Learning at Hotwells


A Broad and Rich Curriculum



We aim to make learning at Hotwells memorable and meaningful!

Academic achievement is given a high priority and we have high expectations for our learners in the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and Computing (Formerly Information and Communication Technology). We equally value a broad and rich curriculum that gives all children the opportunity to develop and shine in all areas of learning.

We have a curriculum map which structures learning across the school and over the year. The curriculum map helps us organise the curriculum into themes and to make links between different areas of learning. Teachers use the curriculum map flexibly, adapting it to meet the needs of each class or to make the most of opportunities that come along.  We also have special weeks during the school year which promote and inspire a particular aspect of learning, for example we have a Reading Week and Arts Week.  A range of exciting events are organised during these special weeks and many members of the school community become involved, helping to make them a fun and memorable time for all the children.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

We make the most of opportunities to take learning beyond the classroom. We are in a fantastic location with so many interesting places, such as the docks, the S.S. Great Britain and the Clifton Suspension Bridge within walking distance. We make frequent use of the local area and the school grounds to enhance children’s learning. We sometimes visit places further afield too. Our children in Classes 4, 5 and 6 go on residential camps every year, which give them learning opportunities beyond those we can provide in school. We regularly invite visitors into school for the children to meet and learn from. For example, local artists have led workshops for our children.  We know that these experiences really interest and inspire our learners.

A Creative Approach to Learning

Staff use a range of creative approaches to provide children with a stimulating variety of learning experiences. Children experience learning sometimes working independently and sometimes working collaboratively with others. We value children learning skills (such as how to work as part of a group or how to use the internet to research a topic) as much as learning knowledge and facts. Our children develop an understanding of themselves as learners so that they not only know what they are learning but also how they are learning. We use the ELLI model to teach children about the skills needed to be a successful learner. Click here to find out more about ELLI.

Visual and Performing Arts

We value the visual and performing arts. We have an annual Arts Week and we also take part in the West Bristol Arts Trail in October each year. As well as learning music through the curriculum, many children access instrument tuition and we have a school choir. Last year, we held a Music Week in which we welcomed musicians and artists from Bristol and beyond and celebrated our own talented musicians’ accomplishments.

We know that taking part in a school performance can be a highlight of a child’s school experience and a memory that will stay with them for life.  All children have the opportunity to take part in school performances during their time at Hotwells. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 produce shows at Christmas time, Years 3 and 4 focus on Singing and Orchestra shows and the Bristol Stages Dance performance and our Year 5 and 6 Key Stage 2 performance happens at the end of the school year.