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St. Stephen's Infant School Curriculum
'Striving, Supporting, Inspiring, Succeeding'
'Our diverse and engaging curriculum promotes outdoor play, curiosity, creativity and independent learning.'
[SSIS Vision Statement 2018-21]
The SSIS Curriculum
At St. Stephen’s Infant School (SSIS) our whole school curriculum comprises of all learning experiences that the school offers the children. A new National Curriculum was introduced in September 2014 with the main aim of raising standards in education. The National Curriculum sets challenging expectations for all year groups from Y1 to Y6, focussing on essential core subject knowledge and skill development.
Our core values and principles inform how we design and implement our SSIS Curriculum. The SSIS Curriculum links clearly to the school’s vision statement which places children at the centre of learning and has been designed to 'truly engage all children and inspire them to succeed'.' [SSIS Vision Statement 2018-21]
Our aims form the intent for The SSIS Curriculum:
- Nurture every child to be a happy, caring and responsible member of our school community.
- Motivate the children to embrace challenge, learn from mistakes and to realise their dreams and goals.
- Plan a rich and varied curriculum that truly engages all children and inspires them to succeed.
- Teach the children to be effective, independent learners who are creative, imaginative, curious, reflective, resilient and supportive of each other.
- Create indoor and outdoor learning environments that excite, energise and enable children to play, explore and learn.
Our vision and aims shape the strategic direction of the school. As such, we are in the process of evolving The SSIS Curriculum ready for 2019+.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) – The Reception Curriculum
The EYFS is based upon four principles:
- A Unique Child – developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals.
- Positive Relationships – supporting the children in becoming strong and independent.
- Enabling Environments – where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parent/carers/carers and the child.
- Learning and Developing – An acknowledgement that children learn in different ways and at different rates
The seven areas of the EYFS curriculum aim to promote the development of the 'whole child':
Three Prime areas: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social & Emotional Development.
Four Specific areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts & Design.
Planning Learning in EYFS
Teaching staff adhere to the EYFS principles by planning a balance of adult-led and child-led learning opportunities.
Ongoing assessment through observations and talking with children are recorded in each child's individual 'Learning Journey.'
Learning opportunities are planned for through play, in order for children to work towards their ‘next steps’ in learning. Planning ensures learning opportunities which are both Life-long learning skills (characteristics of effective learning) and attitudes (linked to Elli characters) are developed through whole class, guided group sessions and ILOs. These are;
- playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
- active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
- creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
(Taken from statutory framework for the EYFS 2012)
Key Stage 1 Curriculum
We use the National Curriculum and the children's interests and ideas as starting points for planning learning in Key Stage 1. (KS1) We employ a termly topic-based approach to planning. KS1 teaching staff maximise cross-curricular links between English, Maths, Science, Computing, RE and the Foundation Subjects to plan engaging learning opportunities for the children. 'Our diverse and engaging curriculum promotes outdoor play, curiosity, creativity and independent learning.' [SSIS Vision Statement 2018-21]
Topic learning allows us to use an area of interest to the children to channel their natural curiosity, creativity and enthusiasm.
Our key stage 1 curriculum is mapped alongside the National Curriculum to ensure subject coverage and breadth.
The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.
Y1 and Y2 parents and carers receive a termly plan (see year group page).