Hungerford Nursery School Centre for Children and Families
Everyone Matters – Be the Best you can be –
All Learn: All Lead: All Achieve
Curriculum Strategic Overview
Ofsted’s working definition of ‘curriculum’ is: ‘A framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage (intent); for translating that framework over time into a structure and narrative, within an institutional context (implementation) and for evaluating what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations (impact and achievement).
Our Curriculum is ambitious and inclusive for our children, it aims to deliver a holistic, communication rich environment that cultivates curiosity, challenges, excites and inspires children to become successful and confident learners where they can reach their full potential. It is strongly focussed on developing a sense of belonging and an understanding of each child and their family.
Our vision is that if we build strong and trusting relationships, listen to children and parents, grow a sense of belonging, have very high aspirations for our children, provide education and care that is very high-quality, grow and foster a love of learning for life then we will enable everyone to be the best they can be.
The aim of our curriculum at Hungerford Nursery School Centre for Children and Families is to encourage the holistic development of the child. We want each child to develop socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually in a safe, secure and stimulating environment. Our curriculum considers all of the component skills children need to learn- 'a language of learning' and 'a growth mindset'.
Children should have a wide range of experiences, have their curiosity kindled and their language and communication skills developed. We take account of children's interests and strengths. We address all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage. We promote a disposition to acquire effective skills towards lifelong learning.
Early Education matters. We know from the UK EPPE Project and many other research sources that high-quality early years education makes a lifelong, positive difference to children. Characteristics of high-quality early education include:
- Learning that is play-based and takes place indoors and outside
- A balance between adult-initiated experiences (guided learning) and child-initiated experiences
- Adults take children’s interests and strengths as a starting point, seeing each child as a competent learner
- Parent involvement is crucial: parent support and a high-quality home learning environment make a significant difference to children
- Practitioners track each child’s learning and development to pick up where children are at risk of making poor progress, and adapt their teaching as appropriate
- Early intervention is offered swiftly, so that children get the additional, specialist help that they need
We believe that high-quality learning and teaching is the entitlement of all children. This must equip them with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices.
We acknowledge that children learn at different rates and each is at an individual stage of development. We believe that children learn best when they are happy, secure and actively involved in their own learning.
Effective teaching and learning in the EYFS meets children’s identified needs and interests and helps children to learn and develop in all seven areas of learning and development.
We recognise that parents are essential partners in children's early learning. We achieve even more when we are able to work together in a respectful partnership.
We believe that children should play, find out and explore, and be willing to have a go. They should be motivated and active learners who enjoy achieving what they set out to do, that they keep on trying and stay involved in their tasks. Children should be creative and think critically, have their own ideas and make links in their learning choosing individual ways to do things.
The Intent of our Curriculum
Our aim is to support a rich, interesting and stimulating learning and teaching curriculum, within an environment that allows children to fully develop their skills and abilities.
Our intention is to support, nurture, encourage and teach our children to:
(See image of the child)
Resilient: Be a happy, engaged and resilient learner - who has a language of learning and a growth mindset
Independent: Be an independent and interdependent learner knowing that I can do things for myself and also where and when to ask for help
Effective and confident communicators: Be able to express myself clearly using a wide vocabulary, justify my thinking and enjoy language through stories and books
Social: Have a sense of belonging and strong social relationships and able to negotiate with those around me, valuing diversity and also showing care and concern for others
Physical: Be able to control my body especially when using equipment and small tools
Notice and investigate: Notice and be curious about everything around me, making connections, noticing similarities and differences, recalling previous experiences, and showing imagination and creativity.
We use our curriculum goals and milestones (see curricular goals) to guide our curriculum and help us make assessments around children's progress.
Our curriculum is constantly evolving and considers the individual needs, interests, and stage of development for each child.
- We acknowledge the requirements for promoting the learning and development of children as set out in the EYFS Statutory Framework. Our curriculum for each Area of Learning, Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional, Physical, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design is set out. We outline progression of knowledge and skills in our curricular goals and milestones.
- We focus on the Prime Areas and alongside this grow the Specific Areas. We are mindful of the steps laid out in Development Matters, breaking these down into smaller steps if needed. We also plan with the Characteristics of Effective Learning in mind.
- We are focused on promoting high levels of involvement (Leuven Scale) and also being mindful of the different schemas that children may transition through.
The Implementation of Our Curriculum
We are committed to ensure that all children have the opportunity to access an enriched curriculum offer which will also offer ‘hands on’, real-life experiences as well as trips and outings into the wider community. We are mindful that some children arrive at an early years setting with fewer experiences than others, in their learning and play. We see it as our role to ensure that children experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live, through the seven areas of learning. We promote cultural capital as this is the essential knowledge that children need to be educated citizens. We help every child to grow up feeling confident about their own identity, in a spirit of friendship, understanding fairness and the rights of others and valuing diversity.
To support cultural capital we provide:
- An enabling environment where children have access to equipment, toys, books, music, artistic tools and a space to develop their own ideas.
- Opportunities to learn about different ways of behaving and communicating in different situations. Exploration of various cultures and environments such as access to performers, local community exploring opportunities, cooking opportunities, forest school and campfires etc.
Our curriculum offer is cross-curricular and encompasses a holistic approach
- Each environment is divided into workshops which ensures that the curriculum is broad and balanced and where resources have been selected, thoughtfully, to support each child to independently access resources to stretch and challenge their learning, even when an adult is not present.
- Our curriculum is carefully planned. Please see the skills progression in each of our workshops. We offer children opportunities to consolidate learning through play in the learning environment.
- We continually develop positive relationships with the parents of each child, by keeping them informed about how the children are being taught, how they can support learning, and how well each child is progressing.
- The curriculum is implemented through practitioners in the setting responding to the child in the moment, what they are doing and use that to extend the child’s learning. Teaching includes working face-to-face with a child or small group of children during the session, and structuring the learning environment to support children in making progress through child-initiated play. Sometimes these two approaches over-lap, for example, when a child or small group initiate play which is then supported and extended by the practitioner. When practitioners teach children: they make opportunities for the child to make a contribution and to make choices in their learning; they scaffold the child’s development, to support increasing independence and control; they ask questions to check or develop children’s understanding; they work collaboratively to solve problems and find answers; they provide formative feedback to help children to consolidate their learning and extend their exploration and thinking further.
- We use wellbeing and involvement to guide our practice alongside the development of curiosity and language. The quality of interactions uses the stimulation, sensitivity and autonomy from Ferre Laevers to guide the quality of adult engagement.
- During the sessions there will be adult led group times which focus on one or more
of the following: Reading, telling and sharing stories; singing and rhymes; Letters and Sounds activities; movement and dance to build strong bodies and hands – ‘Write Dance’; opportunities to plan, talk, listen, take turns and review the sessions; cooking to give a wider range of language and experience; use of puppets or persona dolls to celebrate differences, talk about social relationships and inclusion.
The Impact of Our Curriculum
We aim for all the children to reach their full potential - cognitively, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Through the implementation of our curriculum, children’s knowledge, understanding and skills will be secured and embedded so that they will attain highly and are fully prepared for their continuing learning journey.
We measure and monitor the impact of our curriculum by:
- Monitoring children's progress against our curricular goal milestones
- Making observations, analysing learning, planning next steps, engaging parents and children in reflecting through 'Learning Stories'
- Assessing and teaching in the moment and planning weekly so to ensure that experiences and learning are continually progressing
- Monitoring children’s well-being and involvement so that they are learning at their best
- Working collaboratively with parents and carers through our Learning Stories, parent consultations, parental workshops, and an open door policy.
- Carrying out learning walks and visits to monitor teaching and learning.
- Moderating data, termly, to ensure consistency across the school (internal and external).
- Using the Barriers to Learning data to inform practice and adapt the environment.
- Using the Barriers to Learning data to inform any next steps for groups of children and individuals, targeting the bottom 20%.
- Reflecting regularly upon our practice and provision.
- Working with our Governing Board to ensure that teaching and learning is consistently outstanding.
- Carrying out observations of all staff members to ensure that teaching and learning is consistently outstanding.
- Providing staff with Continuous Professional Development to support their outstanding practice.
- By acknowledging the importance of learning from mistakes, encouraging resilience and positive attitudes to meeting challenges and learning from them.