In Reception, learning is organised according to the seven areas of the foundation stage curriculum:
- Communication and language
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Physical development
- Expressive Arts and Design
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
In Key Stage 1 the children are taught through the subjects outlined in the new National Curriculum. The learning is planned to provide a stimulating and challenging curriculum with an emphasis on first hand meaningful experiences. We strive to ensure the children are able to make links in their learning and we celebrate achievement through assemblies, displays and whole school events. Learning is organised into stimulating topics which make the subjects meaningful.
The school is extremely well resourced with a well stocked library and motivating resources. All the classrooms have interactive whiteboards and the children have access to computers, laptops and iPads to extend their learning.
The following subjects are taught:
The school places a very high emphasis on ensuring every child really enjoys reading and sees themselves as a reader.
The following methods are used to teach reading:
- Song of Sounds phonics programme. All children will follow this programme which is organised through a structured approach.
Teaching is tailored to the children’s needs and progress is regularly monitored through careful tracking and evaluation.
- Children are taught to read through whole class sessions.
- Key words are introduced from Reception and children build up a bank of familiar words.
- All the classes have well organised book areas and during reading lessons the children will read individually to an adult.
- We use a system of banded books to ensure progression in reading skills across the school
- All children take home a reading book daily to share with an adult.
- Books that motivate and interest the children are used as a starting point for learning across the school.
The vast majority of our children make rapid progress in reading and leave us as competent readers.
Writing is taught across the school using motivating starting points ensuring the children have a purpose for writing and see writing as enjoyable. Each class has a well-stocked writing area and writing sessions are planned carefully to ensure the requirements of the National Curriculum are met.
Great emphasis is placed on the development of the children’s speaking and listening skills and they are encouraged to communicate with one another and adults, in a variety of situations, both individually and in groups, for example in imaginative play, role-play and drama. Listening is seen as a skill essential to learning across all areas of the curriculum, therefore a broad range of opportunities are planned for the children to develop their listening skills, for example by listening to stories and poems and expressing thoughts and feeling for them.
A wide variety of material and fine motor activities are used to develop the children’s handwriting and as their skills develop they learn to use correct pencil grip control and posture. Children are encouraged to take a pride in the presentation of their work. The same style of writing is continued at our Junior School.
Emphasis is placed on the understanding of mathematical processes, which provides a sound basis for later learning. Work using the computer can give the children the additional practice in the learning of number bonds and tables. Investigative maths where the children solve real and relevant problems is an important part of mathematics at all levels.
The children’s IT skills are considered to be essential for learning across the curriculum. We have interactive whiteboards, iPads and laptops in all classes which enhance the learning experiences on offer.
The school is equipped with a wide range of construction equipment which are used to design and make working models for problem solving activities. Challenges involving design technology are often linked to the class topic work. A variety of tools are available for the children to learn how to use them efficiently and safely.
From the earliest of stage the children are encouraged to observe and investigate their surroundings. Science especially provides opportunities to develop the skills of observing, classifying, experimenting and predicting. The children’s understanding of scientific processes is developed through a variety of first-hand experiences and activities, for example, through play with natural materials, the observation of mini-beasts and food technology. Emphasis is given to the importance of caring and accepting responsibility for the environment.
History and Geography
The starting point for the children’s learning about History and Geography is from their own experiences within their family and the local are and environment. The children’s understanding is developed through active learning experiences such as local visits, visits to places of interest and role-play. People are invited to the school to talk with the children and share their experiences. Photographs, factual books and IT are used to enrich the children’s experiences and extend their knowledge of the world and the lives of others.
The children follow a varied and balanced programme of physical education activities including floor work, the use of large apparatus and the development skills in using balls, bats, ropes etc. In the early years the children access resources and activities to develop their large motor skills in the outdoor area environment. The school has indoor climbing apparatus and a wide range of equipment for the children and they are taught to care for the apparatus and to handle and use it safely.
Health and Sex Education
Through a wide variety of activities the children are introduced to an awareness of some of the many factors that can affect their health. Opportunities are provided for them to learn about the importance of personal care and cleanliness, safety in the home, at school, on the roads and at play and the importance of healthy eating habits.
The Governors see the purpose of sex education as providing the following:
- Knowledge of a human beings physical make-up
- The development of good interpersonal skills
- Ability to communicate clearly and co-operate with decision making
Questions are answered as and when they arise in a manner that is appropriate to the children’s stage of development.
The school follows the West Sussex Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. The central stories of the Christian faith and culture are told. Religious Education lessons also include stories from other religions and cultures and during the Key Stage a more detailed study is made of one of the major religions, Judaism. Examples of work the children have done in all areas of the curriculum are incorporated into the weekly class assemblies. The daily acts of collective worship are of a mainly Christian character. Should any parents wish to withdraw their child from Religious Education and Collective Worship they should contact the Headteacher and suitable alternative arrangements will be made.
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education
All classes have regular ‘Circle Time’ during which discussions take place about social issues. Teamwork activities such as parachute games happen regularly. Once each term we focus on PSHE activities and in-depth discussions to help the children develop strategies for keeping safe. At the beginning of each academic year, the Year 2 children apply and are interviewed for the position of ‘Playground Friend’. They take responsibility for looking out for children on their own and offering to play with them or teach them playground games.
The school has its own PSHE curriculum planning covering our aims and School values. Each term we have a core value which is reflected and implemented across the curriculum. These are launched through a whole school assembly and followed up in day-to-day classroom teaching and learning.
Core Values for each term are:
- Autumn term - Be Kind
- Spring Term - Be curious
- Summer term - Be Courageous