"Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future."
Children are at the heart of everything that we do at Harper Bell. Our curriculum is designed for our pupils. It is bespoke to our school. The Harper Bell curriculum is designed around our school vision, our school values and three primary curriculum drivers.
School Vision: For all pupils to fulfil their God-given talents and to aspire to achieve a university education.
School Values: Love, Learning and Laughter
Our Christian beliefs
Harper Bell’s vision and aspirations
The culture and heritage of our pupils
Christianity underpins our curriculum and pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development underpins everything that we do at Harper Bell; it is not an addition to our curriculum but is central to the whole learning process.
We have also developed a knowledge rich curriculum bespoke to our school and pupils. While meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum, it also reflects the interests and cultural heritage of our school community.
Our expectations of what pupils can learn are high. We are explicit about what we want our children to learn and have prioritised key knowledge that we want our pupils to know.
Units and topics are carefully sequenced across a year group, an academic year and a key stage to ensure as much learning is retained as possible.
The influence of our three drivers is evident throughout our curriculum in terms of the topics that are taught. Examples include:
Our Christian Beliefs
The Roman Empire and Christianity - A historical study into the effect that Christianity had on the Roman Empire. From the early days of widespread persecution to the conversion that started under Emperor Constantine.
The Atlas Bible - This geographical unit uses the Bible as the starting point for a number of in depth studies of both human and physical geography. These include stories of King Solomon used as the stimulus for learning about trans-continent trade links and the tale of Jonah and the Whale as the window into the world of natural disasters.
The Cultural Heritage of our Pupils
The Windrush Generation - The KS2 National Curriculum for history states that children should study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066. Therefore, our pupils study the role played by the Windrush Generation in the shaping of modern Britain and Birmingham.
Ancient African Civilizations - The KS2 History National Curriculum also states that pupils should study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history. Our pupils study a number of Ancient African civilizations in great depth, including Songhai, Mali, Great Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of Kush.
Ruby Bridges and Mary Seacole - The National Curriculum states that KS1 pupils must learn about the life of a significant person. Year one study the life of British-Jamaican business woman turned nurse Mary Seacole who set up the "British Hotel" behind the lines during the Crimean War. Year two study the life and times of 6 year old Ruby Bridges who defied intense raciacally motivated hatred to help change Aemrcian history forever during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Our choice of whole-class texts in English is influenced by this curriculum driver. Pupils read high quality, age appropriate texts in which they can "see themselves". Books such as Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker-Rhodes, Journey to Jo'burg by Beverley Naidoo and The Otherside of the Truth by Beverley Naidoo provide our pupils with characters, plots and stories that they can relate to in one way or another.
Aspirations for Pupils to Achieve a University Education
All pupils in KS2 learn Latin on a weekly basis. We chose Latin for a number of reasons, although the primary one is the fact that it is a language traditionally taught in elite fee paying schools across the country.
Upper KS2 pupils study Oracy and Debating. Like Latin, we believe this is a subject that will enhance any university application. Advanced oracy skills enable pupils to engage in effective group talk and to confidently talk in a public setting, something that will be key when being interviewed for a place at University or for a job.
Music is taught on a weekly basis, with all pupils across the school learning to play an instrument. From the ukulele to the violin, our children are taught about the power of music from the youngest of ages.
Examples of pupil workbooks designed around our three main drivers: