FREE St Micahel's Infant School iPhone & Android App

ST MICHAEL’S INFANT SCHOOL

OUR CURRICULUM – Vision and Intent

 

 

At St Michael’s Infant School, we deliver the curriculum in a way that ensures the maximum impact on our children. We want our lessons to evoke positive emotions and strive to totally immerse the children in an experience that is memorable, enjoyable and fun.  This re-designed curriculum teaches the children through a number of active experiences over the year which develop their natural inquisitiveness and thirst for knowledge and learning.

Experiences include WOW days! These exciting days have been designed to captivate the children’s imaginations and stimulate their minds, using active learning opportunities to encourage independence, collaboration and critical thinking…from botanists to detectives, explorers to composers, to name but a few.

We also pride ourselves on the creation of whole school learning experiences. These include an art week, where children explore, study and design artwork for display in school and beyond; a science week, which permit pupils to experiment, predict and apply their skills and knowledge; RE focused events to critically analyse Christianity and the direct impact religion has on the children’s lives, topic themed days to re-enact the day in the life of a King or Queen and PE taster days, to not only promote a healthy lifestyle, but provide opportunities for children to try a range of sports and activities.

 This is only the beginning of our children’s journey through the complexities of life so we intend to provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to become intrinsically motivated individuals, who enjoy learning, have fun and ultimately flourish…to be the best they can be!

 What does our curriculum look like each term?

Every morning we hold a collective worship which allows our school family to come together to learn how to be the best that they can be through the teachings of Christianity. We aim for independent and resilient children and this begins with allowing the children to develop their curiosity and knowledge of themselves. This is a time of reflection and prepares our children for the day ahead.

Collective Worship takes place daily and takes the following form:

    • Monday – Monday’s Worship is taken by Mrs Dicker and follows the timetabled guideline set out by the Diocesan plans. Each week follows a theme which is continued on the Tuesday and Wednesday.
    • Tuesday – Mrs Lyden continues with the theme of the week.
    • Wednesday’s worship follows the weekly theme and plans and is taken, on rotation, by a member of the teaching staff.
    • Thursday’s Singing Worship’s run by Mrs Flaherty and includes both secular and Christian songs.
    • Friday - Celebration assembly – Mrs Cope leads the worship to give the children a chance to celebrate the outstanding work produced each week.
    • We have a number of guests, who generally take worship once a term, including Mrs Bryson and Family Trust. The expectation is teaching staff remain with their class for the duration of worship.

 

  • Children are expected to enter the hall with respect – quietly and sensibly.
  • It is an expectation that pupil prayers are displayed in the hall 

We also enjoy visiting our church, St Michael and All Angels, and have developed a close relationship, not only with our vicar and his wife, but the wider church family. The whole school visits for a range of church services from Harvest to Christmas and Easter to Founders Day, when we celebrate our year 6 leavers.

 Religious Education

RE is taught weekly and is the core of all of our subjects throughout the school – through RE we allow the children to embrace the school’s values of Respect, Perseverance, Friendship and Happiness, whilst immersing the children in the fundamental underpinning of our school’s ethos and vision. In doing so we develop our children’s own thinking and understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it.

In order to support the school’s distinctive Christian vision, enabling pupils and adults to flourish within the community, the children selected Noah’s Ark as a biblical narrative to promote our family friendly philosophy. This story is studied, analysed and demonstrated throughout the school environment.

  • PSHE lessons also prominent in promoting learning opportunities and experiences that help our children grow and develop as individuals and as members of families and of social and economic communities.

When teaching RE we follow the Understanding Christianity scheme of work. The key purpose of the work is to support pupils in developing their own thinking and their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it. Pupils should begin to have an understanding of Christian belief and practice. Pupils explore the significant theological concepts within Christianity, equally to develop their wider religious, theological and cultural literacy we study a range of other religions such as Islam, Judaism and Hinduism.

Planning

To catch the children’s imagination and attention we theme our terms around a particular whole school topic. This drives our lesson planning and the school environment, which is transformed using a montage of different displays, both in classrooms and communal areas. These themes are split into weekly or bi-weekly learning ‘chunks’ and begin with a WOW! A day offering an initial stimulus, where children can explore, investigate, research or experiment. Not only does this promote child led learning, but it also gives the children the opportunity to design and shape the curriculum objectives taught.

 When considering a topic, cross curricular links are carefully measured and subjects, along with their objectives, are chosen to enhance the children’s learning experiences. With this in mind, and to maximise teaching time, not all foundation subjects will be taught within a given topic period. However to ensure coverage, subject objectives and skills are closely monitored by subject leaders and termly planning meetings safeguard the integrity of the National Curriculum.

 

Three Year Topic Plan                                      

Year 1 – 2020/2021

Year 2 – 2021/2022

Year 3 – 2019/20

 

Michaelmas Term (1)

Where in the world do we live?

Ourselves

Our Community

 

Lent Term (4)

The Commonwealth

Kings and Queens

Castles

 

Advent Term (2)

The Great Fire of London

Guy Fawkes

Florence Nightingale

 

Easter Term (5)

Investigate – Habitats

Investigate – Growing

Investigate – Living Things

 

Epiphany Term (3)

Why does it rain?

What is in the sea?

From the river to the sea

 

Trinity Term (6)

Investigate!

Investigate!

Investigate!

 

Teachers work together in their year group teams to create a long-term plan – an overview of the entire academic year. Subsequently, class teachers and subject leaders collaborate during a planning day, by developing medium term plans which outline their Intent & Implementation. This document indicates the national curriculum objectives to be covered, the subject aims, outlines the expected progression, initial ideas for differentiation and potential lesson content. The medium term plan is a working document, therefore it can be altered and annotated, especially after assessment for learning has taken place. Finally, lessons are retrospectively assessed for impact. 

  • At the start of each topic teachers ask the children what they already know about the topic to assess pupil knowledge and understanding of the subject – this provides teachers with an insight into the class starting point. Teachers also explain the subjects they intend to incorporate within the topic’s theme and the children are then asked what and how they would like to learn. This information is then used to plan lessons and facilitate learning. If a child suggests an idea the teacher has not considered this is incorporated in their planning. A copy of the topic web and questions that the children would like to find out, are sent home at the beginning of each term. This is to promote and encourage any home learning that could possibly take place. 
  • Equally, to promote and support our creative curriculum, lessons are timetabled to provide a fluid and flexible approach to learning - this allows children the opportunity to become immersed in a specific theme or topic in order to expand their knowledge, experiences and skills within a wider framework. English, reading and phonic objectives are covered daily, along with a chosen genre of study, whilst other subjects are incorporated to facilitate learning. With this in mind maths lessons are taught discretely after break-time. An example timetable is provided below: -

 

 

8.55 – 9.10

Phonics 20 min                        

Literacy skills

1 hour

10:30– 10:50

Maths Skills

1 hour 10 mins

Lunch – 1h

1 – 1.30

1h 15 mins

Mon

 

Worship

Phonics

 

Literacy Skills

(Knowledge, Skill, Practice)

Could be linked to Topic

Playtime

 

Practical Maths/

Maths Games

 

Skills/Practice

 

Literacy Activities

PE/Topic or RE

Story

Tues

 

Worship

Phonics

 

Literacy Skills

(Knowledge, Skill, Practice)

Could be linked to Topic

Playtime

 

Practical/Pictorial Maths

 

Skills/Practice

 

Literacy Activities

PE/Topic or RE

Story

Wed

 

Worship

Phonics

 

Literacy Skills

(Knowledge, Skill, Practice)

Could be linked to Topic

Playtime

Do!

Literacy Activities

PE/Topic or RE

Story

Thurs

 

Worship

Phonics

 

Literacy Skills

(Knowledge, Skill, Practice)

Could be linked to Topic

Playtime

 

PE/Topic or RE

Literacy Activities

Music and PSHE

Story

Fri

 

Worship

Phonics

 

PE/Topic or RE

Playtime

 

Problem Solve

Literacy Activities

Golden Time

Art/Dt/Finish/Assessment

Story

 

 Teacher Planning and Preparation (PPA)

 Our very experienced Higher Level Teaching Assistants cover the class whilst the teacher is Planning, Preparing and Assessing lessons. Every teacher is entitled to one afternoon per week to do this.

The Arts 

  • The arts have a vital role to play in the educational and personal development of young people; equally, they can contribute hugely to the dynamism, vibrancy and identity of a whole school. We believe in exposing children to a range of creative opportunities in art, DT, music, dance and drama all of which we perceive as having a beneficial effect not only on our children’s other school subjects but also on their general wellbeing and feelings of self-esteem. Subject leaders organise events to immerse our children in either a specific creative area or carefully forge links between themes to enjoy a range of activities throughout the school.

 English in EYFS and KS1

At St Michael’s we pride ourselves in the quality of writing the children produce by the time they reach the end of KS1. Every large term, a book from the Power of Reading (POR) will influence and support learning across the curriculum. This programme encourages engagement and attainment in reading and writing for all pupils through active learning; this may include drama-based lessons, cross-curricular art-based lessons and speaking and listening activities. Teaching sequences are modified by teachers to contain specific SPaG objectives relevant to each child.

  • Children will also learn to write a variety of different genres, from narratives to chronological reports; this will enable children to then independently choose and complete genres to suit a given task, by the end of Y2. Early writers in Reception are taught to write and read through a comprehensive phonics programme with a mixture of Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds. Writing skills such as handwriting, sentence construction and basic grammar, are taught in YR with the expectation that the children will be able to write simple, legible sentences by the end of their Reception year. A continuation of sentence construction is the aim focus of Y1 writing to ensure that the writing skills are embedded by the time the children reach Y2.
  • Pupils are given a reading book within the first couple of weeks of starting school in their Reception year. The expectation is that they will follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, alongside a variety of non-fiction books, and progress through each level. Parents are asked to read with their child for 15 minutes per evening to consolidate the learning from school. High frequency words, spellings and comprehension also form part of our curriculum with 30 minutes per day timetabled for specific Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation activities. The focus of the reading across the school is mainly comprehension and inference with the aim of producing confident readers as the children approach their junior education. 

 Mathematics in EYFS and KS1

  • At the Infant school we are using mastery strategies to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of key number and calculation concepts. The teaching approach uses the concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) progression strategy. Our aim is to ensure that all children have embedded concrete understanding of mathematics concepts using manipulatives. The concrete is then developed as visualisation through the use of informal pictorial symbolic representations. The children are then taught how to express their understanding through independent ‘prove it’ and comparative reasoning discussions. This can be represented in abstract terms as number sentences using formalised symbolic representation of the four main calculation operations.
  • The school planning progression documents for YR, Y1 and Y2 detail the emphasis, coverage, breadth and depth of learning expected for each term. NCETM and White Rose planning are used to generate lesson plans and devise activities for each part of the C-P-A strategy.
  • Evidence of learning is presented in many forms; learning walls, pupil voice, adult scribed responses to learning, annotated photographs, annotated ‘paper’ work and pictorial representations of reasoning and problem solving as well as formal recording methods.
  • In Early Years and Y1 the emphasis is on counting, ordering, sorting and comparing properties of numbers from 0 to 20. There is also an emphasis on introducing accurate vocabulary of mathematics, including that used to describe the properties of shape. The concepts of addition and subtraction are introduced as concrete manipulative based activities and pictorial representations linked to early abstract number sentence forms.
  • In Y1 and Y2 strategies to identify and compare the properties of numbers are developed. The operations and vocabulary of addition and subtraction are developed concretely and pictorially, as well as developing associated skills in step counting and times tables for multiplication, division and fractions.
  • In Y2 all four number operation skills are developed and consolidated. Associated skills of fluency in counting are practiced and represented in formal abstract number sentences. The breadth and depth of ‘prove it’ problem solving and reasoning activities are further developed to promote strategies that demonstrate children’s independent learning.

Science

Children simply love to know how things work and why they work the way they do so we want to encourage them to explore, investigate, research and experiment, in order to quench their thirst for scientific knowledge. With this in mind, we aim to make science engaging and active, whilst developing scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the wider curriculum, making links in order to build a context for learning. The science programme of study consists of five units to be taught throughout KS1 alongside working scientifically skills. Equally, children are taught practical scientific methods such as, confidently asking questions, measuring and recording, concluding and evaluating. These skills begin in Reception through the Understanding The World area of the Early Years curriculum.

A variety of experiments are used to engage the children and strengthen their learning. It is an expectation that at least one experiment is conducted each half term, we believe doing so enhances pupil understanding through exploration, thus allowing our children to physically observe, understand and recognise scientific processes.

  • Vocabulary is an important focus of the school, consequently it is an expectation that scientific vocabulary is displayed in classrooms. We believe that children should utilise the correct vocabulary as this will allow them to ask and answer questions, challenging their further learning.
  • During the school year, the children will be immersed in science learning, through a multitude of science days and throughout Science week (Trinity Term annually). This helps to ensure our children understand the purpose of science today and in future.   Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity so our young scientists are inspired to recognise the power of rational explanation, whilst developing a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are also encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Physical Education

One of our main priorities at St Michael’s is that each child maintains an active and healthy lifestyle. It is vital that children find an area of enjoyment within physical education and therefore we teach not just the traditional sports, but also the skill set needed to play these sports. These include coordination, moving and handling, teamwork and tactical awareness. We also ensure that we get out and about in the local community with plenty of park and river walks and wildlife exploration!

 Online Safety

 Today’s children and young people are growing up in a digital world. As they grow older, it is crucial that they learn to balance the benefits offered by technology with a critical awareness of their own and other’s online behaviour, and develop effective strategies for staying safe and making a positive contribution online. Consequently, St Michael’s Infant School believes our children should learn the skills they need to be able to navigate the online world safely. We do this in a variety of ways…

  • Delivering online safety lessons using the Education for a Connected World framework, which focuses specifically on eight different aspects of online education:2. Online relationships4. Online bullying6. Health, wellbeing and lifestyle8. Copyright and ownership
  • 7. Privacy and security
  • 5. Managing online information
  • 3. Online reputation
  • 1. Self-image and Identity
  • Internet Safety Day
  • Online Safety posters in every classroom

 Relationship Education & RSE

We want all children to grow up healthy, happy, safe, and able to manage the challenges and opportunities of modern Britain. That is why, from September 2020, all primary age children will be taught Relationships and Health Education. These subjects are designed to equip our children with knowledge to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships as well as preparing them for a successful adult life. The world for all young people looks very different from the way it did 20 years ago when this curriculum was last updated – these changes bring the content into the 21st century, so that it is relevant for our children. 

  • In consultation with parents, staff and governors we are establishing a clear Relationships policy, and deliver an effective programme throughout the infant and junior school.
  • Nevertheless, because we know how important it is for children to understand what healthy and respectful relationships are, this area of development is already included in our current PSHE, well-being and Online Safety Curriculum. Topics currently covered include friendship, respect, happiness and perseverance which reflect our school values.  

 Books and Presentation

 We believe that the work that the children produce is a window into our children’s learning; we expect the children to record their knowledge, skills and understanding-showcasing their work in a variety of ways. Equally, our whole class book and individual folders provide St Michael’s Infant School with the opportunity to evidence our curriculum intent – evidencing our planning process, its progression and the National Curriculum aims and objectives.

  • To encourage independence and self-expression, children are taught to record their work in a variety of ways. This may be through written and pictorial way as well as pupils voice when the children will actually explain to us what they have learnt. Even though the children are at the beginning of their educational journey, our expectations are high, therefore we encourage children to take pride in their work, making certain they complete an activity with care and consideration.

We have a main whole class topic book which is used to record all children’s collaborative work and pupil voice.

The structure of our term for topic work is as follows –

Week 1 – Asking the children questions about what they would like to find out about their topic for the term. Planning and preparation of the classroom including working walls.

Week 2 and 3 – Let’s find out!!! Teacher input is prominent during this stage to teach the objectives from the National Curriculum. Children will be encouraged to use different types of technology to find out the answers to their questions.

Week 4 and 5– Project – children showcase their learning for this term. The project might consist of written evidence or something that the children make. 

Week 6 – Evaluation and assessment week. How much have we learnt this term. 

We also have folders for each of these subjects - 

  • Mathematics – all maths work.
  • RE – all work from the RE curriculum
  • Art/DT – Sketchbooks are used to gather, collect, experiment and reflect. Sketchbooks should be a place of discovery.
  • English – Work includes SPAG, Phonics, Independent writing including all the skill set build up to the independent write. 

 Wider Curriculum – including after school clubs

 Academic excellence is important to us, however the children’s welfare, well-being and emotional resilience are imperative to the St Michael’s family. We want our children to experience a wealth of opportunities – to try things they might otherwise only dream of. If we can open the hearts and minds of our pupils, who knows what they might achieve – the possibilities are endless…a Prime Minister, a world famous Olympian, an entrepreneur, a microbiologist, an astronaut the list is endless…just ask them what they want to do and they will tell you!

    • In order to evidence our educational visits, visitors and workshops… basically those days when we simply do something completely different to experience life and adventure, to learn about ourselves or to try something new… we post photographs on Facebook and the school website, but we also have our photograph wall in the heart of the school, along the corridor.
  • Our intention is to equip pupils with the skills and knowledge they need for success in the future, this not only includes the ‘taught’ curriculum, but also the range of activities, opportunities and experiences available after school, suitable to the children’s age and skill set. These include the following: -
  • Gymnastics
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Ipad Club
  • Multi-Sports
  • Eco Club
  • Construction
  • Sewing
  • Football