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Curriculum

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The Curriculum at Wessex Gardens

Learning at Wessex Gardens



Early Years (Nursery and Reception)
 
At Wessex Gardens, we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. 

Four guiding principles shape practice in our early years setting.  We believe that:
  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be  resilient, capable, confident       and self-assured       
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to       their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents               and/or carers
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates
 
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape our educational programme in the early years. It should be noted that all areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. 
 
Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. 
 
These three areas, the prime areas, are: 
 
Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
 
Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. We also help children to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
 
Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others and to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings. It also involves helping children to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.
 
We seek to support children to develop the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These characteristics are about children's attitudes to learning and they underpin all of the areas.

Characteristics of Effective Learning:
Playing and exploring – engagement
·         Finding out and exploring
·         Playing with what they know
·         Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – motivation
·         Being involved and concentrating
·         Keeping trying
·         Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically – thinking
·         Having their own ideas
·         Making links
·         Choosing ways to do things

 
We work closely with parents and carers to ensure that the transitions into Nursery, Reception and Year 1 are as smooth as possible. 
 


Phonics and Reading

At Wessex Gardens, the children in both the early years and KS1, learn to read through practising a range of reading strategies.  Each day, the children learn key reading skills through taking part in discreet, systemic phonics lessons.  We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ program, and the children learn to decode words through multi-sensory and fun activities.
The children apply their decoding skills through reading a varied range of high quality texts that are rich in language and provide the children the opportunity to apply their new learning.  In guided reading we use Collins ‘Big Cat’ series or a range of high quality real books.  Each week, the children take home both banded books, which are chosen at the child’s reading level and real books from our classroom and whole school library.

 
Key Stage 1 (Years 1 -2)  and  Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6)


All our pupils in KS1 and KS2 have access to the full  National Curriculum, differentiated to take into account individual learning needs. We organise learning into Topics as part of our creative curriculum approach, designed to make learning stimulating, relevant and exciting for all. We support  the emersion into topics and a greater depth of understanding  through the use of high quality fiction and non-fiction texts and a cross-curricular approach to learning.

At Wessex Gardens we have a great focus on the explicit teaching of learning skills in addition to the content of the curriculum, so that our pupils may grow to become confident, independent learners with many transferrable skills.

Specialist staff teach PE, dance, music and drama (at KS2) and we also benefit from specialist teaching in swimming. Sports Day is held once a year.

Teachers regularly assess and discuss progress with pupils in all subject areas, with a particular focus on English and Maths. We hold three parent consultation evenings each year to discuss progress and achievements, and provide a written report at the end of the academic year.

However the most important aspect of our communication is our Open Door ethos. This ensures that staff and parents are in constant contact and can act quickly should any issues arise.  

Assessments take the form of both formative daily assessment, where pupils are given oral or written feedback in a timely fashion, and also the more formal, summative assessments such as non-statutory national curriculum tests. Assessments and feedback are used to inform further teaching and learning and to allow children to reflect on their successes and next steps

Above all, we are committed to providing our pupils at Wessex Gardens with a learning experience which stimulates and inspires them whilst preparing them for life outside school. We aim to develop pupils as true lifelong learners, hungry for knowledge and understanding and able to transfer their learning skills into a wide range of areas.


For more information about how to help your child with their learning please visit the ‘Year Pages’ section of the website.
 
You can learn more about the content of the EYFS curriculum here.

You can learn more about the content of KS1 and KS2 curriculum here.

You can learn more about progression in mathematics here.

You can learn more about progression in reading here.

You can learn more about the progression in writing here.

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