The Henleaze Junior Curriculum

The school sets its sights very high - lessons incorporate a high degree of challenge, and a high standard of work is expected and achieved. In order to do this, it is very important to us that we understand the abilities and learning styles of every individual child, and that children learn how to acquire the learning habit.

We cover most of the curriculum in subject specific lessons. The humanities are taught mainly in topics - three each year - in which relevant connections are made with prior learning, and skills from different curriculum subjects are applied.

Learning to learn

We want children to get the most out of every learning opportunity available to them, within and beyond the classroom. These are some of the ways we teach children to be effective lifelong learners:

ELLI (the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory) defines 7 dimensions that make for deep learning
Thinking Starters
Every day starts with a Thinking Starter - an independent activity designed to get the brain "warmed up"
Growth Mindsets
Those with a growth mindset think that intelligence can be shaped through sustained effort and learning from mistakes.
Philosophy For Children
This is a technique for teaching children how to explore ideas through discussion.
Life Skills
Running through everything we do is an emphasis on developing children's ability to cope with real life situations
Sustainable Living
Learning how to protect the environment
National Curriculum
Statutory subjects plus RE and PSHE

Curriculum topics

What topics we cover across the year groups.

National Curriculum

How the National Curriculum applies to learning at Henleaze Junior School


How we meet the needs of all of our pupils

Assessment and Reporting

Read about what we expect children to be able to do, and how we track their progress

Online Safety

Tips for staying safe online

Enrichment projects

Above and beyond the national curriculum

The National Curriculum

Below is a summary of our approach to the delivery of the National Curriculum. For more detail, visit each subject page.

Literacy, Languages and Communication

Success in almost any area of the curriculum depends upon good basic literacy. It provides children with the ability to express themselves articulately and makes available to them the wealth of the written word. Heavy emphasis is therefore placed upon the key elements of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Children have a daily English lesson and in addition will have time in the day to read by themselves. For more detail about what happens in Literacy lessons, visit the Literacy page.

We include the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages under this heading. Learning another language reinforces essential literacy and oracy skills. All children have a lesson every week, starting with German as soon as they join the school in Year 3, and then moving on to French in Year 5.


Classes have a daily Maths lesson. Much emphasis is placed upon the application of mathematical ideas in real situations. In line with the National Curriculum 2014, mental maths skills, problem solving, reasoning and fluency in Maths are key. Written calculations are taught in accordance with the National Curriculum. Challenge in Maths is provided by exploring concepts in greater depth.

Science and Technology

The skills of scientific enquiry and investigation have practical applications across the curriculum, and provide children with essential tools for learning. Through their work in Science children are encouraged to question and hypothesize and, in using their initiative, to develop skills of seeking and exploring.

In Design and Technology, children apply their scientific knowledge and their understanding about materials and techniques to make things that work, serve a purpose, and look good: it’s the perfect subject for demonstrating all their skills and knowledge across the whole curriculum.


We group together the subjects which give us an understanding of the people and places, past and present, which have shaped the world we live in.

History provides an insight into the lives of people who have shaped the world we live in today. Ancient civilizations are studied and the impact of invasions on the development of British culture. We aim to bring history to life through the use of stimulating visits and visitors, role play and story telling. The emphasis is not so much on committing to memory lists of dates, but more on understanding why things have happened in the past and the impact of historic events on our present lives. It is also important that children learn to be discerning in their use of historical evidence; history can look very different depending on your point of view.

The study of Geography helps children to understand the natural and human influences on the world we live in. Through studies of different places they learn to better understand the features of their own home area. Not only do they develop an appreciation of the natural forces that shape the planet, but they also learn to understand and respect the cultures that develop in different environments, both in this country and in other parts of the world.

In Religion and World Views we aim to enable children to understand the nature of religion through an understanding of explicit religious beliefs and practices, and implicit questions of meaning and value. We live in a multi-cultural society, and it is essential that we study the major world religions that represent the diverse beliefs of our population, as well as recognising that Christianity underpins the British constitution and has a significant influence in the cultural heritage of the United Kingdom. In an increasingly interconnected world, it is also important to recognise how different systems of belief share common values, and in many cases, common histories.

Creative Arts

Children engage in various aspects of the visual and performing arts which we see, not as an unimportant extra, but as a vital and exciting area of self expression. Art, Music, Dance and Drama are often used as media through which to explore topic work, or as a stimulus for creative language work.

In Music lessons all children learn to identify features of the music they listen to, and they take part in their own compositions and performances. All children learn to play the ukulele in Year 4. Additionally, children are currently able to learn the violin, clarinet, cello, guitar, flute, recorder, saxophone and brass instruments.

In Art and Design, children study the work of artists from different periods and cultures and learn a variety of techniques for expressing themselves in 2 and 3 dimensional art forms.


Computing is a wide ranging subject that includes teaching children how to use electronic devices to access information and to communicate, and how to programme devices to carry out tasks.

We aim to provide children and staff with whatever devices they need to support learning and teaching, whether it be cameras, tablets, laptops, video and audio recorders, or specialised equipment for individuals with particular physical or learning needs.

We teach specific ICT skills, such as word processing and use of spreadsheets, as well as practical file management and basic troubleshooting. It is essential that children acquire the skills and confidence that enable them to learn to use new equipment and software, as technology is constantly changing, allowing children to access information and communicate in new and exciting ways.

Physical Health and Wellbeing

We consider the practical aspects of PE alongside learning about the broader aspects of looking after our bodies and minds. Children learn how to adopt healthy lifestyles and how to develop their emotional intelligence.

In PE, children learn to play a wide range of games including soccer, rugby, netball and hockey, athletics, basketball and cricket. Children have two timetabled hall sessions and one outdoor session each week: we aim to provide a minimum entitlement of 2 hours per week of physical activity.

In Year 3, children attend Horfield Leisure Centre for a thirty minute swimming lesson once a week in Terms 3 and 4.