What are we Learning?

Our curriculum has been developed using the development matters statements, alongside the characteristics of effective learning. Our substantive knowledge is delivered through topics which enables the children to learn about things that are relevant to them and the wider world. We use books and visuals in all of learning to aid understanding, particularly for the children with EAL. The children learn through a variety of adult led and child initiated learning, with continuous provision being enhanced to support learning and spark interest. We encourage the children to develop the Characteristics of Effective Learning through the introduction of our ‘Learning Safari’, where we meet 8 characters such as Exploring Elephant and Concentrating Crocodile to motivate and inspire children to develop these disciplinary skills. We use floor books to document the learning that takes place across mathematics, topic and RE and our school values. Children in Nursery have a mark making and writing learning journal and Reception children have an individual literacy book to record their phonics and writing.

Children in Nursery follow the Phase One aspects of Letters and Sounds and may start phonics in the Summer term, if they are ready. We teach a daily phonics lesson in Reception, using LCP Letter and Sounds, with reading books matched closely to the children’s phonic ability. All children choose a library book to take home and share with parents. We use ‘Talk for Writing’ strategies and Greg Botrill’s ‘Drawing Club’ to develop our story language, vocabulary and writing skills. We use ‘Launchpad For Literacy’ to support children’s gaps in literacy and the ‘NELI’ programme to further support children’s speech and language needs.

We use a mastery approach to maths with Nursery following ‘Mastering the curriculum’ and Reception following ‘White Rose’. Maths is taught daily, with children being given time to explore and learn mathematical concepts using manipulatives and resources to support their learning across concrete, abstract and pictorial approaches.

We follow the diocesan syllabus for Religious Education in the Diocese of Durham and Newcastle and use the Understanding Christianity resource to supplement this. We have a termly focus based on our school values, which are taught in class and in whole school assemblies.

Assessment of children’s learning is ongoing and part of our daily practice. We observe children in their play, with adults interacting and modelling alongside children and noting any areas of concern, so that next steps can be further planned. We assess children termly against the Ouseburn Learning Trust’s benchmarks and record the progress and attainment on our school trackers. We use this information to identify any gaps in skills or knowledge that need to be taught and to plan the environment to meet the needs of the children. We use the Reception Baseline within the first six weeks of a child starting in Reception, once the child is settled and their levels on the Leuven scales are high enough. Reception children are assessed at the end of Reception using the Foundation Stage Profile and this information is shared with parents in end of year reports and with Y1 staff. We use Class Dojo to engage with parents and to share learning and WOW moments.