Should you wish to know more about the curriculum followed at HMS please contact admin@hexhammiddle.org.uk. Your query will be passed to the relevant Curriculum Leader and we will endeavour to respond within 5 working days.

At Hexham Middle School, we have designed an ambitious and empowering curriculum which has success for all learners as its core. The curriculum is driven by our ethos, values and ‘outstanding eagerness to promote good learning’. The curriculum promotes our core values of ‘Respect. Engage. Aspire’ by: 

  • Building respect  
  • Embedding high expectations rooted in a love of learning  
  • Promoting education in its broadest sense  
  • Shaping children as citizens of the wider world  

Ambition for All Learners

Designed in line with the National Curriculum, the curriculum enables pupils to know more and remember more and to make sustained progress through well-sequenced learning. They achieve well whilst developing their resilience and confidence and responding to the high expectations and ambition teachers have for them. The curriculum recognises the importance of prior learning, and we work to build on existing knowledge to deepen understanding. The close Partnership working between local schools (including between middle and high) ensures that our pupils progress with the required knowledge and skills to be successful in the next stage of their education; teachers plan and assess with horizon knowledge in mind. In all curriculum areas, teachers plan in small steps focusing on the components of learning and building a depth of understanding. Teachers highlight the links between knowledge and skills both in and across curriculum areas so that pupils can transfer their understanding and strengthen their learning. The curriculum is designed so that all learners, regardless of their starting points, know more and remember more. Learners’ additional needs (SEND) are well understood by all staff members so that all learning is accessible ensuring that all pupils access a curriculum which enables them to succeed.

Reading

A love of reading and the development of life-equipping literacy skills permeate the curriculum across all subjects. Teachers explore disciplinary literacy and teach ‘buzzwords’ in every lesson. We believe that vocabulary acquisition, reading and broader literacy skills are key to success. We promote a reading culture both in lessons and through wider curriculum opportunities and are very proud of our library facilities. Whole class reading is a driver for ensuring that all children access well-modelled reading of high-quality texts using an immersive, ambitious approach. We support struggling readers to develop their confidence and skills to unlock the literary world around them. High-quality texts are chosen across the curriculum to ensure that reading transcends all subjects and that comprehension skills are developed in a wide range of contexts.

Great Learning

Within Hadrian Learning Trust, lessons are built upon the foundations of the ’10 Elements of Great Teaching’ – fundamental pedagogical aspects rooted in educational research which lead to great learning. The Trust is focused on fully embedding formative assessment across all year groups as we firmly believe this responsive and adaptive approach leads to deeper learning for all pupils. We are clear and consistent in our expectation of great behaviour for learning and promote a positive environment where pupils are rewarded for their efforts, resilience and success. Teachers want pupils to know and remember more and the curriculum allows for knowledge and skills to be retained and developed over time. Regular and ongoing assessment allows pupils to know how to take their learning forward through targeted teacher feedback and subsequent pupil action. Pupils are part of the learning experience and are encouraged to take ownership of it.

Personal Development and Careers

The wider curriculum is enriching and stimulating, and we truly believe there are opportunities for each and every pupil. Staff at Hexham Middle School believe in providing rich and fulfilling experiences across all curriculum areas. Happy pupils are at the heart of everything we do – the many news reports and images on our website display this enthusiasm and engagement perfectly. Pupils are taught how to be safe and how to prosper in the ever-changing world we live in. Our approach to pupils’ personal development encompasses character building, cultural experiences, careers and further education, keeping safe and positive well-being, whilst also promoting British values and social cohesion. We understand the local context and ensure that learning focuses on the world around us – both locally and internationally. The six strands of personal development are woven through the school curriculum:

  1. Promoting health and wellbeing  
  2. Promoting British values and social cohesion  
  3. Getting ready for the world of work  
  4. Knowing how to stay safe  
  5. Developing character  
  6. Encountering meaningful cultural experiences 

Engagement

We fully believe in providing a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum. We pride ourselves in the vast array of creative opportunities through music and the arts. Pupils demonstrate consistently high expectations of themselves when it comes to immersing themselves in learning and opportunities outside of the classroom. The success of the many school teams and groups exemplifies the spirit and commitment of our pupils. Over the course of their time at Hexham Middle School, pupils develop an independence and confidence which equips them for their next stage of education. Opportunities for leadership at all stages are promoted through experiences such as elections for House Captains, Head Pupils and Peer Mentors.

Pupils leave Hexham Middle school with a sense of pride, an understanding of resilience and with the confidence and independence to succeed in the next stage of their education and beyond.   

Curriculum Accessibility

Our full ‘Accessibility Plan’ is available in the policies section of our website and from the school office. The plan details (in line with the Equality Act 2010) how the school ensures that disabled children can access the curriculum, how the physical environment enables disabled children to take better advantage of learning, facilities and other services and how information accessibility is improved.  

To ensure that our curriculum is accessible for children with special educational needs and disabilities, we have a dedicated team led by Mr Karl Barry (SENDCo) and Mrs Fiona Adams (Assistant SENDCo). The needs of all learners are understood through transitional arrangements as children join the school and through regular, ongoing assessment and communication between home, school and other external agencies. The curriculum is adapted accordingly to ensure that all learners can make appropriate progress and be allowed to excel. We instil high-quality first teaching for all learners and have high expectations of achievement for all. Where necessary, differentiated curricula will be adopted to allow all learning to match the needs of children. The school offers a wide range of targeted support focused on both academic and social/ emotional development as well as skills for life. Staff access development and training opportunities, for instance, this year staff are developing their understanding of resilience training to support children in their return to school. Our newly introduced ‘Key Worker’ model means that communication between home and school is more regular with time allowed for frequent assessment and review sessions. The school is also introducing software which means that information about pupils with SEND is easily accessible by all teaching staff. This also allows for close tracking of progress and development so that the approach to support can be regularly reviewed and adapted so that children access the curriculum and feel confident to progress in their learning. We strive to ensure that our teachers and support staff are equipped to support children with diverse learning needs and have an open-door policy to allow for the sharing of good practice.