We follow the National Curriculum. Please find details below of our curriculum.
If you have any questions about our Curriculum please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs Field for further details.
Please see our Teaching & Policy Under Policies
Ashfield Infant and Nursery School – ‘A Big Curriculum for Small People’
At AINS careful discussion about our pupils’ backgrounds, life experiences and culture has helped us to design a curriculum with key priorities and core values underpinning every subject area. We believe that by focusing on these key priorities and core values our children will be ready to successfully meet the challenges of the next stage of their education and their lives (see also The Ashfield Way).
Our curriculum priorities are:
We aim to provide experiences which show children the wide range of possibilities available for their future through:
Initiative – we aim to offer experiences which help them to become independent and resourceful learners.
Environment – we aim to provide experiences which help our pupils value themselves, their environment and understand their responsibilities towards sustaining their local and global environment.
We have designed and planned our curriculum to offer a range of experiences which contribute to every child receiving a full and rich curriculum. The range of experiences we offer support and champion our culture and ensures that our children benefit from a full range of academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities. These activities enrich their lives and those of our whole school community and make them proud of their British values and diverse society to which they belong and play an active part. We are proud that our curriculum gives our children the skills, confidence and self-belief to lead a happy and fulfilled life by encouraging them to aim high and work towards their goals and dreams in life.
At AINS our definition of progress is the widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours. We design, organise and plan our curriculum to ensure that children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth to their learning which enables them to use their skills and understanding in all areas of the curriculum.
Our careful curriculum design and planning means that we build in many opportunities for repetition and practise opportunities for essential knowledge, skills and understanding in every subject. This ensures that children are able to revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.
Our curriculum is meticulously designed and planned to move the nature of children’s thinking to a higher order deep level of understanding rather than just acquiring new facts and knowledge.
At AINS it is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. We believe that through the curriculum we can impact on a child’s self-belief and how they feel about themselves, so that they feel able, confident and ready to tackle any challenge they may face.
We have designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure every child receives an appropriate mix of academic and personal development which means that in practice our curriculum places equal importance on core and foundation subjects.
At AINS we place high priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental wellbeing is met. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure, therefore we carefully design our curriculum and adopt a flexible approach to timetabling to ensure that we can meet and respond to any issues which may arise. Children’s physical and mental wellbeing are as valued and important as academic development.
We carefully monitor children’s progress with their personal development and our well planned and thoughtful approach to SMSC helps to ensure that every child is well cared for and supported.
Our balanced approach to the curriculum is not at the expense of high standards in core subject areas. High standards and enabling children to reach national expectations and above is of vital importance if they are to succeed at the next stage of their education and go on to achieve full and happy lives and careers.
Our full and rich curriculum, with its excellent range of experiences, ensures that every pupil at AINS makes excellent progress both academically and personally. Our unique curriculum ensures that every child is given the opportunity to shine and flourish.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years are an important stage of children’s education in its own right and has its own guidance and curriculum that span the years from birth to five. This new revised curriculum came into effect in September 2012.
“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, DFE, 2012
Our Reception and Nursery classes in Ashfield Infant & Nursery School form the Foundation Stage.
The principles that guide all our work in the Foundation Stage are grouped into four themes which acknowledge that all children are individuals who learn in different ways.
A Unique child – every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Enabling Environments – children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.
Play is a child’s work and is of vital importance to develop him or her intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.
The revised curriculum for Early Years has 7 areas of learning.
There are 3 Prime Areas, which underpin every aspect of a child’s learning.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children will be provided with experiences that will support them in making relationships, managing feelings and behaviour and developing self-confidence and self-awareness.
Communication and Language
Children’s learning and competence in speaking, understanding, listening and attention will be supported and extended. Children will be given opportunities, encouragement and confidence to use their skills in a range of situations and for a range of purposes.
Children will be given the opportunities to be active and interactive and to improve their skills in coordination, control, manipulation and movement. They will have opportunities to develop an understanding of the importance of physical activity and making healthy choices in relation to food.
The specific areas are:
Children will be supported in the development of their reading and writing skills
In writing children will be encouraged to develop the skills required to enable them to become writers from an early age. They will be encouraged to talk about and give meaning to the marks they draw, write and paint. Through a phonic based approach, our pupils will be taught to record the sounds they hear in words.
Children will be encouraged to foster a love of reading through nursery rhymes, traditional and popular stories and other high quality texts. They will be introduced to phonics and taught how to link letters to the sounds they make. When they are ready, they will be encouraged to use their phonic skills to decode and read simple words and sentences.
Children will be supported in developing their understanding of numbers and the number system, shape, space and measures in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding.
Understanding the World
Children will be supported in their understanding of people and communities, the world and technology. They will: encounter animals, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and real-life situations; undertake practical investigations and work with a range of materials; talk about events in their lives; and have opportunities to use ICT. This includes cameras, CD players, computers, and programmable toys, as well as discussing controls in the world around them.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children will be provided with opportunities to be imaginative, explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of media and materials, including art, music, dance, imaginative and role-play activities and design technology.
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Key Stage One
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Art and Design plays an important part across the whole of the school curriculum. It is cross curricular and every subject uses it for visual imagery. It is a useful and tactile subject which children can relate to immediately. The skills which are developed are applied across the whole curriculum.
Children are given the opportunity to use a range of materials to draw, paint and create sculptures. This is done through a topic- based approach, with children also being able to use their own experiences, ideas and imagination. They will develop their techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape and space. They will look at and evaluate the work of artists, craft-makers and designers, and may use this to influence their own work.
Miss McTear – Subject Leader
During their years at Ashfield Infant and Nursery School, the children will become familiar with all aspects of Computing. They will be taught skills in the three main areas: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy.
The school is equipped with PCs in each room. There are also two interactive whiteboards in each unit [three boards in the Early Years unit] which support teaching and learning in a visual and interactive way.
We have a collection of Windows based tablets which are used to teach groups of children computing skills and can be used across the curriculum. Pupils will learn computing skills with lots of different software programs and hardware devices such as touch screen tablets, PC’s, netbooks, programmable robots, digital cameras and digital microphones.
In Nursery there is an interactive whiteboard as well as other computing equipment including Beebots, tablets and digital cameras.
During Reception and Year 1, the children will develop their keyboard and mouse skills and learn how to print out their work.
In line with the new curriculum, pupils will also be taught how to write programs and code; this will be cross curricular, e.g. writing instructions to create apps in English.
As the children’s skills develop, they will be taught how to gather information from a range of sources, enter and store information and begin to retrieve and alter stored information. They will also have the opportunity to use a range of programmable toys.
By the end of Year 2, the children will become more independent in using their Computing skills. Through the internet, the older children are able to access suitable sites to explore topics. There are safeguards built into the school system to ensure online safety. Pupils are also taught about E-safety throughout the year to protect themselves both at school and at home.
Computing is developing continually and the school is constantly reviewing and developing the equipment and software used by the children.
Mrs Charlwood – Subject Leader
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, in Design and Technology, children will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in a repetitive, progressive process of designing and making in a range of contexts with the aim to achieve desired results.
There are four main areas to be covered:
Design – so that by the end of Year 2 most children will be expected to design purposeful, functional and appealing products for themselves and other users based on a design criteria. They will be able to generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-up and, where appropriate, information and communication technology.
Make – which gives the children opportunities to select from and and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks (for example cutting, shaping, joining and finishing). To select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients according to their characteristics.
Evaluate – This allows children to explore and evaluate a range of existing products as well as evaluate their own ideas and products against design criteria.
Technical knowledge – Enabling children to build structures and explore how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable. They will explore and use mechanisms (for example levers, sliders, wheels and axles) in their products.
As part of their work with food, children are taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. They will use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes and understand where food comes from.
Design and Technology is taught with a topic-based approach with identified skills showing progression.
Mrs S Rickerby – Subject Leader
“A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.”
(The National Curriculum 2013)
In Key Stage 1 pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality.
They should understand basic vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School we teach Geography through 4 main strands;
- Geographical Enquiry – e.g. can children answer questions using different resources such as books, atlases and the internet?
- Physical Geography – e.g. can children describe a locality using words and pictures?
- Human Geography – e.g. can children explain what they might wear if they lived in a very hot or a very cold place?
- Geographical Knowledge – e.g. can the children identify the 4 countries that make up the United Kingdom?
Geography is taught through a range of practical, hands on, creative activities and experiences.
Most geographical work at our school is covered by a topic-based approach though some skills need to be taught as a specific lesson (e.g. mapwork) and then used later in the ongoing topic.
Mrs Field – Subject Leader
The basis of teaching all historical work is to develop each child’s knowledge and interest in the subject.
Within Nursery and Reception historical study starts from familiar concepts – such as the pupils’ own experience and their immediate family and other people they know.
In KS1 our aim is to teach the pupils to observe themselves and their known environment in a specific way. Pupils’ attention is drawn to similarities and changes in themselves, seasons and their environment. The children will study past events from History and discover information about the lives of significant people from the past. The children should be able to recognise the distinction between past and present in their own and other people’s lives. They should be able to put events and photographs in the correct order and talk sensibly about the passing of time. During discussions, they should show an understanding of things that have changed over time and recognise that some things have remained the same. They will develop an awareness about the reasons why things happen and that there is another point of view apart from their own. During their study, they will use a wide range of resources to gather information, such as books, stories, artefacts and the internet.
Teachers will use a variety of methods to make the work as interesting as possible:
- Making books – sequencing photographs over time
- Visiting museums and old buildings
- Speaking to local historians who come into school
- Listening to stories
- Researching on the internet
- Drama and role play
- Our aim is for children to develop an enquiring mind and the skills needed to answer their questions.
Miss Higham – Subject Leader
We aim to deliver a comprehensive English curriculum which incorporates all the aspects of English as outlined in the National Curriculum document. At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School we believe that every pupil has the right to be able to read and write effectively and to be able to communicate their ideas, views and feelings with confidence and eloquence. We strive to ensure that our children are able to communicate effectively through speech and the written word. We know the importance of being a good listener and we encourage our pupils to value the contributions that other people make. It is our aim that all children will become skilled and enthusiastic readers.
– Speaking and Listening
Spoken language is developed through a cross curricular approach. Children are taught to listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers, ask relevant questions, explain their thinking, maintain attention and speak clearly and at a volume required. Children are encouraged to participate in conversations, discussions, role-play and performances. They have opportunities to practise their skills through ‘show and tell’ and through taking home a class toy and reporting back what they did together.
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School, reading is taught using a variety of different strategies. Children can learn in very different ways and we aim to cater for the individual.
Skilled word reading involves the ability to quickly work out the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words and the speedy recognition of familiar words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why great emphasis is based on the teaching of phonics throughout our school. (See below for more information on phonics.)
Alongside the teaching of phonics, children have access to a language rich environment where they can apply their decoding skills and develop comprehension skills in order for them to give meaning and understanding to the words they read. Comprehension skills develop through children’s experiences of high-quality discussions and from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts during guided reading sessions. In addition to this, children regularly read to an adult in school on an individual basis to enable the teacher to carefully monitor their progress. Each child has a reading book to practise at home with the support of a parent/carer. We value the partnership we have established with parents/carers in nurturing competent and confident readers and we use a reading planner to inform parents/carers about how well their child is reading at school.
At our school we encourage children to read for their own interest and pleasure using a wide range of literature.
We aim to treat our children as writers from the earliest stage. We provide experiences through which our children can acquire confidence and positive attitudes towards writing. We encourage mark making and emergent writing in our Nursery and Reception classes and build on this skill gradually. By the end of Year 2, children will have experienced writing for a range of purposes such as lists, notes, instructions, factual accounts, letters, stories, invitations and poetry. Children are given a range of strategies to develop their writing skills. In class children are supported in small groups and individually; they are frequently given opportunities to write independently. We use guided sessions to model writing skills to our pupils and teach them how to compose, amend and revise their writing.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is an important part of the new curriculum, and it is incorporated throughout English lessons.
A daily phonic session takes place every morning.
Children are encouraged to use their phonic skills across all curriculum subjects. All teachers and teaching assistants model the correct articulation of the phonemes and children are given opportunities to articulate individual phonemes. We have a strong emphasis on the application of phonic knowledge at the point of learning.
In school we use the No Nonsense Phonics scheme in Reception and in Year 1. Year 2 use Read, Write, Spell.
Mrs Ives – Subject Leader
Our aim is to develop your child’s confidence, knowledge and enjoyment of mathematics throughout the school, building a solid foundation for future work.
The basis of all our work in mathematics stems from practical activities giving children concrete experiences of mathematical concepts before moving on to recording.
The school follows The National Curriculum 2014 and classes have a maths lesson every day. Each lesson follows a similar structure with a starter, then a main activity and ends with a plenary. Lessons can also follow differing structures, e.g. mini plenaries throughout or starting with group work. Cross curricular maths is also evident in our topic work, e.g. measuring when making models in DT, drawing graphs in scientific investigations or using angles when programming the Beebots.
The starter at the beginning of each lesson is undertaken as a whole class and involves the children being very interactive. It is a time when teachers explain and develop new mental strategies, revise strategies already taught, practise the rapid recall of number facts and/or introduce new vocabulary.
The main activity involves whole class teaching before the children undertake individual, paired or group work related to the topic taught during the session. Teachers spend time working closely with children to develop their understanding.
At the end of each session the children come together for the plenary, which provides time for pupils to reflect on their learning during the lesson and time to reinforce the important points of the teaching and assess their learning.
Your child will cover work in:
- Number and Place Value – This will range from counting cups and saucers on a table correctly to working with numbers to 1000, understanding their value, e.g. that 683 is larger than 386.
- Addition and subtraction – This will involve a lot of practical work before moving on to recording.
- Multiplication and division – Children will be encouraged to learn their times tables by heart by the end of Year 2.
- Fractions – Practically working out ½, ¼ and other fractions of an object and numbers.
- Geometry – The children will begin by showing an understanding of mathematical language, e.g. straight, flat, and curved, inside and above. They will order objects according to size leading on to sorting 2D and 3D shapes and describing their properties.
- Measures – By the end of Year 2, the children will be using metric measures to measure length, capacity, mass and time.
- Statistics – The children will begin by practically sorting objects, collecting information and recording data. Pupils will also interpret the data through lists, tally charts, pictograms and block graphs.
Across all areas of mathematics, the children will develop skills to use and apply their knowledge. Problem solving activities have a high profile in our school.
Miss Titterington – Subject Leader
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School we aim to encourage each child to develop a love of music. Music plays a big part in our school life as we frequently use songs and rhymes as a way of learning key facts.
Our Music lessons are fun and active. During these the children play musical games, use a wide range of percussion instruments, compose their own music and listen to music from different countries and different periods of time.
All children are involved in singing performances during Christmas and other celebrations, in addition to this, every child in Year One and Two has the opportunity to join the school choir which is led by a professional music teacher. All Year Two children have ukulele tuition for half a term to enable them to experience playing a tuned instrument. Theatre groups, choirs and musicians are regularly invited into school so the children can experience the joy of listening to live music.
Mrs Little – Subject Leader
Our aim is to instil in children an enjoyment of physical activity that will lead to life-long participation.
PE is a tightly timetabled subject due to the need for a large number of classes to use the hall. In the summer months the outdoor area is also used.
Children are taught through a multiskills approach which enables them to apply all skills in any physical activity.
While our children are in the Nursery and their three years in the infants, they will develop, improve and use the taught skills, as well as beginning to understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
They will work as individuals, with partners and, by the end of Year 2, as part of a small team.
Sports Plus, an outside provider, delivers PE on a Tuesday to KS1 and on a Wednesday moring to EYFS. They also provide children with a sporting after school club which changes through the year. Other outside providers come into school to share their expertise in a variety of sports with the children, e.g. multiskills, rugby, football, cricket and tennis.
Participation in outside clubs is encouraged. All children are given the opportunity to do a variety of activities and are helped to cope with both success and limitations for themselves and others. All classes do an additional 10 minutes of daily physical activity or brain gym every day which ensures all children complete at least 2 hours of physical activity each week.
Sports Day is held at the end of the summer term, and all of our children enjoy taking part in this popular event.
Miss Jones – Subject Leader
RE is an important curriculum subject. It is important in its own right and also makes a unique contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and supports wider community cohesion.
In our RE teaching, we aim to enable the children to develop an understanding and appreciation of the beliefs and cultural traditions that shape the lives of themselves and others.
We follow the Cumbria Syllabus for Religious Education which has two attainment targets:
- Learning About Religion
- Learning From Religion
Children will become familiar with aspects of Christianity. They will also be introduced to Judaism, Islam and Hinduism by having a whole-school focus on a particular festival each year followed by a display of all work in the school hall for parents and the community.
We develop the spiritual, moral, cultural and social development of the children and encourage them to take responsibilities for their own actions.
Mrs Johnston – Subject Leader
Through the Science Curriculum we provide the children with opportunities to:
- Gain knowledge and understanding of the world about them
- Develop enquiring minds and a confident approach to solving real problems
- Have caring attitudes and an appreciation of the environment, natural world and living things
- Be aware of health and safety issues and the relevance of science to their personal health
Science also links with other areas of the curriculum such as English, Maths and Computing.
Learning through working scientifically is embedded in the science curriculum.
During years 1 and 2, pupils will be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills:
- Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
- Observing closely, using simple equipment
- Performing simple tests and investigations
- Identifying and classifying
- Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- Gathering and recording data to help in answering questions
The topic areas covered in KS1 are plants, animals [including humans], materials, seasonal changes and living things and their habitats.
- Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees
- Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees
- Observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants
- Find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy
- Distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made
- Identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water and rock
- Describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials
- Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of their simple physical properties
- Observe changes across the four seasons
- Observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies
Animals (including humans)
- Identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals
- Identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
- Describe and compare the structure of a variety of common animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including pets)
- Identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense
- Notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults
- Find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)
- Describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food and hygiene
Living Things & Their Habitats
- Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead and things that have never been alive
- Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants and how they depend on each other
- Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats
- Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain and identify and name different sources of food
Mrs Charlwood – Subject Leader
SMSC and citizenship is the bedrock of our school and we are passionate about giving our children the best start in life to become good citizens. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education is at the root of all we do and infiltrates all areas of the curriculum. For example whilst teaching Geography we will teach children to respect other Faiths and cultures.
We use the SEAL assemblies (social and emotional aspects of learning) Circle times and class discussions link to the themes of new beginnings, relationships, saying no to bullies, as well as changes and how to deal with moving on. The children are taught personal skills, such as how to be independent and confident; to recognise their own strengths; and to set themselves goals and try to achieve them. The children think about and discuss what is fair and unfair; they also use Circle Time to talk about right and wrong behaviour and are encouraged to make their own sensible choices. They learn that it is important to respect others and to value the richness and diversity of our society.
The children are also encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety, health and well-being. We take part in WOW (Walk On Wednesday) every week and a walking week every half term where the children are recognised for walking to school. As part of our healthy lifestyle the children are taught to eat well. Healthy meals are cooked on the school premises which are provided by Dolcie. Our cook understands dietary requirements of individual children and is able to offer an alternative if needed.
We have a savings scheme where children are encouraged to save money each week. During Enterprise Week, or through their topic work children make things to sell to the school community to raise money for resources in their unit.
Citizenship Assemblies are held where the Head Teacher awards children for following the school rules, showing respect, being polite and considering other people as well as being kind, caring, and showing friendship to others.
Year 2 children take a responsible role as “Rangers” in the playground where they look after other children. We have an active school council who are responsible for many changes both in school and the wider community.
Through our spiritual teaching children appreciate the awe and wonder of the world around them. Social skills are developed and we offer a Golden Ticket to the children who are showing the theme of the term. This has included good manners, being respectful, being kind and caring. Through our teachings of different faiths we ensure the children have respect for all cultures.
Fundamental British Values
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of others and their beliefs.
These are upheld through all our SMSC teachings and our high expectations of behavior and respect for everyone. As well as through all our work on citizenship. It is not suprising then that whenever we go on trips or have visitors into school they always comment on how lovely, polite and well behaved the children at Ashfield Infant and Nursery School are.
Mrs Ives – Subject Leader