The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum applies to children in the reception year. The National Curriculum begins in year 1 although many children achieve the early learning goals of the foundation stage curriculum before this time and will be working within the national curriculum in the reception year.
Our curriculum is offered in a warm and caring environment where the child can develop as an individual, intellectually, personally, socially, morally and physically. We aim to provide experiences which will create a springboard from which the child can go on to the next stage of education with confidence.
We aim to ensure that all children can, at the appropriate level:
Enjoy learning for its own sake and develop perseverance and a belief in their own abilities.
Develop a caring attitude towards others and respect differences in individuals.
Learn to work independently and as a member of a group.
Gain enjoyment from reading for pleasure and information.
Communicate effectively with others in writing and speech.
Listen attentively to a variety of stimuli and carry out instructions.
Develop study skills and learn how to learn.
Develop mathematical skills that they can use as tools in meaningful situations and to solve problems.
Ask questions about the real world and find answers through first hand experience, thus developing scientific curiosity.
Develop the basic concepts of historical and geographical awareness.
Develop a caring attitude towards and environment through the use of school grounds.
Gain enjoyment, understanding, skills and opportunities for self expression through art, music, movement and drama. Children are offered opportunities to learn the recorder.
Use information technology to communicate, handle data and explore situations.
Develop skills in Design and Technology by exploring familiar situations and responding to needs and opportunities through making objects or designing systems.
Enjoy physical activities and develop a wide range of skills in games, gymnastics and dance.
We aim to teach the basic skills required for traditional team games. Simple games involving these skills are then introduced to the older children in preparation for sport at the junior school. One and a half hours a week are allocated to developing skills in games, gymnastics and dance. Children are able to use the large hall and playing field for sport. The annual Sports Day takes the form of a team competition involving children in a variety of sporting activities whilst developing an enthusiastic team spirit. Our close proximity to Hart Leisure Centre also enables us to provide children with the opportunity to learn first swimming skills.
Promoting British Values
Teachers assess children all the time as the basis for day to day planning of work. This is done informally through observation, discussion with the child and consideration of the quality of work.
More formal assessment takes place at the following times:
On entry into school assessments are made using the Early Years Foundation Stage. Teachers share their assessment of a child’s achievements with parents, during the Autumn term . Children are assessed again against the early learning goals of the foundation stage curriculum to complete the national foundation stage profile before transfer into year 1.
At any time when there is concern regarding progress a child may be assessed individually for the purposes of planning appropriate work or allocating special needs assistance. This may be done by the class teacher or the school’s Special Needs Co-ordinator, the school psychologist, school doctor or nurse, or the speech therapist. Parents are involved at every stage of this process.
All 7 year olds are assessed in their final term before transfer to the junior school.
Records of your child’s progress
Teachers of children in years 1 and 2 keep comprehensive records of progress in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science and termly assessments are carried out. Records kept are confidential to the school and the child’s parents or guardians. They are important in enabling teachers to communicate in a helpful and constructive way about how well a child is progressing in learning.
You may arrange to see your child’s record through the Headteacher, although it may be more helpful to discuss progress with the child’s teacher, when fuller explanations can be given than it is possible to record on official records.
Opportunities to discuss your child’s work
If you have any queries or are at all concerned about your child please contact the school office and make an appointment to see the class teacher or Headteacher. Staff are usually available after school if your enquiry is of a general nature. Staff are available for parent interviews on Mondays and Tuesdays between 2.55 pm and 3.15 pm, please contact the office for an appointment. Open evenings are held regularly when appointments can be made to discuss your child’s work. You will receive a written report on your child’s progress at the end of each school year.
Long Term Planning
At Tavistock Infant school we value and implement a synthetic approach to phonics teaching. Phonics is taught five days a week in Early Years and Year 1. In Year 2, children who need more work to learn and consolidate the use of their sounds also receive daily phonics sessions. The Read, Write Inc phonics programme is used by teachers and learning support assistants to teach phonics across the school.
Year 1 Phonics Screening Information Evening
At Tavistock Infant school children start on their reading journey by reading books from the phonic based reading scheme Dandelion Readers and Floppy’s Phonics. Children continue to consolidate their phonic skills through reading the Jelly and Bean phonic readers in Year 1. When children become confident in blending their sounds to read words they start to read books from the Collins Big Cats series, which include a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. These books serve the purpose of continuing to build children’s sight word knowledge and provide a content that can be used to teach higher order reading skills.
As part of becoming a confident reader they will learn to read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction fluently and accurately. They learn to express preferences and understand the main points of a text. They are taught to make efficient use of both the school library and class book corners.
The teaching of reading plays an important part in the early learning experiences of a child. Parental involvement is highly valued and parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s reading development through the sharing and enjoyment of books. The school has an excellent fiction and non-fiction library. It is open to all children at lunchtime on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Thursday afternoons. It is also open for parents and children after school on Thursdays until 3.45 pm.
Children will learn how to write for a variety of purposes including news, reports and stories. They will be taught basic grammar and punctuation.
Speaking and listening
Children will learn to talk confidently about events, personal experiences, ideas and opinions. They learn how to listen with increasing concentration to other children and adults.
Our aims in teaching maths at Tavistock are as follows:
To present maths as a creative and fascinating process in which children are encouraged to use their imagination, initiative and flexibility of mind.
To encourage children to develop their own mathematical strategies and to become confident.
To ensure that all children are extended in each area of maths so that they reach their own potential.
To ensure that all children experience appropriate practical and investigative problem solving activities, presented in oral and written form.
In Year R, maths takes place on a daily basis, in a variety of forms, including whole class oral and mental sessions, practical activities and group investigative problem solving activities covering early number, shape, space and measure.
In Years 1 and 2, maths takes place on a daily basis with more emphasis on oral and mental maths and recording.
Our aims for science in our school are as follows:
To develop the children’s interest and understanding of the world around them.
To offer children the opportunity to explore and learn about their own environment, particularly through the use of the school grounds.
To encourage children to develop a questioning attitude whilst exploring the world around them.
To develop the skills of planning and carrying out investigations in order to answer questions.
Class lessons led by the teacher may introduce an area of study or new concepts. Investigations may be carried out in mixed ability or same ability groups. Other opportunities may arise for children to work in pairs or individually. Topics will cover three main areas of science: living things and life processes, materials and their properties and physical properties.
Through the teaching of history we aim to give children an interest in the past, a vocabulary related to the passing of time, an understanding of how things have changed and the ability to use different sources of information.
History is part of our topic work with at least one topic per year having a strong history emphasis. Children look at artifacts and photographs, listen to stories, use books and talk to people. Work may be done as a whole class, in groups or individually and may take the form of writing, art, dance, drama and models.
Through the teaching of geography we aim to give children an interest in and an enthusiasm for their own surroundings and the world beyond, an understanding of the differences between places, a sense of responsibility towards their environment and a range of skills to carry out geographical enquiry.
Geography is taught as part of the class topic work. At least one topic per year has a strong geographical emphasis. Work starts with what children know and moves further afield with practical experiences and fieldwork being most important.
Children use a range of resources including maps, computers, pictures and books. They learn about the geography of the school and its grounds, the weather, the local area and the use of land.
Through the religious education curriculum we hope to enable children to develop an awareness of themselves and a positive attitude to their emotions, help children develop an awareness of how to get along with others, and give them an interest in the world and its diversity of people and cultures.
The content of R.E. is drawn largely from Christianity, although comparisons are made with Judaism. Christian festivals, such as Easter and Christmas, are covered.
R.E. often forms a part of the class topic work. Children explore and reflect on their own experiences and feelings. They discuss people, objects, places and events around them. They listen to stories, look at artifacts and buildings and listen to music.
Each school day has a non-denominational assembly or class worship. Parents who wish to withdraw their child from assembly or any direct religious education, e.g. bible stories, may do so by informing the head teacher in writing.
Every school day has a whole school or class assembly which is non-denominational in character.
Parents who wish to withdraw their children from assembly and any direct religious education (e.g. Bible stories) may do so by informing the Headteacher in writing. Children withdrawn from these activities will be supervised whilst carrying out appropriate tasks from other areas of the curriculum. Friday assemblies are an opportunity for children to share the best of the week’s work with the rest of the school.
We aim to help children develop an enjoyment of a variety of music from different cultures, eras and styles, through listening and practical music making experiences.
As a whole class, in small groups, or individually they learn to compose, perform, listen and appraise.
Music often supports the topic work for the term.
A wide variety of tuned and untuned percussion instruments are available.
Visiting musicians perform regularly for all the children. These may be professional performers or children from All Saints Junior School, Court Moor or Calthorpe Park schools.
Design and technology is about designing and making products of quality. Children are encouraged to look at the world around them and ask questions about how things have been made.
The children work in small groups, pairs or individually. They may explore, draw, talk about, design and evaluate existing products. They learn practical skills including how to join materials together.
The children are required to use sheet materials, textiles, food, construction kits and items that can be assembled to make products.
They are given opportunities to use their knowledge to develop a product that meets a need. These include pop-up cards, moving vehicles, party food and puppets.
They are taught how to use tools and materials safely and are always under supervision.
Design and technology is often developed as part of the topic work taking place in the classroom and has links with many other subjects such as Science, LIteracy and Numeracy.
The following experiences are offered to children in art – painting, printmaking, collage, drawing, sculpture and construction.
Work in art is linked to the class topic for the term. The skills needed to work in all these areas are developed as the children progress through the school. They record what has been experienced, observed and imagined, they experiment with tools and techniques, they explore pattern, texture, colour, line, tone, space and form. They also review and reflect on their own and others’ work.
Children are introduced to the work of artists, crafts people and designers from a variety of cultures from the past and present. Local artists are invited into school. Looking at the work of different artists may act as an inspiration to children for their own work.
Personal, Social & Health Education
We aim to enable children to be effective learners, value themselves and others, understand their rights and responsibilities towards the rights of others, develop self respect, self confidence and self discipline. Also to develop a regard for equality and respect for different ways of life, respect non-violent ways of resolving conflict and develop some understanding of the world of work.
Their individual experiences are used as starting points. This could include discussion about bullying, feelings, other cultures and celebrations. The Tavistock Charter is used as a basis for helping children to learn how to manage their behaviour and understand the need for rules. They take part in events such as Walk to School Week and other national awareness raising events. They are encouraged to care for the environment. Through topic work they think about keeping healthy and have opportunities to be involved in visits into the community.
An average of half an hour a week is spent covering this work directly although there are many opportunities throughout the school day to tackle these issues. Children may work as a whole class, in teams, pairs or as individuals depending on the activity.
One and a half hours a week are allocated to developing skills in games, gymnastics and dance. We aim to teach the basic skills required for traditional team games. Simple games involving these skills are then introduced to the older children in preparation for sport at the junior school. Children are able to use the large hall and playground for sport. The annual Sports Day takes the form of a team competition involving children in a variety of sporting activities whilst developing an enthusiastic team spirit. Our close proximity to Hart Leisure Centre also enables us to provide children with the opportunity to learn first swimming skills.
All children have weekly lessons taught in the ICT suite where they learn computer skills. These lessons include Internet safety training. In addition to these lessons they also have opportunities to practise their ICT skills on the class computers and each class has tablets for the children to use. The children in Years 1 and 2 take part in a series of planned Enrichment activities in the ICT suite with Mrs Sloss on Wednesday afternoons. Year Two are also invited to join the lunchtime Computer Club which is also run by Mrs Sloss on Friday.
In Years 1 and 2 the children use search engines to research information about their class animals and other work related to the termly topics. They learn how to input digital images into their work and to use tools within various art packages and publishing programs independently. The children are taught how to save, retrieve and edit their work. They learn how to control a programmable robot by carrying out a sequence of instructions. In line with the new curriculum, children are taught coding through writing and testing simple programs and use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
In the Early Years setting the children learn how to click and drag an item across the screen and practise controlling the mouse. They can dress a teddy using ‘My World 3′ and retell a story by moving the characters in Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. The children learn about the different parts of the computer and label a computer using ‘Espresso’. They use an art package to write illustrated stories and firework pictures. They colour in Elmer using ‘Paint’ and design Diwali Rangoli patterns. In class they use Espresso for number and literacy activities, My World and 2Publish to paint pictures.
Special Educational Needs and Disability
There are four areas of special needs, Cognition and Learning, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, Speech, Language and Communication Needs (including Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and Physical and Sensory. Children who need extra support are able to receive support both within the classroom, following individually planned programmes and in individual or group sessions with our Special Needs Assistants. A team of professionals, including Educational Psychologists and Behaviour Support Services are available to offer advice to teachers and/or parents where children experience substantial learning or behavioural problems. Referrals are usually made by the SENCO or Headteacher after consultation with parents. Parents are involved at all stages when special help is necessary.
Please refer to the SEND information report on the school website which gives detailed information about provision in our school.
As a school we recognise that all our children are individuals with different needs and interests. There is, however, an entitlement to equality of opportunity for all our pupils irrespective of gender, race or disability, and this is reflected in the curriculum and all the experiences which are offered to the children in our school.
Regular opportunities to spend time with your child working together are invaluable. He/she will benefit enormously from being close to you, in an atmosphere which is relaxed, where you can give praise and show that you are interested in his/her work.
Children take part in a programme of eleven different workshop sessions in Years 1 and 2 designed to enrich the curriculum. These include French, Textiles, Creative Thinking, Country Dancing, Spend and Save, ICT, Library Skills, Music, Conflict resolution /Bounce Back, Cooking and Craft. These sessions are designed to provide enjoyable new experiences that offer the chance for children to learn team skills, solve problems and be creative, develop their language and enjoyment of music and dance and work on their computer skills.