use the information gathered efficiently and effectively to promote progress.
Assessment & Attainment How we assess academic standards
National Tests, GL Assessment, AR Star Reader, RWI Assessments
Analysis undertaken by class teachers / subject leaders / SLT
Reviewed by Governors
How we assess that children are ready for the next stage of their learning
Transition meetings
PASS survey
Analysis of key skills: Reading, Writing, Maths, Science
Analysis of wider curriculum: knowledge and skills
How we assess children’s personal development
Analysis of attendance
Analysis of behaviour
PASS survey
Pupil Conferencing & Questionnaires
Evaluation Governance
Full Governors Meeting
1 x per half term
Core Committee Meeting
1 x half term
Governors attend book looks and pupil conferencing
Half termly review of curriculum
Regular review of data
Book Looks
Work scrutiny
Pupil Conferencing
Planning Conferencing
Drop ins
Phase & Subject Leaders
Regular review of data – pupil progress meetings
Book Looks
Work Scrutiny
Pupil Conferencing
Planning Conferencing
Drop ins
Parents & Community
Ofsted Parent View
Regular meetings with community groups
Staff Welfare Committee
Collaborative approach
Pupil Conferencing
Curriculum Ambassadors
School Council