Children come to Lee Brigg Infant & Nursery School with a desire and enthusiasm to learn! As a staff and school community, it is our role to capture this and to develop their enquiring minds. We respond to our children's needs by having a curriculum in place, which supports, encourages, excites and challenges them!
Our curriculum has been designed to complement the strong ethos within school that every child has the right to a high quality education, one that builds up their self-esteem, confidence and encourages them to aspire to achieve without limits.
It is a curriculum which is the vehicle for our passion, as early educators, that in order for all of our children to be successful readers, writers and mathematicians, they should first, be given the opportunities, be taught specific skills and be allowed to embed the areas of
• Communication and Language,
• PSED (Personal, Social and Emotional Development) and
• Health and Well-being.
We believe as a school that these key prime areas do not just underpin learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), but are also essential to our children in Key Stage One (KS1).
This is supported by recent research including 'Good Practice in Early Years Education' (SEED January 2017), as well as ongoing and recently published guidance as part of EEF (Education Endowment Fund) projects such as, 'Improving Literacy at Key Stage 1,' 'Preparing for Literacy,' as well as 'Healthy Minds' (November 2018), and the more recent 'School Sport and Activity Action Plan' (DFE, DFDCM, DHSC July 2019).
Alongside these three prime areas, at Lee Brigg Infant & Nursery School, we have two additional key drivers that underpin our Curriculum Design. These are:
• Our offer of wider learning experiences and opportunities.
• An embedded 'Challenge & Educate' aspect across all of the subjects within our curriculum
We know that this approach to our curriculum, for our children is effective, due to their successful outcomes at the end of EYFS and Key stage 1. This is not only the case in the core academic subjects, but across a range of subject areas, where children demonstrate what they know and remember. It can also be observed in our children's positive attitudes to learning, their developing confidence, independence, resilience, and positive relationships with others. Therefore preparing them well for the next step of their educational journey.
What will you see at Lee Brigg Infant & Nursery School as a result of our ethos, values and curriculum.
Through our focus on Communication skills
• The relentless promotion of the acquisition of Language.
Our children are immersed in language and literature. The school community carries a strong belief that a competence in and enjoyment of language is the foundation for all future learning. As such, a love of reading is encouraged and promoted and the development of spoken language and key vocabulary is seen as an essential tool to unlock learning opportunities across the curriculum.
Through our focus on Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• The promotion of Independence in all aspects of school life.
Our children are taught and encouraged to ask questions. They are given the tools and strategies to solve problems. With independence comes responsibility, so children are given roles and responsibilities from their earliest days in school. The learning environment allows pupils to grow as independent learners, developing their skills of perseverance and resilience.
• Children with a strong sense of Belonging.
Our children are celebrated; their achievements and successes however big or small are valued. They are given a sense of purpose and pride and once they have found their place in our school they are taught to find their place in the world! They are encouraged to have high aspirations for themselves and are shown how to look out at the world and how to respect others. They are equipped with the skills and knowledge to ensure they are responsible citizens in their school, local and wider global community.
• A school community with high Standards and Pride in all that they do.
Our children are taught to have a sense of pride in themselves and all that they do. High standards permeate across all subject areas; this is visible within the learning environment and reflected in our school displays. Our golden rules promote consistency and as a result, standards in behaviour are outstanding. Children respect one another and produce work that exudes their sense of pride.
• Relationships that are built upon collaboration, communication and respect.
Our children are encouraged to build up good relationships with adults and their peers. There is an expectation in school that all staff are role models and promote an ethos of collaboration and support. Children are taught the skills of resilience and perseverance, which prepares them for the challenges that they are given in school, as well as the wider world. Collaborative opportunities are planned through the curriculum across all subjects.
Through our focus on Health & Well-being
• A culture of Health and Well-Being.
Our children are cared for. They are taught about how to stay healthy and safe in all aspects of their lives. Themes from the curriculum ensure that this is often a lead focus for a topic. Healthy lifestyles permeate across the school day, from periods of spiritual mindfulness to extended physical activity and active learning. The mental health of our children is paramount and opportunities to support and promote 'healthy minds', as well as develop our understanding as a staff, are at the forefront of our Health and Well-being philosophy.
• A celebration of Creativity.
Our children are given opportunities to develop their interest and creativity across the curriculum. Experiences that enhance our curriculum and increase the enjoyment of learning are carefully planned. Children are encouraged to try new things, our after school activities regularly change to reflect this. Real life learning and providing a sense of awe and wonder within their learning, is what we strive to achieve as a school.
The above are not listed in order of importance, instead they are interwoven through all that we teach when educating the children in our care.
How is our Curriculum planned?
As a school, we recognise our prime responsibility of teaching our children to be competent and confident readers, writers and mathematicians. These subjects, along with our key drivers of Communication and Language, PSED and Health and Well-being, underpin our curriculum design.
We recognise that these areas of learning and development will look different across the differing ages and abilities of our children, but acknowledge that all of our children need a firm foundation in these, to successfully achieve in all other areas.
As a staff, we regularly meet to discuss and review the needs of our children. A specific focus is given to any of our children who are identified as having a special educational need, or who are classed as vulnerable, or those coming from a disadvantaged background. We plan so that our curriculum is accessible and supports their needs. A recent review of our children, including those with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and those classed as disadvantaged, identified particular barriers to learning through their lack of wider experiences and therefore the subsequent acquisition of new vocabulary. Integral to our curriculum is therefore the need to have a relentless focus on language, as well as providing wider opportunities and enhancements, in order to develop the children's vocabulary and understanding of society and the world around them.
As a staff, we also look at individuals and cohorts and identify any further specific gaps in our children's learning or experiences. Our knowledge of child development allows us as a staff team, to identify what our children need in order to be able to move on in their subsequent learning.
With this information in mind, the senior leadership team lead on the planning of the curriculum across school, with input from subject leaders. Subject leaders are delegated the task of ensuring that their subject is carefully planned and sequenced. This ensures consistency, as well as, progressive learning, skills and knowledge development across all year groups.
Each subject leader produces a skills and knowledge overview, based upon the National Curriculum (2014). Our Early Years curriculum has been carefully planned alongside this, so that our children are ready and have the prior knowledge and skills needed, before moving into Key Stage 1. Choices on the specific content taught and sequence of learning is based upon many factors, but always with the needs of our current children at the forefront.
The curriculum is designed within 'themes', chosen to engage, inspire and enthuse the children in their learning. Each half term carefully chosen, key texts provide a starting point. This enables us to plan strong cross-curricular links using a different key subject area each half term to drive the learning. It also provides the opportunity for children to experience a wide range of books and authors and enhance their love of reading.
Themes are used to provide a context for learning, however within these, individual subjects are taught discretely. This teaches our children what it means to be a 'geographer', 'historian', 'scientist' etc. It ensures progression in skills and language development and allows them to take on the notion of experts in different subject areas. The themes are set out as part of a two-year rolling programme in order to cater for the needs of the split year-group class. The cycle in place allows children to access new curricular content each year, alongside embedding previous knowledge, skills and concepts. Due to the spiral and progressive teaching approach that we use across the curriculum, children make progress in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they gain in each subject area.
Throughout all subjects we have develop a 'Challenge & Educate' aspect to ensure that children are taught to challenge stereotypes and are educated to value and respect differences, including those reflected within the nine protected characteristics. With this in mind, texts, story books and significant people understudy (across all subjects), are carefully chosen to provide our children with opportunities for discussion in order for them to learn and appreciate that differences are not a barrier to relationships, achievement or success.
How is our Curriculum delivered?
We have a clear teaching structure that underpins high quality teaching across all subject areas. This is based upon research, which evaluates effective teaching and learning practice. Class teachers follow a basic teaching sequence which includes:
• A recap and review of prior learning, this includes the reintroduction of key vocabulary so that children can start to make links in their learning and teachers can check children's understanding before moving them on. Skilful questioning is used both at this stage and throughout the lesson, to check understanding and as well as provide further challenge.
• Modelling, which includes a clear demonstration for children, broken down into small manageable steps, thus allowing them time to understand what is being taught and what is expected of them.
• Guided Practice, where children are supported with some element of scaffold, to guide their learning before they become fully competent and are able to reinforce and embed their knowledge, skills and understanding through opportunities for independent practise.
Learning environments are carefully designed to support teaching and learning opportunities. Key vocabulary is displayed and reinforced and working walls are used to promote thinking and independence. Work is displayed and celebrated!
Both the senior leadership team and subject leaders are responsible for monitoring the planning, teaching and impact in their subject areas. They use observation, evidence of children's work and pupil voice to support with this evaluation.
The high standards that we promote in English and Mathematics are reflected across all subjects.
Outcomes and progress towards end of year expectations, in all subjects are tracked by teachers and subject leaders, to ensure that our children are making progress across the curriculum.
Character Building and Wider Opportunities
At Lee Brigg Infant and Nursery School we recognise the importance of our role in developing children's character and well-being, alongside their academic achievements.
We continually review the needs of our children, our community, as well as current global issues, so that we can plan careful learning opportunities and experiences that will prepare our children with values for life, in order for them to become conscious, active citizens of the future.
To this end we have developed our own structured framework for our children in our school, rather than purchase a generic scheme.
Our framework brings together aspects of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, including a focus on healthy relationships, Religious Education, as well as Physical Education and Mental Health and Well-being.
In addition to these aspects, we have designed a set of skills and challenges that children will undertake and achieve during their time in school from nursery to year 2. These have been carefully designed so that the children move through increasing levels of commitment, learning and challenge. At each step, skills and projects have been carefully chosen, not only to build upon previous experiences, but to allow the children the opportunity to take part in work that will benefit both the environment and the community, whether this be on a local or global stage.
The framework is inclusive for all of our children regardless of their individual need or background.
To recognise their achievements there will be different stages of rewards and celebrations. By working within this framework children will not only develop their confidence and self -esteem, they will become positive, independent and self-motivated learners of the future.
Walking into our school you will see our ethos and curriculum in action!
You will see children who are motivated and engaged, who are confident and sociable. You will see children's work and an environment which reflects the quality and standards of our curriculum. You will see teachers and leaders who inspire, challenge and care for our children.
As a staff and school community, we never stop learning and growing. As such, our curriculum will continue to evolve and develop with the needs and interests of our children. We are confident that our curriculum allows our children to leave our school not only with a love of reading, writing and mathematics and the ability to use number and language effectively, but with the skills and creative flair that they will need in real life and to equip them well on the next stage of their journey in education.
Further information on both our School Curriculum, as well as our specific year group overviews, can be found on the class and subject pages of the school website.
If you require any additional information please contact Miss Gordon or any of our class teachers via the school office.