Foundation Stage Curriculum (Years N and R)
We follow the National guidelines for the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.
The EYFS learning and development requirements:
• The seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes
• The early learning goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the Reception year.
• The assessment requirements (when and how practitioners must assess children’s achievements, and when and how they should discuss children’s progress with parents and/or carers).
There are seven areas of learning and development in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three prime areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific areas are:
The three ‘characteristics of effective learning’ are:
Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2)
Key Stage One follow the National Curriculum
Prime importance is placed on teaching reading, writing and maths, though the curriculum is carefully planned to provide a wide range of educational experience and knowledge suitable to the age and stage of development of each child.
The curriculum is taught partly through topics and partly by subject. The school’s topic plans and a link to the national curriculum are available on this website.
There are daily English lessons. Themes for writing are often from the wider curriculum topics. Children read regularly as a whole class, in guided groups with an adult and there are also opportunities for children to read individually. Phonics lessons are taught at least four times a week.
Our phonics teaching follows the phases in the Primary National Strategy document called Letters and Sounds. We use a very active approach to the teaching of phonics. The lessons use the good practice from the Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) Leicester.
Our reading books are levelled according to the Reading Recovery Levels. This means that the selection of books can be finely tuned following assessment of the child’s stage of reading. The books come from a number of schemes and sources including Reading Recovery, Oxford Reading Tree and Engage Literacy.
Speaking and Listening
The children are given opportunities to experience different kinds of speaking and listening. It is essential that they know how to express themselves, how to listen to instructions and how to listen to other people's ideas.
Our aim is for each child to read for enjoyment, with both understanding and fluency.
There is a wide range of reading material throughout the school and teachers aim to promote a love of books. Parents are actively encouraged to be involved with their child’s reading.
Our aim is for every child to be able to communicate effectively using well-constructed sentences with good spelling, punctuation and handwriting.
The teaching of phonics is an important part of the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One curriculum. Knowledge of letter sounds helps a child to spell correctly and to tackle unknown words when reading and writing.
Mathematics is taught daily. Children are taught using a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach and they are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them to understand and explain what they are doing. These include everyday objects, counters, cubes, ten frames, numicon and base 10 apparatus.
Pictorial – Children build on this concrete approach by using pictures to represent objects. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – Children can then move on to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
Mathematics is an exciting and challenging subject and is essential to everyday life. We want all of our children to develop the ability to reason mathematically, solve problems and gain a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
Maths includes counting and comparing numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It also involves measuring (distance, time, weight etc.), fractions and decimals, shapes (2d and 3d) and presenting information in tables and graphs.
Mathematical skills are taught through practical activities using apparatus such as numicon, counters and cubes, bead strings and base 10
By the time children leave our school, our aim is for each individual to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, for example knowing and using number bonds and times table facts. An emphasis is placed on learning mathematical vocabulary and encouraging children to talk about their work using the higher-level skills of comparing, explaining and justifying their answers. Puzzles and problems are used to help children to reason strategically to find solutions.
We include a variety of scientific topics in the curriculum, these give the children practical experiences and enables them to work scientifically. Knowledge and understanding is developed through the use of asking questions, making observations and decisions and using different types of investigations to solve problems.
The computing curriculum is made up of three areas:
Each classroom has a computer, which is linked to an interactive whiteboard for teaching and learning purposes. In addition, we have a shared set of iPads and netbooks, which are available to all classes when required. There is a good range of curriculum software available.
Children have limited access to the internet and are supervised at all times. Computing also includes the use of programmable toys and digital cameras.
Design and Technology
We aim to provide children with activities which develop their ability to design, make and then evaluate and improve their work and extend their technical knowledge.
The children are involved in a wide range of practical tasks, which might include making a toy or a car, designing cards or planning and making a model play area.
In order to develop their technological skills the children are encouraged to use a variety of materials, tools and construction toys.
We also aim for the children to understand where their food comes from and apply the basic principles of a healthy varied diet to prepare food.
History and Geography
History and Geography are both taught through topic work. The children listen to stories about the past, look at photographs, paintings and objects and begin to identify similarities and differences between the past and the present.
They begin to develop knowledge of people, places and the environment through activities such as simple map work and visits to different localities. They learn to make a variety of observations and to gather information about the world in which they live.
Art and Design
Through art and design we aim to help children to express themselves creatively by exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.
We give them opportunities to use a variety of techniques, materials and tools.
In addition the children learn about great artists, craft makers and designers from the past and present.
Children take part in a variety of musical activities. They sing together regularly and play a wide variety of percussion instruments. They are introduced to many styles of music through the use of recorded material.
They have the opportunity to sing in assemblies, the Annual Leavers Assembly and in whole school events like the Harvest Festival and the Christmas Concert.
The children have regular PE lessons. These include apparatus work, games, gymnastics and dance.
In addition to formal PE lessons children have access to games equipment in the playground and take part in extra activities on occasion. These include a sponsored walk, a sports activity morning and afterschool clubs.
Personal, Social and Health Education.
In PSHE lessons children learn how to express and manage their feelings, make responsible and safe choices and set simple goals. They are taught about healthy lifestyles.
Children learn to respect the similarities and differences between themselves and others and how to be part of the school and wider community.
Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Leicester Agreed Syllabus.
Parents’and carers’ Interviews and reports
We hold parent/carer interviews twice a year for all children. In addition, we have meetings for parents and carers at various stages during a child’s time with us. We aim to explain how we teach at different stages and give some idea of curriculum content.
A written report on the child’s progress and attainment is given to parents/carers at the end of the school year.
We ask parents/carers to focus particularly on reading with their children. All children have a library book to share with their parents/ carers. During Reception, children receive their first reading book.
Children benefit hugely from being read to and sharing books at home. We ask that parents/carers talk to the children about the content of the books they bring home and, as the child learns to read, that they listen and encourage them. Teachers are happy to help parents/carers who would like guidance about hearing children read.
Other home activities, often related to topic work are also sent home. These are often activities that parents/carers and children can do together.
We ask that parents/carers will help to ensure home activities are completed.