At Henry Cavendish, we are very passionate about providing the best possible education for every member of our school community. Our staff and children see themselves as life-long learners, and have worked together to devise the motto which underpins the design of our curriculum, which is: Create, Discover,  Succeed Together

Our creative curriculum is grouped into subject areas which are taught as part of Topic (English, Science, History, Geography, Global citizenship, Computing, Art, Design and Technology, and PSED) and subject areas which are taught discretely (Mathematics, PE, RE, Destination Reader, Music, and French). Our topics are taught on a half-termly basis in Key Stage 1 and 2, and begin with an immersive experience to hook the children into their learning. The subsequent learning is then planned to build on the interests of the children, with the flexibility in our timetables meaning that learning can be adapted and areas of the topic are explored in true depth.

Each term, we have created a whole-school theme which runs through the topics that our children study; for example, in the first half of the Autumn term, this is ‘Bright Lights, Big City’, where each year group studies a different element of the history of London. History is the key driver subject of this topic, but other subject areas are the driver subjects behind subsequent topics, which means that all areas of Topic have equal prominence and profile within our curriculum. Curriculum focus weeks during the year also contribute to the breadth of children’s experiences and opportunities. A central theme running through topics also facilitates the meaningful sharing of learning within the school community.

Our curriculum is focused on the teaching of skills, and success comes from the way that the children learn to transfer their skills and learning between different subject areas. We ensure that children are rigorously taught the specific skills of each subject area – these form the basis of the success criteria for lessons. However, during both topic and discrete lessons, the children are encouraged to draw on skills from other subject areas, to help them succeed and be independent in their learning. Children are also always given time to reflect at the end of an activity or sequence of lessons, on how successful they were and what skills helped them to succeed. Due to this approach, children at Henry Cavendish grow up to be confident, reflective learners, who achieve to the best of the abilities and, when they leave, are ready to succeed in the next stages of their lives.

Discovery comes from our commitment to providing enquiry-based learning. Each lesson or sequence of lessons is framed by an exploratory question, which the children seek to answer through applying the skills in the success criteria. The children are given the time to both explore the answers in depth and then reflect on their success and learning at the end. They are also encouraged to find their own ways to proceed with any enquiry, which develops their resilience and independence as learners.

Collaboration is key to life at Henry Cavendish, and we celebrate and learn from the unique talents that each child brings to their learning. In our classrooms, there is a strong focus on quality talk to support learning in every lesson. We take time to teach the children specific talk structures across the school; these develop a wide range of communication skills, such as active listening, taking on different roles within group situations and offering constructive feedback. This emphasis contributes to ensuring our children communicate confidently in a wide range of situations, and value their collaboration with, and the opinions of, others. As a Rights Respecting School, we also promote working together through recognising and praising when children show that they are respecting the right of others.

As a school, we seek to be innovative and always look for new ways to develop our curriculum further. Our focus on talk for learning, and other aspects of our curriculum design, are underpinned by research. We currently take part in the Lesson Study project, which is an approach to professional learning and development, whereby staff work together in small teams to observe, discuss, critique and seek ways to improve specific areas of practise. These are then shared more widely across the school helping to keep us moving forward and developing as a true learning community.

Learning and life at Henry Cavendish never stands still. Details about the current topics being taught can be found using the links below to year group topic plans. Visits to the school will show how our curriculum works in practise, and why this is such a special and unique community.

 Mathematics Curriculum

Henry Cavendish uses the Rising Stars Curriculum Framework to structure the new mathematics programmes of study. The Rising Stars framework is built around four themes: Number Sense, Additive Reasoning, Multiplicative Reasoning and Geometric Reasoning. These themes make clear connections between areas of mathematics, encouraging children to use what they know and understand rather than treating each area of mathematics as separate and unconnected.

Number Sense – this theme is about understanding our number system, starting with counting numbers and building on this understanding to include negative numbers, fractions and decimals. The focus is on building an understanding of how our numbers work and fit together and includes exploring place value, comparing and ordering numbers and rounding and applying this understanding in different contexts. Understanding our number system underpins calculation, and in each year group, blocks on additive reasoning and multiplicative reasoning are usually preceded by a block on number sense which explores understanding necessary for the following calculation block.

Additive Reasoning – this theme is about all aspects of understanding addition and subtraction. The focus is on understanding addition and subtraction together and the relationship between them, and using this understanding to solve problems in different contexts, including measures and statistics. The expectation is that children of all ages appropriately choose and use number facts, understanding of place value and different methods (starting with counting and mental methods and developing into mental and written methods), explaining their decision making and justifying their solutions.

Multiplicative Reasoning – this theme is about all aspects of understanding multiplication and division including fractions. The focus is on understanding multiplication and division together and the relationship between them, clearly connecting to this an understanding of fractions both as operators, e.g. the equivalence between dividing by five and multiplying by a fifth, and the outcome of divisions, e.g. understanding 3 4 4 5 ¾. This understanding is used to solve problems in different contexts, including measures and statistics. The expectation is that children of all ages appropriately choose and use number facts, understanding of place value and different methods (starting with counting and mental methods and developing into mental and written methods), explaining their decision making and justifying their solutions.

Geometric Reasoning – this theme is about all aspects of understanding shape and space and includes application of understanding of number and calculation. The focus is on understanding properties of shapes and the relationship between them, using this understanding to solve problems including problems related to measures (perimeter, area and volume), and understanding movement within space. The expectation is that children of all ages appropriately choose and use facts and understanding, explaining their decision making and justifying their solutions.

Measures and Statistics are now included throughout the framework as contexts for number sense, additive reasoning and multiplicative reasoning. Algebra, which appears as a new domain in Year 6, is the introduction of “the use of symbols and letters to represent variables and unknowns in mathematical situations that [pupils] already understand,” and therefore appears in all four themes as part of generalisation of mathematical understanding. In Year 6 the National Curriculum brings addition, subtraction, multiplication and division together under one domain. The Rising Stars framework continues to use the four themes in Year 6, but makes connections within the additive reasoning and multiplicative reasoning sequences to reflect this.
The mathematics within the four themes is also connected so that, as children progress through the framework, learning builds on previous experiences in a spiral, both from within the same theme and from across the other themes. Teachers use their professional judgement to differentiate the year group objectives appropriately in order to meet the needs of the children in their class.
To see the National Curriculum Mathematics programmes of study please click here.

Literacy Curriculum

English

Teaching English and a developing a love of literature and writing is at the very heart of our curriculum. We know that sound literacy skills are key to children’s achievement in all areas of the curriculum and that learning to read effectively, efficiently and for enjoyment is an important life skill. We link our learning of English with other subjects across the curriculum.
To see the National Curriculum English programmes of study please click here.

To see the literacy Breakdown Coverage at Henry Cavendish please click here.