The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum – Nursery and Reception
We welcome children into a warm, caring and secure atmosphere where they will have the opportunity to explore and discover in order to understand and learn.
Children are given opportunities to experience and talk about real, meaningful and imaginative situations in order to develop their thoughts and communication skills. They are encouraged to think about what they are saying and to listen to others.
There are seven areas of learning and development which shape the curriculum provision in our Early Years. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive:-
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and languages
- Physical development
Staff also support children in specific areas, through which the three areas above are strengthened and applied:-
- Knowledge of the world
- Expressive arts and design
Learning for all the areas is delivered through purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are all equally important and depend on each other.
Children are encouraged to be independent, confident, caring towards others and respectful towards adults.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Children follow a broad and balanced curriculum, where learning to read and write, alongside becoming proficient in maths, is at the heart of what we do.
The core subjects are:-
Information and communication technology (ICT)
The Foundation Subjects are:-
Art and design
Physical Education (PE)
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE)
We plan our lessons to include such aspects as equal opportunities, health education, spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. Each child in the academy has an entitlement to learn within each of the core and foundation subjects, but the individual needs of children is taken into account and the balance of subjects followed by individual pupils reflects this.
Learning to read and write is given major emphasis throughout the academy. Broader aspects of literacy include speaking and listening and drama.
From Early Years Foundation Stage onwards children learn to read and write using synthetic phonics. The main system we follow is Letters and Sounds. The main reading schemes we use include Phonics Bug, Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Stars. As children enter key stage 2, any with gaps in their phonic knowledge are supported using the Ruth Miskin Phonics 1 to 1 tuition programme. The reading schemes used in key stage 2 include Rigby Navigator and Rigby Navigator Max and Oxford Reading Tree including Tree Tops. These books are used alongside non reading scheme books (real books) to provide a broad range of reading material designed to develop and enhance children’s reading skills.
Much of a child’s written work is related to personal experiences, especially when they begin to write. The creative aspects of language are encouraged, alongside the mechanics of letter formation, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Reading and writing are both taught in dedicated literacy lessons. Reading is also taught through guided reading in small groups and booster groups. There are many opportunities to practice these skills in other areas of the curriculum.
From Early Years Foundation stage onwards children learn about numbers, shapes, measures and how to solve number problems. There is a strong emphasis on number work and practical activities. Work is carefully planned to give children lots of practice at each stage and to consolidate skills and understanding.
Children spend some time each day working on an aspect of maths in a dedicated numeracy lesson. Opportunities to use what has been learned in these lessons is given in other areas of the curriculum where possible.
This is taught as a subject in its own right. A topic such as ‘forces’ may be called ‘push and pull’ for the younger children and be linked with Design Technology with work on wheels, but it will be planned with the emphasis on the Science Programmes of Study. By the time the children reach the end of their time at Christ Church CE Academy, they will have received a balanced scientific education. Great emphasis is placed upon investigative science to encourage the development of scientific method, fair testing and the recording and analysis of experiments.
Information Technology (ICT)
We are fortunate in having a dedicated ICT suite which is equipped with computers. Every classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard. We also have class sets of laptops and notebooks. We use ICT as an integral part of the learning across a wide range of curriculum areas.
Religious Education (RE)
The academy is a Church of England establishment and this is reflected in many ways;
- We encourage close links with Christ Church Woodhouse Church.
- Members of the church community are regular visitors into school.
- Whole school visits are made to Christ Church Woodhouse Church, however it is important to note that children do not have to pray if they do not wish to do so.
- Our collective worship is of a broadly Christian nature.
- Our religious education similarly places emphasis upon developing a knowledge and understanding of Christianity and there are also signs around school which reflect our status.
The academy’s education provision is planned around the Kirklees and Calderdale 2014-2019 agreed syllabus.
The RE curriculum includes a balance of these three aims:
- Knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and other world views;
- Expression of ideas and insights around questions of beliefs and meaning;
- Investigation and response to important questions for individuals and the wider community.
KS1 Christianity + Islam + other world views
KS2 Christianity + Islam + Judaism + Sikhism + other world views
There is a daily act of Collective worship in the academy, ranging from whole academy worship through separate Key Stage 1 and 2 assemblies, to class-based assemblies. This we feel gives the greatest variety for the children.
Religious Education not only emphasises learning about religion, it also emphasises the spiritual development of pupils in our school.
The Foundation Subjects
The foundation subjects are planned and taught largely through our topics. The programmes of study for each of these subjects have been divided up between year groups in order to enable a broad, balanced curriculum which covers what pupils should know and understand, develops appropriate skills and ensures progression.
We place a great emphasis on physical education and sport, both through the lessons offered in school and through a wide range of extra-curricular activities.
Music also has a strong emphasis. We have a very popular choir and take part in a wide range of singing opportunities with other schools. All pupils enjoy weekly singing lessons and we have Platinum Sing-Up status. In addition to this pupils in key stage 2 have the opportunity to play violin, steel pans and African drums.
Sex and Relationship Education
Education about relationships is delivered through Personal, Health and Social Education (PSHE). Education about reproduction is part of science education. Both aspects of sex education are taught in a sensitive way by very experienced teachers.
Withdrawing Pupils from certain aspects of the curriculum
Parents have a right to withdraw their children from sex education and from religious education and collective worship. As a Church of England establishment we do expect that when parents have made our academy their choice for educating their children they will be sympathetic to the values and teachings of the Church of England.
Any parent wishing to withdraw their child from sex education, religious education or collective worship should discuss this with the Head Teacher.