Early Years Curriculum Overview
In Early Years, we endeavour to ensure that ‘Children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe’ as stated in the Statutory Framework for EYFS. We aim to support children in their learning to ensure their ‘school readiness’ and provide them with opportunities to develop a broad range of knowledge and skills that ensure a secure foundation for good progress through school and in life.
We recognise that each child is unique and this is reflected in the opportunities that we provide to build their confidence and resilience to become self-assured, independent learners.
Children bring with them a diverse range of experiences and therefore learn and develop in a variety of ways and at different rates. Therefore, staff across our early years strive to provide stimulating and engaging learning opportunities for the children, which are all planned based upon their needs and interests.
Our early years curriculum provides a broad range of interesting, demanding and challenging experiences that meet the children’s needs; allowing them to make progress towards the Early Learning Goals. This is reflected in our enabling environment, where staff use their continuous assessments of the children to tailor a learning environment that is highly stimulating to provide a rich variety of imaginative experiences.
We have a successful track record of building positive, caring and working relationships with parents. We understand and value the contribution and role that the parents play in their children’s development. We do this through induction meetings for new children starting within our setting, open door policy where parents can talk to the Early Years staff with any questions they may have and inviting parents in for stay and play or workshops. We also invite parents to transition sessions to support the children in progressing the next stage of their education.
We value the impact of effective transition for all our children. We aim to ensure all of our children feel safe, secure and happy as they transition into their next stage of education. We do this through effectively planned transition processes that provide opportunity for our children to explore their new environment and build positive relationships with the key members of staff.
Key Stage One and Two Curriculum Overview
The National Curriculum highlights English, Mathematics, Science and Computing as the core subjects. These are taught alongside, the foundation subjects (History, Geography, Music, Art, Physical Education and Religious Education), we also teach modern foreign languages. Children’s work is planned to meet their individual needs. It is differentiated to meet the needs of their differing abilities, and children are grouped within and across classes to facilitate this within Mathematics and English.
Alongside the academic curriculum, we ensure that we develop the ‘whole child’. We have structured learning environment where we work to cultivate the aesthetic, creative, physical, spiritual, moral and social areas of experience for the benefit of all our pupils. The School is fully committed to Equal Opportunities, Multi-cultural Education and promoting Modern British Values.
Our English sessions include writing, reading, spelling and/or phonics and handwriting. Every child has a daily reading lesson. Writing and grammar skills are taught daily and applied in other subjects. Early Years and Key Stage 1 have a daily phonics session as part of our RWI scheme. Spelling is taught as a separate session at least 3 times a week in Key Stage 2.
We always try to link our writing to our half termly or termly a topic and usually to a text being read. A wide range of genres are covered, including fiction and non-fiction. Children complete at least one piece of extended writing a week, the definition of extended writing will vary depending on the ability and age of the children but it always provides children with an opportunity to embed any skills taught previously.
Our children are avid readers and are encouraged to read widely and often by our ‘Reading Godmother’. Children earn ‘Read It!’ Tickets every time they read at home and can win a book from the ‘Reading Godmother’s’ special shelves.
At Bird’s Bush Primary School, we use the White Rose curriculum as a basis for Mathematics. We feel that this offers an excellent platform for the children to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills. Children’s understanding and attainment is constantly monitored by teaching staff using formative assessment. This programme is also supported by termly summative assessments. We follow our school’s ‘Written Calculation Policy’ when teaching calculation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).
We concentrate on developing children’s mental calculation skills through the 55 and 101 club in Key Stage 1 and Masters of Multiplication in Key Stage 2. Children are encouraged to learn and practice key calculation facts and all of their times tables as these form the basis of mathematics.
Our PE curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils develop the fundamental skills and competence to excel in a wide range of physical activities by providing a broad & balanced curriculum with opportunities for all to be enjoyed. Our mission is to improve and increase the quality and quantity of high quality PE for pupils, to show how PE can enhance pupils’ attainment and achievement and to create pathways for them to continue to be active beyond school. We are striving towards improving the delivery of the teaching & learning of PE in order to promote participation, progress and performance.
Children have the opportunity to develop swimming and water safety skills as part of the PE curriculum. We use the swimming pool at Tamworth Enterprise College and the session are led by a qualified swimming instructor.
We also offer a range of sporting activities opportunities in our after school clubs.
We believe the experience gained from topic-related, or curriculum based, educational visits is extremely valuable. Children within all year groups are given the opportunity to attend educational visits or experience days with visitors in school to enhance their learning.
In Year 6, pupils are presented with the opportunity to go on a residential experience.
We ask parents to make a financial contribution to support the costs of these enhancement opportunities.
Throughout school the curriculum is carefully planned to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge which extends beyond the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum and Early Years Curriculum.
All children have a daily reading session and, in Early Years and Infants, a daily phonics session.
Phonics is taught in ability groupings to ensure children have opportunity to develop a deep understanding of phonics and are able to apply this to their reading and spelling.
We use a range of reading material across the school to provide opportunity for children to develop a love of reading as well as the skills they need to become fluent readers. We use standard Book Banding to ensure children are reading at the appropriate level and making progress. Books at each band are drawn from a number of schemes and ‘free reading’ materials. These are the books children take home to enjoy reading with their family or independently.
Where possible we try to make learning a holistic experience and link learning from different subjects into a topic based approach. All subjects in the New Primary National Curriculum are covered on a two-year rolling programme to ensure coverage with mixed year group teaching.