The Foundation Stage
The Foundation Stage of children’s learning takes place during their first year, known as the Reception Year, at school. It is a distinct stage and one in which play is vital. Learning takes place through first hand experiences, building on what the children can already do. Planned and purposeful activities provide opportunities for teaching and learning both indoors and outdoors. There is a designated outdoor play area for the Reception pupils. During the summer months, children enjoy opportunities to swim and become confident in the water in our learner swimming pool. Well-planned play enables the younger children to learn with enjoyment and challenge. Children in the foundation stage follow the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage and are working towards achieving the Early Learning Goals.
The curriculum is set up into six main areas –
- Communication, Language and Literacy
· Mathematical development
· Physical development
· Personal, Social and Emotional Education
· Knowledge and understating of the world
· Creative development.
The Early Learning Goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the foundation stage. Some children will have exceeded them whilst other will be working towards them.
Key Stage One
There is also time for free choice play and structured play throughout Key Stage 1. This continues to allow children the opportunity to express themselves, develop new skills and build up their relationships with other children. It also gives them the opportunity to use their imagination and take the role of different characters.
Topic work becomes an increasing part of curriculum time as the children expand their knowledge and skills. This forms an important part of the children’s learning about the wider world around them. Science and Technology form an important base for the majority of topics, whilst others topic are based on Geographical, Historical and Religious themes. Artwork plays an important part in topics also and in its own right. Information regarding topics is given to parents at the start of each school year.
The children are also encouraged to explore sound, rhythm and melody in music, using both tuned and untuned instruments. The year 2 children also take part in the local infant music festival. In P.E. the children continue to develop their gymnastic, dance, games and swimming skills. Year 2 children have the opportunity to join with others in a Top Play morning at Heathfield Community College in the summer term.
Key Stage Two
Throughout Key Stage 2 the threads of the curriculum from Key Stage 1 continue.
Topics form an increasing part of the curriculum, with science being the main ingredient in topic work, but their cross curricular nature provides for Geographical, Historical, Religious and Technological skills and knowledge to be exercised and learned. Art and musical skills are developed separately and used to enhance topic work. The children develop their Physical and Gymnastic skills and are introduced to more games involving teamwork and tactics.
The topic work allows the children to develop a greater understanding of the world, Geographical and Historical topics are covered more deeply. They are also encouraged to develop independent and co-operative ways of working.
The children have greater opportunities to use different mediums in Art and to develop their musical skills and take part in music performances and festivals. We build on what the children as learners already know and have a culture of high expectation. Understanding is developed through enquiry, creativity and group problem solving. Children are taught skills for life.
The children gain a greater understanding of playing team sports and take part in a variety of games within school and against other local schools. We offer children the opportunity to take part in swimming, stoolball, rounders, rugby, tennis, football, hockey and basketball.
The children help to plan and perform Harvest Festivals and a Leavers' Service at the end of the year and take major roles in our Christmas Entertainment to parents.
We take a keen interest in children playing musical instruments and offer peripatetic music lessons for a range of instruments.