The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
In the Nursery and Reception classes children work towards the Early Learning Goals. There are seven areas of learning: Understanding of the World; Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language; Literacy; Mathematics; Physical Development; Expressive Arts and Design. In Nursery we focus on the three prime areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language and Physical Development. In Reception we focus on the three prime areas as well as the four specific areas Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
The Primary Curriculum
Curriculum Intent & Vision – ‘Every child to be the best that they can be’
At Uxendon Manor Primary School we aim to develop the heart and mind of every child.
Every child in our school is recognised as individual and unique. The ability to learn is underpinned in curriculum subject areas by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and vocabulary. There are clear, identified end points in each phase of learning which build upon what has been taught before and gives pupils the required knowledge and skills for their next stage of learning. Our curriculum at Uxendon Manor is not solely focused on academic subjects and achievement. We provide pupils with rich learning experiences, educational visits, residentials, extra-curricular activities and enrichment opportunities. We want children to have fun at school and talk about their primary school years as being full of great memories.
Our vision is to provide an overall education which prepares each pupil with the tools and strategies needed to cope with the challenges currently posed in modern day Britain e.g. social media, health and relationships and finance. We also aim to ensure that our pupils know how to make a positive contribution to their community and wider society.
Alongside the teaching of knowledge, skills and vocabulary, here at Uxendon Manor Primary School, we aim to promote positive mental health for every member of our school community including, staff, pupils and families. Pupils are encouraged to talk openly about their mental well-being and access support as and when required. We aim to provide pupils will the tools and strategies needed to cope when faced with challenges within school or home life.
We are very fortunate at Uxendon Manor to have extensive school grounds and our own forest school area. We value the role that outdoor education has in a child’s development and aim to incorporate as much enrichment opportunities and outdoor learning as possible into our broad and balanced curriculum. We find that increasingly more pupils are spending a lot of time in the ‘electronic’ world. We intend to give pupils a love and excitement and as many enrichment opportunities as possible.
How is our curriculum taught at a subject and classroom level?
The role of the subject leader is pivotal in the successful implementation of our curriculum. We aim for all subject leaders to have the knowledge, expertise and practical skill to be able to lead their areas effectively. Each curriculum subject has a dedicated subject leader with clear roles and responsibilities. They are responsible for the curriculum design, delivery and impact in their own curriculum area. Subject leaders and leaders at all levels, including Governors review and quality assure the subject areas to ensure that is being implemented well and coverage and breadth and balance is adequate.
In order for us to be able to deliver the best and most up to date curriculum we provide staff with high quality CPD in their subject specific areas of leadership or teaching role. This may include attending nationwide courses on the curriculum, assessment of research. Following CPD, staff feedback to each other about what they have learnt and we then discuss the impact of this on a class teacher, subject leader and whole school strategic level. We aim to give staff the expert knowledge required to deliver the subjects that they teach. Ongoing professional development and training is available for staff to ensure that our challenging curriculum requirements can be met.
Leaders enable curriculum expertise to develop across the school and teaching staff by leading a Teams to Transform subject team. This team will also have teaching assistants within them.
The curriculum at Uxendon Manor is carefully mapped out to ensure that pupils acquire knowledge, vocabulary and skills in a well-thought out and progressive manner in every curriculum subject ensuring sufficient coverage across each subject over time. New learning is based upon what has been taught before and prepares pupils for what they will learn next. There are clear end points which pupils work towards on their learning journey. We know that if our pupils are learning our curriculum, they are making progress and are being prepared for the next stage of their educational journey.
Here at Uxendon Manor we aim to develop pupil’s working vocabulary. We find that a large majority of pupils enter our nursery with speech and language needs. Language is often delayed and active working vocabulary limited. For this reason, alongside the teaching of knowledge and skills we also teach pupils a range of higher teach vocabulary associated with their curriculum subjects and learning areas. Pupils are excited to learn new words and take delight in being able to use them in their day to day working in the classroom and at home.
The teaching and acquisition of reading skills is prioritised at Uxendon Manor to allow pupils to access the full curriculum. Here at Uxendon Manor we use the Pearson’s Bug Phonics for the teaching of early reading skills. We then use Pearson’s Rapid Phonics, guided reading and Read Aloud, Think Aloud to teach reading and vocabulary development once the pupils have acquired enough reading skills to be independently accessing texts. Pupils in the nursery classes begin learning initial sounds and then this is built upon in the Reception and Year 1 class. Where a pupil has been identified as not on track to achieve age related, intervention is put in place through 1:1 and group reading support to enable them to catch up and achieve in line with their peers. Pupils that do not pass the phonics screening test in Year 1 are also hotlisted to ensure that they pass by the end of Year 2. Pupils are able to access a range of reading resources and texts in the central school library or from their classroom reading areas.
Assessment at Uxendon Manor is designed thoughtfully to shape future learning. It is not excessive or onerous as is part of the day to day working practices of the classroom. Teachers ensure that pupils embed key concepts in their long term memory. Key skills and objectives for curriculum areas are revisited throughout the year and applied in different contexts. Pupils revisit prior learning in their work books as an introduction to their new learning and this provides a context upon which pupils can integrate their ‘new knowledge’ into a wider context. Assessments are reliable and are moderated to ensure that expected outcomes are fully understood by all staff.
Monitoring and Evaluation
A curriculum subject leader is responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of their own subject area. Additional management time is given to subject leaders each week to enable them to successfully carry out their roles and responsibilities, without adding to working. The information from the monitoring and evaluation then forms the basis of the impact assessment for that curriculum area.
A member of staff has overall leadership for assessing the intent, implementation and impact of the whole curriculum that we offer here at Uxendon Manor. This leader has overall vision of the monitoring and evaluation and will guide staff in their roles and responsibilities each week.
Judgements on the impact of the curriculum on pupils is based upon a triangulation of different monitoring and evaluation activities within school. Work and book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and quality of teaching and learning are all used at tools to help senior leaders assess the impact of the curriculum.
Outcomes for Pupils
Our curriculum consistently leads to good outcomes and results for the pupils at Uxendon Manor. We are consistently in line with, above or significantly above national averages for outcomes at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2. We also achieve well in the phonics screening test for our Year 1 pupils and usually all of our pupils have passed the phonics screening test by the time they leave Year 2 unless there is a special and specific learning need.
Pupils with additional learning needs make good progress across the curriculum in line with their own progress measures. Assessment of these pupils is in much smaller and achievable steps. We are proud of the life-skills curriculum that we provide for our pupils including our SEND pupils. Essential skills such as first aid, money awareness, internet safety, healthy eating and basic life skills such as tying shoe laces, using knives and forks correctly, telling the time are all part of what we consider to be necessary skills for our pupils to succeed in life and are key parts of our teaching in school. There is a bespoke plan for life-skills teaching and emotionally health awareness. Although these skills may not be assessed numerically or with a grade, we still feel that being able to achieve these life-skills will enable pupils to fully access life in modern day Britain.