At Northchapel we aim to give each child as many experiences and opportunities for learning as possible, allowing them to learn and grow as they travel up through the school. Each year their knowledge and skills will progress as they recap some areas of learning and build in new learning upon the foundations already laid.
Pre-school and Early years
Pre-school and Early Years
Many children begin their journey in Little Oaks Pre-school, which is an integral part of our school community. Children make use of our outstanding outside area and staff use "In the moment" planning to develop ideas working alongside the children and their interests each day within the key areas for learning. Pre-school children mix in with children from our Early Years and Key Stage 1 in the outside area and learning starts to happen as they build friendships and use this wonderful space.
Transition into our Early Years class is easy as the children already know the space and staff. We also welcome many new starter children from other pre-school settings and they very quickly settle due to the extensive transition opportunities and safe, welcoming environment.
In our Early Years Reception class, children begin to follow Letters & Sounds for phonics, they start to receive books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which we use alongside other books from our library. We make use of White Rose planning and resources for Maths, developing a strong early mastery of basic concepts of number and shape. In the autumn term, children in Early Years will have time for Write Dance, which develops good gross and fine motor skills ready for writing and can spend time in the Fizzy Fingers area to further build strength and manipulation for writing. The curriculum follows the seasons and festivals of the year, continuing with In the Moment planning and beginning to build the other areas of the curriculum through rich stories, visitors, trips and outside learning. We carry out a baseline assessment within the first six weeks and then use Tapestry observation tool to log achievements towards the Early Learning Goals across the year.
At the end of Reception year, children will be assessed against the Early Learning Goals within 17 strands of the curriculum. They may be emerging within each stage, working at the expected stage, or exceeding the stage within each of these areas. If the child has achieved expected or exceeding in all areas they are given the Good Level of Development (GLD). All children are different and progress and learn at different rates, so as they move into Key Stage 1, the teachers will continue working with each child at the point where they are working to ensure they continue to make progress and achieve the milestones.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1, children begin to follow the new National Curriculum objectives, which came into force in 2014. There is a two year overview of topics which lead the learning each term, but often In the Moment planning continues as teachers recognise themes which children are interested in and will bring in mini topics in the second half of the term to maintain interest and enthusiasm. Daily phonics continues using Letters & Sounds Programme through a range of different resources such as Phonics Play, and children move up the reading scheme as the teacher feels they have achieved that level competently. We have a number of volunteers who come in to hear children read each week and children read with the class teacher as well as a whole class reading book. Handwriting teaching continues using The Write Path scheme to develop correct hold of the pencil, correct body position for comfortable writing and correct formation of letter shapes. Spelling patterns and rules are taught through the phonics lessons and spellings are sent home each week to learn.
Daily maths is taught using predominantly the White Rose inspired school maths curriculum but dipping into other resources to broaden learning and offer a range of challenges. Other curriculum subjects are taught each term and across the year following topic themes and seasonal events.
We have developed progression maps now for many of the subjects so that teachers are clear about what subject knowledge is included as well as the skills needed in each subject. The progression maps help children to build on their prior learning in a subject and extend it each year.
At the end of Year 1, children are tested by a statutory test on their phonics knowledge where they are asked to read a series of 40 words, half of which are real words and half are 'alien' words, where their ability to blend sounds and recognise graphemes can be assessed.
At the end of Year 2, children have further statutory tests in Reading and Maths. Their teacher will then use these assessments, alongside their teacher judgement and knowledge of the children, to assess whether each child has achieved the expected standard for Year 2.
Key Stage 2
As children move up into Key Stage 2 they remain in Grasshopper Class for year 3 and then join Dragonfly Class for Years 4, 5 and 6. The curriculum is primarily taught through a topic each term with a two/three year rolling programme which can be found here. Each topic has a lead subject, usually either History, Geography or Science, and other subjects are then taught within this either as discreet subjects or within the context of the topic. Taking a topic approach supports cross-curricular working and gives context and purpose to learning. For example, within the Science topic on Space in Dragonfly Class, children will learn about space travel and moon buggies, they will be taught techniques in Design and Technology for building their own moon buggy, including the science of electrical circuits, switches and batteries and then work in teams to design and build their own moon buggy to race against others in the class.