At Moat Farm Infant School and Nursery we provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Active learning is the key to how we work we know that learning by doing things and having rich and varied experiences engages children’s interest and helps them to learn more quickly. Learning to communicate through speaking, listening, reading and writing is of central importance. Drawing on the interests of the children our creative teaching team develop ‘child led’ topics which teach the children a mix of key skills and knowledge and allow them to find out answers for themselves. To engage the children further in KS1 each unit begins with a ‘Stunning Start’, followed by a ‘Marvellous Middle’ and works towards a ‘Fantastic Finish’ such as a performance, a museum, a sale or a presentation to parents.
Knowing that every child learns differently our teachers use a range of teaching styles to ensure all our children are engaged and offer them a choice in how they are going to achieve the learning outcomes. Our planning allows children to practise, apply and transfer skills across the curriculum using six strategies: Dual Coding, Concrete Examples, Retrieval Practice, Spaced Practice, Elaboration and Interleaving. The six strategies help children to retain information in their long-term memory.
They are encouraged to think independently, work collaboratively, be resilient and apply their previous learning in a range of ways. In this way they ‘GROW’ every day and take responsibility for their own learning.
In Nursery and Reception the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. This focusses on early learning skills in reading, writing and maths as well as fostering creativity. It also encourages children’s social and emotional development and the development of appropriate relationships. Play is central to learning for all children in their infant years. Children learn through playing indoors and outdoors. Our Nursery and Reception children follow the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Aspects of this curriculum are continued as they move in to Year 1. We strive to build a bridge between Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum. From September 2014 we have taught the Primary National Curriculum . This is taught to our children in Year 1 and Year 2.
We have planned our curriculum to ensure that it:
• Meets statutory requirements
• Is broad and balanced
• Offers practical and first hand experiences
• Promotes health and well-being
• Develops a sound social, moral, spiritual and cultural appreciation and awareness
• Fulfils the requirement to promote British Values
• Supports and accelerates the life chances of vulnerable groups and individual needs
Although our curriculum is underpinned by the aims of the national curriculum there are planned opportunities that make up the wider curriculum. Where links can be made, subjects are taught creatively in a cross-curricular thematic way. We place a strong emphasis on the development of basic skills that are necessary for lifelong learning.
As a school we have created 4 curriculum drivers:
• Learning for life – We believe that all children should be provided with opportunities to develop skills to tackle life in modern Britain and the wider world.
• Possibilities – We believe that opening up possibilities for children through exploratory and experiential learning opportunities and through the provision of irresistible learning environments is key.
• Creative and expressive arts – We believe in providing our children with rich opportunities in music, art, design, dance and drama.
• Enterprise – We believe that in a modern world children should be encouraged to work in increasingly enterprising ways.
What are they for?
Our Curriculum Drivers identify curriculum content that all teachers plan for regardless of statutory content. They are designed to bring the aims and values of our school to life and meet the needs of all our pupils. They give our school its personality. The Drivers are curriculum content but also shape the delivery of the school’s curriculum. Staff ensure our drivers are put into practice through the medium and short-term planning process.
Our year teams and subject leaders’ work together to ensure coverage across EYFS and KS1 adapting provision to meet the needs of the learners. Our subjects may be delivered in a block or through regular weekly lessons, ‘special days’ or any combination of the three methods based on the needs of the children and the nature of the unit of work. Phonics is taught using the Letters and Sounds programme beginning in Nursery.
Our extensive Forest School allows us the opportunity to enrich the children’s learning with an abundance of natural and real life experiences. Our fully trained Forest School member delivers a programme that enhances the national curriculum and develops teamwork, communication, problem solving and enquiry in our children.
Religious Education is delivered through the agreed Sandwell Religious Education Syllabus. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is taught throughout school using the ‘Jigsaw programme’, and offers learning opportunities and experiences which enable children to learn skills and develop effective relationships and to keep themselves safe. As a school we believe physical activity is important for our children. At playtimes and lunchtimes children are encouraged to be active by taking part in the ‘zoned’ activities and KS1 children are provided with opportunity to take part in ‘Wake up, shake up’ daily and the ‘Afternoon mile’.
We believe that the combination of all of this not only provides our children with memorable ‘childhood’ experiences that they deserve but also inspires lifelong learning and prepares our children appropriately for the future.