Common Road Infant and Nursery School
Curriculum Statement of Intent
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.
English: (Subject Lead: Karen Atkinson)
Our approach to improve literacy skills is driven by the need to ensure that our pupils are ready for the next stage of learning and the challenges of a key stage 2 curriculum.
We believe that a quality Literacy (English) curriculum should develop the pupil’s love of reading, writing and discussion.
We aim to immerse the pupils in a reading culture and develop a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where pupils can take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.
We want to inspire pupils to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that pupils need to develop a secure literacy base which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our pupils the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
We understand the need to:
Be confident in using applying their literacy skills across other subjects
Guide, encourage and support the pupils to listen and respond appropriately to both their peers and to adults
Ask and answer questions – with clarity and speak audibly and fluently
Model and remind pupils to use good standard English at every opportunity
Improve the range of the pupils vocabulary through quality texts and ‘wow’ words linked to topics and key texts
We see oracy as forming a vital part of our teaching in every subject and ensure that pupils have the opportunity to develop these skills in every lesson. This journey begins in Nursery as pupils are supported by a trained ECAT practitioner who works with pupils requiring additional support and also with the Reception staff to ensure that the environment and planning is adapted to meet the oracy needs of all pupils.
Developing and enhancing the pupil’s spoken language is planned into every lesson and vocabulary is built up through the range of topics and quality texts.
We aim to ensure that our pupils become successful readers who have an enjoyment for books and for this reason we deliver:
Letters & Sounds (phase 1) in Nursery – staff deliver daily phonics through an adult led activity which is also supported within continuous provision.
Read, Write, Inc - Reception and KS1. This is effectively delivered daily by staff who are fully trained. This is monitored and driven by our English lead with the intention that the programme is completed in year 2 and pupils are then taught SPAG.
When pupils have reached the stage of ‘blending’ they also take home a phonetically decodable book that matches their Read, Write, Inc reading band. As soon as a pupil has completed the RWI programme, they then read from the appropriate book band on our reading scheme.
In KS1 pupils take part in x4 guided reading sessions per week with a primary focus of developing and improving comprehension skills. Pupils are asked to consider questions from the five reading domains.
We are passionate about the pupils having a love of reading and support them in becoming independent readers. All pupils take home a library book each week and enjoy listening to a range of quality texts.
Our aim is to reverse the downward trend in writing at the end of key stage 1 and ensure that our pupils become successful and confident writers with the ability to use and apply their phonics skills effectively in their writing. As a result we have organised the timetable to reflect our focus on improving outcomes for writing.
We have identified a variety of factors which we see as barriers to writing for our pupils and have put in place a consistent structure for staff to adhere to for teaching writing in KS1.
This ensures that:
Pupils are ‘hooked into’ writing
Consistent systems are delivered to teach writing which link methods and strategies used in Read, Write, Inc
Consistency in approach – using agreed scaffolds, structures, questioning and vocabulary.
Pupils in Early years have the opportunity to write in all areas of provision and also during focused adult led sessions
Modelled and shared writing forms a crucial part of developing writing
Handwriting is taught explicitly x4 times a week
Staff have high expectations for handwriting and presentation in pupils books
Spelling is taught as part of Read, Write, Inc and SPAG and specific spelling rules are assessed in a weekly spelling test.
All pupils make good progress in their writing journey and support is available for low attaining pupils to be successful
Maths: (Subject Lead: Shaun Dunkley)
Our aim is to ensure that the pupils are:
We aim to establish an effective ‘maths journey’ from EYFS through KS1 which secures an upward trend and improved outcomes. Pupils build on their own experiences to become established mathematicians.
Our mathematics process will:
Teach pupils to use mathematics for a variety of purposes
Provide opportunity for daily mathematics
Provide scaffolding and differentiated methods at each level
Provide opportunities to apply all areas of mathematics through concrete, pictorial and abstract representations
We use the White Rose Maths Hub scheme (WRMH) and the schools mathematics and calculation policy to:
Support the teachers understanding of the maths curriculum, expectations and enable them to adapt this effectively to meet the needs of the pupils.
Ensure that the pupil’s build on their mathematical knowledge using methods and strategies.
Teach fluency, reasoning and problem solving with a high level of expectation
Ensure that the teachers and support staff provide ‘model’ strategies to develop methods/concepts to support pupils
Show links to previous learning and identify key steps to success which are clearly modelled by staff
Deliver maths lessons applying a consistent structure (hook in, modelling, maths practice/concept, plenary)
Science: (Lead: Leanne Staves)
All pupils study Science either through continuous provision in EYFS or through themes and discrete lessons in KS1.
Science lessons allow our pupils to ask questions about the world they live in. These questions are explored through investigations and experiments allowing the pupils to find their own answers.
We aim to:
Give the pupils the confidence to ask questions and investigate the world around them
Deliver a developing understanding of the nature, processes and methods for science through enquiry, providing answers to their questions
Provide an understanding of the uses and implications of science in the past, present and future
Provoke curiosity and encourage pupils to independently find solutions to problems.
Our curriculum allows pupils to explore the three disciplines of Science:
In Biology, pupils learn about plants and animals. They will learn how to identify common flowers, plants and trees. They will sort animals into groups including mammals, reptiles and amphibians. When looking at humans, pupils will learn the names of common external and internal body parts.
In Chemistry, pupils learn about common materials and their properties. They will learn how we change the basic shape and structure of materials through melting and freezing and they will choose the best materials for different purposes according to their properties.
In Physics, pupils will learn about the seasonal changes happening across the year. Pupils will use basic equipment to measure weather, such as collecting rain water and watching evaporation on hot days.