At Caister Infant Nursery School & Children’s Centre we provide a broad & balanced curriculum. Active learning is the key to how we work as we know that learning by doing things and having rich and varied experiences engages children’s interest and helps them to learn more quickly. Learning to communicate through speaking, listening, reading & writing is of central importance
In Foundation Stage 1 and Foundation Stage 2 the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. This focusses on early learning skills in reading, writing and maths as well as fostering creativity. It also encourages children’s social and emotional development and the development of appropriate relationships. Play is central to learning for all children in their infant years. Children learn though playing indoors and outside.
Aspects of this curriculum are continued as the children move in to Year 1. We strive to build a bridge between the Early Years Foundation Stage & the National Curriculum. Although we teach distinct skills, subject areas are approached through cross curricular themes. Within these are aspects of:
Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Computing, Science, Design & Technology, Art & Design, Music, History, Geography & Physical Education.
Different topics have different emphasis in respect of how the curriculum is covered
You can find out more about ways to help your child at the Raising Learners website.
Read Write Inc
Reading & writing skills are taught through a programme called Read Write Inc. Read Write Inc
teaches synthetic phonics in a fun & interactive way. In Reception the children are grouped across the year group. In Years 1 & 2 children are grouped across both year groups. This means that they work in a group best matched to their reading & writing ability. All teachers & teaching assistants teach groups which allows us to match them to children’s individual abilities. Fred Frog helps the children learn their sounds. Fred can only speak using phonics & needs lots of help from the children to work out what words say. The programme is filled with praise techniques & opportunities for partner work allowing children to take turns as teacher & learner.
Regular assessment of the children means that they are often regrouped to ensure that they are working at a level which is appropriate to them. We provide a comprehensive programme of 1-1 support for children who need further reinforcement & to bridge the gap when they move to a new group. We provide opportunities for parents to purchase flash cards at a subsidised cost to allow them to work with their children at home. We also offer opportunities for parents to come in to school to see the programme in action by watching teachers working with groups of different abilities across the school. You can find more information about Read Write Inc at www.ruthmiskinliteracy.com
At Caister Infant Nursery School & Children's Centre we are following the National Curriculum (2014), as set out by the Department of Education. In the Foundation stage we follow Development Matters to deliver an engaging and balanced curriculum.
We have looked at the changes to the English curriculum to ensure that we meet all the new requirements within the programmes of Read Write Inc, Big Write and Guided Reading that we follow in school.
Our aim is to immerse the children in a range of high quality texts within a quality learning environment to foster a love of reading and books which will develop a wealth of language to inspire writing.
All of our writing tasks encompass our cross curricular, creative approach which pervades the whole curriculum, always ensuring that all writing tasks have a real purpose such as writing a letter applying to be a playground Buddy. We have particularly developed a range of topics to inspire the boys. Big Write begins in the Spring term in FS2 and continues throughout KS1. Each Year group plans short skills lessons during the week leading to a writing tasks on Friday mornings. All parents in KS1 are invited to share their child’s previous task on a weekly basis when they share together our “Tickled Pink” positive comments and our suggested “Green next step” comments. Inviting parents in this way has had a very positive impact on children’s attitudes to their learning.
In the Foundation Stage teachers use 'Development Matters' to plan relevant, appropriate and engaging mathematics activities across the curriculum. All KS1 children follow the new National Curriculum (2014) in Mathematics. Children are no longer assessed against levels and teachers are encouraged to deepen children's knowledge through investigations and problem solving, before accelerating them into new content.
Details of 'Development Matters' can be found here.
Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways.
Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them throughout their lives.
It is vital that a positive attitude towards mathematics is encouraged amongst all of our pupils in order to foster confidence and achievement in a skill that is essential in our society. At Caister Infant we use the new National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) as the basis of our mathematics programme. We are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve mastery in the key concepts of mathematics, appropriate for their age group, in order that they make genuine progress and avoid gaps in their understanding which could become barriers to learning as they move through education.
Assessment for Learning, with an emphasis on investigation, cross curricular mathematics, problem solving and the development of mathematical thinking combined with a rigorous approach to the development of teacher subject knowledge are therefore essential components of Caister Infant’s approach to this subject.
We aim to provide the pupils with a mathematics curriculum and high quality teaching to produce individuals who are numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. Our approach involves the use of lots of practical equipment to make sure children have a very firm understanding of all mathematical concepts. We also encourage children to show their understanding by drawing pictures before moving them onto more abstract ways of recording such as number sentences. This is known as the 'Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract' or 'CPA 'approach. We also aim to provide a stimulating environment and high quality resources so that pupils can develop their mathematical skills to the full.
In Foundation Stage children learn about scientific ideas through explorative play and focussed modelling and questioning by key adults. They have opportunities to find out about similarities and differences in the World, through exploring the features of their own immediate environment and are encouraged to question why environments might vary from one another. Children are able to make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. They develop and use scientific knowledge and skills throughout all areas of learning, with a specific focus on Understanding the World – The World
In Key Stage 1 science is taught through exciting and stimulating topics which have links to other areas of the curriculum. Children experience and observe the world around them, mainly through first hand practical activities. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. Through discussion and questioning they develop their understanding of scientific ideas and enquiry. Children observe changes over time, notice patterns, group and classify things, carry out simple comparative tests, and find out facts using different sources of information. They also begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and share their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways.
Using technology effectively and working with computers is an essential skill. Increasingly many children come to school with a confident attitude towards using computers. We teach the children how to log on and off, save their work to file, drag and drop objects and to use a simple word processing program. They collect data to produce simple graphs. We also teach them how to use simple programmable toys and devices for recording images and sound. Ensuring that the children have safe access to the internet is essential. Our internet access is filtered to help block unsuitable content. Children are always supervised by an adult when using the internet meaning that we can act swiftly should children be at risk. Internet based resources support children’s learning in class through the use of interactive white boards for whole class teaching and IPads for individual and paired work.
Physical Education & Sport
There are three main areas covered in Physical Education and these are games, gymnastics and dance. Children participate in 2 PE lessons a week and teachers use and suitably adapt a structured programme of lessons written by Val Sabin. Gymnastics and dance are taught in the school hall and games lessons are taught all year round outside using the playground and large field. Additional specialised coaches are also invited into school to work with the children to continue to develop their skills and provide a broad range of activities. During lunchtime a ‘Stay Active’ club is run by a coach which children access on a 6 week rota system. A changing variety of after school clubs are also provided for children to attend. In the summer term a fun Challenge Morning is organized and enjoyed by the whole school participating in a variety of events.
Personal Social and Emotional Development
‘Schools should seek to use PSHE education to build, where appropriate , on the statutory content already outlined in the national curriculum, the basic school curriculum and in statutory guidance on: drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.’
PSHE guidance document, DFE 2013
We believe that PSHE and Citizenship promotes pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepares all pupils for the opportunities, responsibility and experiences of life. Through citizenship, we aim to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding that they require in order to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. Citizenship will help children to become informed and responsible members of schools, neighbourhoods and wider communities. They will be encouraged to take and share responsibility, feel positive about themselves, take part in discussions, make real choices and develop positive relationships.
PSHE is taught primarily through the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme. Half termly themes are taught first by an initial assembly introducing them and then within each class appropriate to the level of the children. An end assembly helps the children to share their experiences.
Areas covered include;
The law states that schools must offer
a broadly Christian education to children in England. We know and understand that this does not necessarily reflect the cultural backgrounds of many of the children who attend Caister Infant Nursery School & Children’s Centre. For this reason we treat religious education with sensitivity to ensure that respect and tolerance for religion are central to the children’s learning. We follow the agreed Norfolk Syllabus for Religious Education. This is in accordance with the 1988 Education Reform Act. In addition to studying Christianity the children look at aspects of a number of other world faiths. Where possible we aim to allow children to meet members of different faith communities by organising visits to a range of places of worship or by inviting visiting speakers to come in to school. Assemblies will usually include a brief prayer. These are primarily focussed on making our community a harmonious place and the promotion of positive social living.
Our music education aims to develop creative ability in all children. This is achieved by providing experiences which develop their understanding and enjoyment of music through active involvement in listening, composing and performing. We use ‘Charanga’ and topic work as a platform for learning. The children sing every week and all contribute to school concerts and class assemblies. Pupils in KS1 have the opportunity to learn a tuned instrument.
Art and Design
We teach children to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products in our topic based lessons. Children enjoy drawing, painting and sculpture and their work is prominently displayed throughout the school. Children learn about the work of a range of artists and have opportunities to learn from professional local artists. Visits to museums, Norwich Castle and the beach provide inspiring opportunities for children to draw in their own sketchbooks.
Design and Technology
Our pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing, making and evaluating in exciting, topic based lessons. They use a range of tools and equipment to make products such as castles, pop up cards, time machines and boats.
We have two well equipped kitchen areas where the children learn about cooking and nutrition. Our weekly ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ club is very popular with Year 2 pupils.