A broad and balanced curriculum is taught. Small class sizes allow for more personal attention from the teacher and a better learning experience.
Initially there is a great emphasis on the importance of developing key skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, numeracy and science. The curriculum is based on national guidelines and is supported by a wide range of extra-curricular activities, outings and residential courses. As a result, most children do exceptionally well in their tests and entrance examinations into local independent senior schools. In our most recent ISI Inspection the quality of pupils' academic and other achievements was judged excellent.
The curriculum is covered in three Key Stages: Foundation, including Nursery and Reception; Key Stage 1, including Junior 1 and 2, and Key Stage 2, including Junior 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Art, Design Technology, French, Mandarin, Drama, Games, Music, RE and Science are mainly taught by subject specialists, particularly in Key Stage 2.
"Pupils achieve excellent results in entrance examinations to senior schools with high standards of entry, and a high proportion gain scholarships for academic success, music, drama and sport."
Summary by Key Stage:
foundation stage curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage, which is statutory in all schools, is the first part of the National Curriculum focusing on the distinct needs of children aged from birth to the end of the Reception year in primary school.
Our nursery, Little Crackers, is carefully structured for two-year olds, three year-olds and pre-school. We focus on the children’s interests, enabling them to play and learn whilst having fun with adults who understand and care about them.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is organised into seven broad areas of learning
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Our children also benefit from trying new activities at an early age including dance, music, PE and French lessons, all taught by specialist teachers.
During the Early Years each individual child learns through high quality play which is tailored specifically to them, so they develop at their own pace, having fun, making friends and learning as they play. They become confident and secure children who, when the time comes, are better prepared for school and are able to reach their full potential.
key stage 1
Building on the knowledge of the children through their development in the Foundation Stage, from Junior 1 the pupils begin a more formal curriculum. There is less emphasis on learning through play and much more exploration of cross-curricular themes.
The curriculum is based on national guidelines, but pupils are encouraged to achieve well beyond these targets. The core subjects of Mathematics, English, Science, ICT and RE are taught, with pupils experiencing more structured lessons in History, Geography, Design Technology, Physical Education and Games, French, Art, Drama, Music and Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education.
Emphasis is placed on the progression of numeracy, literacy and reading; learning of times tables and spellings is actively developed through simple homework tasks.
key stage 2
The structured approach begun at Key Stage 1 is continued and enhanced with pupils learning to become more organised and self-reliant as they get older. They begin to be introduced to verbal and non-verbal reasoning techniques, as well as increased opportunities for critical and creative thinking, imaginative and intellectual development and problem solving and scientific research.
Literacy and Numeracy are taught by form teachers throughout the school and as the children move up the school the emphasis of the curriculum prepares them for the expectations of independent senior schools, as well as enabling them to experience fun and laughter in their learning.
In Junior 5 and 6 the curriculum increasingly prepares the children for entry into senior schools.
The curriculum is supported by a wide variety of educational trips covering a broad spectrum of interests from musical and scientific to adventurous and historic.
The development of team-building skills through sport, and confidence when performing to a range of audiences through music, is an extremely important part of school life at Crackley Hall.
Assessment across the Key Stage is ongoing and structured towards formative and summative assessments.
In Key Stage 2, pupils are encouraged to develop their handwriting, joining their letters in a smooth cursive style. Once they have mastered this technique, they are presented with a ‘pen licence’ and their own fountain pen, which they use in their books from that point on.
Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 Transition
The transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 is a vital one. As part of the cross phase co-ordination of Teaching and Learning a number of key events take place throughout the academic year. These prepare children for their studies in secondary school.
Specialised subject staff from Princethorpe College devise and deliver exciting learning experiences to enrich Crackley pupils’ skills base. A cross-curricular approach is adopted to ensure that teachers at Crackley can embed these skills firmly within the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
We want our children to be inspired by creative teaching and learning; examples of the types of activities we are currently offering are – a Photography Workshop, a Forensics Science Day, an Introduction to Pyschology and a Whole School Play In A Day.
Learning Differences and Development
We encourage all our pupils to reach their full potential, not least those to whom learning does not come so easily. We are quick to recognise children who may need extra support and we try to “catch” them before they begin to struggle. This means that class teachers refer children to our Learning Support Co-ordinator as soon as they are concerned. In this way we try not to miss anyone and to keep all children’s self-esteem high. We welcome input from parents and are very happy to discuss any concerns they may have.
When a child needs support that is additional to, or different from that provided for other children of their age, then we follow the Special Needs Code of Practice fully. This includes the process of applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan where required, so that parents are fully involved and children get the support they need.
Support for a child may entail 1:1 teaching for which there is a termly charge. Children who require this teaching will receive a structured, cumulative, multi-sensory learning programme tailored to their individual needs.
able, gifted and talented
A rigorous and structured able, gifted and talented programme operates through the school, so we meet the needs of all children, whether that be, in the classroom, on the sports field or on the stage.
Through a structured assessment and monitoring programme we are able to identify the specific needs of the individual child and implement strategies to extend them, support them or reinforce work that has been learnt.
Junior da Vinci at Crackley Hall
With support from our Foundation senior school, Princethorpe College, Crackley Hall is adopting the Junior da Vinci Programme to stretch children excelling in subjects and to raise aspirations across the school. The Junior da Vinci Programme identifies and recognises excellence in school through an approach that engenders a sense of independence, hard work and personal responsibility in the student. Hence, any individual can be a gifted or talented student if they work hard at it and are committed to knowledge. The programme is named after Leonardo da Vinci because of his iconic status as a Renaissance man. The Renaissance Ideal considers man to be boundless in his capacities for development. It champions the notion that people should try to embrace all knowledge and develop wide-ranging capabilities as fully as possible.
In this way, we can encourage the children to extend their potential beyond a ‘notional’ limit and help them to see that knowledge and learning is not just something that happens to them but is actually an activity in which they can and should take an active part. With this ‘growth mindset’, they can remove any limits on their learning and see where a thirst for knowledge, a creative mind and dedication to pursue new learning can take them! All staff members at the school will look out for evidence of mastery, practice and creativity in the work that pupils produce. When the teachers see evidence, they will award the student a Junior da Vinci merit – at Crackley, this is in the form of a creativity, practice or mastery sticker. Pupils who consistently perform at Junior da Vinci level will be offered rewards and further opportunities, such as attending special workshops or trips and receive recognition at weekly assemblies.
For more detailed information please download a copy of our 2019/20 Information Booklet below...