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Curriculum policy

Gordon Infant School
Curriculum Policy
The curriculum has been organised and established in consultation with all teaching staff. It is regularly evaluated and developed through evaluation and consultation with teaching and support staff.
Vision and values
Our vision states that we aim to:
  • Provide a safe, secure and caring atmosphere where engaging learning experiences encourage creative, lively and enquiring minds, supported in an enriching and stimulating environment 
  • Provide a curriculum where learning is fun, varied and challenging, where we recognise the achievements of everyone within the school community and foster a belief in their ability to succeed
  • Welcome all and celebrate our diverse community, promoting equality and inclusion for all, developing self worth, confidence and independence and recognising and respecting individual rights and uniqueness
  • Develop a sense of belonging within the school and wider community and be committed to building positive relationships with professional colleagues and partnerships with parents, working together to enable us all to become enthusiastic and successful learners
The Creative Curriculum aims to support our vision and so:
·         Provide a broad and balanced learning experience.
·         Build up children’s confidence and motivation to learn through the use of a range of learning and teaching styles.
·         Embed key skills in order to prepare children for real-life and everyday situations.
·         Provide opportunities to apply knowledge and learning in practical ways.
·         Provide a creative approach to planning and delivery that will incorporate and embed key aspects of the National Curriculum especially Literacy and ICT.
·         Provide enrichment opportunities where learning and teaching can take place beyond the classroom.
·         Develop social skills and encourage children to become more active citizens within the school community and beyond.
·         Develop speaking and listening skills and extend vocabulary.
Creative Curriculum
The Creative Curriculum has been organised into integrated topics. Each topic has a key focus of a Foundation Subject or Science and links have then been made to other curricular areas. Opportunities for Speaking and Listening are optimised and basic skills are delivered through this holistic approach to teaching. The use of ICT is encouraged in all topic areas as a subject in its own right and in both the teaching of the topic and in the opportunities for children’s independent learning.
Although links can be made with all subjects, the following subjects are taught as dedicated, discrete sessions:
·         Maths– Maths skills are key to developing everyday skills although links can be made to the curriculum through data handling, position, measurementespecially in Science, DT and Geography.
·         Aspects of Literacy – Phonics, Guided Reading and Handwriting are taught as discrete subjects as they build up basic skills.
·         RE – in accordance with the Local Authority scheme although links with topics will be made where appropriate.
·         PE
·         PSHE
Creative Curriculum planning and organisation
The programmes of study of the National Curriculum tell us the minimum requirement of what
needs to be taught in Key Stages 1 and 2. The aim is that the required Knowledge, Skills and
Understanding are covered as many times as possible throughout the Key Stage. In order to track the progression of skills each subject is arranged in Levels and these are used to plan the next steps in children’s learning. Long term plans indicate what themes will be taught and when. Using a brainstorm of activities, a topic is devised and we then consider what the best learning sequence would be. This will include how the topic will be introduced including a ‘Stunning Start‘ and a ‘Fantastic Finish’. The medium term plans for each topic hold the relevant Learning Targets and experiences. Teaching staff are encouraged to broaden the experience of the topics for the children through off-site visitsvisitors into school and shared experiences of the wider school community, e.g., involvement with parents and school links etc. Children’s achievements are celebrated regularly through the school newsletters, displays in classrooms and shared areas, structured play and interactive displays and in assemblies where children are encouraged to share their knowledge with the rest of the school.
Each theme is resourced with a box containing an inventory and is kept in the classroom. We value experiences and people as resources, and use them as resources as frequently as possible. Further resources are located in a cupboard in the Resource Centre and available to all staff. The subject leader is responsible for monitoring the use of resources, and arranging for replacements to be made, following the general school ordering procedures. Staff are asked to inform the subject leader if any resources are damaged or need replacing, and they are also asked to submit any resources to be added to existing stock.
Effective Learning
At Gordon Infant School we believe that children learn best when they
  • can complete tasks that are meaningful for them – they understand the reason for doing them so can use and apply what they know in real life contexts
  • are clear about what they are learning
  • are active, involved and interested and can explore and discover things for themselves
  • can talk and interact with others
  • can ask questions, are challenged
  • feel safe, can take risks and make mistakes and have choices
  • have scaffolding to support their learning and have chances to practice and consolidate – little and often
  • have their basic needs met and are happy
  • are in a stimulating and ordered environment
  • are given positive reinforcement and praise and have good relationships with the adults who support them
Effective Teaching
This takes place by
  • Taking children’s prior learning, knowledge and understanding into account when planning so that tasks are matched to their needs
  • Planning for a variety of learning styles
  • Providing open ended tasks to elicit a variety of responses where appropriate
  • Using Learning Support Assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children.
  • Introducing with whole class teaching, using open ended probing questions, visual stimuli and talk partners
  • Children working independently, in pairs or as groups.
  • A plenary being delivered at any point during the session to extend or review learning.
Assessment and record keeping
Class teachers assess and record attainment and progress of the core subjects, (see Assessment
Policy). Currently we monitor the coverage of Knowledge, Skills and Understanding by cross referencing with planning and ensuring progression from one class to the next. Each term children are assessed according to the skills they have acquired and children who are below, at and above expectations are noted. At the end of the school year class teachers plot children on a whole class tracking sheet and a copy is given to the assessment and subject leader. Subject leaders should collect evidence e.g  planning, assessment data, photographs, work, and children questionnaires from year groups to compile a portfolio that allows them to assess how well their subject is being delivered.
It is expected that all children will be given the opportunity to learn in a creative and encouraging learning environment which encompasses a range of learning and teaching styles. All children are entitled to this as part of the ECM agenda. It is hoped that this approach will motivate and support children’s learning at all levels including the Able and Talented, EAL and children identified with a Special Educational Need (SEN).
Monitoring and Review
The Creative Curriculum Leaders are responsible for monitoring and reviewing the Creative
Curriculum on an annual basis, responding to monitoring and evaluation and discussions with subject leaders. This process is reflected in the Leaders action plan, and is achieved through
·         regular formal and informal discussions with staff
·         regular observations of lessons
·         analysing assessment data
·         regular scrutiny of children’s work
·         monitoring planning to ensure curriculum coverage
·         collating data from staff, parent and children’s questionnaires.
·         speaking with the children about their learning.
As a result of the above, the action plan will be amended in order to move the school forward.
Governors are kept informed of developments and priorities through regular reports by the Curriculum Leader/s. Parents and carers are kept informed of developments, through regular class letters, Curriculum Meetings, Head Teacher newsletter, open evenings and end of year reports.
Termly Monitoring takes place in line with the whole school monitoring timetable through book scrutinies, planning scrutinies and/or lesson observations where applicable.
Health and safety
We follow Redbridge Guidelines. Risk assessments are carried out for every field trip made and the equipment used in school has been checked by the subject leader/Health and Safety Coordinator.
Policy dated June 2012
Review date June 2014