Our Curriculum Intent: Every Child an Active Participant on a Learning Journey
At Pickhurst Infant Academy, we offer a language rich curriculum that is inclusive, ambitious, purposeful, and responsive to children’s needs and interests. We strive to support every child in achieving their very best and to aim for excellence across the curriculum. All subject areas are included within our curriculum to ensure that children develop a deep understanding of key subject content. These are coherently and cumulatively planned and sequenced to ensure all children acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their future learning.
We also believe in excellence when it comes to children’s social and emotional development, ensuring that every child understands and demonstrates our Pickhurst Values: Friendship, Respect, Excellence and Determination. The curriculum that we have designed has these core values threaded throughout, so that they form a key part of children’s learning experiences.
In both Early Years and Key Stage One, our curriculum is built both upon children’s current and shared learning experiences. This encourages the children to be excited and inspired about their learning and to be enquirers and reflective learners. Each term, children develop lines of enquiry around a central theme, taking them on a Learning Journey. In Early Years there are two planned Learning Journeys each term; in Key Stage One there is one per term. These have been designed following feedback from the children to ensure that the themes are relevant, inspiring and engaging, whilst delivering the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. There is an emphasis on developing children’s Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development and their mental health and wellbeing throughout the curriculum. When planning the curriculum we utilise the school extensive grounds, incorporate cultural experiences and take account of the school’s locality, ensuring that local events and history are key components of children’s learning.
As the children progress through the school, they develop key knowledge, understanding and skills, working both collaboratively and independently. We use Kagan structures to embed collaborative working and to develop children’s awareness of our diverse community. Throughout each Learning Journey children are encouraged to ask questions, take risks in their learning and find new ways of discovering answers.
As well as deepening knowledge and skills, children are encouraged to be innovative, developing their own ideas and creativity. Key points of innovation are included where children use the knowledge and skills that they have developed and apply this to produce creative outcomes.
Towards the end of each learning journey, children celebrate the knowledge, understanding, skills and creativity that they have developed through community celebrations. These celebrations are an opportunity for children to invite key people from their lives to share their outcomes and achievements, as well as including other members of the school and wider community. Children plan and set up these celebrations collaboratively with their teacher so that every child’s learning is valued across a wealth of subject areas.
During their time here at Pickhurst Infant Academy, every child will cover all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Through the learning journeys, children will build on their knowledge and skills year or year and they will engender friendship, respect, excellence, determination and resilience. Through a wealth of experiential learning, including Forest School, all children will be inspired by what the world has to offer. Above all, our curriculum ensures that at Pickhurst Infant Academy, all children love to learn.
At Pickhurst Infant Academy we follow the DfE Letters and Sounds Document to teach phonics from Reception though to Year Two. We also use supplementary resources to ensure that phonics is taught in a multi-sensory way, such as those from Jolly Phonics. In addition, we use some resources from Ruth Miskin's Read, Write Inc, such as the letter formation Handwriting phrases. These support the children when developing early writing.
Across Reception and Key Stage One we use a range of Reading Schemes to support children in making progress. These come from a range of publishers including Oxford university press, Collins and Pearson. Throughout the school we use Book Banding to ensure that children engage with books which are appropriate to their reading stage, offering challenge and support as needed. Book banded books can include those from the educational publishers mentioned, as well as high quality picture books and chapter books. As a school we believe that children need to have the opportunity to engage with a high range of quality texts throughout their time with us, and beyond. Our varied approach to reading schemes and other texts reflects this.
Please see the attached documents for further information or contact the school to discuss this further.
“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B.Yeats