We are constantly reviewing our curriculum to ensure it meets our pupil’s needs. This year we are focussing on ensuring our curriculum remains aspirational and challenging, by developing subject knowledge, drawing links with other subjects, which will enable all pupils to reach their potential in all subject areas.
The intent of our curriculum is to provide broad and balanced learning opportunities that engage pupils with rich experiences. To instil a love of learning which will prepare them for the next phase of their education and equip them with knowledge, skills and creativity to prepare them for life-long learning.
Our EYFS curriculum focuses on the seven areas of learning and development. This allows pupils to explore learning through a range of creative experiences that stimulate pupil’s curiosity and facilities the foundation for deeper learning. This prepares them for the next phase in their education.
For Ks1 & 2 we use our Geography and History topics [Humanities] to developing an approach to delivering our curriculum, by drawing links between other subject areas. We use our STEAM curriculum [Science, Technology, Art and Maths] to develop pupils understanding of the world around them. We focus on reading, writing and maths in the mornings and our approach to learning shows that all pupils make good progress.
We offer three learning pathways to ensure pupils are able to access a curriculum and approach to learning that remains appropriate for their needs. Skills and knowledge for subjects are sequenced to ensure pupils make good progress. We ensure that pathways to learning are linked to ensure that when pupils transfer to another pathway there is a seamless transition.
As well as teaching technical skills we develop reading for pleasure through offering daily reading experiences including one to one reading of real books. The technical skills are critical for fluency but they are not everything –it is about reading for meaning, insight and pleasure.
Pupils choose their reading books from a range of reading schemes as well as real books. All books have been graded into levels and pupils have a reading book which is at an instructional level which supports reading their reading development. Pupils may also choose additional books of their choice to read for pleasure; these can be at any level and may require adult support to read. In this way pupils develop a love of reading and have ownership of what they read.
A 'running reading' record is one of the tools used to assess the pupil’s instructional level.
Instructional level = just the right amount of challenge where pupils can still gain meaning and develop.
Easy = no challenge for reading skill but valuable for developing self- confidence and fluency.
Hard = too much challenge where meaning can be lost in independent reading but can be enjoyed and shared with an adult.
A child has daily opportunities to read across the curriculum as well as reading for pleasure. Children read with an adult daily and progress is recorded in their reading record.
100% of pupils leaving our school are able to read for meaning, insight and pleasure.
We view phonics as a fundamental foundation for reading and writing. We provide timetabled sessions across the school following the recommended systematic, synthetics approach using Bug Club as a basis for teaching phonics. This is delivered at a developmentally appropriate level for children, whether they are in the Early Years Foundation Stage or Key Stage 2, and the programme is differentiated on an individual basis. This ensures that pupils are secure with all of the 44 phoneme sounds used in English before moving onto the later phases, where they learn alternative spellings and pronunciations for these sounds.
The teaching of phonics is a high priority in the school and all teachers are trained in how best to deliver highly structured and enjoyable sessions. Children have the opportunity to review previous sounds as well as learn new ones in their discrete phonics sessions, but are also encouraged to apply what they have learnt across the curriculum in all reading and writing activities. Alongside the formal teaching of Phonics, children also have access to a language rich environment where they are able to apply their decoding skills and develop language comprehension in order to ‘read’.
Our aim is for all pupils in KS2 to attend a two night three day residential trip to Sayers Croft in Surrey. The aim of the trip is to encourage independence whilst developing life skills. Pupils share a room, make their beds and organise their clothes. For many of our pupils it is the first time that they have been away without their parents or carers. It is also often the first time some of our pupils experience life outside of urban environments and a chance to explore and engage with nature. Families over the years have fed back that they have noticed a spurt of personal growth in their children on return.
This trip is heavily subsidised for all our families but we also use Pupil Premium funding for some of our pupils to ensure that no pupil is unable to attend due to financial restraints.