At St Botolph’s, we pride ourselves on offering our children quality education within a safe and nurturing environment. We continually strive to improve, giving our children exciting opportunities to broaden their horizons.
The St Botolph’s Curriculum has carefully planned activities and learning which matches our children’s needs, expanding their opportunities and widening their horizons. Learning is carefully connected, interweaving knowledge and skills to make it meaningful, while ensuring that the National Curriculum is followed.
Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. Working in partnership with parents, carers and other settings, we aim to ensure each individual reaches their full potential. Within our curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of learning; Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language, including Oracy. We recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school, in life and future employment.
Our enabling environments and skillful adult interactions aim to support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start. High level engagement ensures high level attainment; therefore we provide an engaging curriculum to maximise opportunities for cross-curricular links and meaningful learning experiences.
We foster a lifelong love of learning both in and outside of school. By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.
The curriculum includes six themes that are introduced 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. The timetable, of which, changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. These sessions are followed by small, focused group work in which the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and quickly respond to misconceptions and provide verbal feedback resulting in a positive impact on the acquisition of new learning.
Within our EYFS setting, children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ in both the indoor and outdoor environments, through the variety of exciting, purposeful and contextual activities that are designed to build on their natural curiosity, engage and challenge them.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of additional interventions and support for children to reach their full potential and to further challenge them.
During the first half term in Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. The following baseline assessments are also conducted. The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment) This assessment focuses on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics.’ The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2.
In EYFS, we use ongoing observations to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. Our practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child, their own expert professional judgement, discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing or something they have made, to identify next steps and inform planning.
By the end of EYFS, teachers will use their formative assessments to assess pupils as emerging or expected against each of the 17 ELGs (Early Learning Goals). In addition, they provide a narrative for Year 1 staff and parents regarding each child’s achievements in EYFS. Impact in EYFS curriculum can also be seen in the smooth transition that our pupils have into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELGs link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation – children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey.