Curriculum Overview – Please also read more detailed statements

Polesden Lacey Infant School offers a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum that caters for the individual needs of children and complies with all the requirements of the National Curriculum. As an infant school, we cover the Foundation Stage (Reception) and Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2).

Our curriculum is tuned to the learner’s needs and interests, using child friendly topics such as Space, Pirates, Superheroes, Villains and Once upon a Time to engage young minds. Pupils become immersed in the topics, and develop new skills and knowledge.

We operate a programme of themed weeks and days during which the whole school participates in a rich diet of exciting activities. These are led by expert visitors to school, parents, governors and staff.

Work is carefully structured by the teaching staff to enable all children to build on previous knowledge and extend their learning. Pupils with special needs are identified and work is differentiated to support those needs.When a child is performing below the expected level, the Code of Practice for Special Needs is implemented. Parents are invited into school to discuss their child’s progress and appropriate targets are set for the child. Staff are deployed to support identified needs; this can include enrichment for more able children or one to one help with literacy and numeracy. The caring ethos at Polesden Lacey Infant school makes learners feel safe and valued. We work with outside agencies to support and nurture pupils; these include health professionals, speech and language therapists, child psychologists and home school link workers.

Parental assistance is sought on a regular basis to help run such activities as cooking, reading and gardening. This support is much appreciated and is invaluable.There are also a number of opportunities for children to take part in extra curricula clubs .

Pupils leave Polesden Lacey Infant School as independent learners having experienced a broad curriculum with a well judged focus on English and Maths.

English

We aim to provide an environment that encourages children to develop fully their ability to use language, both spoken and written. The skills developed in English are necessary for all areas of the curriculum and are used throughout the school week. However, specific English teaching takes place during daily lessons.

Speaking and listening: Our children are given opportunities to communicate their ideas in a variety of situations. These may take the form of a discussion with a partner, a group, or class. Regular “open assemblies”, to which parents are invited, provide children with an opportunity to speak to larger audiences.

Writing is a vital communication tool. We aim to teach children to write for a wide range of purposes. Children have the opportunity to develop their factual and creative writing and their ability to write poetry. Pupils are encouraged to work with increasing independence; dictionary skills are taught in order to aid this process. Handwriting is taught as a skill with an emphasis placed upon the careful presentation of work.

Reading

At Polesden Lacey Infant School we not only want children to gain the skill to read but to foster a love of reading for life.  The children are able to select, read and talk about a range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction.  Many opportunities are given for listening to stories, storytelling and retelling stories.  The focus is on developing understanding and conveying meaning of the text they read and developing their phonic knowledge to decode words.  Phonological awareness is successfully developed though a highly structured approach and in line with the new national curriculum for English.  Reading books have been banded to provide texts of graded difficuly and these are chosen carefully and matched to each child’s individual reading ability.  Books from the Oxford Reading Tree form the core of our reading scheme which children progress through and on to become independent readers.

Spelling

The carefully structured Letters and Sounds phonics programme supports oustanding progress in reading and spelling.

Mathematics

Much of our work is linked to topics and real-life situations, eg shopping, so that children are able to see the relevance of mathematics in their daily lives. Mathematics involves the use of abstract signs and symbols that can only be fully understood after extensive practical work.

We aim to develop a positive attitude to the subject, because learning is enhanced when children experience enjoyment and success. Emphasis is given to the development of mathematical language, mental maths, problem solving and investigation. We use a range of resources and teacher materials with a lot of practical and oral activities to reinforce concepts.

Science

The National Curriculum for Science places emphasis not only on knowledge, but also on the development of scientific skills. All our science activity offers opportunities to develop these skills.

Our science curriculum is not seen in isolation. Opportunities are provided within a cross-curricular framework in order to maximise learning and to transfer knowledge and skills from one area of the curriculum to another. We aim to foster positive attitudes to science by ensuring that work is both enjoyable and relevant. Some topic work will be purely science based in order to focus on specific scientific knowledge.

Computing

Children need to embrace technology from an early age if they are to make their way successfully in our ever changing and demanding world. By locating state-of-the-art resources in our classrooms, all children have regular, first hand experience of the wide range of technology that captures, stores and communicates information.

Regular opportunities to use laptops support these aims. Other regularly used digital equipment includes cameras, videos, sound recorders, microscopes and programable toys.

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship

Through assemblies and class discussions (circle time) children develop a strong sense of community and their place in the community. Children are encouraged to understand their rights and responsibilities. They have many oppotunities to contribute to school life through initiatives such as Eco schools. The children are consulted about school rules and they expect them to be followed by their class mates.

Our Values

These are clearly displayed around the school and we focus on one value each half term over a 2 year rolling programme.

Our values are: (chosen by the Staff and Parents)

Honesty Politeness Cooperation Kindness Perseverance

Friendship Helpfulness Responsibility Respect

Courage, Fairness, Caring, Tolerance and Resilience

French

All children in KS1 benefit from a weekly French lesson and opportunities to demonstrate speaking and singing are provided in open assemblies.

Design and Technology

Through our Design and Technology curriculum children produce designs then make simple models, structures or two-dimensional representations of their ideas. Evaluation is seen as an important part of the learning process.Work is usually linked to topics.

History and Geography

Through topic work children develop a sense of history and of the world beyond their own locality. Teaching is closely linked to children’s experiences and a sense of wonder is developed through the use of artifacts, field trips, visitors and multimedia.

PE / Movement / Drama

Our PE activities incorporate the development of early games and gymnastics skills. Co-operation and team spirit are encouraged through a variety of activities. Polesden Lacey Infant School does not play sport in competition with other schools but collaborates with local schools to provide extra off-site opportunities when the opportunity arises.

In addition to dance lessons children are encouraged to join in morning keep fit before school and public performances (for example the local village day).

Drama provides many oppotunities for public performence through open assemblies and end of term productions. It is also a useful vehicle for teaching across the curriculum.

Music

All children have an opportunity to take part in singing and percussion lessons and are introduced to the work of composers in music lessons and assemblies. Much of the work is again linked to cross-curricular topics, but musical skills are clearly emphasized in lessons which are provided by a specialist music teacher.

Religious Education

We aim to develop an ethos where all cultures and beliefs are valued.

Individual classes undertake topic work. about different religions and the philosophies of other cultures, relating these to other areas of the curriculum. For example, while studying Islam, Year 2 have the opportunity to visit a mosque. Year 1 visit a synagogue during their study of Judaism and Reception class visit the local church. We encourage children to develop an understanding of a different faith and culture in relation to their own and today’s society. Through daily assemblies children are encouraged to develop a sense of awe and wonder about the world.

Art

Children are given the opportunity to use a variety of art materials in order to express their ideas through activities such as painting, sculpture, printing and drawing. We aim to develop visual awareness and promote the skills required to use materials successfully. As part of our art teaching children are introduced to the work of artists, crafts people and designers from around the world.