The Foundation Stage
Children in Nursery (FS1) and Reception (FS2) access the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. They engage in learning through first hand experiences that foster investigation and enquiry. The Early Years curriculum is made up of 7 areas of learning; 3 prime and 4 specific.
The prime areas of the EYFS are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development is vital in the Foundation Stage. Through every day learning, we support the children in making strong relationships with their peers and familiar adults and encourage them to become confident and independent young people. At all times, adults support and model appropriate behaviour to promote positive relationships within the classroom; this is reinforced during circle times and small group activities. The children are encouraged to recognise and celebrate personal achievements, however small, and those of their peers.
To promote a rich and varied vocabulary, we provide a language rich environment, which gives opportunities for children to experience new and imaginative vocabulary. We plan specific activities to upscale the children’s vocabulary which is illustrated through our daily literacy, book sharing, role-play, child initiated activities and when using the outdoor area. To further deepen the understanding of children’s learning, staff in Foundation stage are encouraged to use questioning to allow children to talk about their experiences. The use of questioning also encourages children to use a wider range of vocabulary to form longer, sentences that are more complex.
Physical Development is a fundamentally important skill, which underpins all aspects of children’s early experiences. If children learn to move with control and coordination; to balance and climb; to move with agility and self-expression they are likely to be more successful learners throughout their school lives Our recently developed outdoor area gives the children opportunities to climb, balance, hang and manoeuvre in and out of equipment.
The specific areas of the EYFS are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design
Reading: Children in both F1 and F2 access daily phonic sessions. Children use and apply their phonic skills when accessing continuous provision through reading labels, captions, instructions and other text in the environment.
Writing: Mark making is the first step towards successful early writing. Children are encouraged to use an assortment of different writing materials on a variety of scales. This could be writing on a post it note or making gigantic marks on the playground. The importance of this mark making practice is to embed fluent movement, which will eventually lead to forming recognisable letters. In addition to this daily practice, the children participate in teacher led purposeful writing. By the end of the Foundation Stage, many children can write short, simple sentences independently and read simple words and sentences.
Maths: Early maths is taught through games, song and exploration. In F1, we concentrate on the language of maths through child-initiated play, simple challenges, questioning and stories. In addition, we deliver a daily maths session to consolidate and extend learning concepts. In F2, we build on the children’s early experiences through a mastery approach to maths, which encourages children to use manipulative resources, like cubes and counters, to solve a range of problems. We ensure that children are fluent with counting, ordering, adding and subtracting, doubling, halving and sharing before we challenge them to use their reasoning and problem-solving skills. Children also explore 2d and 3d shapes, measuring equipment and start to use the language for a range of mathematical concepts like time and money.
Understanding the World: In Understanding the World, children are encouraged to be curious, explore natural materials, learn about living things, and compare different places. Our topics are chosen carefully to exploit the children’s own experiences, which are vast and varied. They learn about technology, using computers and programmable toys and the wider application of technology in everyday life. Moreover, they learn about people and communities; how they are different or similar to their friends and they learn about and celebrate other cultures.
Expressive Arts and Design (EAD): EAD is a fundamental area to develop in Early Years as it gives the children the foundations to underpin their own identity and enables them to develop self-expression and self-confidence. Children are given the opportunity to explore and use media and materials such as paint, clay and construction equipment. Children are also encouraged to be imaginative in areas such as role-play, art and dance.
Children in the Foundation Stage engage in high quality learning experiences both indoors and outdoors. Their learning and progress is tracked through observations, photographs and videos.
Key Stage 1 and 2
At Kingston Park Primary Academy, the core skills are taught every morning with a separate reading, writing and maths lesson each day. Cross-curricular links are developed and utilised where appropriate.
At Kingston Park, we understand that being able to read fluently, with understanding, is a key skill for all. As well as teaching word reading and comprehension, we support and encourage children to develop a life-long love of reading and books. Children are taught to apply their skills to read for meaning in a wide range of genres and across the curriculum.
Teaching Phonics Through Early Years and Key Stage 1, we follow ‘Letters and Sounds’ supplemented by Letter Land to teach Phonics. We have a 30 minute daily phonic session where the children from Foundation 1 to Year 2 access phase appropriate activities, learning to apply listening and attention skills, learn letter names and sounds and how to read and write using phonic knowledge. The children play many different phonic games to develop their understanding of how sounds make words, alternative sounds and how words are used to make sentences. All Year 1 children participate in the National Phonic Screening in June. They read twenty real and twenty ‘pseudo’ words to test their phonic knowledge. We also run phonic interventions to support those children who require additional help.
Daily Reading To ensure that reading is given sufficient curriculum time all classes have a 30/40 minute reading comprehension session (using an agreed text, age appropriate). With this approach, teachers focus on one domain (or skill) and develop it in more depth mirroring the mastery curriculum approach that has been successful in maths. Historically many pupils, who struggle with reading, often find themselves reading low level, reading scheme books. This strategy ensures that these children have access to books, which they may not necessarily be able to read for themselves, but which will develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills as well as their desire to read.
In addition to this, KS1 also have a 20-30 minute session, which is more like a traditional ‘Guided Read’ where pupils read a book, which is at their reading level in order to apply their decoding skills learnt in phonics. At KS2, for those pupils who are working below ARE, it is also expected that provision is made for these pupils to read a stage appropriate text to develop their fluency and independence.
Reading for Pleasure Each classroom has a dedicated, welcoming book area. At the end of each day, the teacher reads to the children from the class author or the chosen class novel. The children enjoy special reading occasions such as our weekly Reading assembly, National Nursery Rhyme week, World Book Day and sharing books with children in different classes.
Parents in Partnership Parents are encouraged to read with their child at least 5 times a week and record it in a reading record. Individual reading books are from a selection of Oxford Reading Tree, The X Project, and Collins, which offer a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts for the children to enjoy. The children are able to use the online ‘Bug Club’ at home to access a wide variety of e books at their reading level, allocated by their teachers. Other useful websites for parents are www.oxfordowl.co.uk, www.lovereading4kids.co.uk, www.ictgames.co.uk or www.phonicsplay.co.uk
Library We are currently developing our school library in partnership with the school council and pupils of the school. Foundation 1 and 2 visit our local library every week, borrowing books to enjoy and participating in story time.
At Kingston Park Academy, we strive for all students to become fluent and confident mathematicians, who can explain, reason, predict, estimate and apply their understanding to maths problems and real life situations. We know children learn through practical experiences and being given the chance to apply their skills in a range of contexts so where possible we link maths learning to exciting topics.
We believe it necessary for children to become fluent with numbers and the number system so our maths teaching and learning promotes children’s ability to quickly recall facts about numbers and make quick mental calculations, this works alongside a curriculum that is rich in promoting problem solving and reasoning.
With reference to the White Rose Hub Small Steps, our children use fluency, problem solving and reasoning to master a topic. Topics are taught in a way, which is progressive, enabling children to enhance their understanding and reach a deeper level of understanding.
We use a Same Day Intervention (SDI) approach to our daily maths lessons. This SDI approach means that children needing extra guidance to meet the lesson aims can be supported in the lesson or within the same day. This focuses on narrowing the gap and ensuring children can move on to the next step of learning having thoroughly understood the objective of that lesson. SDI means that the maths curriculum is tailored to individual needs and encourages a mastery of maths. When children achieve their age related expectation, they can then gain a learning at a greater depth through tasks, which demand a higher level of mathematical thinking.
At Kingston Park Academy we teach the wider curriculum through an educational learning resource called “Cornerstones”. Cornerstones Education make it their mission to help schools create a vibrant and creative curriculum that puts children at its heart. We believe Cornerstones excites children's imaginations, inspires them to learn, extends their horizons, deepens their understanding and meets their intellectual and personal needs. The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our curriculum is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
Pupils leading their own learning
Children are given the curriculum overview relating to the ILP. Children work in groups to plan their own learning- what they would like to know, what the learning journey needs to look like to achieve this, what learning powers they will need. We believe children learn better, when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum. Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects.
Our aim is to ensure that our pupils become caring, concerned citizens. As well as this being embedded in the way that staff and children interact, we also consolidate this through regular themed assemblies, PSHE sessions, following ‘Jigsaw’ support and themed weeks and days. Making links explicit across the curriculum, we give our children the skills and confidence to make a positive contribution to their communities. Each week, we explore democracy using ‘Votes for Schools’. The children explore a relevant topic that helps them to grasp the issues facing society and provides them with the understanding that they have the right to express their opinion. We give children the confidence to take action on issues that really matter to them; we help them build character, explore British values and learn about how our society works so they can take their full part in it.
Sex and Relationship Education
As an academy, we believe for Sex and Relationship Education to be effective, it needs to start early so that children learn to talk about feelings and relationships and are prepared for puberty before it happens to them. We feel it is vitally important that children learn about the safety and risks in relationships. Where appropriate, we also seek advice and support from medical practitioners.