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Windlesham Village Infant School

Windlesham Village Infant School

The Curriculum

Intent; why do we teach what we teach? 

We choose to follow the National Curriculum because we value a broad and balanced curriculum. We use a topic approach, so that we can make links across the subjects.  We believe that our children learn best by doing, so we look to provide concrete, practical, first-hand experiences and encourage a high level of talk about our learning, before we record our learning on paper. 

Since the very first National Lockdown from March-June 2020, we have reviewed our curriculum.  This is in part to reflect the disruption that the lockdowns have caused, but also to recognise the transition our school is making from a two-form entry to a one-form entry school. During the academic year 2020-21, alongside our Reception Class, the other 3 classes were mixed-age classes, meaning that each class consisted of two year groups (Yr R/1 or Yr 1 & 2). In 2020-2021, we adopted whole-school topics for a shared approach to our teaching themes.  In 2021-22, we reverted to single-year group classes. Yr R follows its own curriculum cycle, with its own topics. For Years 1 and 2 (Key Stage One) we revised our curriculum and organised it into a two-year rolling programme, to ensure continuity and progression, without repeating topics. 2020-21 is known as ‘Cycle A’, meaning 2021-22 is ‘Cycle B.’ Key Stage 1 has a topic cycle that the children in Years 1 and 2 follow together, with an emphasis on skills and a distinction in our expectations for the different year groups.  

 After careful thought, we have decided that we will maintain this two-year cycle until we complete our transition to a one-form entry school; this enables us to teach Key Stage 1 with shared topics.  We have a carousel of teaching in the afternoons, so that different teachers deliver certain curriculum lessons to both Year 1 and Year 2, spending an afternoon in a different class. In September 2023, there will be one class in each year group and we can adapt our curriculum planning to allocate different topics to Year 1 and Year 2, with each Class Teacher teaching the full curriculum to their class each week. 

Since our Ofsted inspection in September 2021, we have completed our curriculum review. This means that for each subject, we have sequenced what the children will learn, so that they build on what they learn in Yr R when they are in Yr 1, which combined helps prepare the pupils for their learning in Yr 2 and beyond. We have bought support from The Hamilton Trust for English, History and Geography; this is to ensure full curriculum coverage and to support us as we adapt planning to meet our classes’ needs. We have bought support from Kapow Primary for Art & Design and Music because it offers good training for non-specialist teachers. 

For each subject of the curriculum, there is a Subject Report, a medium-term plan for each topic, a ‘Knowledge Organiser’ which outlines the key knowledge we want the children to gain from the scheme of work, and an assessment frame so that we can record what the children have learned from our teaching of that subject/topic. 

Implementation; how do we teach? 

Reception

In Reception, the children follow the Early Years Curriculum.  Learning and development covers the 7 key areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which are: 

  • personal, social and emotional development. 

  • communication and language. 

  • physical development. 

  • literacy. 

  • mathematics. 

  • understanding the world. 

  • expressive arts and design. 

Every morning, following registration, a whole-class teaching session will introduce the pupils to a key learning concept which is to be a focus for the day. The class then divides into two groups; one group continues their learning in our outside area, with one adult, whilst the other group continues their learning inside.  Activities will include an adult-led focused task with direct teaching. Alongside, child-initiated activities run, often linked to the class topic theme.  The groups change locations later in the morning. As the children settle in the Autumn term, the children have a daily phonics and a daily number teaching session. 

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Key Stage One

In Key Stage 1, for Years 1 and 2, the children have daily English and Maths lessons, Monday-Thursday. In the afternoons, and on Fridays, we teach Science, Geography, History, Computing, RE, PSHE, Art, Design Technology and Music. We use a topic as a thematic approach to our learning so that we can make links, where possible.  For example, in our topic of Aviation Spring 2021, the children were taught about how aviation developed over time, using English lessons for the children to write about what they have learned in History.  

Some subjects are taught discretely, when we can’t easily link our topic; for example, we follow the Surrey SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) syllabus for Religious Education and we often teach RE as a ‘stand-alone’ subject in Years 1 and 2.

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The third column.

English 

In English, our lessons start with ERIC, ‘Everyone Reading in Class.’ This will enable us to teach phonics, as well as aspects of reading, within the context of the text chosen. In addition to decoding, we will focus on aspects of grammar and sentence structure, as well as thinking around the content of a quality text, encouraging the children to talk about what is happening in the text, develop inference skills and make predictions about what might happen next.  Ultimately, we want the children to see links and similarities with books written by the same author, or with books that expand on a similar theme. We want to support the children as they make links with learning across the curriculum. This focused whole-class session will enable the children to rehearse what they will be writing about later in the lesson.  The teacher may model that writing, using the children’s ideas. 

Phonics and Reading

Our School Development Plan for 2021-22 identified the need to engage with the government-led review of phonics nationally and review our use of our established phonics scheme, ‘Phonics Play.’ Following feedback from Ofsted, we have brought forward our plans to introduce our chosen Systematic Synthetic Phonics Scheme, ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ with a ‘soft launch’ after February half-term 2022. As we adopt the new scheme, a key focus is the use of decodable texts to match children’s existing phonics knowledge, so that the books they read are fully decodable for each child.  Our existing Colour Book Band scheme is now under review. 

With the adoption of ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ we will be phasing out our teaching of cursive handwriting, meaning that from September 2022, our new Yr R intake will not be taught cursive writing. 

Maths 

We teach Maths Mastery. White Rose Maths is our planning structure and Maths is taught in each year group.  For Key Stage 1, we use ‘Power Maths’ as our Maths scheme. 

From September 2021, we have been included in the ‘Mastering Number Programme.’ This programme for Reception to Year 2 will develop solid number sense, including fluency and flexibility with number facts, which will have a lasting impact on future learning for all children. The programme will also involve high quality, continuous professional development for teachers. 

Computing 

We use ‘Purple Mash’ as our teaching scheme and online platform to structure how we teach and assess all aspects of Computing in Years 1 and 2. 

Science

We use the Kent Scheme of Work for Primary Science, published by The Education People. 

 

Autumn 1 

Autumn 2 

Spring 1 

Spring 2 

Summer 1 

Summer 2 

Cycle A 

2020-21 

Living Things & their Habitats 

Seasonal Changes 

Everday Materials 

 

Seasonal Changes 

Animals including Humans 

Seasonal Changes. 

 

Plants 

Cycle B 

2021-22 

Seasonal Changes (including length of day) 

Everday Materials 

Seasonal Changes 

 

 

Plants 

 

Impact; how do we know how much the children have learned? 

We use observation to assess how much each child has learned.  By talking with the children, observing how they approach a practical activity and responding to their written work, we can see to what extent they have understood a key concept or have developed a skill.  We give feedback to the children while we are working with them, to help them improve the quality of their work within the lesson. In this way, we mark the children’s learning as they complete it, so that we can give feedback as to how to improve it whist they are working and allow them to correct any mistakes they have made. This means we can identify any misconceptions and correct their understanding. 

In the academic year 2020-21, we worked with colleagues across The Alliance Multi-Academy Trust and refined our use of Scholar Pack to record our assessments in Reading, Writing and Maths. Following a Baseline assessment at the beginning of the school year, we capture Teacher Assessment at Check Point 2 (Christmas), Check Point 4 (Easter) and Check Point 6 (July).  We use Pupil Progress Meetings after Baseline and at the end of each term to identify any pupils who are falling behind expectations and plan intervention work to help them catch up, setting short-term targets for them to achieve.  Similarly, we recognise any children who are working at Greater Depth and how we can support them to continue working at that level. We track each child’s progress.  

In 2020-21, we agreed a structure for assessment across the Trust in every National Curriculum subject, so that we have a shared understanding of what expected progress looks like for each subject in each year group.  This structure has been quality-assured by the Assessment Leader network of our Trust, working with our CEO.  These new assessment grids were adopted from September 2021 and are monitored by the Senior Leadership Team in each school, working alongside the Assessment Leader in each school. Each school will report to the governor with responsibility for the Achievement Portfolio, on a termly basis. 

We use lesson observations, Book Looks, Behaviour Walks, discussions with pupils and with teaching staff to monitor teaching and learning in our school.