Early Years & Foundation stage
Our Early Years Foundation Stage consists of seven areas of learning. Three of these areas are the prime areas of learning and they are:
- Communication and language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
And four specific areas of learning:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Our teachers provide an exciting environment where children can engage in both child-initiated activities and teacher-led activities in order to develop their learning in these seven areas. We use the Development Matters Framework to help us plan for and assess these activities.
Key Stages 1 & 2
Our English Curriculum is planned using the Hamilton Trust Materials. Teachers then adapt this planning to suit the needs of the children in their class. There is a big emphasis on transferable skills with the expectation that the standard of reading and writing in other lessons is as good as it is in discrete English lessons.
Teachers employ a variety of approaches- individual, guided and shared reading sessions as well as reading comprehension and drama to teach reading. We use the Book Banded system to band all of our books so that each child receives an appropriate reading book at their level. Children are also encouraged to choose books which they enjoy from our extensive collection of books in classrooms and our non-fiction collection in our School Library. All staff promote the enjoyment of reading with their children and each class has a regular story time slot.
Children are encouraged to write stimulating and exciting texts through engagement with a variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and film. We have a whole school grammar and punctuation map which all staff can look to for guidance with expected learning in that area of English.
Phonics & Spellings
Phonics and spellings are streamed across the school with children set according to ability. There is a daily session between 10.10 and 10.30. For phonics, we have a long-term map, adapted from Letters and Sounds and incorporating the new National Curriculum learning which splits the phonics teaching up into manageable sections for teachers to teach. Our teachers use Bug Club Phonics, Phonics Play and Mr. Thorne as valuable resources to teach these lessons. Our children are provided with Bug Club logins so that they can practise their phonics reading at home. Children are sent spellings home which link closely to their phonics/spelling level.
Our Foundation Stage children learn to form letters using a pre-cursive style. When they enter Key Stage 1 they learn to join letters using the school’s cursive style. Discrete handwriting sessions form part of the children’s phonics and spellings sessions but are also addressed in every lesson.
Mathematics consists of four main areas:
- Number (properties, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions)
- Geometry (shape, position and direction)
Our Mathematics Curriculum is planned using the Hamilton Trust Materials. Teachers then adapt this planning to suit the needs of the children in their class. We do sometimes stream at Key Stage One for certain areas of Maths so that we cater for the needs of all the children. Although Maths is taught discretely, children have many opportunities to apply their mathematical skills in their topic and computing work as well.
Teachers place an emphasis on daily counting at all ages and stages as well as regular teaching and practise of arithmetic skills. We place a big emphasis on children’s mathematical reasoning and problem solving and all children have an opportunity to apply their knowledge at least weekly. With regards to more able children, we believe that broadening and deepening their learning is more important than simply moving them up to the next year’s objectives. However, we do also recognise that to cater for the most gifted children we would move them up to the next year’s objectives if we felt that to be appropriate.
(Incorporating Science, History, Music, Geography, Art and Design & Technology)
All of these subjects are taught in a cross-curricular way through 6 half-termly topics. We feel that this way of teaching keeps the learning exciting and enables children to see the links between different areas. We have a robust monitoring system in place to ensure that all the necessary skills and knowledge are taught and in the case of Science and History we go beyond the demands of the National Curriculum. Wherever possible children will also be able to apply their learning using the computers.
Children have two lessons of PE each week. One of these lessons is taught by a member of staff who is a qualified Sports Coach and the other is taught by the class teacher. We use a variety of schemes and teacher’s own expertise to teach various different areas of PE. We aim to provide children with a variety of experiences which will develop their motor skills, make them aware of space and its use, allow them to move freely and expressively on their own and co-operate with others. Much of the early work will emphasize individual skill and technique, leading on to small game situations involving co-operation and competition. Basic Moves- a set of transferable skills useful in many different sports is taught as one of the PE sessions in Key Stage One. Swimming is taught in Key Stage Two for those children who cannot swim 25 metres. Outdoor and Adventurous Activities are catered for during the children’s residential trip to Caythorpe in Year 4.
Our children are taught Computing skills using the Rising Stars ‘Switched On Computing’ Scheme of Work which are adapted by teachers to the needs of their individual children. The scheme is rigorous in covering the aspects of the new computing curriculum: computer science (CS), information technology (IT) and digital literacy (DL). The children will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content. The children have lots of opportunities to apply their computing skills in other areas of the Curriculum. We have an ICT suite, laptop trolley and each class has a bank of PC’s networked and connected to the internet, as well as interactive whiteboards in KS1, KS2 and the Foundation Stage.
One of the topics on our Key Stage 1 Curriculum is about France which provides a taster for our children’s work in Key Stage 1. Our Key Stage 2 children have a forty-minute French lesson once a week with a French-speaking Teacher. The lessons focus on speaking and listening, inter-cultural understanding and vocabulary. The children share picture books in French as well as write simple phrases and sentences.
Religious Education is taught through the Bedfordshire Locally Agreed Syllabus. Every class has one lesson of Religious Education during the week. We also regularly organise regular speakers from different faiths in to speak to the children either during lesson time or during assembly. Through the programme, children are encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards the lives and religious customs of others as well as exploring spiritual and moral aspects of life such as the emotions of love and hate, jealousy and intolerance, right and wrong, good and evil. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education should they wish.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
Each class has a PSHE lesson once a week, taught using the planning from the LCP Scheme of Work. We also have a system of Values education which runs through our system of assemblies. This is then built upon and referred to in each lesson that a child is part of (please see below for information about Assemblies). Our Learning Mentor also takes out children who we feel might need some extra help in this area. Sex Education is not taught as a discrete area of the curriculum, but staff aim to answer children’s questions as they arise, in science or PSHE.