Our primary curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of all our pupils, to be broad and balanced and to ensure our vision of ‘a united and caring community of learners’ is developed at every opportunity. Pupils are actively encouraged to work collaboratively right from entering our nursery. The Principles of Nurture permeate our curriculum, particularly children’s learning being understood developmentally and language being a vital means of communication. We aim to develop a positive growth mind-set that encourages safe risk taking and a deep personal resilience.
Oracy runs through all elements of the curriculum in order that all pupils, including those who join the school with little English or no English, quickly become competent and confident in conversing in English for a wide range of purposes and therefore build a rich vocabulary and a secure understanding to enable them to be successful learners. For the 2018-2019 academic year Key Stage 1 and 2 classes will teach a specific weekly lesson focussing in expanding the vocabulary of the pupils. This is linked to individual subjects or wider topic areas.
Our curriculum is enhanced through specific subject focus days, educational visits and the involvement of specialist music teachers. Some pupils also access additional language sessions, enhanced booster sessions and wider skills delivered through our on-site Forest school provision.
Careful monitoring of individual pupil progress enables class teachers to ensure their teaching is responsive and meaningful for our pupils. We have high expectations for all and strive to engage children at all academic levels. Teachers plan opportunities, throughout the curriculum, for pupils to develop their understanding at greater depth. We feel that with an increased focus on oracy, beginning with firm foundations established within our EYFS, the pupils will have the reasoning skills to cope with greater depth tasks.
Developing Provision based learning from Nursery to year 2
All Saints school community is one of the largest in Bradford. We are a diverse, vibrant community. We are a community that are thirsty for experience and lifelong learning. As a school we strive to provide the unique conditions in which learning can take place. Where taught sessions can be explored further through carefully planned learning stations / provision, allowing children to practice their skills, speaking and communication.
A large percentage of children arrive into our Foundation Stage and KS1, below age related expectations for Speech and language and as children that are new to the English language. The Hanen centre, (most current research into early childhood language) states that research proves that language doesn’t just build on itself – it also plays a key role in the development of other important skills. It turns out that a child’s level of language skills before entering school predicts their success in both math and in reading, and even has an effect on social skills development. (The “Super Skill” for School Readiness Andrea Lynn Koohi, Staff Writer, and Tamara Stein, Program Specialist)
We are aware as professionals that children are not being involved in daily conversation making with their family’s / careers and as research from the Hanen Centre shows this turn taking conversational skill has huge impacts on future learning.;
The more children participate in back-and-forth interactions with their caregivers, the more activity they have in the part of the brain responsible for language production and processing. The study also showed a strong connection between the number of turns children take in conversation and the scores they receive on standardized language tests. The more children are involved in back-and-forth exchanges, the greater the impact on their language skills.
(The Power of Turn-taking: How Back-and-forth Interactions Help Children Learn Language – By Andrea Lynn Koohi
Hanen Staff Writer)
With this knowledge of our community and the long lasting effect of impoverish speech and language we are working towards providing provision based learning across the foundation stage and KS1. This complements the Early Years Foundation Stage, Development Matters and the KS1 curriculum. We have worked in partnership with another school in Bradford that successfully provides provision across the FS and KS1 showing year on year improvements on children’s attainment.
Through observations of our children in provision it is apparent that they have more opportunities for Oracy. They are able to practice their speaking, language and communication skills, more so than through teacher led lessons.
We also see our children being:
Creative Researchers Explorers Risk takers Co-operators
Decision makers Willing to try new things
Experiencing defeat but carry on regardless Experiencing success
Finding new challenges Finding their emotional regulation
Finding their emotional resilience Planners Organisers
Negotiators Resolvers Debater’s
Using lifelong skills have proven to have lifelong benefits beyond school.
Our provision shows development through the foundation stage curriculum and into KS 1 curriculum. Staff use on going assessment and gap analyses to find out where the gaps are in children’s learning and development in order to enhance the provision. This is crucial to have a provision that is meeting the ever changing needs of the children throughout the year. Children are set weekly targets and challenges in provision areas.
For 2018-2019 we will have a particular drive for engaging our boys with reading. We aim to provide stimulating opportunities that will create a culture of readers with a view to all our children leaving All Saints with a love of reading. Our teaching style follows the principles of the continuum approach to learning. The first step of the approach is to assess each pupils current level of understanding so a prior learning task or ‘pre-teach’ takes place. This allows teachers to group children according to their level of understanding of a specific learning objective rather than having fixed ability groupings. Teachers then create continuums of learning starting from the point of the lowest attaining child up to the mastery level of the objective. Teachers don’t produce a set of resources for each ability group; they produce resources for the continuum and all abilities move along that continuum as fast as possible. No time is wasted teaching the pupils what they already know or concepts they are not yet ready for. The continuums provide opportunities for pupils do develop conceptual understanding, achieve fluency and apply their knowledge, skills and understanding to other contexts.