At Stratford upon Avon Primary School, we intend that our ambitious and inclusive curriculum educates all the children in knowledge, skills and understanding, to be effective, inquisitive, curious, independent learners and influence their wider thinking across all areas of the curriculum.
Fundamental British Values are at the heart of our curriculum and everything we do. We focus on promoting the more general concepts within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and understand that the children’s development within these areas is key to promoting the values in the long term.
We endeavour to give the children the Cultural Capital they need for future success, giving each child the best start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their full potential and achieve future success. We are passionate about creating opportunities for children to communicate successfully and articulately, through developing language and communication skills and specifically teaching vocabulary.
We wish our children to believe in themselves and their abilities and capabilities, to belong to the school learning community and the wider community and to become successful in their academic career and beyond.
It is our intention that children experience the seven areas of learning through a balance of whole class/group teaching and play based learning. We plan to achieve this through following the children’s interests, engaging and stimulating themes, continuous provision activities, and whole class teaching.
Learning is carefully planned by the staff to support communication and language development; personal, social and emotional development; and physical development as well as literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world and expressive arts and design.
Our curriculum is designed to recognise their prior learning by providing first-hand learning experiences and allowing the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers to enable them to challenge themselves. We plan through a theme-based approach on a termly basis, but these plans are adapted and amended to address the ever growing and changing needs and interests of all our children.
The aim of our curriculum is to develop a ‘thirst and love for learning’ by:
· Carefully planning sequences of activities that provide meaningful learning experiences.
· Providing child-initiated activities in line with children’s starting points which enhance their learning and impacts on progress.
· Developing an effective and engaging environment that is rich in language whilst taking into consideration the need for the children to be able to access all areas of learning, both inside and outside at any one time.
· Providing high quality interactions with adults that demonstrate and impact on the progress of all children.
· Ensuring that ‘The Unique Child’ is at the forefront of adult’s interactions and adopting a nurturing approach for those pupils who might need some reassurance to enable them to succeed.
· Using high quality questioning and interactions to check understanding and address misconceptions.
· Staff acting as role models to the children they teach in order for children to develop their own speaking and listening skills.
· Carefully assessing, through observations, which are recorded on Tapestry and shared with parents. These are used to inform the next steps of learning and meet individual needs.
· Allowing children to be successful in their attempts at an activity and using effective feedback to help facilitate next steps in learning but providing enough challenge to develop resilience.
· Suggesting home learning opportunities with information about what has been taught, allowing parents to build on their child’s school experiences, at home.
Children develop their literacy skills by the imitation of stories that they learn using actions and story mapping techniques. They then move on to innovation of these well-known stories by including their own ideas. Literacy and Phonics opportunities are also promoted in many of the continuous provision activities available to children during the week. The Early Years uses high quality texts as a basis for planning and usually start with an exciting hook to engage children in both the topic and the book.
Phonics is taught daily using Little Wandle. Phonic sounds are introduced in a systematic manner and progress is monitored with children moving on to read books from the scheme. The sessions are delivered in an engaging way and activities are revisited to embed over the year and supported in a range of ways.
The Maths curriculum is taught through daily dedicated sessions, following the Mastering Number programme, enhanced with Karen Wilding Maths and Early Excellence. These sessions are carefully planned using concrete resources and build on prior learning and real-life experiences across the theme and year. This starts with mastering numbers 0-5 and then progresses through to 0-10 and 0-20. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
At Stratford Primary, progress means knowing more (including how to do more) and remembering more. When new knowledge and existing knowledge connect in pupils’ minds, this gives rise to understanding. As pupils develop unconscious competence and fluency, this will allow them to develop skills. In our Early Years classroom, we used a spaced learning approach to ensure children revisit prior learning in a range of ways to ensure their understand and knowledge is ‘sticky’. We aim for their understanding, development of skills and knowledge to be embedded into their long-term memory and to become second nature.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with their parents and carers through Tapestry and reading records. Parents and carers also have the opportunity to attend Topic Sharing events and parent consultations which allow parents to see the children’s progress and set targets for their child to work on at home.