Our curriculum at Stillness Infant school has been designed and constructed with the following 6 main drivers in mind:
- To encourage all our children to become ambitious, capable and curious learners
- To reflect, celebrate, and meet the needs of our local context
- To develop our children’s skills and knowledge by delivering a coherent, progressive curriculum
- To ensure our children are equipped with a wide range of vocabulary
- To provide a rich diet of learning experiences to help our children become well-rounded, happy, informed individuals.
- To give our children the skills they need to develop a lifelong love of reading.
Our curriculum is derived from the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. It is underpinned by the Values Based Education status we hold. This gives learners access to an ethical vocabulary based on human and British values, working for a sustainable, compassionate and peaceful future.
Our curriculum is ambitious and inclusive. We support all children to achieve highly, challenging them at their level through the texts we use, the activities we do, and the questions we ask. It is designed to enable children with SEND to develop their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence. We skilfully adapt our curriculum to meet the needs of all children, including disadvantaged children, or children with SEND or EAL, giving them the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. All our children engage in a full range of cultural experiences, for examples regular visits to London, performing with the London Symphony orchestra, and creating an art exhibition with the National Gallery.
The curriculum reflects and celebrates our diverse community and strives to ensure children’s wellbeing and safety. We use our value of Equality to guide us in our curriculum design, providing positive, non- stereotyping information regarding all protected characteristics. Mutual respect is embraced through our curriculum, providing opportunities for children to express their views in a safe environment and experience diversity within our school.
PROGRESSION AND SEQUENCE
Our curriculum is coherently structured and sequenced to ensure our children gain a rich and wide range of skills, knowledge and vocabulary, effectively built upon year on year. This prepares them for their future learning. We decide on the important knowledge and skills that children should learn. Our children need to be able to make links between what is being taught and what they already know. Lessons are carefully sequenced to ensure that learning is revisited, deepened and used as a basis to acquire new learning and the real possibility that the knowledge enters the long-term memory.
Our curriculum reflects our understanding that vocabulary size is important for all children to be successful. We ensure explicit teaching of subject- specific words and general academic words which help the children understand and make sense of what is being said in the classroom and beyond. Having more vocabulary at their disposal enables them to articulate themselves with greater clarity and to communicate effectively with fluency and confidence with different audiences.
The curriculum is broad and engaging, inspiring children to explore and be curious, providing opportunities for every child to discover their particular talents.
We use our local area and the rich opportunities in London to create first hand experiences for the children. This makes the curriculum purposeful, memorable and fun. Our curriculum offer centres around a wide range of visits, visitors, workshops, and special curriculum events, for example ‘Take one picture whole school exhibition’, watching duck eggs hatch, holding a piece of moon rock, meeting a dinosaur or dancing with a Chinese dragon. We proactively welcome and involve parents in their children’s learning, utilising their skills and expertise to enhance our curriculum, as well as providing parent workshops.
Reading is a priority at our school. Leaders are determined that every child will become a confident, fluent reader as quickly as possible, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. Inevitably, fluent readers will learn more, because they can read and gain knowledge for themselves. Our systematic phonics teaching gives children a step up to reading for pleasure. Children are inspired to read across the curriculum subjects to learn more about the world in which they live, through the knowledge gained from reading high quality texts across curriculum subjects, author visits and access to high quality book collections.
Our curriculum is derived from the National Curriculum and enriched to reflect the values we hold at Stillness Infant School.
We have designed our curriculum to balance the statutory requirements of the KS1 National curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework within a broad, engaging, rich and immersive curriculum that is unique to our school and responds to the needs of our children’s personal interests and experiences.
Our curriculum is inclusive, meeting the needs of our diverse community, and supporting all children to achieve the highest standards and a love of learning. We aim to equip our children with the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to live successfully in an ever changing world.
Staff create our unique curriculum through careful thought and planning about what the children at Stillness enjoy and are interested in. This ensures that our children have opportunities to widen and deepen their knowledge and understanding. Our creative curriculum is inspired by our local environment, community and location.
Much of our curriculum is taught through a topic based approach so children can make meaningful links between areas of knowledge across the curriculum, and develop their understanding beyond curriculum subject boundaries. We make good use of our local area, for example, local parks and the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve, as well as further enriching our curriculum through carefully selected visits and visitors and engaging curriculum experiences. Our curriculum is designed to encourage children to be curious, independent and innovative thinkers. We build children’s confidence to explore, experiment, and investigate.
Year groups work on a new topic each half term, e.g. ‘It’s a bug’s life’, ‘Go Wild’ and ‘Amazing Eggs’. Through these topics we cover all aspects of the curriculum as well as teaching basic skills of reading, writing and maths. The topics are reviewed regularly by staff, children and parents, and our current Curriculum Map is available below.
We love to bring the learning alive for the children; we know that it is those memorable experiences which they will talk about long after they leave Stillness. We also know that the more children talk about the learning, the deeper the learning goes and the more they develop their understanding of key concepts and language. As such, we believe that our curriculum should be as stimulating as possible and we aim to enrich learning experiences in a variety of ways:
Children love to go on trips and we try to include them in our topics where possible. Some trips are the ‘traditional’ trips where the children travel by coach to a venue, eg: Science Museum, Horton Kirby, London Zoo. Recently we have also been making more trips using public transport where possible, eg: London Bridge, Crystal Palace. We also make use of local resources to support and enrich our curriculum, eg: walking to the Horniman Museum, going to the local park, visiting local shops or places of worship.
We have many visitors over the year to complement our curriculum. Recent examples include theatre groups, dance workshops and interactive drama sessions.
For many of our topics, we hold a theme day. For example, if the children are learning about minibeasts, there will be a day when they come to school dressed as minibeasts, have a minibeast party, do minibeast themed Olympics and so on.
All of these we believe enrich the learning experiences for our children. We are always open to new ideas so if you hear of activities or events which you think would support our curriculum, please let us know!
To find out more about our curriculum, click on the following links. We send out half-termly curriculum newsletters for parents and carers as well as holding termly workshops on different aspects of the curriculum. These are always very well-attended!