Curriculum for Reception children
Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the 2021 statutory framework of the EYFS.
The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Physical development
- Communication and language
The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Personal, social and emotional development
We strive to enable children to be safe, happy and independent. We also encourage self-regulation as much as possible and introduce rules and boundaries through modelling good behaviour. We teach the children about our ‘7 Wonders of Learning’ and the use the PATHs scheme of work. As part of the PATH scheme, we have a ‘child of the day’ who sits in a special chair, completes special jobs and receives compliments from their teachers and friends. Emotions and feelings are often explored using a story-based approach.
Our stunning outdoor environment and woodland area enables us to make the most of the outdoors and we encourage children to play outside as much as possible. Our intention is that children will develop their gross motor skills and learn how to take measured risks when using the large construction, woodwork bench and loose parts in the woodland. They also have a weekly session using the bikes and the adventure playground. There is a well-established and comprehensive PE curriculum, which includes dance & movement, stretching & flexibility, and fundamental PE skills. Fine motor skills are developed through daily ‘dough disco’ sessions and ‘funky finger’ activities.
Communication and Language
Children are encouraged to listen and communicate appropriately. We enhance the provision areas to reflect the focus topic. Enhancements include: role-play, small-world and story-making opportunities. This helps children to learn and use new vocabulary introduced through the topics. Children are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to whole-class and group discussions whenever possible. The intervention NELI is used to identify and target specific needs with communication and language.
We aim to teach children to read and develop a love of books as soon as they arrive at school, and books are used to teach topics and to enhance our whole curriculum.
We follow a systematic approach to teaching phonics through a scheme called Rocket Phonics which is based on Letters & Sounds. Phonics lessons are taught daily for 25 minutes. Same day intervention is used to support children who need extra phonics catch-up. In addition to daily phonics, children are heard reading by an adult at least once a week. They read a high quality, decodable book based on the phonics phase being taught. Children are encouraged to take home an age-appropriate book from our school library once a fortnight. Teachers read stories from high quality age-appropriate texts at every opportunity. These books are then used to enhance the learning environment.
We introduce writing straight away and teach handwriting alongside the Rocket Phonics / letters and sounds curriculum. Each child has a Rocket Phonics pupil practice booklet where they are taught print letter formation, apply sounds by writing words and, later in the year, sentences. Guided writing activities are also taught including story scribing. Story scribing is when a child tells their own story and the adult scribes for them. Depending on a child’s ability and the time of year, children may write some words and/or sentences themselves. Children are also encouraged to write in the provision. They are provided with writing baskets containing: gel pens, note pads, cards and envelopes, a range of pencils and other stationary. Fine motor activities are provided daily, including Dough Disco.
Children are taught maths through whole-class teaching, songs and games. We also use maths enhancement activities in the different areas of the classrooms, including the outdoors. The aim of the maths curriculum is to teach children to subitise numbers to ten automatically as soon as possible. We want to ensure children have a better understanding of one digit numbers before they move on to place value, calculation and arithmetic later in the year. At MPS, we use the White Rose scheme and a range of practical resources including Numicon. Children also learning shape, space and measure skills and knowledge through enhanced provision activities. Those children who need extra support with mathematics are targeted through additional intervention where necessary.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
We strive to give children knowledge about the world around them at MPS and the rest of the wider world. We are fortunate to be able to explore the natural environment and to make observations of animals and plants within our extensive school grounds, Reception woodland area and by visiting the Mulbarton Common. All of our topics have a Science element and connect well to the changing seasons. Geography and History are both taught through topics/themes. For example, life cycles of animals and plants are investigated within the topic Sunshine and Sunflowers and an understanding of the past is explored through stories within the topic Once Upon a Time. RE is taught throughout the year. We pride ourselves on being investigation-led and giving children hands on experiences.
Expressive Arts and Design
At MPS, we want our children to sing songs, make music, dance and perform with confidence. We have regular music lessons using the scheme Charanga, a stage area with instruments and dress-up clothes, a home corner and role-play, and we often perform our stories to each other that were written as part of story scribing. In art and design, we explore different artists, complete regular craft activities, woodwork, and encourage child-initiated activities during continuous provision within our creative areas. Children are taught how to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
The National Curriculum is the basis for our school curriculum and we have introduced knowledge organisers to ensure all children are engaged in learning. They also include information about the relevant topic that you can help your child to learn. Please see below for our knowledge organisers and curriculum maps showing the learning for Reception.
Knowledge organiser: Autumn term 1
Curriculum map: Autumn term 1
Further information is provided to parents at our information evenings and through Tapestry.
Curriculum for Years 1 – 6
Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for Years 1 – 6. Over recent years, we have developed our curriculum to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed, the requirements of the National Curriculum by providing children with exciting, engaging learning opportunities, that hook the children in, and give them extra experiences through WOW days, visits and visitors. We ensure progression of knowledge and skills through each year group in preparation for future learning.
Our curriculum is designed with our children at the heart. We want our children to be autonomous, resilient learners who take ownership over their own progress. We encourage our children to: seek out and enjoy challenges, work collaboratively with others and be reflective about their learning and progress.
At MPS we set high expectations, and give equal opportunities to allow all children to reach their full potential. We follow a challenge-led approach to lessons where the children select which challenge (bronze, silver, gold) they complete. We do this in all the subjects across the curriculum. Children are encouraged to reflect on their choice of challenge, being aspirational and moving between the challenges accordingly.
We have ‘7 Wonders of Learning’ that are at the core of everything we do in our school, these are: focussed, collaborative, resilient, reflective, aspirational, inquisitive and problem solving. Our children are asked to consider which of these wonders they use within lessons and around the school.
MPS has wonderful school grounds including a forest area, relaxation area and large field/playground spaces. Children in lower school (R-Yr2) have access to outdoor areas, whilst in upper school (Yr3-6) take part in weekly Forest School sessions. We promote active and outdoor learning opportunities as much as possible.
We provide a range of extra-curricular activities both during and outside of school hours. These include: football club, street dance, gymnastics club, table tennis, games club, Rock Steady, and a wide range of peripatetic musical instrument lessons. Some of these are led by our Year 6 prefects and others a led by outside companies.
The National Curriculum is the basis for our school curriculum and we have introduced knowledge organisers to ensure all children are engaged in learning. They also include information about the relevant topic that you can help your child to learn. Please see below for our knowledge organisers and curriculum maps for each year group:
Maths and English are mostly taught as discrete lessons. Please see below for our years overview of these subjects:
Phonics is taught using the letters and sounds programme. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.