Our Curriculum

At Oldfield Park Infant School the curriculum is organised around a series of exciting topics through which the children develop their knowledge and skills across all subject areas. Central to each topic is the systematic development of the core skills of reading, writing and mathematics which are given a high priority.

This approach makes learning more enjoyable and relevant for the children who are also given the opportunity to say what they would like to learn as part of the topic being studied. We believe that young children learn most successfully when they are actively involved in a variety of activities.

The teaching of skills is achieved through a balance of whole class, small group and individual teaching. Our teachers know each child’s strengths and needs and set regular targets for development in reading, writing and mathematics which are shared with children and their parents. There are also plenty of opportunities to support children with their learning at home.

 

Reception Overview  Year 1 Overview  Year 2 Overview  Reading at Oldfield Park Infants

 

Literacy Mathematics Science Physical Education Art and Design Music Personal, Social & Health Education Computing Religious Education Geography and History Technology The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

 

 

Developing the Skills to be a Successful Learner.

At Oldfield Park Infant School we want all our children to develop a love of learning that will last throughout their lives. Through the way we teach and interact with the children we want each of them to be a ‘Sparkling Learner’ developing a variety of skills that they can use in all sorts of situations. We encourage this through the use of our Learning Powers and Gems.

 

Literacy

Speaking and Listening, Phonics, Reading and Writing together with spelling and handwriting are taught systematically and given a high priority.

We believe that reading should be an enjoyable experience and that children are motivated to become readers by having the opportunity to share a wide range of high quality books.

Our children are taught to read using a variety of methods including the daily teaching of phonic skills through the Letters and Sounds Programme. We aim for children to become independent readers enjoying reading for pleasure and to seek information. We encourage all parents to support their child by reading together regularly at home.

We use a variety of reading schemes chosen for their quality and interest level. All reading books are organised into Book Bands so that children can read a variety of texts at each level. Some of the core schemes that we use are Oxford Reading Tree and PM Books.

All children have a daily phonics lesson which systematically develops their knowledge of letters and sounds whilst giving opportunities for frequent practise of skills. The lessons are delivered using a range of resources such as games and computer activities to engage and motivate the children. Our main scheme is Letters and Sounds.

We also focus on the vital skills of speaking and listening which are key to successful learning. Through a range of activities we encourage children to express themselves clearly, to listen carefully and to respond to others appropriately. Story telling is something we particularly encourage and enjoy as a school.

To create successful, confident writers we ensure that writing too is seen as important, relevant and pleasurable. The children write for a variety of purposes across the curriculum and enjoy their weekly ‘Big Write’ sessions.

Mathematics

We encourage our children to have a positive attitude towards their learning in mathematics, enjoying the fun and   mental challenge it brings.

Mathematics is a daily activity where mental arithmetic is followed by whole class work on a particular aspect of mathematics. Work in groups with a variety of activities is then provided followed by a short session to review the learning that has taken place.
Problem solving and investigational work play an important role in developing knowledge and understanding of a range of concepts.

 

Science

Practical activities that encourage exploration, discovery and investigation of the world in which    we live form the basis of our science curriculum. These ’finding out’ activities fit into our topic based scheme and enable the children to gain both knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas. Skills such as observation, raising questions and evaluating are developed and children are encouraged to record and explain what they have discovered.

 

Physical Education

All children are given the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of physical activities. This  includes regular teaching to develop skills in games, gymnastics, dance and drama. The children are also taught skills by a qualified sports coach once a week.

These activities develop the children’s confidence, their spatial awareness, and their co-ordination as well as giving them important opportunities for healthy exercise.

In addition after school sports clubs are organised where children can continue to develop their interest in sport and healthy exercise.

Many children enjoy playing football, rugby, martial arts, swimming and dance with local clubs. We follow their progress with interest and they are invited to bring in certificates, medals and trophies to share with us in our weekly Celebration Assemblies.

Throughout the year children engage in drama and role play often linked to the topics being studied or to annual celebrations such as Harvest, Christmas or the Year 2’s leaving to join their junior schools.

We are also fortunate to be able to work in partnership with a number of outside organisations in order to extend and enrich the learning experiences for all children.

 

 

Art and Design

Art and Design is given an important place in our curriculum.

We encourage children to express their creativity and give them the opportunity to use a wide variety of materials to create pictures and models.

The children learn to look closely at the world around them and gain a deeper understanding of colour, form and texture.  They become confident in using a variety of techniques and take a pride in the school environment which they have helped to create through the display of their work.

They learn about artists and their work and they begin to appreciate the art of different cultures.

We also regularly invite artists into school to share their expertise and help the children experience a range of different art forms.

 

Music

The elements of music – rhythm, pitch, dynamics and timbre – are experienced and incorporated into music making.  A core scheme, Music Express, is used across the school.

The children are taught to appreciate varying styles in music and enjoy learning songs reflecting many cultures.

They are given opportunities to make music as individuals or within groups of varying sizes.

Musicians are invited to share a range of musical styles with the children such as drumming, choral work, brass and string quartets.

 

Personal, Social & Health Education

A high priority is placed on developing these key skills for developing a happy and successful lifestyle and positive attitudes to learning. The SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) scheme of work is embedded into school life. Children are encouraged to work towards weekly behaviour targets and rewarded for demonstrating positive behaviours.

 

Computing

The school is well equipped for the teaching and development of computing skills. There is an I.C.T. suite with 15 computers in which whole classes can work. The suite has appropriate and safe access to the internet and a range of programmes which help the children both to develop their I.C.T. skills and to explore other areas of the curriculum. We also have 16 iPads which are used to support learning as well as used to teach computing. Each classroom has its own Interactive Whiteboard and two networked  computers all of which are in daily use.

Religious Education

As a community school our religious education broadly reflects the values of Christianity with a wide appreciation of our multi-cultural society. As well as celebrating Christian festivals the children learn about the traditions and festivals of other faiths. Our aim is to develop a spiritual awareness through listening, discussion, music, art, drama and dance. Assemblies are held daily and explore weekly themes.

Children may be exempt from religious education if parents so wish.

 

Geography and History

We use the children’s own special understanding of the world in which they live as a starting point to develop a broader awareness and knowledge.

We are lucky to have a rich local environment especially the school itself. We have many photographs of the school to illustrate its history together with log books and artefacts.

We believe that the children need to develop an understanding of their place within both their local community and the wider world. We include studies of other countries, cultures and festivals.

As a school we have a keen interest in environmental issues aiming to help children understand that they too can have an impact on and need to develop a sense of responsibility for the world in which they live. Our ‘Green Team’ takes the lead in several ‘Eco School’ activities.

 

Technology

Through topic work children are encouraged to generate ideas, design a variety of models to solve practical problems and evaluate the results. They often work with construction kits or junk materials. Children also have the opportunity to develop cookery and growing skills throughout the year.

 

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

In their Reception Year the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This programme continues the learning they will have experienced at home and in a pre-school setting such as a nursery or playgroup, or with a child minder.

The children’s learning is organised into seven main areas:

We provide a range of well planned activities through which children can investigate the world around them within a safe, stimulating environment.  We emphasise the importance of first hand, play based experiences of both a directed and child initiated nature which encourage independent learning. The children call this their ‘Discovery Time.’

At the same time they receive high quality teaching in the skills of reading, writing and mathematics including a daily phonic lesson.

We are fortunate that our reception classrooms have their own outdoor areas for physical play which we make use of all year round. These areas are well equipped with sand and water play, a range of bikes and trikes and large construction apparatus. There is also the opportunity for imaginative and creative play outdoors.

Children’s progress in their first year of school is recorded in an individual ‘Learning Journey’ file which includes detailed observations, photographs and samples of each child’s learning such as drawings and writing. We also ask parents to contribute their observations and information about activities at home.

The children keep their ‘Learning Journeys’ throughout their time at the school and begin to help their teachers select the contents to show how they are progressing. The files are presented to each child when they leave us in Year 2.