The way we deliver our curriculum evolves as children grow socially, emotionally and academically. It is based on research and our fundamental beliefs about how children learn. Predominantly this is through a play based, hands on, investigative approach woven through experiences and enrichments. We understand the importance of immersing children in a concrete, meaningful experience before they are able to move onto a more abstract approach. Therefore, our curriculum enables children to explore, embed and then develop expertise in knowledge and skills.
Explore – Embed – Expert
The philosophy of ‘explore – embed – expert’ has been designed with Bloom’s Taxonomy in mind. It enables children to develop a deep understanding of the curriculum’s intended learning. The curriculum is planned so that knowledge and skills are taught progressively and a carefully considered repetition enables children to revisit prior learning, build upon it and master the content.
When children join us in the Nursery, it is imperative that they access environments and learning experiences which are relevant and meaningful to them. In order to be able to do this effectively, staff follow an ‘in the moment’ learning technique, influenced in part by Anna Ephgrave’s theory. This enables them to be entirely responsive to individuals ensuring they make progress within the context which is at the forefront of their interests and experiences. Staff are highly skilled in creating enabling environments which provoke learning and language, stimulate interests and meet the needs of all pupils. As a result of this approach, levels of well-being and involvement are significantly high and pupils make excellent progress across all areas of learning. Involvement and engagement of parents and carers is key and so a reciprocal online learning journey (Tapestry) is used to share key learning and suggest further opportunities and experiences. In addition, staff meet with parents and carers regularly in order to maintain an ongoing dialogue about their child’s development and how fundamental working in partnership is for ensuring the best possible outcomes for the children.
As the children enter Reception, we maintain a belief that the children’s interests are the best vehicle to secure learning of new knowledge, skills and concepts and that these are embedded through play. As in Nursery, the adults take the learning to the children, through an Alistair Bryce-Clegg style of ‘Objective-Led Planning’. There continues to be a focus on enabling environments to provide learning opportunities and to embed and extend knowledge and skills.
There is a continued drive to develop the communication and language skills as a secure foundation for other aspects of the curriculum. The balance between child-led and teacher-directed learning is carefully considered, to enable more academic aspects of the curriculum to be delivered, such as early literacy and Maths skills.
Across Early Years the environment both indoors and out is a vital part of the curriculum, hence the free-flow style of provision we offer. Carefully planned, yet open-ended resources are accessible to the children as part of ongoing provision as well as enhancements and provocations to promote learning.
Key Stage One
Whilst the children move into a different Key Stage, the fundamental principles that our curriculum is based on do not change. The environment continues to play a vital role in facilitating and consolidating learning when children are working independently. In addition, parents and carers continue to play an active role in their child’s learning journey engaging in KS1 specific workshops, online learning journeys and parents in class.
As the children move in to Year One the delivery of the curriculum reflects that of Reception, but with a gradual increase of teacher-directed input.
A Julie Fisher inspired approach is used when imparting all knowledge and skills, this involves whole class teaching as well as highly focussed small group learning opportunities. The knowledge and skills learned are then embedded through ‘Rainbow Challenges’ which allow children to organise and take ownership of their learning, whilst also promoting peer-to-peer teaching in a collaborative, positive environment.
An important part of our curriculum is in ensuring the children are well prepared for the next stage of their educational journey, and this is carefully considered when designing our approach in Year 2. As Year 2 progresses the children become developmentally ready to access a more abstract approach to learning. We continue to ensure the children have the opportunity to explore and embed new learning using their creativity and individuality. Previous knowledge is built upon whilst using new skills to demonstrate their mastery of the subject. As a result, children move on to Junior School with, confidence in their own knowledge and skills and the ability to apply these to a Key Stage 2 curriculum.
Detailed information about our implementation of each subject is within our Teaching and Learning Policy.