Curriculum Summary 2023
We have created a comprehensive curriculum for our children. It covers all aspects of the National Curriculum and uses elements of best research, the best schemes and Quality First teaching. Based upon the ‘Cornerstones’ curriculum we ensure that the children in our care have the very best start to their educational journey.
At Raunds Park Infant School, our aim is to create a happy and caring learning environment where we all feel valued and secure. Our curriculum, based upon the Cornerstones Curriculum, is designed to challenge, and inspire our children at every level. Recognising the individuality of our children is paramount to us. To this end we offer a curriculum that matches the needs of our community and remains ambitious for all children.
- To promote Values across all aspects of school life to help children become responsible and valuable members of society.
- To promote a happy atmosphere in school, and help develop every child's personal, social and emotional development to enable them to be successful learners.
- To provide a broad and interesting curriculum taught through a creative, thematic approach, which is enhanced by the use of visits, visitors and the local community.
- To encourage and expect high standards of behaviour.
- To promote positive and meaningful partnerships between staff, parents and the community and to work together
We are driven by our 6 core Values, which feed into all that we do:
- Friendship / Kindness
We believe that by showing these Values and teaching the children to embrace these as they develop, we can help children to become outstanding members of the community - these Values are for life, not just for the school year.
Our School Expectations
We are committed to high quality professional learning that focuses on what makes great teaching, subject knowledge development and sound formative assessment practices. Subjects are taught discretely but links are made where there is natural alignment to ensure that children develop an interconnected web of general knowledge.
We are also guided by a teaching and learning strategy. This teaching and learning strategy is based around a set of core pedagogies. These pedagogies, based on the work of Allison and Tharby and their text, ‘Every Lesson Counts’, outline the key elements that we would expect to see in high quality lessons. Expert teaching requires teachers to provide a high level of challenge for all children, and appropriate scaffolding to support this. From this starting point, detailed explanations and models should be used to demonstrate the learning that is expected. Once the knowledge and/or skill has been taught, children should be provided with opportunities to engage in deliberate practice to reinforce and establish the learning as well as apply their learning in a variety of situations. At all stages, questioning and feedback are utilised to check the level of understanding and support individual and groups of children in their learning.
Our curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of our programme of education, including:
- The knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage (intent)
- Translating that framework over time into a structure, narrative and with subject specific pedagogy (implementation)
- Evaluating what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations (impact)
We follow the National Curriculum, and use Cornerstones Curriculum to support this. We believe that children deserve a balanced curriculum that enables them to develop a deep understanding of all subjects and the interconnections between them.
The rationale for the Cornerstones Curriculum takes the form of 10 big ideas that provide a purpose for the aspects, skills, knowledge and contexts chosen to form the substance of the curriculum. These big ideas form a series of multi-dimensional interconnected threads across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and revisit their learning through a variety of subject lenses. Over time, these encounters help children to build conceptual frameworks that will enable a better understanding of increasingly sophisticated information and ideas.
Humankind: This big idea invites children to find out what it means to be human, including the workings of human anatomy and how to keep safe.
Processes: This big idea invites children to find out about the diverse and dynamic physical processes that are present in, and have a significant impact on, places, the environment and the world around them.
Creativity: This big idea invites children to discover the place of everyday and exceptional creativity, including the qualities of persistence, determination, originality and resilience that form the basis of the creative process.
Investigation: This big idea invites children to be curious and search for answers in response to original, familiar and more complex questions.
Materials: This big idea invites children to explore the properties of all matter, including that which is living and non-living
Nature: This big idea invites children to find out about the diverse natural environments of the world and the plethora of species, both plant and animal, that live in them.
Place and Space: This big idea invites children to explore the visual, cultural, social, and environmental aspects of places in their locality and the wider world.
Comparison: This big idea invites children to compare ways that things are the same or different.
Significance: This big idea invites children to explore the importance of significant people, places, events and inventions.
Change: This big idea invites children to find out about the causes and consequences of change and evolution. They investigate and explore how events unfold and develop an understanding of timelines and chronology.
Our curriculum is also shaped by our Trustwide key drivers of Work, World and Wellness:
Work: As children develop they become aware of the links between education, work and the role of lifelong learning, and understand that people's skills are built up over time because of learning and experience.
World: Education must fully assume its central role in helping its children to forge more, compassionate, forgiving and inclusive societies. It must give people the understanding, skills and values they need to lead with courageous advocacy. At Raunds Park Infant School we want our children to be pro-active, positive members of their local, regional and global communities to enable them to have the capacity to make a difference.
Wellness: Our curriculum teaches the importance of a healthy active lifestyle as well as providing significant opportunities to participate and develop excellence in physical activity both within and beyond the curriculum. We also talk openly and freely about wellbeing to ensure we are providing the best possible proactive and positive provision to protect the mental health of our staff and children.
The curriculum enables children to deepen their understanding of the big ideas within each curriculum area through carefully thought out units of work. As children move through school and study the curriculum, they develop a deepened understanding of the key concepts in each subject area and how they are interlinked. We believe that our curriculum enriches through engagement, but it is also enriched through carefully chosen trips and workshops, which give children the experiences that bring knowledge to life.
At Raunds Park Infant School our vision is to create a place of nurture that encourages its children to be the very best they can be. We want to help each child become a caring, confident and curious young person who has a passion for learning and achieving.
We do this by supporting, guiding and inspiring our children through excellent teaching practices.
By working with our families, we will create an aspirational school community in which everyone is valued and successes are celebrated.
We all play our part in creating a community ethos,
- Staff have high expectations of themselves and all children.
- Teachers are expected to impart knowledge accurately and with enthusiasm which generates high levels of commitment from children.
- We expect children to make rapid and sustained progress in lessons.
- We expect teachers to support children in developing independence.
- We expect teachers to systematically check understanding, intervening in a timely manner when needed.
- We expect children to be challenged.
- We expect teachers to regularly provide high quality feedback to children.
- We all play our part
- We make learning relevant and enjoyable for both pupils and staff
At Raunds Park Infant School we embrace a pedagogy of ‘Personalised Learning’; an approach which expects all children to fulfil their early promise and develop their potential.
High expectations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs.
There is an expectation of participation, fulfilment and success; and teaching and learning is characterised by ambitious objectives, challenging personal targets, rapid intervention to keep pupils on trajectory and rigorous assessment to check and maintain pupil progress.
There are clear plans to support those who are struggling to maintain trajectory. The teacher’s priority is to support children so that they can keep up with the pace of learning and make good rates of progress.
At Raunds Park Infant School we have high expectations of all pupils and may differentiate tasks to ensure that progress is achieved for children of all differing abilities-the effective teaching practices at Raunds Park Infant School see teachers expecting everyone to succeed by offering higher levels of support or extra challenge for those who need it, so that all pupils can access the learning at the expected year group standard.
What is Effective Teaching?
Quality First teaching
- Highly focused lesson design with sharp objectives;
- High demands of child engagement with their learning;
- High levels of interaction for all children;
- Appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining;
- Emphasis on learning through dialogue and collaboration;
- An expectation that children will develop resilience and accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently;
- Regular use of encouragement and praise to motivate children.
- Individual children’s progress tracked using Arbour and Cornerstones Maestro throughout the school;
- Strengths and weaknesses identified supporting planning and intervention
- Data collected on a regular basis and shared with staff (and children where appropriate);
- Children have regular opportunities to discuss their progress. Teachers involve children in setting and reviewing their progress towards their targets;
- Teaching and interventions are adjusted in the light of progress children make;
- Parents and carers are regularly updated on their child’s progress;
- Processes run across the whole school to ensure consistency and are regularly evaluated by SLT to ensure that the needs of all children are being met.
- Rigorous assessment and tracking of children’s performance takes place to inform classroom practice allowing children to make good progress and close attainment gaps;
- The whole school uses Cornerstones Maestro to plan for and monitor children’s progress and attainment throughout the year.
- Day to day, Periodic and Transitional assessments used effectively;
- Assessment for Learning (AfL) evident across the school – learning objectives, learning outcomes, success criteria, self and peer evaluation
- Individuals and groups who are not making sufficient progress are identified;
- Provision for intervention is mapped according to need
- Detailed Learning Plans are put into place;
- Learners are enabled to perform beyond the norms expected for their year group where appropriate;
- Interventions are evaluated and relevant adjustments are made;
- Pupil Progress meetings are embedded to discuss current and future interventions engaging in dialogue around the impact of interventions, potential barriers and further actions required.
- Organisation of the classroom/learning environment adapted to the children’s learning needs;
- The use of learning resources and ICT developed to allow children to work independently and successfully;
- Make effective use of other spaces – the library and intervention spaces where needed, the sensory spaces.
- Displays to be a mixture of celebration of children’s work, supportive resources and information.
- The curriculum is designed to cater for the needs and interests of a full range of learners including:
- Gifted and talented
- Learners with learning difficulties, including those with speech, language and communication needs
- Learners who are learning English as an additional language
- Boys and girls
- Children who are in care
- Learners with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
- Flexibility is built into the curriculum organisation and delivery to ensure greater coherence from the children’s perspectives.
- The school offers a range of ‘out of hours’ activities and clubs which enhance and extend the basic curriculum;
- We ensure access for all;
- Parents and carers, as well as the wider community, are involved in extended provision;
- Access to other services is provided or arranged, including health and social services.
Supporting children’s wider needs
- The school maintains close communication with parents and carers;
- We develop and maintain multi agency links to support vulnerable children;
We acknowledge that people learn in different ways and across the whole school recognise the need to develop pedagogies which enable all children to learn in ways which suit them.
We offer ways for children to learn in different ways including:
- investigation and problem solving;
- open ended tasks;
- research and finding out, with independent access to a range of resources;
- group work, paired work and independent work;
- effective questioning (often employing Blooms taxonomy and higher order thinking skills);
- presentation and drama;
- use of ICT;
- visitors and educational visits;
- creative activities, designing and making;
- use of multimedia, visual or aural stimulus;
- participation in physical or athletic activity-with specialist sports coaching;
- extra-curricular clubs and activities.
We are committed to the broadest educational offering, and that means looking beyond the National Curriculum. A very successful enrichment programme that draws upon a wide range of adult skills is offered through school trips, visiting specialists and themed days and weeks. The programme is planned throughout the year.
Trips and Visits
We plan a series of trips throughout the year for each year group.
The trips are directly linked to our topic work for example an Animals topic may include a trip to the nearby zoo (EYFS) to allow children to see the animals in an environment replicating their true habitat.
Themed days and weeks
We also have themed days and weeks throughout the year eg Healthy School’s week. All pupils take part in a variety of challenges.
Themed days are also incorporated into curriculum. These may be designed to fit with national initiatives eg Comic Relief or Children in Need, to match with events in the UK
The Role of the Trust and our Local Committee
Our local committee members and Trust level directors are involved in monitoring the consistent approach to Teaching and Learning at Raunds Park Infant School. monitoring is done in a variety of ways:
- Reports and presentations received at Trust/local committee meetings, eg: Book Scrutiny;
- School visits to observe day to day running or classroom practice as part of the monitoring and quality assurance for the Trust.
The Role of Parents
- We believe that parents have a crucial role in helping their child to learn. We do all that we can to inform parents about the progress of their child by:
- Holding regular Parent’s Evenings
- Inviting parents into the school to share in their child’s learning;
- Celebration VIP assembly every Friday morning
- Holding parent workshops where we explain assessment procedures and teaching and learning strategies;
- Sending home weekly newsletters
- Good use of social media
- An annual report at the end of each academic year
- Reading record books and reading rewards
The curriculum is the progress model – if children are keeping up with the curriculum then they are making good progress. Progress means knowing more and remembering more.
The impact of our curriculum will not only be measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally........
- EYFS % of pupils achieving a ‘Good Level of Development’ (GLD)
- Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1
- End of KS1 % of children working towards or at the expected standard and at Greater depth in reading, writing and maths
… but, will in fact be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens
For our Computing lessons, we use the Computing Scheme of Work from Purple Mash. For our Religious Education lessons, we use a scheme of work entitled 'Discovery R.E.'. Our Physical Education lessons are taught using the Create Development programme which include 'Real PE', 'Real Gym' and 'Real Dance'.
National Curriculum Weblinks
Please click the link below for information from the Government website regarding the National Curriculum requirements for each Year Group.