Our leaders have carefully designed the curriculum, so it is personalised to meet the needs of our children. We provide a broad, creative, knowledge-based curriculum, with the development of skills at its heart. Our curriculum enables all our children to aim high, take risks and fulfil their potential.
Our curriculum reflects and develops behaviours for learning, that we recognise our children need to develop:
- Resilience and an ability to cope with and learn from mistakes
- An ability to work collaboratively
Reading underpins our entire curriculum, which is steeped in the development of fluency and the use of high-quality vocabulary. A love of reading and books is integral to our learning across the curriculum. We recognise that ensuring a strong foundation of early reading, which is then built upon in KS2, is vital to achieving our aim that every child leaves Woodmansterne a confident, fluent reader.
We also believe children learn best when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning in engaging, purposeful contexts. Permeating our curriculum are first-hand experiences and learning outside the classroom, which are an integrated part of the learning for all children.
Our expectation is that every child receives the same high-quality curriculum regardless of ability or specific educational need.
At Woodmansterne, we provide a creative curriculum based around the requirements of the National Curriculum. The core subjects of maths, English and science along with computing, PSHE, RE, PE, music, outdoor learning and French are taught discreetly through carefully sequenced schemes of work. However, we teach our creative subjects (Art and DT) and humanities (History and Geography) through a more holistic, cross-curricular approach which we call Learning Experiences.
Teaching at Woodmansterne is of a high standard and leaders support teachers with subject specific pedagogy as well as opportunities to continually develop subject knowledge. Our curriculum is planned and sequenced, so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before, towards clearly defined end points in every subject.
We use a wide range of formative assessment strategies to check for understanding and continually adapt teaching to meet the needs of all learners. At the beginning of all new learning, we use a range of informal entry assessments of key content including KWL grids (Know, Want to Know, Learnt) and then our plans are adapted accordingly.
Live marking is used in every lesson to assess against the learning objective and allow children to edit and improve their work and then misconceptions are addressed in future lessons. Summative assessment is collected three times a year. Teachers meet with the SLT to discuss data and next steps on a termly basis and produce provision maps for their class to plan and monitor support and interventions. We continually assess and monitor all groups of learners, to adapt the curriculum swiftly and address any gaps in learning or pupils falling behind.
Our curriculum ensures we meet the needs of each child by carefully considering which children need an initial teacher input. Teachers often work with groups or 'peel off' certain children, who may benefit from extra support, while allowing more confident children to get started on their learning as soon as possible and vice-versa.
School leaders and governors have created a culture that enables pupils and staff to excel. Data at the end of Early Years, Year 1 phonics screening, end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is in line with or exceeds national averages. In 2019 EYFS attainment at the expected standard in reading (93%), writing (83%) and maths (98%) was significantly above the national average. Attainment of the higher standard at the end of KS2 for reading, writing and maths was significantly above the national average and in the highest 20% of all schools.
KS1 to KS2 progress for the 2020-21 cohort was significant with positive value-added scores across all three subject areas. In Maths, 87% of pupils made expected progress with 13% making ‘beyond expected progress’. In writing, 87% of pupils made expected progress with 30% making beyond expected progress. In Reading, 83% made expected progress with 17% making beyond expected (13% of children making ‘well above expected’ which is 3 levels of assessment above expected progress.)
As a result of a sharp focus and targeted provision for disadvantaged pupils, over a 3-year period, progress for this group has improved.
An embedded phonics programme, which is well resourced and where assessment data is used robustly to inform planning and learning means that outcomes in phonics are strong with results above or close to the national average. Early reading is effective and targeted support is put in place which means that by the end of Year 2, over a 3-year average 92% of children have passed their phonics screening.
Children leave Reception confident, sociable and independent - ready to learn in Year 1. Data at the end of Reception is above the national average and children make good progress from their individual starting points. In 2019 EYFS attainment at the expected standard in reading (93%), writing (83%) and maths (98%) was significantly above the national average.
Early Years Curriculum
Our approach to Early Years is built on a secure understanding of child development, predictable interests, and fascinations and how these ignite children’s natural curiosity and inspire them to explore, investigate and develop a love of learning. Play is at the heart of our curriculum. Through the seven areas of learning we provide first-hand learning experiences that excite and engage all children, building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them.
Most of our children enter with age-appropriate Literacy and Mathematical knowledge but are lower in their Personal, Social and Emotional Development and learning behaviours. We therefore in our curriculum we focus on giving the children the chance to explore risks and challenge, develop resilience and positive relationships with a variety of peers.
Reading underpins our entire curriculum, which is steeped in the development of fluency and the use of high-quality, age-appropriate vocabulary and we recognise that ensuring a strong foundation of early reading, is vital to achieving our aim that ever child leaves Woodmansterne a confident, fluent reader.
We work in partnership with parents and carers to provide the best possible start at school, ensuring everyone reaches their full potential through consistent communication and support.
By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children are individual, independent learners who feel free to take risks, have a love for learning and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into the next phase of their learning.
First-hand experience is vital for our children so there are always high-quality resources which are carefully chosen to meet the children’s needs and a range of trips and visits support this.
Each half term, EYFS staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities and the timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching every day.
These teacher-led inputs are followed by small, focused group work. This means the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning. Through a skills-based curriculum, teachers are continually responding and adapting the provision to challenge misconceptions and accelerate progress.
Early reading is implemented using the Read Write Inc. phonics programme to ensure consistency across the school. Children are introduced to a new story regularly and are taught key vocabulary associated with this. Within both teaching sessions and the learning environment. Children are given the opportunity to retell and engage with the story. In our Nursery class staff focus on developing the children’s speaking and listening skills as the foundations for phonics and in Reception, they are introduced to Set 1 sounds where they will develop GPC and segmenting and blending skills to decode words. Children are encouraged to read at home and are listened to regularly in school. They are given books that match their phonic knowledge.
Early maths is developed through a focus on the depth of understanding of mathematical concepts across EYFS e.g., a number a week in Reception. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives, pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. In our Nursery Class, children develop a love of maths through games, songs, rhymes, and play using concrete manipulatives. There is a focus on the following counting principles; one to one correspondence, stable order and cardinal principle.
Children experience gross and fine motor experiences in the learning environment, giving them opportunities to take managed risks. We offer a range of additional intervention and support for children who may not be reaching their potential or are not showing a greater depth of understanding and need further challenge. This includes sessions for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics, and mathematics. Parents receive regular communication including daily updates using the Class Dojo, examples of individual learning, a termly learning journey as well as family learning sessions and regular parents’ evenings.