Intent – Why are we teaching this?
At Luxulyan School our Reception Curriculum is ambitious, coherently planned and sequenced and is based upon the educational programmes from the EYFS statutory framework and supported by the non statutory guidance Development Matters and Birth to 5 matters.
There are five strong foci running throughout our Reception curriculum offer.
1. Oracy: Language development and acquisition of new vocabulary is of paramount importance in our curriculum. We want children to have the opportunity to learn a range of new vocabulary in order that they are able to access the curriculum throughout the rest of the school. We also want children to be able to express their ideas and thoughts clearly and to be able to use language to reason and explain.
2. Diversity: As a school in Cornwall, we are aware that our children may not have had the same experiences of diversity as other children across the country. It is therefore important that, through a range of stories, books and other resources, the children have the opportunity to see and experience other cultures and religions.
3. Sense of Place: At Luxulyan School, we believe it is incredibly important for the children to understand their Cornish Heritage and what makes Cornwall special. Throughout the year the children have the opportunity to explore a different aspect of that Heritage from language and traditions to special places and people.
4. Ecology: In preparing our children for life, it is key that they have an understanding of the importance of the natural world and the impact they have on it, again particularly living in Cornwall where we are surrounded by beautiful countryside and the sea. Throughout the curriculum we focus on current topical issues such as recycling and plastic pollution.
5. Readiness for Year 1 and beyond: As well as wanting Reception children to be ready to access the Key Stage 1 curriculum in terms of literacy and numeracy skills, we also want them to be independent, holistic learners with a developed sense of personal well-being.
To this end we have designed our own set of curriculum goals.
Our aim is that children will become:
- Confident Communicators
- Independent Individuals
- Fantastic Friends
- Amazing Athletes
- Talented Tool Uses
- Brilliant Bookworms
- Wow Writers
- Masters of Maths
- Exceptional Explorers
- Compassionate Citizens
- Dynamic Designers
- Proud Performers
More detail about each of these goals can be found in the attached document.
The Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
In planning and guiding what children learn, we reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust their practice appropriately. The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
• playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
• active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
• creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
Implementation – How is this being taught in the classroom?
At Luxulyan School, we implement our Reception Curriculum through a carefully planned balance of adult led and child-initiated activities.
The adult led activities give us the opportunities for the children to learn different disciplinary and substantive knowledge. This then enables them to develop the skills they need to make progress throughout the year.
The child-initiated activities give the children the opportunity to practise their new knowledge and skills through their own interests.
Literacy and Mathematics
We use the Read Write Inc phonics programme for Literacy and a mixture of NCETM mastering number and White Rose maths (supported by resources from Mastering the Curriculum) for maths
Literacy and mathematics are also then consolidated through Drawing Club. This is the brainchild of Greg Bottrill -an Early Years specialist. It opens up the magical world of tales and stories to children whilst supporting the following skills: •listening and attention • developing vocabulary • making conversation • using imagination • creativity • pencil control • reading and writing • mathematics • understanding of the world (science, geography, history, RE)
We use Healthy Movers as well as opportunities for yoga and daily Funky Finger Disco – this is a movement to music activity to help develop children’s pivot points – shoulder, elbow, wrist, distal (fingers) to support pencil grip and writing.
We also use the Cornwall Agreed Syllabus for RE, Jigsaw PSHE and Charanga Music.
We want our children to be creative, curious and independent learners and they can develop this through OWL (Our Wonderful Learning) time. The inside and outside environments are split into different areas and resources for the areas are freely available to the children and they are encouraged to ‘choose it, use it and put it away’. Adults in the setting engage in ‘co-play’ with the children. Observations are made using an ‘in the moment planning’ approach. This means that whilst the children are playing, we observe and assess what they are doing and then immediately plan and teach the next steps as appropriate.
Tapestry and Floor books
We use Tapestry as our online Learning Journal. Photographs, videos and notes of special moments are recorded and shared with parents at home. Parents can contribute to this growing journal by commenting on the journal entries, or even adding their own. Each week a home learning challenge is sent out linked to part of our weekly learning and parents are encouraged to complete this with their child and record it on Tapestry.
Within the classroom, we use a termly floor book to record evidence of our learning.
Impact – What is the effect?
At Luxulyan School, we ensure that each child experiences the full curriculum offer, is assessed individually and that provision is made for their particular development and educational needs. As a result of this all children will be able to know more and can do more. They will make at least good progress from their starting points and the percentage of children reaching a good level of development will be in line with or higher than the national average.