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Curriculum

THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

At Spire Nursery and Infant School we are committed to ensuring that all pupils, according to their individual needs, are taught in accordance with the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage. We also believe that learning for the young child should be based on a range of experiences involving physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral development. Therefore we teach a creative curriculum which engages children through a range of topics that encourages them to explore, investigate, question and become active and independent learners. We are passionate about outdoor learning.

Literacy

Children are taught a discreet daily phonic lesson. Children are taught in ability groups where they follow the progression in Letters and Sounds supported by Jolly Phonics to help them read and write phonemes and use them to blend phonemes for reading and segment phonemes for spelling.

Children from YR –Y2 take part in a daily literacy lesson. They are taught reading, writing and speaking and listening skills linked to a termly theme. At EYFS teachers plan literacy activities against objectives from Development Matters in the EYFS curriculum. At KS 1 teachers plan using objectives taken from the New Primary Curriculum. Children engage in daily shared and guided reading sessions where they are taught new reading and writing skills and they are given opportunities to practise and consolidate these. Your children will be taught to write using a cursive script with a lead in line (see handwriting sheet in new starter pack), the aim of this is to encourage children to join letters in KS 1. In KS 1 children are given weekly spellings to take home and practise, they are tested each week by their teacher.

We have individual reading materials that are colour coded into ‘book bands’. Our core reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree supplemented by a wide range of extra reading books for all ages, abilities and interest. Teachers and TAs endeavour to listen to each child read once each week and parents are encouraged to listen to their children read at home three times each week. Reading scheme books are stored in the corridor where children and parents are encouraged to change books as often as they wish.

Mathematics

All children take part in a daily whole class mathematics session where mathematical concepts including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, statistics and geometry are taught in an enjoyable way. All objectives are taken from Development matters in EYFS and The National Curriculum in Key Stage 1. The children learn not only the skills of mathematics but how to use what they have learnt throughout all areas of learning by being provided with ample opportunities to reason and problem solve. We actively encourage outdoor learning so that children are more engaged and see mathematics as an everyday occurrence in the natural world.

Technological development (Science, Design technology and computing)

The study of science aims to stimulate the child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen and the way they do. We aim to teach methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. We encourage children to ask scientific questions and develop their own methods of investigation. We at Spire have a strong emphasis on the importance of outdoor learning therefore children can have lots of hands on experiences in our extensive school grounds. We have an annual celebration each year; our ‘Mad Science Day’.

Design and technology is the application of knowledge, skills and understanding to design, make and evaluate products. In Foundation Stage elements of DT can be found in many areas of the curriculum including Physical Development, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. The children in our Nursery and Reception classes have continuous access to various materials, tools and joining equipment so that they are able to acquire the skills to make models using their own ideas.
In Key Stage One DT is part of the Scientific and Technological Understanding area of the curriculum. The children are taught skills that will enable them to design and make their own models and products using a range of materials and food and then modify them in light of their evaluations.

At Spire Nursery and Infant School we are very aware of how well technology can excite and enthuse children. We have therefore developed a strong emphasis on using technology to help children learn in all areas of the curriculum as well as teaching children how to use technology. All children have a time slot with a class set of iPads each week, so no child has to share screen time and in addition to that the children regularly use the class set in all curriculum areas; we often use PurpleMash to deliver learning in all areas of the curriculum. The children like to share their work with parents on the school website.

Personal. Social and Physical development (PE and PSHE)
At Spire Nursery and Infant School, we encourage children to live a healthy lifestyle by making healthy choices, taking an appropriate amount of rest, eating well and exercising often. We believe that this will have a positive impact on their learning throughout the curriculum and build the foundations for a long and healthy life. Our aims are that children should:

• become skilful and intelligent performers;
• acquire and develop skills, performing with increasing physical competence and confidence, in a range of physical activities and contexts;
• learn how to select and apply skills, tactics and compositional ideas to suit activities that need different approaches and ways of thinking;
• develop their ideas in a creative way;
• set targets for themselves and compete against others, individually and as team members;
• understand what it takes to persevere, succeed and acknowledge others' success;
• respond to a variety of challenges in a range of physical contexts and environments;
• take the initiative, lead activity and focus on improving aspects of their own performance;
• discover their own aptitudes and preferences for different activities;
• make informed decisions about the importance of exercise in their lives;
• develop positive attitudes to participation in physical activity.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World (history, geography, religious education)
Pupils are provided with opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of their local area, national areas and the United Kingdom and its place in the wider world. Pupils explore how the past influences the present, how societies behave, how they have changed and what beliefs and cultures influence peoples’ actions. Through these learning experiences pupils develop an appreciation of the complexity of our world and the diversity of its environments and cultures. Pupils have the opportunities to explore and celebrate British values, Christianity and other key religions, cultural and personal beliefs enabling them to become respectful, open minded individuals in the increasingly diverse world we are living in. We at Spire believe it is important for the pupils to develop transferable key questioning and enquiry skills which support them to make more informed decisions and to be confident to make personal choices which may prevent societies from repeating past mistakes in the future.

Creative Development (art and music)

Children experience a range of media through continuous provision in EYFS and planned art and music activities in KS1. They find out about different artists and musicians by having opportunities to perform, listen to, look at and interact with visiting artists/musicians. After school clubs provide additional opportunities to develop their skills and interest in the arts.