Our curriculum is continually adapted to meet the needs of the children and to be accessible to all. It is adapted for the needs of different groups and has at its core the views of the children. It is continually moderated and adapted by our SLT in partnership with curriculum leads, also using information from assessment data and involving governors through their findings from visits. One subject lead attends SLT meetings each week so the curriculum is under ongoing review. Ongoing professional development is a priority of the school to ensuring that the curriculum is implemented sufficiently well and this involves all of our staff. There has been an emphasis on developing the arts and we received the silver Artsmark in June 2019.
As a school well-being and mental health support including the recognition of attachment issues are at the core of our provision.
• Our curriculum is tailor made for the children, with Forest schools and pupil voice being a major factor in planning. On occasions we will use whole school questions such as “What happened one hundred years ago?” It is constantly fined tuned and embraces social and emotional need, well-being and mental health support and speech and language acquisition
• In the Moment Planning has been embedded to meet the needs and interests of the children in EYFS
• LSAs have regular training and are linked to specific interventions within the curriculum. We have a full time ELKLAN trained LSA to deliver Speech and Language support within the curriculum, both in class and within groups. She works very closely with the specialist teachers and therapists including attending therapy sessions outside of the school day to ensure that our provision is consistent
• The curriculum is designed and adapted for our children with SEND, for example the introduction of new interventions such as musical communication and sand therapy
• In our most recent survey, 100% of parents said that their child was taught well
• Lesson observations, book scrutiny and data show that teachers have a good knowledge of the subjects they teach and how misconceptions are checked systematically
• The Headteacher undertakes weekly book looks and perception sessions with children, the impact being a constant focus on what is working well and future steps but also a chance to gain the children’s views on issues such as curriculum design and how the curriculum is being implemented
• The curriculum is planned with the children’s voice at the forefront. Year groups plan together and key skills are tracked to ensure that there is full coverage across all subjects
• Our assessment system allows for on-going tracking of all subjects and key curriculum skills and class teachers/subject co-ordinators use this information to ensure that any weaknesses in a subject are addressed. Senior leaders designed it to ensure it did to not create unnecessary burdens on staff but it informs us on the quality of teaching in different foci from subjects. For example history is split into Changes, Events, Lives and Locality.
• Environments are created to maximise readiness for learning, for example the displays and dedicated reading areas in class
• At all stages reading is assessed and reading books connect closely to the phonics knowledge pupils are taught
Schemes used to support the curriculum:
We use Power Maths selectively to support the teaching of maths mastery and White Rose to provide challenge. Power Maths is a whole-class mastery programme designed to spark curiosity and excitement and help nurture confidence in maths
We use a range of schemes to support the teaching of phonics as appropriate, including Jolly Phonics,Phonics Play and Phonics Bug.
We use the Helicopter Stories approach in EYFS. Alongside the simplicity of this approach is an ethos that is child-centred, creating a culture of curiosity and wonder at the dexterity of children’s imaginings during both the telling and the acting out of their stories.
This holistic approach uses the power of storytelling to develop key curriculum areas such as creativity, communication and language, personal, social and emotional skills, giving children’s stories a voice in a safe space.
We use Action Words across the school to develop vocabulary and Narrative thinking to improve understanding of language; to improve expressive language; to improve attention and listening skills; to develop oral competence and confidence in expressing ideas; to develop understanding and use of story structure.
We have whole class Guided Reading in Key Stage One every day to develop the key skills of reading through literature based teaching across the subjects.
We are developing the Just Imagine/Take One Book approach to English integrates knowledge and skills through literature-based teaching sequences. It emphasises engagement, deeper reading, high quality dialogue and purposeful writing.
• Pupils achieve and progress well, as demonstrated by the school’s tracking system and most attainment is in line or above national.
• Pupils read widely and often, including at break times and with parents weekly
• Work scrutiny, both internally and externally show that pupil’s work across the curriculum is of a good quality
• Quote from Artsmark U.K.:
Writtle Infant School is to be commended for its commitment to providing a range of artistic and cultural opportunities for pupils attending the school. You have focused on utilising arts and cultural activities to enhance pupils’ mental health in direct relation to the needs of pupils. The partnerships you have developed with schools in the area to identify talented artists and initiatives such as the Big Sing have all helped to raise the profile of arts at the school raising expectations for pupils, parents and staff.
The Governing Body ensures that the emphasis throughout the school meets the requirements of the National Curriculum and that children work with purpose, understanding and enjoyment. The children’s achievements are valued at all times and there are high expectations of them both academically and socially. Consideration is also given to their varying starting points and children are encouraged to work to the best of their ability in a supportive environment.
We use a variety of cross-curricular themes for the delivery of the key skills within the Foundation Stage and National Curriculum, thus ensuring progression throughout. In line with national guidelines, we aim to provide a good grounding in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science. We enhance the curriculum with outside visits, theme weeks and enriching activities such as different speakers in assembly.
All children have equal access to the full curriculum, which is free from bias or discrimination. We have a detailed Equality Duty Policy and ensure that opportunities to explore multicultural issues are in place. No charges are made for materials or excursions in school time which are part of the curriculum. Parents may be asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of items or trips, as without them these activities could not take place, but no child is ever excluded from an activity or treated differently because of their parents’ ability to contribute.
English & Phonics
The learning of English at Writtle Infant School develops strong foundations that enable our children to listen, speak, read and write confidently throughout their school career and on into adult life. English is taught, of course, as a core curriculum subject. However, the key skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing are practised and extended throughout the day in a wide range of cross curricular contexts. Since children enter school with differing levels of linguistic skill and experience, there is a commitment to personalising each child’s learning so that their ability to use English confidently and flexibly is steadily developed throughout their infant years.
We follow the Letters and Sounds Phonics Programme and children are taught both as a whole class and as smaller groups. Phonics is taught daily. Support is given for children working below national expectations and extension activities provided for higher ability groups when this is appropriate. We use a variety of resources when delivering the Letters and Sounds Phonics Programme. ‘Phonics Bug,’ Phonics Play’ and ‘Espresso’ are just some of the online resources that makes each learning session, interactive and fun.
In Years 1 and 2, practical mathematical activities are introduced to the children via concrete experiences and at all levels abstract work is reinforced through practical activities. We encourage children to select and use appropriate equipment as much as possible. All children are encouraged to develop mental methods of calculation, recall of number facts and mental imagery. Oral maths work is a major aspect of all activities, including discussion with peers, describing and explaining, clarifying ideas, predicting and reporting outcomes and asking questions, all of which fosters the development of mathematical language.
- build foundations for understanding the world;
- experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and man-made world around them;
- recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity;
- understand how key knowledge and concepts can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes.
We aim to consolidate this understanding by demonstrating the application of Science in society and the economy. Methods of teaching might include: whole-class teaching; enquiry-based research; asking and answering science questions; using a variety of data such as graphs, pictures and photographs; drama; discussions; collecting and presenting data; problem solving and researching scientific problems or current issues.
Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE)
Religious Education / Collective Worship
Sex & Relationship Education (SRE)
Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Education (SMSC) / British Values
Special Educational Needs
Gifted and Talented Children
Children develop and extend their creative and practical skills through making art, craft, design, and music, and by performing in dance and drama. They explore the world around them, their own experiences and the world of imagination as sources of ideas.On occasions the school makes use of theatre groups, performers and visiting artists as stimuli for the children’s own work. Children from all year groups perform concerts at Christmas for parents and visitors. We also have creative and singing after school clubs.
We also have a limited number of spaces for Year 1 and 2 children to learn to play the piano. There is a termly charge for piano lessons and places are offered on a first come, first served basis. Please ask at the school office for details.
Supporting your child’s learning
We realise the importance of parental support in the enrichment of the children’s education and encourage their involvement in the life of the school. To this end, we have Family Learning Time sessions every half term, where parents come into the classroom to work alongside their children, a Parent Forum where we discuss aspects of learning and also parent information sessions
The school has a specific Home Learning Policy which follows the guidelines issued by the Department for Education. Parents will be advised of the school arrangements at the beginning of each term, but homework would normally include reading, spelling and, in Years 1 & 2, setting tasks which reinforce and enrich the work your child is doing in class.
Each term, appointment evenings are arranged to give parents the opportunity to meet with their child’s class teacher and discuss their child’s progress. Parents of children receiving extra support in school may also have the opportunity to meet with the learning support co-ordinator and/or the Headteacher. Naturally, if parents wish to meet with any of the staff on any other occasion then they are most welcome to make an appointment. Written reports are sent home three times a year.
The staff and children always appreciate any help parents and friends are able to offer. If you are able to give a little of your time to the children, please contact the class teachers directly or the school office. All regular helpers complete a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check and obtain satisfactory enhanced clearance with the local authority before working at the school.