Hamilton Academy

Hamilton Acedemy

Curriculum Statement

Our curriculum uses the national curriculum as a basis, with adaptations and amendments designed to provide our pupils with an exciting, progressive and broad education, one that equips them with the knowledge, aptitudes and skills required to develop an enjoyment of, and promote a commitment to, independent lifelong learning.  We continue to strive to ensure that the curriculum is accessible for all and ensure that discrimination is avoided and that equality of opportunity is promoted, in compliance with the Equality Act 2010.


In order to meet the specific needs of all our pupils, we believe that our curriculum must:

  • Be rich in spoken language; to ensure pupils learn to be articulate and expressive
  • Be culturally rich; to reflect our diverse school population and to develop a sense of wonder and appreciation for cultural religious or personal differences
  • Encourage children to regularly explore diverse, stimulating and high quality books; to ensure they develop a love of reading that also influences and enhances their own writing
  • Be rooted in purposeful real life experience; to make learning meaningful and to develop children’s independence and resilience
  • Make use of the local area and its history; to develop pupils’ sense of place in a wider world, and the place of the local community
  • Promote digital literacy; to ensure pupils are ready for secondary education and life beyond school,
  • Be flexible, responsive and driven by pupils’ needs and interests rather than external pressures
  • Allow time for reflection; to develop pupils’ curiosity and their appreciation of aesthetics
  • Underpinned by our School Values to ensure pupils understand about their own and others’ rights and responsibilities

 At Hamilton Academy we aim to:

  • develop self confidence and independence
  • encourage children to explore and experiment
  • build self esteem
  • encourage pupils to be fluent, articulate and confident
  • provide worthwhile activities appropriate to the age and stage of development of the child.

 By providing a curriculum which:

  • is active and practical
  • is enjoyable and exciting
  • is collaborative and social
  • supports all areas of learning and experience
  • supports effective transition from home to school
  • is planned, progressive and matched to each child’s needs
  • is monitored and recorded
  • builds on, accepts and values previous experiences
  • values the contribution parents make to education by involving them in partnership and
  • communicating the purposes and aims of the school.

 Children should be:

  • talking to adults and other children
  • listening to teachers and other children
  • showing and sharing their work
  • asking questions and finding answers
  • collecting and selecting the materials they need
  • absorbed in their learning
  • working on one task or activity for increasing lengths of time
  • taking pride in their own and others achievements
  • developing, practicing and mastering skills
  • playing
  • reading, writing, calculating, drawing and painting
  • singing, moving
  • planning, composing, making and evaluating things
  • watching
  • demonstrating
  • experimenting
  • explaining and describing their work
  • helping each other, working in groups
  • understanding the work they do
  • making mistakes, taking risks with their learning
  • trying new things
  • working in groups of varying sizes, gender balance, ability range, for a range of activities
  • taking things home and bringing things to school.

 Teachers should be:

  • planning, organising, offering experiences and activities for children
  • providing a broad active and practical curriculum which motivates children
  • providing a stimulating environment, activities and resources
  • organising their work, children’s tasks, the classroom environment and equipment
  • planning tasks and activities that meet the needs of individuals and groups
  • balancing teaching, supporting, encouraging independence and experiment
  • observing children; monitoring, assessing and recording their learning
  • encouraging children to experiment, take responsibility and make mistakes in a supportive environment
  • recognising the achievements of children (individuals and groups), parents and other adults
  • giving positive feedback and setting new targets
  • setting new targets and challenges that ensure progress for each child through awareness of children’s attainment
  • consolidating skills and knowledge by relevant and varied practice
  • setting standards and rules and helping children to understand them
  • evaluating the curriculum
  • talking with children, teachers, parents
  • listening to children, teachers and parents
  • organising the work of other adults working in the classroom
  • providing models of behaviour
  • working as part of a team, providing skills, information and support and benefiting from the contributions of others
  • reading and keeping up to date with educational research and developments
  • considering their own professional development
  • experimenting, trying new ideas.

 Classrooms where the above principles are evident, have the following features:

  • children’s involvement in the organisation of the room
  • high quality displays
  • maximum use of all available resources
  • a stimulating environment
  • make use of high quality resources
  • good organisation
  • ready independent and supported access to resources
  • information for children which encourages their independence
  • excellent models of behaviour and learning
  • opportunities to talk, plan, describe
  • evaluation by teachers and children and the setting of next steps in learning
  • opportunities to make decisions and mistakes
  • opportunities to work alone or in groups
  • time to concentrate and complete things
  • public recognition of children’s achievements
  • clear purposes and understanding
  • well matched tasks and clear expectations
  • practical applications
  • open-ended tasks and activities
  • clear purpose and planning based on practical experience
  • problem solving and independent learning are supported.



Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Statement

At Hamilton Academy we view the foundation years (3-5 year olds) as a basis for all future learning. We seek to develop each child’s potential through a broad and balanced curriculum in a secure, caring and creative environment. In Nursery and Reception classes, our Early Years Curriculum is based on the revised Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and is planned to lead smoothly into the National Curriculum at KS1 in a way in which is relevant and meaningful to all children. All children learn through play with a combination of child-initiated and teacher-led learning opportunities both indoors and in our outdoor area. There are seven areas of learning:

Three Prime areas of learning:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Physical Development

Four Specific areas of learning:

Understanding the World
Expressive Art and Design

For each area of learning there is a set of developmental stages and early learning outcomes which describe what each child is expected to be learning at each stage. Children are observed during play in order to assess their stage of development and in order to plan for the next steps in their learning.

More information about the Early Years Curriculum can be found by clicking herehttps://www.gov.uk/early-years-foundation-stage

Phonics and Reading:

At Hamilton Academy children in Reception and KS1 follow a synthetic phonics programme entitled Teaching Letters and Sounds. It is an approach to teaching phonics, in which individual letter sounds are blended together to form groups of sounds, which can then be read as complete words. Daily phonics sessions, lasting no more than 25 minutes, in both Reception and KS1 are engaging and fun using the children’s active participation through speaking, listening and interactive games. They then learn to use and apply their phonic knowledge in their independent play, reading and writing activities.

At the end of Year 1 children are assessed using a national screening test, which requires each child to read aloud forty ‘nonsense’ words using their phonetic knowledge. The result of this test is reported to both parents and sent to central Government for comparison between schools nationally. Any child who does not meet the required standard in this assessment repeats the test again at the end of Year 2.

We understand that reading gives children access to the wider curriculum and the world around them. Therefore, we use a combination of reading programmes, including Oxford Reading Tree, to ensure that children become competent and confident readers across a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.