Common Road Infant and Nursery School
We believe that:
‘Children develop in the context of relationships and the environment around them’
‘A Framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage… translating that framework over time into a structure and narrative…. and evaluating what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations’. (Harford 2018)
The curriculum at Common Road is driven by the view that ALL pupils should be secure in basic skills to support them as confident learners. We believe without these skills they will have less opportunity to access and experience the wider curriculum.
We view our pupils as unique individuals with a range of interests and talents and we aim to equip them to be global citizens and have the skills, confidence and aspirations to determine their own future.
We consider it our responsibility to ensure that our pupils love learning and see it as a journey that will afford them the opportunity to be successful on the global stage. Our curriculum is designed to be flexible to ensure that the needs of all of the pupils are met at any point in their journey.
Through the curriculum we support our pupils to:
Have a positive attitude to learning
Feel valued and supported
Achieve their full potential
Have high aspirations
Be confident and believe that they can be whoever they want to be
Our curriculum responds to the background and experiences of our pupils, supports their cultural story and encourages them to be lifelong learners. This philosophy means that we look deeper into pupils being ‘ready to learn’ and our effective learning support systems act as precursors to learning such as: good and effective relationships with parents/carers, making sure the pupils are not hungry (Magic Breakfast), snacks when required, access to water and are emotionally ready for learning. The physical and mental wellbeing needs of our pupils are paramount and we consider that our pupils should feel safe and secure on all levels. Without this we believe our pupils will not be able to reach their full potential.
Our strength is in understanding and respecting the needs of our community, having the full support of parents/carers, understanding the pupils lives and experiences, how the community has changed and evolved and being able to share an awareness of the opportunities that are available to them – both now and in future stages of learning.
We are developing a curriculum that is knowledge based and:
Has breadth, is balanced and allows for greater depth learning
Is inclusive and ensures that there are no barriers to learning
Is memorable and meaningful
Builds and develops pupil questioning
Reflects the local context and is important to the local community (e.g Coal mining)
Is a progression model
Aims for curriculum mastery
Includes the pupil voice
Within subject teaching our aim is:
to develop and use the pupils skills, knowledge, concepts and values as part of their learning journey
to place an emphasis on pupils basic skills to fill any gaps in learning
for repetition and the practice of essential skills – we call this ‘sticky learning’
to revisit previous learning in order to develop a deeper understanding of skills and processes
to be flexible in our approach to learning to be able to meet the needs of an Infant school
We especially understand the need for our pupils to be ready for the next stage of their learning and for this reason we also look to the Year 3 expectations in all planning.
Our Learning Journey
We use the EYFS framework and the National Curriculum as the foundation for our curriculum journey. Staff follow a yearly ‘skeleton’ overview for all subjects and this is then broken down into termly and half term plans which give a detailed picture of what is to be covered and in how much depth.
The pupils start a new ‘subject based theme’ each term and this is introduced through a Key Question which is used as the starting point and ‘hook in’ for learning. The pupils complete a ‘What do I Know’ sheet with the teacher, based on the new learning being introduced.
The start of each half term sees the pupils reviewing previous ‘knowledge’ gained and completing a new ‘What do I Know’ sheet which forms the start of further learning. This allows for staff to be able to plan according to the pupil’s knowledge and understanding from the previous half term and to identify key skills and any gaps that need to be taught during the next half term.
We reference ‘Maslow’s Hierachy’ of need particularly in EYFS and also understand the importance of building on ‘working memory’ and how this strengthens a pupil’s knowledge base.
We expect that our pupils will:
Know and understand that questioning and challenge are powerful tools for learning
Apply knowledge of questions and challenge in every learning context
Educational visits and visitors are an important part of this learning. We understand that there is a degree of ‘cultural deprivation’ within our school community and curriculum opportunities are specifically chosen to broaden the pupil’s experiences of life. Term one always begins with learning related to the local context (All about Me, Pontefract Castle and Coalmining). Term two begins to broaden the pupil’s experiences about the wider world but still links the locality and term 3 introduces the wider world.
Each term has a different main subject focus under a themed link and the staff ensure that there is continuity in learning. Each term the pupils build on previous learning and knowledge, adding new skills. We encourage the pupils to be active learners developing their ability to question and become independent. In addition, some subjects are mostly taught discretely such as Music, Computing, RE and P.E. We also recognise that at times our themed links may not allow for in depth learning in all parts of a subject so for this reason staff plan for discrete units of work when required.
See Curriculum Intent Statements for each subject.