Saltersgate Infant School Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Early Years is a critical stage of development for every child. During this time, children develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. At Saltersgate Infant School we greatly value the important role that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development. The EYFS is about building on what the children already know as well as learning key skills such as speaking and listening, co-operation and working with others and personal and social skills. It is also about developing early communication, literacy and numeracy skills that will prepare children for Key Stage 1.
At Saltersgate Infant School the Early Years Foundation Stage consists of a Nursery unit and three Reception classes, each led by qualified Early Years Teachers and supported by qualified support staff.
Here at Saltersgate, we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which will enable each child to develop personally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, creatively, intellectually to reach his/her full potential. Each child is valued and as an individual, and teaching and learning is based on the understanding that children progress and develop at different rates.
At Saltersgate Infant School we aim to:
Learning and Development
Foundation Stage 1 and 2 currently organised the curriculum through agreed half termly topics as over the period of the academic year. These topics cover areas that are familiar and of interest of young children and allow us to deliver a creative and balanced curriculum. The long term cycles are based on the 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning as highlighted in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
Planning a curriculum should be a starting point which supports children’s learning but allows them the freedom to experiment, investigate and pursue personal interests. In F2 we plan through the learning challenge curriculum which is based on the children’s interests. A topic is agreed half-termly and a general question is posed to the children based around this topic. Children then generate questions about what they want to learn about the topic. Activities and experiences are planned to address these questions. Learning objectives and assessment opportunities for each area of learning and development are identified.
Our learning Challenge Curriculum
The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work. It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point. At Saltersgate infant School, the Learning Challenge approach is used as a structure and ethos for our curriculum design. It is used to plan and deliver a relevant, exciting and enhanced curriculum, which meets the need of all groups of pupils.
In designing the curriculum, teachers and learners are using a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question, as the starting point. Using the information gained from pre- learning tasks, the new Foundation Stage Curriculum and the school’s context a series of subsidiary challenges are then planned. Each subsidiary learning challenge is also expressed as a question.
The important point is that the learning challenges need to make sense to the learners and it is something that is within their immediate understanding. Our curriculum is a ‘working document’ and evolves alongside the needs of our learners.
Saltersgate Infant School KS1 Curriculum
The National Curriculum provides our school with the opportunity for us to create and deliver a curriculum which is clearly focused on the teaching of core skills; those which will equip all of our children well as they move to the next phase of their learning. We aim to achieve outstanding achievement and attainment, whilst ensuring our curriculum is creative, exciting and engaging for young children.
At Saltersgate Infant School, our curriculum is developed to ensure that there is a broad and balanced coverage of the following subjects: English; Mathematics; Science; History; Geography; Computing; Art &Design; Design Technology; Computing; Music; PE. We also teach PSHE/SRE and RE (Following the Local Authority scheme of work.)
We teach these subjects through a ‘Themed’ curriculum. We ensure that subjects are linked where ever possible and that children are able to consolidate their learning across all aspects of the curriculum.
Long Term Planning
Teachers within KS1 work together to develop long term plans which ensure a good balance of curriculum coverage. Teachers determine themes which will engage the children and allow subjects and learning objectives to be linked. Each half term theme is ‘driven’ by a NC subject. Links are then made throughout the plan to other subject areas. All long term plans are shared with parents and are reviewed frequently. Themes and topics are updated to meet the needs of the children.
Medium Term Planning
The key learning objectives of the National Curriculum are referred to directly when teachers develop their MT plans. Teachers use a planning document which has been developed within school to ensure that the requirements of the National curriculum are being met. Medium term plans are opportunities for teachers to link subjects where
ver possible in order to make learning more meaningful. The plans detail week by week the learning to be covered. More detailed, short term plans allow teachers to develop learning objectives more finely.
All KS1 children have access to learning outdoors. Plans are developed each half term and activities are designed to consolidate and deepen the learning which has taken place in class. It is our belief that well-constructed and well-planned outdoor learning helps develop the skills of enquiry, critical thinking and reflection necessary for our children to become confident and engaged people. Outdoor learning is embedded into our curriculum and takes place weekly for all children for each year group. Each session of outdoor learning is made up of a combination of adult led and independent learning activities.
We plan a wide range of themed weeks and days and visits throughout the year. Each year the children are involved in fun and engaging activities linked to many curriculum areas such as; Money week, Eco Week, Extreme Reading, Multi-cultural week, Science week. In addition, the children celebrate their learning in class assemblies which are performed to the school community and their parents.
British Values and Citizenship
At Saltersgate Infant School, these values are regularly promoted through:
Giving our children opportunities to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Assessment and Monitoring
Children’s progress is monitored on an ongoing basis against very clear criteria and against the requirements of the National Curriculum. We assess children in the key areas of Reading, Writing (including SPaG) Phonics and Maths at three points in the academic year. We monitor progress carefully and with rigour and put measures in place for those children who may, for a wide range of reasons, be making less than expected progress. PPM take place between each class teacher and a member of SLT three times each academic year. Expectations for progress and attainment are high and vulnerable groups of children are closely monitored. We work to ensure that our children make at least good, if not outstanding progress as they move through school. We report back to parents at consultation evenings and at the end of each school year in our end of year reports.
In addition, attainment in all other subject areas is closely monitored and assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
We make judgements about children’s attainment at the end of KS1. The end of key stage judgements are based on several factors including work in books, discussions with children, observations and standardised tests.
At Saltersgate, we believe that quality first teaching in class is the most effective way for all children to learn. Children are supported accordingly within the classroom and specific needs are addressed as part of day to day teaching and learning. Small group intervention is used only to close gaps in learning or boost the progress and attainment of identified children. Pupil progress meetings and frequent assessment ensures that children making poor progress are identified promptly and action is taken to address this issue. The impact of intervention programmes is closely monitored. Intervention takes place for a specific time period and is planned to ensure that wherever possible, their learning in class is not affected.
Our curriculum is underpinned by a calm, purposeful and visually appealing learning environment. Our classrooms are clear from clutter, have a mixture of meaningful working walls and displays which celebrate the children’s achievements and work and have resources which are accessible to all children. We promote learning through play and exploration. We engage in our children’s interests and ideas and we encourage creativity and inquisitiveness. Our Year 1 classes have continuous provision for reading, writing, ICT, maths, sand/water, construction, small world and role play. Children have frequent access to these learning areas and enhancements are made in order to deepen understanding. As children move into Year 2, there continues to be a focus on independent learning and each classroom has continuous provision for reading, ICT, small world/role play. The provision areas are used to develop children’s depth of learning and understanding.
Transition meetings are held with parents as children move into KS1. These are to inform our parents about the school’s curriculum and the teaching and learning ethos in key stage 1.
Work at home
Parents are actively engaged in their children’s learning at home. At the start of each half term, the parents are given an overview of the forthcoming half term. This includes suggestions as to how they can support their child’s learning at home. The homework is completed in a homework book and this is returned to school at the end of each half term to allow for children to share their home learning. As a result, children and parents are engaged and actively looking at ways in which the learning that takes place in school is given a broader perspective. All children read at home and have access to a range of internet based home learning resources (Phonics Bug/Purple Mash)
Each morning parents are welcomed into classrooms to support their child to complete morning learning activities. These activities link directly to the learning that has taken place during the week or over the half term.
Parents are invited to attend workshops which are delivered by subject leaders. These are held annually and inform parents about the teaching of maths, phonics and reading. They are well attended and received.