Our Curriculum - a Learning Adventure!

Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and the world around them. 

At Polehampton we have devised a broad, balanced, interesting and challenging curriculum. Through exciting and relevant topics, teachers ensure key skills are embedded, readily providing children with opportunities to acquire, improve and master them.

As part of our topic based learning cohesive links are made to enable children to make sense of their learning, ensuring  it is meaningful and purposeful. Our children participate in a rich variety of first hand experiences which will bring their learning to life.  We are committed to providing a safe, happy, secure and stimulating learning environment.

Our curriculum develops children’s positive attitudes towards learning and encourages them to take initiatives and apply learnt skills to solve problems.  We ensure every child is supported and challenged as they explore and develop their intellectual, social, emotional, cultural, moral, physical and creative skills. We develop children’s understanding, and appreciation of, life in modern Britain and support them in growing into independent and positive citizens, who feel confident about who they are, and always show respect for others.

Each child is nurtured as an individual and we work in partnership with parents/carers to provide a supportive and inclusive experience; everyone is valued and all achievements are celebrated.

Each September, we have a year group meeting, where we talk about the expectations for each year and give ideas for how you can help at home. 

Take a look at our wordle for Teaching and Learning 


Do take a look at the Espresso website for online activities to support learning across the curriculum. Parents have been given the log on details in the curriculum packs given out in September. Do contact us if you need them again. 

Take a look at our recommended apps to support learning in all year groups.

Our Curriculum - a Learning Adventure!
Scroll down to find out more about each element. Please contact the school if you require more information.
  • The Foundation Stage
  • The National Curriculum for Key Stage One
  • RE
  • Phonics
  • Learning about Learning - our Super Learner Profile
  • Global Schools
  • Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education
  • Promoting British Values

The Foundation Stage

Our youngest children, in their first class, will be taught the Foundation Stage Curriculum. The Foundation Stage curriculum is firmly based on play and independent learning, a framework which has proved to be the most beneficial and supportive way for young children to learn at this vital stage of their education.


Throughout the Foundation Stage ongoing observations are made in the three PRIME areas (communication and language, physical, personal, social and emotional development) and four SPECIFIC areas (literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design) areas of learning. There is also a strong focus on the three CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING (playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically). These characteristics describe factors which play a central role in child’s learning and in becoming an effective learner. Key aspects of effective learning characteristics include: being willing to have a go; being involved and concentrating; having their own ideas; choosing ways to do things; finding new ways; and enjoying and achieving what they set out to do.


Evidence of individuals progress and achievements are logged in a personal ‘Learning Journey’ record in the form of anecdotal notes, photos and examples of work. This evidence informs the next appropriate steps in their learning and development. We believe that to construct a true reflection of a child's learning and development, it is fundamental that practitioners parents/carers and children’s perspectives are shared. Children's views provide valuable insights into their interests, learning and development, and also how they perceive their learning. We welcome and value greatly parents/carers contributions regarding children's development, including out of school achievements and special events in their lives.

There is a statutory requirement at the end of the foundation year to make an accurate judgement between three outcome bands (emerging, expected, exceeding) for each of the Early Learning Goals (ELG) in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile and complete the learning characteristics narratives. Teachers will review their knowledge of the children in the final term and make their EYFS Profile assessments based on all evidence gathered across the course of the year. This will enable them to make an accurate ‘best fit’ judgement against the 17 ELGs.
The National Curriculum for Key Stage One
In Years One and Two, the children will be taught the National Curriculum and will study English, Maths, Science, Computing, Religious Education, History, Geography, Design Technology, Art, Music and Physical Education.The framework of the National Curriculum is used when planning our schemes of work for the children. Programmes of study in all curriculum areas at Key Stage 1 are covered.

In September 2014, a new National Curriculum was launched. The guides below give excellent information outlining what has changed and what your child will be taught in each year group. 


At the end of Year Two, every child is assessed in Reading, Writing, Maths and Science. Click here to find out more information.
As we don't have any children in Key Stage Two, we don't have performance tables to share with parents. 

Assessment for Learning
In Years One and Two, teacher assessments are made regularly to monitor progress. The children are familiar with their own personal targets and know the steps they need to take in order to achieve them. At the end of Year Two, the children will be more formally assessed against national standards.  From 2016 the tests and reporting arrangements will reflect the new National Curriculum.

Religious Education (RE) and Collective Worship

As a church school, we embrace the teaching of Religious Education and use the locally agreed Berkshire syllabus to support our teaching. Teaching focuses on the stories, festivals, traditions and meaning of Christianity and other world religions. Children are encouraged to understand that others may hold beliefs that are different from their own.  We invite parents to join us for special occasions, such as class assemblies, Harvest and Easter Celebrations. 



Phonics and Reading 

At Polehampton we want to ensure that every single child in our school gets the very best support in becoming confident speakers, fluent readers and willing writers. We use a reading scheme called Collin's Big Cat. These are written by some of the most popular children's authors. They are beautiful, individual looking books with brilliant stories and a wide range of interesting and unusual non-fiction.  

 Across the school we use the synthetic phonics programme Read Write Inc as developed by Ruth Miskin. The programme enables children to develop decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) skills and also has some excellent ditties to support with handwriting and letter formation. 

Sounds Guide   Take a look at the sounds guide to check how we pronounce the sounds. Follow the link to listen to Sylvie making the sounds correctly.  There are lots of super parent resources on this page. 


Learning about Learning - our Super Learner Profile

Our vision is for all Polehampton children to be confident, independent learners who embrace challenges, are intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and love the process of learning.

The ‘Super Learner Profile’ enhances opportunities for our children to develop effective learning behaviours. Fun animal characters help the children to develop a more informed awareness of themselves as learners. Through reflection our children are encouraged to consider their own learning behaviours, make links in their learning and become more aware of their own strengths and areas for development. This increases self-confidence and motivation, nurturing a culture of self belief.

The ‘Super Learner Profile’ provides a common language of learning so that the children experience a coherent and consistent vocabulary as they move through the infant school.



Global Schools

"Education for global citizenship helps enable young people to develop the core competencies which allow them to actively engage with the world, and help to make it a more just and sustainable place. Global citizenship is not an additional subject, it is an ethos.”  

Oxfam website cited 16.12.14

 Education for Global Citizenship is …

  • asking questions and developing critical thinking skills
  • equipping young people with knowledge, skills and values to participate as active citizens
  • acknowledging the complexity of global issues
  • revealing global issues and connections as part of everyday life, whether in a small village or a large city
  • understanding how we relate to the environment and to each other as human beings
  • relevant to all areas of the curriculum.

At Polehampton Infant School global citizenship is a whole school ethos and is promoted through teaching our curriculum in a way that highlights aspects such as social justice, the appreciation of diversity and the importance of sustainable development.

 We aim to raise pupils awareness and encourage them children to...

  • See themselves and others as special
  • Enjoy learning about one another’s lives

  • Appreciate similarities and differences between their lives and those of others in their school, community and the wider world and value the common humanity shared by us all.

  • Begin to understand how their daily lives are connected to others people’s lives around the world.

  • Begin to understand that everyone has rights and responsibilities.

  • Begin to learn to think critically and creatively to make decisions about their own lives.

 

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)


At Polehampton Infant School we recognise the importance of children’s personal development both, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC).

 

Our school ethos and curriculum actively promotes children’s SMSC development, preparing them for opportunities, responsibilities and expectations in life. We are committed to developing and nurturing the whole child to ensure they thrive as confident, healthy, happy and thoughtful individuals who are able to make informed choices and decisions.

 

All adults model and promote expected behaviour, treating all people as unique and valuable individuals, showing respect for other staff, children  and their families.


Some examples of the ways in which we support children in their development are detailed below.

Spiritual
  • We provide opportunities to understand human feelings and emotions, the way they affect people and how an understanding of them can be helpful.

  • We enjoy learning about oneself and others, respecting faiths, feelings and personal values.

  • We explore values and beliefs, including religious, and the way in which they affect people’s lives.

  • We promote using our imaginations and develop creativity. 

  • Time is spent reflecting upon learning and experiences.

Moral

  • We have an open and safe learning environment in which children can express their views and practise making informed and independent judgements and decisions.

  • Show respect for the environment.

  • Encouraged to reflect upon the messages in moral and religious stories.

  • Encouraged to use appropriate questioning of all that goes on around them.

  • Through quality relationships and interactions we promote principles including fairness, integrity and respect for others.

  • Children are engaged in conflict resolution and through the language of choice, are encouraged to consider right and wrong and understand consequences.

Social

  • We encourage children to work cooperatively, share views and opinions with others, and listen to theirs.

  • We support children in developing strategies for resolving conflicts.

  • We have fostered a sense of community with common, inclusive values which ensure that everyone can flourish.

  • We support children in developing personal qualities including thoughtfulness, honesty, respect and independence.

  • We provide opportunities for children to engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.

Cultural

  • We encourage children to recognise the value and richness of cultural diversity in Britain and accord dignity to other people's values and beliefs.

  • We enable children to explore their own cultural heritage and that of others in school, the local community and the greater world.

  • We respect and celebrate diversity providing opportunities for children to learn about and participate in cultural events and experiences.

  • We recognise and nurture individuals gifts and talents.


Promoting British values

In 2011 the Government set out its definition of British values in the Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year. They have reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”


At Polehampton Infant School these values are actively promoted daily through our school ethos, curriculum, system and structures in the following ways:

  • Assemblies/Collective Worship

  • The electing and running of a successful School Council and Eco-team

  • Ensuring that our planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring and discussing these values.

  • As part of SMSC development

  • As part of Global Citizenship

     

Democracy

  • Each new academic year the children decide upon class rules and the rights and responsibilities associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the rules.
  • The children have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council.
  • The election of the School Council members is based on children’s votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.

The Rule of Law

  • The children learn about the importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country.
  • The children understand the need for rules and the need to abide by rules for the good of everyone.  School and classroom rules reflect, reiterate, promote and reward acceptable behaviour and provide opportunities to celebrate pupils’ work and achievements.
  • The children develop an understanding of the value and reasons behind rules and laws, how they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when they are broken.
  • Special visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce these messages.

Liberty

  • The children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.

  • We educate our children about making informed choices, for example through our E-Safety and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons.

  • The children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely.

Respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

  • Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others.

  • We celebrate diversity by learning about different faiths and cultures and  participating in special events and experiences.

  • Children and parents share their own faiths and special celebrations in class and as part of whole school assemblies.

  • The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.

  • Collective Worship is an opportunity for discussion and thoughtful reflection upon sensitive issues including prejudice.