Our curriculum has been designed to directly reflect and implement our aims and values. These aims and values underpin all our decision making in determining the intent and implementation of our curriculum. Particularly, we aim to:
Equip all children with the attitudes, knowledge and skills they will need to transfer successfully to high school.
Provide a broad and balanced curriculum that is rich with opportunities for learning and developing knowledge and expertise across the curriculum and particularly in reading, writing and mathematics.
Develop children's independent thinking and learning skills, creativity and curiosity for the world.
Help our children to grow as individuals through developing the social and emotional skills they will need to succeed in the next stages of their education.
Reading and writing
Early reading and writing starts in nursery through exposing the children to books and writing and through beginning to teach the children to blend and segment words. In reception, children begin to learn phonics, much of which is done through our chosen programme, Read Write Inc. Children usually complete this early in year 2. The Read Write Inc. programme is a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics. Children begin by learning basic sounds and gradually add more sounds until they are able to decode every phonetically decodable word. From the start, children are taught to blend words and are taught the numerous exceptions to the rule. Our aim is for every child to be able to decode successfully by the beginning of year 2. Following this, we continue to concentrate on developing fluency in reading and writing, so that by the time the children leave us in year 6, they are able to read and write with confidence and with a breadth of knowledge and understanding. For children who find reading and writing more challenging, we use various interventions in order to help them to catch up.
Children are taught mathematics from reception. From the earliest age, children are taught the counting, mental recall and arithmetic skills they need in order to become confident mathematicians. Later, emphasis is put on becoming proficient in written calculations and using these skills to solve mathematical problems. As the framework for our teaching, we use White Rose Maths from year 1. We use a variety of models and images to support children's understanding, including Numicon.
The wider curriculum
Our approach to the wider curriculum is one of exploration and discovery. This begins in Early Years through 'planning in the moment'. Adults within the setting are skilled at using the children's own interests in order to develop the different areas of learning and lines of enquiry. In key stages 1, we move from to a more cross-curricular learning centred around different themes; our approach in key stage 2 is subject based on a two year rolling programme.
We employ specialist teachers as much as possible to ensure that we teach our broad and balanced curriculum as well as possible. We have a 'musician in residence' who teaches music to all children in key stages 1 and 2 every week. We also employ a specialist science and computing teacher and a dance teacher to ensure we give the children the best and broadest education we can.
Whenever possible, the children learn outdoors, such as by building a river in geography or reinacting the Great Fire of London in the woods. Forest School plays an important role in developing children's social and problem solving skills from nursery to year 6. We have a full programme of visits and visitors, using the local area to develop children's understanding of the world that they live in and taking them further afield, such as on our residential trips to Derbyshire and York. The wider curriculum also gives the children the chance to apply their reading, writing and mathematics skills.
Many examples of our curriculum in action may be found on our blog.