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Curriculum Approach

Enjoying Learning Together

The curriculum at Shalford Infant & Nursery School is underpinned by our values, which run through our school like a golden thread, giving everyone the tools to be the very best person that they can be. Our curriculum is planned around our belief that each child is unique and should feel empowered to be confident, happy and motivated learners. Shalford is committed to providing a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum that builds on prior knowledge, skills and understanding.

Our values-based curriculum meets the formal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum whilst giving children the opportunity to experience the challenge and enjoyment of learning. Teachers enable children to discover, develop and demonstrate their creativity in different contexts both inside and outside the classroom. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible citizens, who 'enjoy learning together', whilst providing them with skills that they will use beyond infant school and support them to become lifelong learners who make a positive contribution to society.

The power of our curriculum lies in its integration. Learning crosses boundaries between subjects. For a young child, learning is not compartmentalised. Our writing and reading are used in history to help us understand at a deeper level, the event we are learning about, and our art work helps us to observe more closely, the historical detail of the period. Whilst we plan in subjects, maintaining the rigour and integrity of the subject, we connect learning so that learning in one domain is supported by learning in another.

Alongside the integration of learning, we recognise the importance of basic skills – the building blocks of learning: reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation and mathematical processes and skills. Children need constant repetition, practice and over-learning to secure these skills. We will always teach discretely, giving them prominence of place and allocating the necessary time for learners to become proficient, competent and confident.

Some of the key features of our approach are:

  • Based on the National Curriculum: Our key aim is to make the curriculum exciting and stimulating while ensuring that children achieve the end of Key Stage 1 curriculum expectations in the core and foundation subjects. We have carefully considered the end points to which the curriculum is building towards with a clear progression through the Early Years up to Year 2 (the end of Key Stage 1). Each subject has a detailed Progression of Knowledge and Skills detailing expectations by year group which we devised using the KS1 National Curriculum expectations as a starting point and then working backwards - we have given extra thought to the progression between Reception and Year 1 as a bridge between the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum. The objectives for each subject have been carefully sequenced so that the children's knowledge builds from what they have learned perviously to the less familiar and new content.
  • Learning through topics: Each topic is planned using our Progression of Knowledge and Skills grids to ensure appropriate differentiation and challenge for each year group. In EYFS each topic is followed by both Nursery and Reception.
  • Continuous Provision: In our Nursery, Reception and Year 1 classes, continuous provision is used as a core vehicle for implementing the curriculum. Good quality continuous provision alongside well-planned enhanced provision and directed activities is a highly effective approach to teaching and learning; leading to the most impactful and sustained outcomes for our children. Continuous provision consists of well planned and carefully organised indoor and outdoor learning environments which support children’s predictable interests and innate curiosity. As well as teaching, the class teacher’s role is facilitator and ‘quality control’.  Over the course of the topic, continuous provision provides opportunities for children to revisit previously taught knowledge and skills which helps them to make progress and learn.
  • High quality texts: Reading is very much at the heart of everything we do at Shalford Infant & Nursery School, and the texts and stories used within each topic have been carefully chosen to inspire a love and enjoyment of reading.
  • Role play and drama: Encouraged in every year group, so children get to develop their ideas and vocabulary creatively. Talk is a focus at all times.
  • First-hand experiences: Events or surprises in class along with trips, visitors and experts to inspire children and develop their knowledge and skills. The school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to a wide experience in their local community through, for example, sporting events, festivals, trips and through visiting speakers.

If you would like to know more about our curriculum at Shalford please contact us via the school office.