Our Early Years Curriculum
The Throckley Primary School Curriculum aims to:
- Provide a broad and balanced education for all pupils that’s coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge for skills and future learning and employment
- Enable pupils to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations
- Support pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in order for them to know how to contribute positively to society
- Promote the learning and development of our youngest children and ensure they are ready for Key Stage 1
- Promote the learning and development of pupils in Key Stage 2 to ensure they are ready for their transition to secondary school
- Support pupils’ physical development and responsibility for their own health, and enable them to be active
- Promote a positive attitude towards learning
- Ensure equal access to learning for all pupils, with high expectations for every pupil and appropriate levels of challenge and support
- Support pupils in developing their future aspirations
- Equip pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life
Our Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
Our Curriculum Promise
At Throckley Primary School, we are committed to providing a purposeful and empowering Early Years Curriculum that fully prepares our younger learners for the next steps in their school career and opens the doors to the wider world. A curriculum in which prime areas of learning are at the heart of all we do. We believe that knowledge and skill are intrinsically linked and therefore balance our curriculum on the acquisition of prepositional and procedural knowledge: our curriculum is skills based and knowledge-rich. We believe that our ambitious curriculum provokes curiosity and excitement, leading to deeper learning journeys.
The Early Years Curriculum is driven by key questions, big ideas and the understanding that all of our learning is linked through experience, conversations and connections which unite children with the world around us. Focused on the key concepts of ‘belonging’, ‘choice’ and ‘influence’ and supported by the study of themselves, their families and rich stories, our curriculum is designed to help children develop their sense of self and their aspirations for the future.
We consistently provide enhancement opportunities to engage inquisitive minds and believe that early childhood should be a memorable, exploratory and contextualised period of our lives where there are no limits to marvel and there is a thirst to gain new experiences and knowledge. The Early Years Curriculum is designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning:
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
- Active learning – children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
Our Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum forms the foundations for learners to transition smoothly into our Whole School Curriculum therefore sharing the same vision, values, key concepts, curriculum drivers and wonderful learners.
Our Curriculum Drivers
Everything begins with our curriculum drivers. Our fundamental aims centre on the idea that every child has the right to understand their place in the world, have their horizons broadened and should aspire to achieve their best, having been shown that there is a world of possibility awaiting them, outside of the school gates. We believe it is our responsibility to enthuse children and encourage a love of learning that will continue into seconday school and beyond. A shared love of literature throughout school sits alongside our curriculum drivers and underpins all that we do.
Our Key Concepts
Learning at Throckley Primary School is sequential. In each curriculum area, areas of study have been carefully mapped to ensure that children leave primary school with a strong hinterland of knowledge which fully prepares them for their next steps in education. At each stage, learning is consolidated and extended, meaning new learning is built upon what has gone before. Woven through all area of study are our three key concepts: belonging, choice and influence. These concepts are unpicked and explored through different areas of study, meaning that learning is purposeful and adds to and develops children’s existing schema. As children move up the school, the key concepts are explored in greater depth, with related concepts explored.
We believe that one of the ways in which children learn best is through the power of storytelling. When these stories relate to significant people, who have had an impact on the world around us, we believe that learning is more memorable and meaningful. In Early Years, we focus on the most important people – the children. They develop a real sense of individuality whilst learning about themselves, their family and other important role models such as doctors, nurses, fire fighters etc. Significant people have then been woven through each area of our whole school curriculum. These include people of local, national and international significance. At Throckley Primary School, we are proud of our local heritage, therefore people of local interest are studied and celebrated. The study of significant individuals brings life to our learning, meaning children are more likely to recall key facts.
Stories are woven through our curriculum, through the studying of key texts through English lessons; daily story time; and stories shared in all curriculum areas. For each area of learning, leaders have sourced key texts to support learning, meaning all areas of learning are supported by key stories. All of the learning in Early Years is driven by an exciting story which are chosen based on the interests of the children. The children are immersed into the text through repetition, high quality enhancements and a language rich environment.
They key components of our curriculum are shown below; all are woven through each area of study, ensuring learning is purposeful, relevant to children’s lives, and memorable.
Planning within each area of study builds towards an authentic outcome. This can take the form of many small step outcomes or, where possible, a creative approach is taken which allows work in more than one curriculum area to support and compliment another, leading to one significant outcome. Due to areas of study being relevant and building on previous learning, learning is purposeful and engaging. Outcomes are carefully conidered to ensure that they promote the chidlren’s best work; are relevant to the text studied; and make the learning journey very purposeful.
Our Wonderful Learners
As a school, we have created the Our Wonderful Learner (OWL) programme. Our OWLs promote positive learning behaviours and support children in developing the thinking skills that we believe are necessary for success in the wider world. The OWLs are also inherently linked to the Characteristics of Effective Learning. They are on display alongside the characteristics which, in turn means that children continue with the outstanding Early Years practice of recognising how they learn as they move through school.
The Throckley Primary School OWLs are embedded through the curriculum and from Acorns through to Year 6. As children develop, they are encouraged to consider which learning behaviour matches a given task. OWLs are used to support and extend children’s thinking skills – they can be found in classroom environments, in children’s books and on learning resources.
Fundamental British Values
The term ‘British Values’ consists of key themes:
- Rule of Law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual Respect
These underpin what it means to be a citizen in a modern and diverse Britain. They allow us to create environments free from discrimination, intolerance and hate. They help us to challenge prejudice and stereotyping, whilst strengthening relationships within the community. At Throckley Primary School, we pride ourselves upon the fact that Fundamental British Values are an integral part of our planning process. This happens not only within the curriculum, but also within the wider environment and school processes. In Early Years, we begin to teach the children about the values through relevant experiences such as story voting, respecting equipment, others and ourselves. The values are implemented subtly through initiatives and activities to ensure that our youngest learners have the best start towards learning how to be a well-rounded citizen.