Curriculum

Reading Museum 26th Nov 013At Highfield we strive to instil a lifelong love of learning in our girls and to foster curiosity and an enquiring mind. We do this through our creative curriculum. Our teachers have the freedom to move away from teaching discrete, isolated subjects and develop more innovative and effective approaches to teaching in order to create a curriculum that is tailored to their class and the children’s specific needs and interests.

Each term teachers plan a unit of work based upon science, geography or history focus that teaches the key skills they need to learn across a range of topics. For example, in the Year 1 topic ‘Up, Up and Away’ the girls based their learning upon texts such as ‘Cloudland’ by John Burningham and use this as stimulus to research famous pioneers of flight, design their own kite in Design Technology or investigate wind power or cloud formation in Science. Often when planning a unit our teachers have the end ‘goal’ in sight but skilfully allow the girls’ natural curiosity to lead the learning during the term.

HighfieldPrep_CuttingWireOur creative curriculum ensures that our girls are excited about their learning, feel involved in the process and have a level of anticipation about what will happen next. A creative curriculum is not simply about making links between subjects, although this is an important part of it. It is about finding ways to inspire the girls by drawing in skills from art, music, technology, dance and drama. Creativity is about inspiring through memorable learning experiences. Creativity can be a platform for establishment of personalised learning, enabling the girls to think for themselves, branching out into areas of curiosity and interest.

Recent topics have included:

Year 1UP, UP and AWAY!
Science focus
EXPLORERS and ADVENTURERS
Geography & History focus
GLORIOUS GARDENS and MARVELLOUS MINIBEASTS
Science focus
Year 2FIRE! FIRE!
History focus
CHOCOLATE
Geography & design focus
CARNIVAL of the ANIMALS
Science focus
Year 3THE GROOVY GREEKS
History focus
I LOVE WHERE I LIVE
Geography and social understanding focus
WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Geography and science focus
Year 4THE POWER OF WATER
Geography and science focus
THE ANGRY AZTECS
History focus
THE AWESOME EGYPTIANS
History focus
Year 5SCANDINAVIA AND THE VIKINGS
Geography and history focus
KENSUKE'S KINGDOM
Geography and literacy focus
THE VICTORIANS
History focus
Year 6WORLD WAR II
History, geography and social understanding focus
WORLD WAR II
History, geography and social understanding focus

img_0008ICT is used to develop their learning and present their work, across all areas of the curriculum. PE, music and French are taught by specialist teachers and there is a generous allocation of time for each of these important activities. In Year 2 children can start individual music lessons if they are ready. This is done in conjunction with the Director of Music who will advise parents as to what might be the best instrument for their daughter to play. All the children perform on stage in the Christmas production and in class assemblies.

Pupils in Years 1 to 6 receive specialist teaching in French, PE, Swimming and Music. In the Upper School girls benefit from specialist Science lessons and in Years 5 and 6 specialist English and Maths teaching is added to the repertoire.

HighfieldPrep_KewGardensIn Year 6 we offer girls additional tuition in preparation for Common Entrance examinations and support a wide range of scholarships and examinations to Independent schools. We are delighted that each year the vast majority of our girls achieve places at their first choice of secondary schools.

Learning takes place everywhere and at Highfield we value with equal importance the learning that takes place both inside and outside the classroom. We recognise that every child is unique and understand that some children prefer playing and learning outside.