Our Curriculum

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Our curriculum is broad, rich, immersive and purposeful and encourages our children to be independent, innovative and curious learners. We believe passionately that children should develop an understanding of the process of learning, be reflective and have the confidence to experiment, investigate and explore. In order to achieve this teachers use their expertise in pedagogy, subject knowledge and high quality resources, including the use of technology and hands on artefacts. Children have opportunities to work in partners, small groups and individually. This extends their understanding by allowing them to explore and experiment with ideas and to learn from their peers.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

“Adults who help children to play are adults who help children to learn.”

The Early Years Foundation Stage is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of Reception. It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning in an environment where they feel secure and safe.

At Kilmorie, we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways
 and have their own learning styles. In the EYFS, there are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational provision in Early Years settings. We value all areas of learning equally and understand that they are often inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These are the Prime Areas and they continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS.

Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The children will learn to:

  • become self-confident
  • have awareness of their own feelings and feelings of others
  • take an interest in things
  • become independent
  • tell the difference between right and wrong

Communication and Language

The children will learn to:

  • develop their listening and concentration skills
  • develop their understanding of language
  • express themselves effectively in a variety of situations

Physical Development

The children will learn to:

  • move confidently
  • control their body
  • handle equipment, including scissors, pencils, cooking utensils
  • manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing and undressing independently
  • handle equipment and resources safely

The curriculum also consists of four Specific Areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. They provide essential skills and knowledge, providing important contexts for learning.

Specific Areas

Literacy

The children will learn to:

  • develop an understanding of stories and non-fiction
  • hear and say sounds, and link them to the alphabet (see further information about phonics in Key Stage 1&2 literacy section)
  • read and write familiar words and sentences

Mathematics

The children will learn to:

  • develop an understanding of maths through stories, songs, games and imaginative play
  • become comfortable with numbers and everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems
  • be aware of shapes and space

Knowledge of the World

The children will:

  • explore and find out about the world around them, asking questions about it
  • know about everyday technology and learn what it is used for
  • find out about past events in their lives and their families’ lives
  • find out about different cultures and beliefs

Expressive Arts and Design

The children will explore:

  • Colours and textures
  • making things
  • imaginative play
  • making music and singing songs

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The ways in which children learn are as important as what they are learning and are pivotal to enable them to live as effective learners throughout life.

Playing and exploring – Through play, children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They have the opportunity to express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations. We deliver learning for all of the areas through purposeful play and learning experiences, with a balance of adult-led, adult-initiated and child-initiated activities.

Active learning – Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfactions as they take ownership of their learning.

Creating and thinking critically – Children are given opportunities to be creative through all areas of learning, not just through the arts. Adults support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.

Outdoor Play

Outdoor play is an integral part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and vital for children’s development and we encourage children to go outdoors in all kinds of weather.  Physical activity and energetic play provide exercise, encourage co-ordination and help children develop physical skills, such as climbing, balancing, doing up their coats and writing/mark-making, etc. Through outdoor play children have unique opportunities to play co-operatively – sharing resources, turn taking, negotiating, communicating ideas and developing friendships and self-esteem.

Key Stage 1 and 2

English

Throughout  Key Stage 1 and 2 children are exposed to listening to, sharing and discussing a range of high quality texts and to reciting a range of poetry.  Children are encouraged to read for pleasure and understand that we learn to read for a purpose. Whilst there are specified times for reading, both in Guided Groups and with a teacher individually, children are reading within all of their lessons. In Guided Reading sessions children will read fiction or non-fiction of their own choice and for pleasure, alongside this, children will enrich their own understanding of their term’s topic work by being provided with and reading books linked to this area. In these sessions children build their comprehension skills, answering questions both verbally and in writing.

Children explore ideas to enrich their writing through drama, art, music and educational visits .  Children participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates. These areas of learning develop our children into confident speakers and listeners as well as confident writers. Early writers will call on their own experiences and, as children progress through the school they are developed further by exploring a range of text types. These include extended stories, poetry, diary entries, reports, discussion and many more. As part of the writing process children are taught to reflect on, edit and improve their writing and its presentation.

Phonics

Children from Nursery to Year 2 are taught according to the Letters and Sounds programme. Daily phonics lessons, which begin in Reception, last for 15-20 minutes and directly follow the phases and teaching programmes detailed in Letters and Sounds. All phonics lessons include revision of previous learning, teaching of new sounds/ tricky words, and application of new skills. It is an active, multi-sensory session and in the early phases Jolly Phonics actions are used to help children remember the sounds. It is essential that each phonics lesson includes the key skills of blending for reading and segmenting for writing. Children are taught how to read and write graphemes and apply these skills to their independent reading and writing. Some children will receive additional support in class, in addition to whole class phonic sessions.

Maths

Maths is an important life skill. We want our children to be confident mathematicians who are able to use and apply their learning and to understand that it is fine to make mistakes along the way. They are given lots of opportunities to discuss, explore, practice and apply mathematical concepts using hands on resources and ICT as well as the more traditional paper and pen methods.

The maths curriculum contains a number of areas which include: number, measures, geometry and statistics.  We believe these areas are not mutually exclusive and teach maths in a cross curricular context. This equips our children with the skills they need to solve real life problems. We broaden our children’s understanding of concepts by building on previous learning and ensuring fluency, and link this learning to reasoning. This ensures a solid understanding of number skills which lay the foundation for all further mathematical development.

We also want parents to feel confident supporting their children’s learning. Teachers will always find time to explain methods they are teaching.

Science

Our science curriculum encourages children to grow into independent and inquisitive thinkers who have the skills to ask questions, research answers, observe closely, present findings, suggest hypotheses for testing and record data. Our science learning is safe, practical and hands on. We focus on using correct technical vocabulary and explore a range of information from a variety of different sources.

We take every opportunity to give our learning a real life context by visiting local woods, local and national museums and rivers.  We explore scientific concepts through cross curricular themes. The children draw on the skills learnt in other subjects when presenting their findings and recording their results. Examples of this include; scientific observational drawing; creating bar charts and graphs; using language skills to describe and illustrate investigations and speaking and listening through collaboration and team work.

Computing

Computing is integrated across many different lessons. Laptops and iPads are used for e-safety lessons, blogging, podcasting, researching, video editing, website design, publishing documents and much more. Each year group also completes a programming unit where they learn how to code and debug programs; building upon their knowledge as they rise through the school.

Art and Design

Art and Design is an integral part of our curriculum and underpins much of our cross curricular work. We strive to equip children with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Developing an ability to draw from direct observation is seen as fundamental to pupils’ progression in art. We encourage pupils to think critically and appreciate other art forms including the work of their peers. The children’s art work is displayed prominently within the school and is highly valued. We take part in the National Gallery ‘Take One Picture’ project every year and this culminates in a whole school art exhibition in July.

Design Technology (DT)

Children discuss, plan, design, make and evaluate a range of products.  Independence, collaboration and thinking & technical skills are developed in our cross curricular projects, with children first immersing themselves in the design and build process before writing sets of instructions and explanation texts to accompany their work.

Music & Singing

All classes from Nursery to Year 6 have a weekly music lesson with a specialist music teacher in our purpose-built music block, as well as weekly phase-group singing assemblies.

Singing games, rhymes and movement form the basis of the EYFS and KS1 curriculum, moving into reading rhythm and pitched notation, composition and performance in KS2. In Year 3 all children learn the recorder, and Year 4 the ukulele and djembe. There are performance opportunities for all children throughout the academic year.

Listening and music appreciation are also highly valuable skills and the children are exposed to a wide range of music styles of both live and recorded music. Children in classes from Y2 to Y5 make an annual visit to either the Barbican or the Royal Festival Hall to see an orchestral concert.

We have an extensive music enrichment programme  – please click here for more details.

PE

We ensure a wide variety of games are covered during outdoor PE. Outdoor PE includes sports such as cricket, volleyball, hockey, mulit-skills. Indoor PE encompasses dance, gymnastics and yoga. Each of the sports we cover is taught with an outcome in mind, be that a full match or a group performance. We teach children the skills they need to be successful in the sports, but at the same time allow them to be creative in their approaches where appropriate. All children are planned for within the lessons and we place a great emphasis on inclusion. We have both boys’ and girls’ football teams, a hockey team and netball teams and they enjoy competing in inter school tournaments.We also have intra school competitions with come classes competing against one another in outdoor sports.

Geography

Geography is at the forefront of our understanding of place, difference, culture and societies.  It boosts our understanding of our place in our world and the places our friends have come from. It develops our understanding of our responsibility for our world and what we can do to ensure its longevity.  Children build a thorough knowledge of the world map, its continents and oceans. Atlas and map skills are a focus throughout all of our cross curricular topic learning. When we study Ancient Egypt for instance, we begin by building our locational knowledge of this country within its continent and the world. We learn about its physical environments; the River Nile and its climate. Human Geography teaches us about its people and its towns, villages, cities and trade both in the past and currently. In Year 1 children begin their understanding of their local environment, their home and school. As they progress through the year groups, this understanding widens to encompass learning about the UK, Europe and the wider world.

History

Our history curriculum enables children to understand the chronological development of our society from the Stone Age to the present day. They learn about the nature of ancient civilisations such as the Egyptians and Romans, and the British Empire with a particular focus on migration and immigration. Our immersive cross curricular learning sees the Great Fire of London re-enacted around our school.  It sees Tudor style houses made in Maths and later dramatically set ablaze in the playground.  It has Stone Age tribes people building shelters in our Wild Garden and Shackleton’s ill-fated voyage to the Antarctic dramatised in KS1. Through the studying of contrasting viewpoints, confidence in critical thinking and questioning skills is built.  Real historical documents such as films, photographs and diary entries are studied.  Children learn that it is only through evidence that we can truly know the past and educational visits are key to this learning .

Religious Education

We understand that religion and belief, for many of our families and the families in the wider community, forms a crucial part of their culture and identity. Therefore we place emphasis on the need to cover all the major religions and do this in a sensitive manner. Similarly with other curriculum subjects, we make the learning purposeful by bringing the teachings to life and ensure they are made real by using real-life religious artefacts and visit local places of worship. Children are encouraged to have a broad view of the world and to discuss religious, moral and social questions that are pertinent to our lives today.

PSHE

Personal, social, health and economic(PSHE) education is an integral part of life at Kilmorie. PSHE is part of all that we do. Through PSHE we teach the children how to be rounded individuals and how to be successful people within the world. This links with our vision of the Kilmorie child learning to be: innovative, independent, resilient, collaborative, respectful, empathetic, honest and curious.

Each class explores PSHE as a discrete subject, which includes looking at our own places in the world as well as issues surrounding citizenship and has opportunities to have circle time, where teachers and children can discuss issues that are topical to the class, the wider community and the world. In conjunction with this, we use PSHE to help educate children and equip them with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.

The class work is closely tied to the regular assemblies that are held in the school. There are opportunities in the week to come together as a whole school to review and reflect on issues that arise or to share good practice.

Sex and Relationships Education (RSE)

Sex and relationship education (RSE) is an important part of PSHE. It is a statutory part of the curriculum and is taught to varying degrees throughout the school. The purpose of RSE in primary school is to gradually and appropriately prepare children for adult life and positive relationships and to lay the foundations for factual knowledge, which feeds into the work they do later in their school careers. It supports them through their physical, emotional and moral development and helps them to understand themselves, respect others and sustain healthy relationships of all kinds.

Modern Foreign Language (MFL) – French

Children begin to learn French as soon as they arrive at Kilmorie in order to maximise both their progress and love of language-learning.  As well as being taught in discrete French lessons (with a focus on practical communication), the language is woven into classroom routines, for example the register being taken in French. Cross-curricular links are made wherever possible: in Music children learn traditional French songs, PE instructions are delivered in French. Our classrooms include French displays and book corners are equipped with bilingual books to allow children to explore the links between English and French independently.

To view the National Curriculum, please click the button below to be directed to their website.

The National Curriculum
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