At Wolfson Hillel we follow the national curriculum, underpinned with our own school curriculum. Because we know that children learn best when subjects are delivered in a relevant and meaningful context, we teach the national curriculum creatively through topics.
The Hillel school curriculum is integrated into everything we do at Hillel. Its roots lie in ensuring that children enjoy their time at school, take active responsibility for and pride in their own learning in the classroom and play well and have fun in the playground. Through three aspects –Myself, My Relationships and My Learning – teachers give children opportunities to actively develop these skills. Below is a description of the overarching principles and the three themes.
Children are at the heart of everything we do. Every decision made will be taken with this as our core principle. The school has a Jewish foundation and the curriculum should reflect this. Children should be given opportunities to explore their own spirituality in the context of the Jewish faith and tradition.
The Hillel curriculum instils within children a sense that learning is fun. Our overwhelming desire is that at the end of eight years with the school, each child leaves with rich and happy memories experienced through creative learning opportunities. This aim is the bedrock of the school’s philosophy and encompasses everything it seeks to achieve.
1c Love of Learning
The curriculum engages children so they not only see a value and use for learning but come to appreciate that the concept of lifelong learning is a key component in a rich and fulfilling life. They come to appreciate that facing and overcoming builds self-esteem and that this concept of learning becomes an experience they come to value and enjoy.
Myself אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי - מִי לִי
The curriculum gives children opportunities to explore their own values and feelings so they can act with integrity. Children are taught to appreciate what they have and to develop sensitivity and an understanding that others may be less fortunate.
2b Self Esteem and Confidence
The curriculum and more importantly, the manner in which it is delivered, enhances a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner; thus ensuring that children see learning as an ongoing process not a one-off event. All contributions are valued promoting a sense of achievement for all.
The children understand the importance of managing disappointment appropriately. This is important as the curriculum includes competition and challenge at times. Children encounter setbacks and discouragements. Children experience making appropriate choices and learn how to overcome disappointment.
2d Reaching Potential
The curriculum instils within children a sense of inbuilt challenge that motivates them to aspire to achieve their best. They appreciate the intrinsic value of always seeking to reach their potential.
2e Having a go
Children experience a curriculum that offers great opportunity for risk taking. Children appreciate that trying something new has an element of uncertainty and they approach new experiences with confidence.
The curriculum builds in opportunities for children to develop independence. Children are encouraged to develop a ‘can do’ attitude, taking the initiative and responsibility for their learning. The curriculum offers opportunities to develop their ability to stay safe within and beyond school.
My Relationships וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי - מָה אֲנִי
3a Understanding Relationships
Children come to appreciate the impact that their personal behaviour has on others and how to resolve issues of moral conflict when they arise. The curriculum provides opportunities for children to demonstrate care, kindness and being helpful to others, along with an appreciation of honesty and humility. Good manners should underpin all interactions.
3b Building Relationships
The curriculum provides rich opportunities for children to develop a wealth of relationships in differing contexts. Therefore, by definition, these cross gender and age barriers and should emphasise the strength of diversity whilst celebrating the uniqueness of the individual.
The curriculum provides opportunities for children to work in teams. This includes understanding how teams operate and the variety of roles needed for teams to be effective. They experience managing and being managed by others as well as developing a competence in their ability to develop the skills and talents in others.
3d Managing conflict
The children develop a wealth of strategies to resolve conflict in a manner that allows them to retain their own self-respect, but similarly acknowledges that those around them have a different viewpoint to their own.
3e Developing Relationships
The curriculum provides opportunities for children to relate to others appropriately, developing an emotional skill set that allows them to promote mature and fulfilling relationships based on empathy and a true understanding of others.
3f Family and Community
Schools are microcosms of the communities they seek to serve. To this end the school provides rich opportunities for children to develop a depth of friendship and relationships with others. Learning is a partnership between the home and the school and the curriculum seeks to maximise opportunities for joint working.
3g Cultural Appreciation
The curriculum offers children a full and rich understanding of their own heritage and culture, whilst developing a healthy respect for the cultural traditions of others. They acquire an appreciation of the way others do things and recognise that these differences add to the richness of the world, not detract from it.
3h Global Awareness and Responsibility
The principles of global awareness allow children to take the relational skills they have developed at a local and personal level into the wider arena of caring for those they may never meet. They appreciate that the decisions they make about their own lifestyle can have a profound effect on the lives of others around the world. The curriculum offers opportunities for children to explore their role as active citizens including charity and environmental awareness.
My Learning וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו - אֵימָתָי
4a Behaviour for Learning
Children are to be encouraged to be active independent learners. The school provides opportunities for children to develop their organisational skills. Children learn to manage their time effectively. The curriculum supports children to work towards appropriate deadlines both as individuals and as teams, handling the pressure when time constraints impact on a given project.
Communication is the bedrock of human society. Successful communication builds solid relationship and respectful listening skills play a key role in this. The curriculum supports children’s communication through different media. This includes spoken, written and technology.
4c Thinking Skills
The curriculum provides adequate opportunity for all children to explore a range of thinking skills, developing their curiosity and inquisitiveness. This allows children to focus on “knowing how” as well as “knowing what” - learning how to learn. These should include the ability to reason, analyse and evaluate and should be applied across the whole spectrum of curriculum subjects. The ability to problem solve, generate and extend ideas is valued in the adult world, therefore the curriculum provides rich opportunities for children to explore creatively. This permeates all curriculum areas as the children explore concepts emergently.
The curriculum should engage children fully in the learning process. Teachers should therefore teach in a manner that allows children to self-reflect on their own performance and help them understand how to improve it.