From Nursery to Year 2, the Lansdowne curriculum has been designed using a thematic approach. All four schools have identified subject leaders to ensure subject equity. We see learning as an ascending spiral with sufficient repetition to ensure that learning becomes embedded and secure. We know that children learn best when they can make connections between the different areas of their learning and this approach makes the subjects more relevant and interesting for our pupils who have little experience of the world outside their immediate location. Each theme uses a high quality text-based approach to support the language acquisition required by many of our children. The long term over view of the planned themes for the whole school can be found on our website. In addition, topic planning is in place to show curriculum coverage, what the children will be learning about and an outline of the activities they will do during a half term. This is also available on the website at the beginning of each half term.
Following the publication of the research into curriculum (HMCI 18/9/2018) the staff discussed the two terms knowledge and skills. Our shared understanding is that knowledge is facts and information and skills are the application of knowledge in a range of contexts. We adhere to the HMCI comment ‘knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill’ and we understand that both need to be developed alongside one another.
In KS1, the knowledge, skills and objectives for the children's learning has been taken directly from the National Curriculum which sets out the core subjects of Maths, English and Science and the Foundation subjects of Art and Design, Computing, Design and Technology, Languages, Geography, History, Music and PE.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the skills and knowledge for learning has been taken from the development matters document.
We also teach Religious Education, Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education attaching great importance to the development of moral and social skills, including the emotional wellbeing of all our pupils.
Whole School Concepts
Key Stage One.
In order to deliver the aims of our curriculum we ensure all pupils are taught the statutory number of hours for each subject by providing staff with a timetable for all subjects each half term. The morning sessions include the five Maths and English sessions required and at five bespoke phonics lessons in year one. Spelling and reading are also timetabled for the mornings. Science and each of the foundation subjects are studied in the afternoons. Although, time is set for each subject each week there is some flexibility for teachers to block teach these if the subject content would benefit from this. E.g. To plan, carry out and evaluate a science investigation. Staff record all changes to the weekly timetable on the medium term planning grid.
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the curriculum in the early year’s unit. 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 acquire knowledge and skills, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, known as the prime areas are; communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The pupils at Lansdowne focus on these prime areas in both Nursery and Reception classes. The children are then supported in the four remaining areas known as the specific areas. The specific areas are; literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design. The staff in the foundation unit support learning and development through a mix of planned, purposeful activities and teacher-led lessons. As children’s development allows, the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for the more formal learning in Year 1.
We use formative and summative assessment processes to enable us to make accurate judgements of both attainment and progress this enables us to identify any gaps in knowledge or skills and to adapt our planning to close these gaps. Knowledge gained by regularly reviewing our assessment processes and outcomes, enable us to continue to develop our school curriculum to inform and improve our future curriculum design.
Each child is assessed on entry to the school, irrespective of the year or time of year starting and from that point, they are supported to reach their full potential. If children are present at Lansdowne at the beginning of the Reception year, they will have a baseline assessment within the first four weeks of the Autumn term. From then onwards teachers continuously asses children’s knowledge and learning as a natural, integrated part of each lesson. This allows teachers to monitor gaps in learning and plan next steps. Throughout the year KS1 children complete end of tern formal assessments as a way to support teacher assessment and gap analysis.
At the end of Key Stage One, all children undergo the national SATs (Standard Assessment Tasks) and in conjunction with teacher assessment, results are reported to parents. At the end of Early Years Foundation stage 2 children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals, with results being reported to parents.
Parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress three times a year in the Autumn, Spring and the Summer terms.
Progression and Sequencing
The curriculum has been planned and mapped progressively throughout each Key Stage. A topic based approached is used as a vehicle, where relevant, to teach the knowledge and skills to make links through cross curricular learning.
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points of children. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, but always considering Age Related Expectations. We intend that the impact is that children will be academically and physically prepared for life in their next school stage, in Modern Britain and the wider world.
We want our children to become rounded characters with a clear understanding of complex values like equality, friendship, trust and many others. From this they will develop a character that prepares them for living in the community demonstrating tolerance and equality. We measure this not just by the work our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day, on the playground, in corridors, and in the many roles we give them.
Our children are to be guided by all staff on how to approach challenges every day. This could be on the playground, in a game or disagreement, or in class in a complex learning challenge. The impact should be that children don’t give up, are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and are equipped with all the personal skills to do this.
Our children will be motivated by a strong personal sense of morality. They will make decisions for the right reasons. They will be able to decide what is right and what is wrong, and will be resilient to the influence of others.