Nurturing, Inspiring and Achieving
Holy Trinity’s strong Christian ethos guides everything that we do. We value all our children and know that pastoral care is vital for realising academic excellence.
How the Holy Trinity Curriculum has evolved
Holy Trinity became an academy in May 2012. This gave us an opportunity and freedom to design a bespoke curriculum for the learners at our school. We wanted to develop the children’s understanding of chronology, so history became the main driver.
Following the 2017, curriculum review, it was felt that the history focus, whilst rich in cross-curricular links had unbalanced the curriculum to the detriment of geography. A major focus on geography led to a number of changes; this was done in mid-year. This led to a partial unravelling of the curriculum, where we had built the curriculum around its links to history.
During the 2018/19 academic year, we spent staff meetings and teacher training days analysing our curriculum and stripping back the subject areas. We knew that we had a great deal of work in front of us, but that we needed to ensure that our new curriculum was ready to be fully implemented in September 2019. The focus on historical chronology as a theme needed to be changed, as some aspects did not inspire and motivate the children as we had initially intended (for example, Avebury in Year 2 and Georgians in Year 6). Some vibrant areas of history were also being missed out because of the straitjacketing of a chronological approach, such as Ancient Greece. This was particularly evident when we took a group of children to the Houses of Parliament and witnessed democracy in action, without having studied the Ancient Greeks.
There have been times when we have adapted our curriculum to celebrate important events. In 2016, Holy Trinity celebrated its 150th anniversary – this was reflected in our curriculum through a whole-school topic on the Victorians. Similarly, in 2018 we marked the centenary of the end of The Great War.
Why we do what we do
We want all our children to leave Holy Trinity with a strong moral compass, God-given Christian values and a love of learning. Our children will not be able to look back on particular lessons or subjects in their dotage; but they will remember how they felt and were made to feel at Holy Trinity. They will remember that they were nurtured and loved by the school community. We want our children to treasure a series of ‘touchstone’ moments, such as dressing up as Romans, persevering on the climbing wall at Oxenwood, being involved in Trinity Day or being part of an Anglo-Saxon shield wall.
We aim to imbue all children with a life-long love of reading. Our library is a focal point and contains many signed and first editions. Reading is the gateway to learning and enriches the lives of everyone.
There is no way of knowing what technology will be available to our children, when they enter the world of employment. Building Learning Power was implemented in 2008 and is part of the fabric of Holy Trinity. Holy Trinity’s focus on learning dispositions enable our children to grow as learners and become more adaptable to the ever-changing world.
Calne is a relatively monocultural town in Wiltshire. At Holy Trinity, we show through the day-to-day interactions between children and staff that anything is possible. Through enrichment, touchstone moments and the school’s emphasis on developing everyone as learners, children are exposed to the potential and richness of modern life.
At Holy Trinity there is focus on ‘deep’ learning. We give the children opportunities to deepen their understanding through skillful questioning. Whilst we strive to ‘cover’ the curriculum, we do not move on unless children have internalised what they have learned. As a Single Academy Trust, Holy Trinity is forward-thinking and outward-looking. New initiatives are explored and adopted if they have an impact on our children. The staff are always searching for ‘marginal gains’ – looking at finely tuning aspects of delivery. Holy Trinity is a family of reflective learners.
We have a flexible approach to the curriculum, insofar as having five discrete subjects a day doesn’t work for the children in our care. Taking time to teach a subject over the course of a morning or teaching a subject in a block pays dividends in terms of ensuring higher quality outcomes.
If you would like to find out more about our curriculum at Holy Trinity, please phone the school to arrange a discussion with Mr Shore or Mr Rumley.
'The strong emphasis on bringing learning to life ensures that pupils benefit from an exciting range of enrichment activities'
Ofsted March 2016.
Marking and Feedback
At Holy Trinity marking and feedback are seen as integral children's progression. To download our letter to parents, please click on the following link Marking and feedback parents' letter.
As well as subject based skills, we put great emphasis on teaching children the attitudes they need to learn. Learning to learn is a vitally important part of school. We teach this through a framework researched at Bristol University by Professor Guy Claxton. This framework identifies 17 learning dispositions under 4 headings:
Resourcefulness - being able to learn in different ways: Questioning, Making Links, Imagining, Reasoning, Capitalising,
Resilience - being able to lock on to learning: Absorption, Managing distractions, Noticing, Perseverance
Reflectiveness - becoming more thoughtful about learning: Planning, Revising, Distilling, Meta-learning
Reciprocity - being able to learn alone and with others: Interdependence, Collaboration, Empathy and Listening, Imitation.
Learn more about Building Learning Power (external link)
These skills are the basis of the school’s reward system and the subject of a reflection session each week, when children look back on their learning in and out of school. Each class has learning detectives whose role is to spot others exhibiting good learning skills.
Learning continues throughout life, so the children are learning skills which will stand them in good stead for many years to come, including in the workplace. The key message is that ‘you can get better at learning’. This approach creates children who are ready, willing and able to learn. Fertile ground for teaching.
In each classroom we display and use language structures which teach children to think logically, ask appropriate questions and explain themselves clearly. These are called Thinking Frames.
There are 6 thinking frames, although others may be invented by older children, and they may be simplified for younger ones. They are: “Is that because…”, “I notice that…”, "What would happen if...", "What's the same and what's different?", "I wonder if...", "It is similar to..."
'Leadership and staff at the school have a clear vision for their work as a church school and are passionate about putting children at the centre of all they do so they achieve their full potential in all areas.'
SIAMS report 2016