The pupils at Woodlands Nursery and Infant School enjoy rich and varied learning experiences. We follow the National Curriculum for Years 1 and 2. The Children in Nursery and Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.
At the heart of our curriculum are the key skills of English (as a spoken language, read and written) and Mathematics. We teach most of our other subjects (where practical) through themed topic and project work, which teachers plan purposefully to link subjects together, thus helping to join up children’s learning.
The National Curriculum is divided into subjects, each has its own Programme of Study (English, Maths and Science) or Purpose of Study (all other subjects.) These are split into Years 1 and 2 Each Programme/Purpose of Study has specific Aims and Attainment Targets to be met by the end of a child’s time in that year.
Our school curriculum is planned to be exciting, broad and balanced. It provides children with experiences and opportunities that are practical and allow them to embed their learning.
Themes, Topics and Project Work
Each class has a theme or topic running per term or half term. This could be linked to a specific subject eg “Vehicles” or a particular project such as “The Seaside” or “Ourselves”. We choose these to match the Curriculum for that age group or because there is an exciting or interesting local connection we want to explore. We hold termly WOW days to launch the new theme and inspire the children. As many links are made between lessons as possible and where practical off site trips or visiting experts are involved to enrich learning. Each term class teachers will send out a detailed planning map explaining the subject areas being studied so families know in advance what their child will be learning about. These curriculum maps are on the year group pages of the web site.
We aim for high standards in speaking, listening, reading, writing, mathematics and Computing to ensure that our pupils are equipped with the vital skills necessary to succeed in life. At Woodlands we use Read, Write, Inc. synthetic phonics scheme in school, combined with the Oxford Reading Tree home reading scheme.
Phonics and Reading
We teach the key skills of English (as a spoken language, read and written) discretely in literacy and in context through our carefully planned topic work . Our aim is to inspire children to read and write independently, skilfully and with pleasure.
Reading covers a range of skills, word reading, comes first. Phonics, matching letters and sounds – then the techniques of independent decoding and blending grow alongside the understanding of word structure and the historical links between words in the English language. Recall of key words and sight vocabulary grows in line with the age related stages of the National Curriculum. At the same time we teach how to understand and take delight in stories and other books, at first by sharing and listening but as soon as possible by fostering a love of independent pleasure in reading. All this supports children in their own comprehension of a range of texts and sets them off into a world where they appreciate and enjoy a positive relationship with the written word.
At Woodlands Infant and Nursery School we follow Read write Inc. This is a complete literacy programme, for 4 to 7 year-olds learning to read and write. The program is set up with a clear progression.
In Nursery all children
- Learn the first 30 sounds in short daily sessions
In Reception all children
- Read storybooks and non-fiction books closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge
- Take home Phonics storybooks to share
- Read with fluency and expression
- Learn to spell using known sounds
- Write confidently by practising what they want to write out loud first
- Work well with a partner
- By the end of year 1 children are accurate and speedy readers and are ready to move off the Ruth Miskin phonics programme
Writing is actively taught across all lessons both as a discrete skill and in many cross-curricular contexts.
In the beginning, writing is the transcription of the phonics taught for reading. Correct letter formation and handwriting techniques for later learning are established early. Spellings are taught in sequence as set out in the national curriculum.
Written composition begins with the structure of sentences and the early skills linked to planning (drafting), writing and checking (editing) their own work. Wherever practical we teach writing as a life skill embedded in range of real contexts that tie in to class topics and themes. In order that children write with accuracy and correctly we teach new vocabulary, grammar and punctuation in line with the age-related expectations set out in the national curriculum.
We learn how to this with class modelled and shared work then demonstrate these skills independently in our writing portfolio books These techniques grow year by year so our children emerge as confident, enthusiastic writers.
The new National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent with the fundamentals of maths. At Woodlands we will follow these principles through the frequent practice of a range of increasingly complex problems, thus our children develop conceptual understanding. As they learn they increase their skills of recall and become confident in applying their new skills rapidly and accurately.
We want our children to reason mathematically so they are equipped to manage the challenges that “real life” maths will throw at them. To be able to solve problems by applying the skills learnt in other lessons, breaking them down into steps and using our school value of perseverance to try and seek solutions.
Children need to experience maths at home too so we ask for parent’s support with homework. Firstly by trying to include as much real life maths in everyday family life as you can. In addition by helping learn key skills such as number bonds and multiplication facts. Finally by helping with homework activities sent home from your child’s class teacher.
At Woodlands Infant and Nursery School all children are encouraged to scientifically explore the world around them. Thinking skills and an enquiring mind are positively encouraged – we want our children to ask why!
Our children learn about science within the themed topic curriculum we plan. We are keen for children to understand that science occurs everywhere and so each topic has a broad mix of biology, chemistry and physics contained within.
Looking forward, we are working to ensure that our science provision continues to meet the requirements of the new National Curriculum as well as inspire the future generation of great scientists. We regularly welcome visitors and scientists to work with the children, others who can encourage awe and wonder and develop a deep seated love of science.
At Woodlands we want to develop curious of minds, we already know that our children are great scientists, they just need a little time and assistance to refine their thoughts and encouraging to explore and continue enquiring why.
Physical Education (PE)
What is PE?
Physical Education, or PE, is taught throughout the school, from Foundation Stage to year 2.
PE lessons are designed to teach children the skills needed to be active and to move with control and co-ordination, as well as skills that can be applied to a range of different sports and activities. Another key part of Physical Education is teaching children about how to have a healthy lifestyle and how our bodies are affected by exercise and movement.
In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, PE lessons are primarily skills based. This means that the children will learn and practise a range of skills and movements through different activities and games.
In PE pupils learn how to think in different ways to suit a wide variety of creative, competitive and challenging activities. They learn how to plan, perform and evaluate actions, ideas and performances to improve their quality and effectiveness. Through this process pupils discover their aptitudes, abilities and preferences, and make choices about how to get involved in lifelong physical activity. Physical education has the potential to make significant contributions to, and provide substantial support for, many areas of the curriculum.
History plays a crucial role in the curriculum as it provides solutions to some instrumental questions within our lives. It allows children to understand how the world around them became what it is today, also allowing them to trace their origin and that of their peers.
Key Stage 1 children are usually unfamiliar with historical events, and cannot comprehend the past. History is the platform for introducing children to this crucial aspect of their lives, and teaches them the ability to piece together different types of information, and learn the principles of drawing conclusions from evidence presented, allowing them to form links between the present day and the past. Place events in sequence from the past and the present, and start to understand the reasons why some events in the past occurred as they did.
Through the teaching of Music we aim to develop children’s self-confidence, concentration, self-discipline and teamwork: children will develop the ability to critique and present themselves and their work. We aim to give children the skills, knowledge and understanding to enable them to access and enjoy music through a variety of musical activities. Music offers children a way to express themselves emotionally contributing to pupil’s social, moral, social and cultural development.
Our ethos for music lessons is to give children an opportunity to experiment, explore and see what they can do when performing and improvising by giving them the necessary skills and equipment. We give children a chance to feel inspired musically with whatever knowledge they bring to that lesson and to be able to be involved whatever their instrumental experience and ability. We aim to awaken their awareness of what is possible and if we can do that with children when they have little or no musical knowledge then there is no limit to what they can achieve once we’ve caught their imagination. We place a significant emphasis on making music and through this we continue to raise standards, expectations and achievements. This is reflected in our belief that children should be given a platform upon which to perform and a vehicle through which to do so. The whole school perform the Nativity every Christmas.
At Woodlands Infant and Nursery School we aim to:
- Promote and support music for all children through classroom experiences, lower and upper school music sessions and whole school activities, following the National curriculum
- Provide experiences and resources that promote knowledge, skills and understanding in music, in relation to our and other cultures traditions
- Provide learning experiences that promote confidence and the development of the child
- Promote a music curriculum with relevant differentiated experiences
- Promote progress in and continuity in music through curriculum planning and monitoring in line with assessment procedures in school
- Promote opportunities for the child to further develop musical skills throughout the whole curriculum
- Actively engage and forge links with the outside community through music
- Promote the continuing development of expertise and confidence in music for relevant members of staff
- Recognise ways in which ICT skills may be incorporated into, and developed by the music curriculum and used to enhance the musical experiences of all children
Art and Design
At Woodlands Infant and Nursery School we strongly believe appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives. Through our planning of Art we aim to; enable children to record from first-hand experience.
Art and Design at Woodlands Infant and Nursery School stimulates both creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world.
During the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, pupils use: colour, form, texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.
With the use of Art we aim to improve the children’s ability to control materials, tools and techniques, increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of Art and Design in different times and cultures, develop increasing confidence in the use of visual and tactile elements and materials.
Through Art and Design activities, children learn to make informed value judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions, becoming actively involved in shaping different environments both indoors and out.
The children explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers. They learn about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design in contemporary life, and in different times and cultures. They learn to understand, appreciate and enjoy the visual arts and the power they have to enrich our personal and public lives.
Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE)
This subject has a vital role in the development of children’s emotional and behavioural well-being.This subject has a vital role in the development of children’s emotional and behavioural well-being.
Personal, social and health education (PSHE) is a planned programme of learning opportunities and experiences that help young people grow and develop. PSHE education can be described as ‘learning to live life well’ and deals with real life social and economic issues affecting children & young people, their families and communities.
PSHE education is important because:
- it makes a major contribution to the health and achievement of children and young people
- it contributes to the welfare and safety of children and young people
- it helps to increase children’s independence and ultimately enables them to take responsibility for themselves
- it prepares them for their future role as parents, employees and leaders
We teach PSHE because pupils benefit from learning how to lead healthy lifestyles, manage their feelings, build positive relationships and become financially capable. PSHE is taught all the way through the school, from Foundation to Year 2. A topic is taught each term ranging from New Beginnings to Changes. Many of the lessons are more discussion-based and it is a chance for children to talk about issues and explore ways of dealing with their feelings and emotions.
We ensure that the children experience the process of democracy in school through Class and School Councils. We teach them about rights and responsibilities. They learn to appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a diverse multicultural society.
Specific areas within the PSHE curriculum such as internet safety and Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) are taught discreetly at and age and stage appropriate level in Key Stage One.
We believe the ability to use technology effectively is an essential skill in life. Our aim is to develop learners who are confident and effective users of a variety of technologies. It is vital that all pupils have an entitlement to the Computing curriculum regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, social class or special educational needs and we will ensure that our provision meets the need of all learners. We recognise that technology has the ability to motivate and enthuse pupils, to enable them to work individually, co-operatively and collaboratively and to develop perseverance and flexibility and creativity.We believe the ability to use technology effectively is an essential skill in life. Our aim is to develop learners who are confident and effective users of a variety of technologies. It is vital that all pupils have an entitlement to the Computing curriculum regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, social class or special educational needs and we will ensure that our provision meets the need of all learners. We recognise that technology has the ability to motivate and enthuse pupils, to enable them to work individually, co-operatively and collaboratively and to develop perseverance and flexibility and creativity.
Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas.
Key stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:
- Understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
- Create and debug simple programs
- Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
- Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
- Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
- Use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies
During the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, pupils learn how to think imaginatively and talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making. They build on their early childhood experiences of investigating objects around them. They explore how familiar things work and talk about, draw and model their ideas. They learn how to design and make safely and start to use Information, Communication, Technology (ICT) as part of their designing and making. Knowledge, skills and understanding are applied when ‘developing ideas’, ‘planning’, ‘making products’ and ‘evaluating’ them.During the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, pupils learn how to think imaginatively and talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making. They build on their early childhood experiences of investigating objects around them. They explore how familiar things work and talk about, draw and model their ideas. They learn how to design and make safely and start to use Information, Communication, Technology (ICT) as part of their designing and making. Knowledge, skills and understanding are applied when ‘developing ideas’, ‘planning’, ‘making products’ and ‘evaluating’ them.
Through design technology we aim:
- To develop pupils’ designing and making skills
- To teach pupils the knowledge and understanding, within each child’s ability, that will be required to complete the making of their product
- To use skills and knowledge gained from other subjects when making their product, such as measuring, communication and drawing skills
- To teach pupils the safe and effective use of a range of tools, materials and components
- To develop pupils’ understanding of the ways in which people have designed products in the past and present to meet their needs
- To develop pupils’ creativity and innovation through designing and making
- To develop pupils’ understanding of technological processes, their management and their contribution to society.
Through Design Technology the children at Woodlands children learn to think and intervene creatively and become creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. They look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues and function. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects.