The children follow a broad and balanced curriculum, our aim being to achieve continuity and progression through the school with equal opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in a meaningful context both within the classroom and when accessing the excellent outdoor environments Bedgrove Infant School offers.
FOUNDATION STAGE CURRICULUM
(Nursery, F1 and Reception, F2)
The Curriculum for the Foundation Stage underpins all future learning. The Foundation Stage prepares children (aged 3- 5 years old) for learning in Key Stage 1 and is consistent with the Early Years Foundation Stage and areas of the National Curriculum. Inside and outside structured play is an essential part of the teaching and learning process in both. We all learn in different ways and at different rates. ‘Playing and exploring’, ‘active learning’ and ‘creating and thinking critically’ are vital learning characteristics that provide opportunities for learning.
There are seven areas of learning in the Foundation Stage Curriculum which comprises of three Prime areas and four Specific areas. These are as follows:
Prime areas –
- communication and language;
- physical development;
- personal, social and emotional development
Communication and Language
Through communication and language children are given opportunities to talk and respond to adults and each other in a rich language environment. Children will explore, enjoy, learn about and use words in a broad range of contexts and experience a rich variety of opportunities to develop confidence and skills in expressing themselves. The children develop their listening skills through the use of stories, songs, tapes, circle times, P4c and in role play. This will help them to practise and extend the range of vocabulary and communication skills they use, and help them learn to listen carefully. Words and books are accessible in all learning areas set up indoors and outdoors with adults intervening to model the use of appropriate vocabulary, to listen to children’s talk and to encourage further discussions and enrich conversations.
In both the indoor and outdoor environments the children are encouraged to develop both their gross and fine motor skills through opportunities to be active and interactive. The use of wheeled vehicles, small PE equipment used for games, construction using wooden bricks, large scale art projects and access to gardens, sand and water play, to name but a few activities all support children in developing their co-ordination, control and movement. Children are encouraged to understand the importance of physical activity and what they need to do to be healthy and safe. Their free access to snacks of fruit and regular cooking opportunities enable children to begin to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Through a wide and varied selection of activities, i.e. circle time, show and tell, stories, sharing home life through learning journeys and role play, all children are given opportunities to discuss their families, friends, ideas and feelings. It is important that each child feels valued so that a strong self-image and self-esteem are promoted. The group, paired and individual support given to children if necessary helps them to form positive relationships and to develop respect for each other. Children learn to play co-operatively. High expectations of acceptable behaviour are continually addressed with the children. Social skills and learning to manage their feelings, in the context of the activities provided, supports children at all times. Positive praise is used to emphasise children’s abilities to develop their confidence and self-worth.
Specific areas –
- understanding the world;
- expressive arts and design
Children have daily phonics teaching following the Letters and Sounds programme when they are encouraged to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. In phonics the children are grouped according to the phase relevant to their stage of development and understanding to address the different levels of ability and to enable the pace to allow for consolidation and challenge. The phonics is supported by the phonics reading scheme, games, interactive whiteboard activities and when the children experience group reading, individual reading, class stories, library sessions and story sacks. The children are given access to a wide range of reading materials in the form of books, poems, leaflets, comics, computer activities and the use of electronic Story-phones.
Mathematical development encompasses understanding and the development and improvement of skills in using of numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces and measures. The children have many activities available in the indoor and outdoor areas which help them learn, support, enjoy, explore and challenge their mathematical understanding. The environments aim to be ‘number rich’ so that children appreciate that numbers are all around them and they can make mathematical links in cross curricular learning e.g. tallying football scores, reading prices when shopping, weighing in cookery, seeing what time the café opens etc.
Understanding the World
This involves children making sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. This area incorporates science, geography, history, religious education and ICT. Children have access to computers in classrooms and in the computer suite, interactive whiteboards and a variety of ICT equipment, Bee-Bots, walkie-talkies, digital cameras and much more.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children are given opportunities to explore, play with and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of art, design and technology, music, movement, dance and role play. The learning environments are very well resourced to provide opportunities and encouragement for collaborative and imaginative play to develop children’s creativity.
KEY STAGE 1 CURRICULUM
(Year 1 and Year 2)
Key Stage 1 covers all the curriculum areas using a variety of different approaches, to address the needs of all ability children (aged 5-7 year olds) to build on the Foundation Stage and each individual child’s stage of development. The teaching methods used are very flexible and involve whole class, small group and individual teaching, depending on the curriculum area being taught. The Literacy and Numeracy strategies are implemented and reference made to the proposed new Literacy and Mathematics curriculum to plan and deliver daily lessons. ICT supports all curriculum areas, when appropriate. A thematic approach is taken to cover other subjects with cross-curricular links made wherever possible. Problem solving activities and collaborative work supports creativity and provides children with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills they have learnt. There is a greater emphasis on adult led activities to prepare children for more formal learning in year 2.
Literacy is a core subject of the National Curriculum. English Language Skills are the key to learning in all subject areas.
All classes follow elements of the National Primary Strategy, which involves a minimum of one hour of Literacy work every day.
This incorporates shared reading and writing related to, for example, stories on the IWB and guided reading and writing in groups.
Reading: We aim to provide the children with enjoyable reading experiences which will produce confident readers who can use books effectively for pleasure and for information. Reading schemes are used to give structured progress, particularly in the early stages. Our Home Reading scheme encourages parents to support children in acquiring the “reading habit” at home. The reading scheme includes a range of phonics reading books to match the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme used in school.
Shared Reading: Texts are enlarged with access for the whole class using the interactive whiteboard through the Visualiser, the Internet, Big Books or class texts
Guided Reading: The same text read by a group of children of similar ability with the teacher and the teaching assistant. This provides opportunities for developing fluency, expression and comprehension of the text.
Individual Reading: Children read one-to-one with an adult. Parents are encouraged to help children at home by practising words, reading and discussing books and hearing them read. The school has a Home School Diary for teacher / parent communication.
Phonics: All children have a daily phonics session where they learn to recognise sounds and letters. They then use this to help with their reading and spelling.
Speaking and Listening: These skills are vital in all learning and social situations. We encourage the children to listen carefully to others and to speak clearly and confidently in discussions. Role playing in appropriate sessions and class presentations of work, help to provide enjoyable opportunities to extend oral skills.
Writing: Children plan a range of writing including imaginative stories, poems, letters, instructions, lists and reports. Grammar, spelling, punctuation and dictionary skills are taught to enable communication to be effective. Sometimes groups of children produce collaborative writing.
Opportunities for sharing good work are provided by reading this to other children or adults, or by having it displayed.
Neat presentation and handwriting skills are encouraged and practised throughout the school. We also teach computer word processing skills.
We use examples of good literature as the starting point for children’s own imaginative writing and we place great value on story telling throughout the school.
Children also visit the library regularly where they are able to exchange books and find out about how books and libraries are used. Year 2 children have free access during some playtimes.
Our Library offers children a place where they can enjoy choosing or reading books from the wide range of fiction and non-fiction. They can listen to new or favourite stories on Story-phones or enjoy bringing a story to life with the contents of a Story Sack. The bar code swipe system allows quick and independent checking in and out of books and will even wish them Happy Birthday! This is a learning environment which stimulates the imagination and encourages a sense of enquiry.
The ability to use basic mathematical skills will advantage our children throughout their lives. In mathematics our aims are:
- To enable children to enjoy mathematics in a practical way as a tool for problem solving.
- To increase children’s confidence in using mathematics, in making decisions, in explaining, discussing and asking questions.
- To develop children’s ability to organise, communicate and manipulate information and to predict and describe patterns.
- To apply mathematical concepts, skills and knowledge to other areas of the curriculum.
We follow the National Numeracy Strategy where the main emphasis is to develop a true understanding of number and mental agility.
Children will have the opportunities to use:
- Practical resources – to aid understanding of new concepts and reinforce previously learnt concepts.
- Mental arithmetic – accurate mental agility is a key life skill.
- Mathematical Language – use of correct mathematical terms is encouraged at all levels and ages.
- Problem solving strategies – continuously
- The outside learning environment – to aid collaborative learning, discussion, reasoning, enquiry and large scale movement.
- Technology – Interactive White Boards and Visualisers are in all Year 1, Year 2 and Foundation 2 classrooms, encouraging even greater enthusiasm for mathematics in our school. Computers in all classrooms, a computer suite and laptops can be used daily during Numeracy lessons to provide exciting and stimulating activities and to enhance the teaching and learning of all areas. A range of programmable toys are available to all children to support the learning of position, direction and movement.
We have a very wide range of ICT within the school. Children are allowed access to this as an invaluable tool to enhance their learning. Lessons are planned from the Rising Stars programme which builds on skills as children progress through the year groups.
Foundation 1 has a range of ICT resources such as digital cameras, remote control toys, Aladdin table and Story-phones. Foundation 2 have 2 PCs and KS1 classes 1 PC linked to the server, giving access to the Internet and a wide range of programs. The Internet is based on the County Broadband network ensuring safety within school. All Foundation 2 and KS1 classes have Interactive Whiteboards and Visualisers. There are also laptops available in lessons to encourage use of the Internet for research skills, word processing etc. With a range of audio, visual and control technology available for any age class to use, an exciting and ever changing learning environment is created. Children of all learning styles can access these at their own level. ICT is used across the curriculum wherever it can to support and enhance the teaching and learning in the classroom.
All children are taught safety as part of their ICT curriculum.
Children are naturally curious. Science provides opportunities to explore, investigate and ask questions. By using these skills the children are able to have fun and solve some mysteries using their extensive knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
A great emphasis in Science is on the practical work that is carried out, none more so than in Foundation Stage where the children are taught through play and hands-on experience. As the children move into Key Stage 1 they continue to experience a range of exciting practical activities. Science incorporates specific key skills that enable children to successfully carry out an investigation of their own. These skills are taught through careful, progressive planning.
Teaching is enhanced by the extensive range of exciting teaching and learning resources, the surrounding environment and the visit of outside agencies, such as theatre groups. All of these features enable the children to continue their thirst for knowledge through exploiting every opportunity in Science.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology allows children the opportunity to design and develop purposeful, practical skills using a basic range of tools and materials. The design process begins with investigation and evaluation of completed products from a range of designers. This enquiry based process then feeds in to the children’s own designs with an appreciation of the need for good design. Through focussed practical tasks the children are taught techniques such as cutting, forming and joining which are applied when creating their own models.
Personal, Social and Health Education
Personal, Social and Health Education help to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. Through sessions in class, the children are given opportunities to share, discuss and extend their own ideas, attitudes and values. In doing so, they learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning. They reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. They learn to understand and respect diversity and differences so that they can go on to form effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.
We aim to develop children’s geographical knowledge, skills and understanding as well as a fascination about the world and its people. Activities are based on direct first-hand experiences which focus on the immediate locality of the school and go on to explore contrasting localities at home and overseas both in physical and human terms. We aim to support children in developing knowledge of the world, the United Kingdom and the immediate locality. The children are taught geographical vocabulary to refer to human and physical features. The use of resources such as aerial photographs, atlases, maps making reference to compass directions and plans with basic symbols in a key, support geography teaching.
Music is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. We aim to develop pupils’ understanding, knowledge, skills and enjoyment of music through an active involvement in composing, performing, listening and appraising. The children are encouraged to appreciate the richness of musical traditions in a variety of cultures, including our own and such instruments as African drums are played. Children’s level of concentration and audio skills are improved through listening to, repeating and creating rhythms. Singing practices are held weekly assembly and the children have music lessons where a range of percussion instruments are used and musical notation is introduced. We currently have a very talented music specialist who offers extra-curricular opportunities such as learning to play the ukulele, recorders and keyboards. Our music Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) also runs a ‘Chamber Choir’, ‘Movers and Groovers’ and the ‘Year 1 Warblers’ and outside performances are organised with these choirs.
The purpose of Art is to stimulate the children’s imaginations and creativity. We provide a variety of visual, tactile and sensory experiences for them. The children are able to express themselves using a variety of mediums including drawing, painting and sculpture. Many skills and techniques are taught, including colour mixing from a basic palette, choosing the correct materials for a purpose and access to creative trolleys enable children to select from a range of materials to apply skills in child initiated activities. Techniques in using colour, pattern, different textures, lines, shapes and forms enable children to create a variety of pictures. A range of artists and sculptors work is explored and used to stimulate children’s own work. The children are encouraged to work on collaborative projects as well as on individual ones.
From Foundation Stage we encourage children to ask questions and discuss the past, making comparisons with their world as it is now. Artefacts, books, photographs, internet sites and re-enacting simple everyday situations from the past all help to raise awareness of the passage of time and develop the children’s understanding of simple vocabulary such as ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘past’, ‘present’, ‘then’ and ‘now’. The lives of significant individuals in Britain’s past who, have contributed to our nation’s achievements and influenced the way we live today, are investigated. Key historical events and people are studied and festivals that may be associated that are commemorated throughout the year are taught to broaden children’s understanding of their nation’s history.
The purpose of physical education is to enable all pupils to work towards becoming independently active within the school and community, as well as increasing children’s confidence and well-being.
It is important for all children to have the opportunity to develop their physical skills. We aim to provide these opportunities via a wide variety of activities. Through planned lessons, for Gymnastics, Dance and Game Skills, in the hall, on the field, the playground and during after school clubs a wide variety of sporting opportunities are offered.
The school strongly advocates competitive sport as well and is very involved in local competitions. Children with specific sporting talents are selected to represent the school for these events. We have a very successful track record for not only winning, but exemplifying excellent team work skills and setting an example in the presentation of our sports teams and individuals. The year 2 children have the opportunity to take part in hockey, tag rugby, gymnastics, football, cross country, tennis and dance competitions and festivals with the support of sporting parents and local specialists. Sporting agencies use the school premises to provide lots of after school clubs such as gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, football and multi-skills.
Religious Education is based on the Buckinghamshire County Council Agreed Syllabus. We seek to contribute educationally to the development of pupils as individuals and members of society by fostering a reflective approach to life in the context of a growing understanding of the experiences, attitudes, beliefs and religious practices of mankind. The main religion studied will be Christianity, but children also have the chance to learn about festivals and customs in some of the major faiths. They are encouraged to empathise, discuss, compare and analyse some of the key ideas which lie behind these traditions. Whole school, year or class assemblies are held each day which give opportunities for children to share experiences and feel part of the wider school family. Assembly schedules are shared with parents via newsletters. These include a wide range of opportunities for visiting religious leaders to lead assemblies and for special festivals to be explained as they occur in the calendar to raise children’s awareness of significant events in the context of many different cultures. All children are expected to participate in Religious Education and Collective Worship unless their parents have made a formal request to the Headteacher for their child to be withdrawn.