Our Curriculum

Making a difference. All of our children. All of the time.

The best for every child

We want our children to become the best little people they can be and we cannot do that without you. Partnership with parents, carers, guardians and the wider family is key and has a significant impact on children’s learning and development.

We believe that all children deserve to have an equal chance of success.

What we want children to learn

We have used all the sources available including Development Matters and Birth to five matters (see at bottom of page) to think carefully about what we want our children to know and be able to do ready for each stage of their education. And although reading, writing and maths are very important we also think communication and language, personal, social and emotional development, physical development, understanding the world and expressive arts and design are equally as important and teach and develop these too. We also think carefully about how children learn and how we can foster these skills. We know that stories, songs and rhymes are crucial for children’s learning at this age and so have created a strong focus on these.

We have planned what we want our children to know and be able to do ready for the next phase of their education.

We think carefully, as a team, about how we will help our children achieve these aspirational targets. This includes (but is not limited to)

  • Knowledge and skill progression
  • Experiences e.g. animal man
  • Forest School
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Garden School
  • Visits

We evaluate our school regularly. Please read our self evaluation here: Self evaluation bearing in mind that this is a live, working document. We also have a summary of our SEF you can read here: SEF Summary

We want our children to be independent, curious, active learners with empathy and an understanding of others feelings, beliefs and culture. Persistence is key to helping all children learn and achieve better in all areas of learning so developing these skills underpins much of what we do.

We have thought carefully about sequencing and progression to build on learning and skills over time. This includes a focus on communication and language, early reading personal, social and emotional development and physical development as these underpin all learning.

Helping our children to learn

We want to give our children a range of experiences that will stimulate an appreciation of human creativity, a love of learning and respect of the natural world. We have thought carefully about how our children progress to where we want them to be but use their interests and what we know about our community to bring this into their play and experiences. We will share this with you in a number of ways including workshops, social media and Tapestry learning stories where we share what your children’s ‘wow’ moments and what they are learning with ideas of how to continue it at home. We plan our learning environments very carefully and change them to reflect the interests and needs of the children. We consider indoor and outdoor learning as equally important and believe that some learning is actually more beneficial outside. We use Forest School and Garden School as tools to embed all areas of learning.

Checking what our children have learned and experiences they need

For each of our children, we think about whether they are on track for what we want them to know and be able to for the next stage of their development, if they need a bit of extra support or if they need significant support. Every child can make progress if they are given the right support. We do this at the very start of their time with us and at other key points in the year. If you want to discuss this, please get in touch. If we feel your child would benefit from extra support, we plan to do this in a number of ways. It could be that we need to change the learning environment, scaffold learning through play or through an intervention. We would share this with you through communication, resource packs, workshops or through Tapestry. Sometimes children need significant support and this would be planned in conjunction with you through our Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinators team. This support may involve other agencies as necessary. For more information on our SENDCO team and what to expect please see our Special Educational Needs section here: Special Educational Needs or Disabilities

Our curriculum thinking

We have based our curriculum around what we want our children to know and be able to do ready for the next stage of their education and what we know about how children learn. We have used research, evidence based approaches, what we know about our community, feedback from Primary Schools, parents and children to help our thinking. Our school colleagues appreciate that many of our children come to us at low starting points in the Prime areas of the EYFS, often unable to communicate, socialize, listen and attend, play with others, dress and undress, use the toilet and feed themselves.

Therefore we need to start with what each child already knows and is able to do and work from there. We need to keep building on that knowledge and those skills over time, checking that the knowledge and skills are increasing. We have aspirational goals for all of our children and want all our children to achieve. We use progressive statements to check our children are still on track with what we want them to know and be able to do ready for their next stage.  We also know that some things need to be directly taught and some can be effectively learned through quality interactions and play and that some learning is hierarchical and some cumulative. We use our weekly whole team planning sessions to ensure we are clear on what needs to be taught through adult direct teaching or through play and to ensure we are building on knowledge and skills towards our intent.

We also know that stories, rhymes and songs are integral to learning in these foundation years and so use stories songs and rhymes as vehicles to deliver learning. We also have thought carefully about the experiences we want our children to have and use those as a basis for quality interactions between adults and children.

Children start at our school throughout the school year and at very different starting points and with very different life experiences. This means have to know our children well and base their learning around their individual starting points bearing in mind what they know, can do and experiences they have had.

We have worked with reception class colleagues from feeder schools to help us think about what they would like children to know and be able to do when they start at their school.