EXPLORE COMMUNICATE PERSEVERE BE INDEPENDENT
These are the drivers around which our curriculum is centred. Whilst our ‘Curriculum to Inspire’ is based on the EYFS Curriculum and the National Curriculum (which came into force in September 2014), we have been proactive in our school by developing a new curriculum which inspires our children to learn and is relevant to their needs now - and in the future.
During their first year at school our children continue to follow the ‘Foundation Stage’ curriculum which comprises seven areas of learning - three ‘Prime’ areas and four ‘Specific’ areas.
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Communication and Language
• Physical Development
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts and Design
Teaching and learning is designed to be multi-sensory and engage children in fun and stimulating activities across all of the areas above, making use of our inspiring outdoor areas as well as the classrooms. Our children’s learning is recorded in their “Learning Journeys” through photographs, drawings, mark making/writing, or there may be a significant observation we would like to share with you. The teaching of reading uses a range of strategies, with phonics playing a key role in this.
Synthetic phonics is the primary approach used in reading for children in early school life. A phonics scheme provides pupils with the tools to decode words when reading and to segment words for writing and spelling. Using phonics to read enables children to explore literacy, develop their vocabulary, learn across the curriculum from many sources, enter imaginary worlds and to answer their many questions.
An amalgamation of the most effective elements from Jolly Phonics, Letters and Sounds and RML methodology are combined to create a clear and engaging Mountfields Lodge Phonics curriculum. This combination of programmes gives each individual phoneme/grapheme a clear identity and allows children to build up a large bank of sight words and equips them with the skills to blend and segment.
Children are ability grouped for phonics lessons to ensure that the learning is differentiated to meet their needs. Lessons are approximately 20 minutes long and taught daily.
Characteristics of successful phonics teaching:
Year 1 - Year 6
The curriculum is organised into themes, which make the most of links between the traditional curriculum subjects. Each age group (Y1/2, Y3/4 and Y5/6) has a number of themes throughout a two year cycle which may be as short as several weeks or as long as a whole term, with inspiring titles such as – ‘Food, Glorious Food’, ‘Attack!’ and ‘Crack the Code’. In English and Maths, whilst links are made with the other curriculum subjects when appropriate – most teaching is through discreet rigorous teaching and learning activities focussed on progress in essential skills and knowledge.
Click on the links to view our curriculum maps
As well as broad overviews, for each of the subjects our curriculum teams have created progression maps which indicate the learning that will take place at Y1/2, Y3/4 and Y5/6, ensuring that children are expected to progress in their acquisition of knowledge, understanding and skills as they move through school. They also ensure that learning is not repeated unnecessarily. Whilst specific knowledge, skills and understanding is allocated to a particular age group, it is fundamental to our approach that children are taught at a level appropriate to their developmental stage in that subject area, rather than sticking rigidly to what ‘should’ be taught at their age.
As part of our curriculum design process, we have also decided on the key characteristics that would make children successful in that subject – We call these our – How to be a good…(Historian for example).
In English, we follow the National Curriculum closely, with particular focus on the teaching of phonics and grammar. At KS1 the phonics teaching continues to be based upon the Letters and Sounds phases, using material from Jolly Phonics, along with other relevant resources. Our KS1 reading scheme is largely based on the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, supplemented where appropriate with other books. All of our reading books are banded using the Reading Recovery Book Bands to ensure that they are well matched to the children’s ability. For writing, we use the Talk for Writing approach so our children enjoy reading and then use their reading to become capable writers.
In RE, we use a scheme of work based on the Leicester City Local Authority ‘Diversity and Harmony’ resource which explores major world religions, their beliefs, practices and also some of the moral questions common to humanity.
Click on the links to view our ‘How to be a good…e.g.mathematician’ and Progression Maps.