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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Ashfield Infant and Nursery School
EYFS Teaching, Learning and Assessment
In our school, teachers and early years practitioners will reference this document when forming judgements about children’s progress and attainment in Reception.
‘When assessing whether a child is at the expected level of development, teachers will draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement.’ (Development Matters)
To enable us to show progress, we will form a judgement as to whether the child is emerging/developing/secure within each age range.
Please click on the link to find out more information – EYFS
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We run a two year cycle of planning.
Please feel free to download our Long Term Curriculum Maps for Reception.
Key Stage One
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Here at Ashfield Infant and Nursery School, we aim to encourage all our pupils to share and explore their creativity and develop a love of art from their very earliest days with us.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School our over-arching curriculum aim is to have a ‘big curriculum for small people’. By this we mean ‘big’ in terms of breadth, scope and ambition. We seek to add cultural capital by giving children knowledge and skills that build a foundation for later learning, enabling them to become thoughtful members of our community, with beliefs and understanding of the world underpinned by shared British values.
Our curriculum for Art and Design is adapted from the Chris Quigley Curriculum Companion. It is designed to inspire children’s artistic endeavour and curiosity and is underpinned by high quality teaching and learning which primarily focuses on developing skills and knowledge.
We recognise and value the importance of Art and Design. Our lessons are an integral part of our pupil’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Our curriculum provides opportunities for our children to develop and extend skills as well as giving an opportunity for them to be reflective learners and express their personal interests, thoughts and ideas.
Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. Our art and design lessons aim to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they are encouraged to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. An important aspect of our lessons is to help children learn how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have opportunities to learn to:
- Explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials
- Respond to a range of media and materials, develop their understanding of them in order to manipulate and create different effects.
- Use different media and materials to express their own ideas
- Explore colour and use for a particular purpose
- Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately
- Select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary
Key stage 1
Pupils are taught:
- to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
- to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination
- to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
- about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.
Teachers are responsible for planning inspiring art lessons for their classes. Teachers plan progressive lessons which build on art skills and knowledge. Links are made across the curriculum and art work is displayed and celebrated throughout our school. Teachers use our assessment statements to track pupil progress.
Our Art Curriculum is inspiring and well thought out. It is planned to demonstrate progression in skills and to include knowledge of famous artists and forms. Children’s progress is recorded and tracked by class teachers in KS1. In EYFS the teachers form judgments based on their observations of the children in the area of Expressive Arts and Design. Pupils are encouraged to be reflective and have discussions about their learning. These include discussions about their thoughts, ideas, processing and evaluations of work.
Our children make good progress in art and the majority are on track with their learning. Whole school moderation has shown skill development and work is displayed in our gallery as well as in classrooms and around our school. Art is valued by teachers and pupils alike and we appreciate the power that this subject has in developing the whole child and the positive effect it has on the wellbeing of our children.
Miss McTear, subject leader
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School, we provide our children with a high quality education in computing which provides access to an ever changing and expanding digital world. We wish to develop a love of computing and provide children with the ability to enhance their knowledge, skills and understanding through different types of media whilst keeping safety at the forefront of their minds. We believe that this will give our children the tools they need to succeed in a digital world.
In regards to keeping children safe on the internet, E-Safety is taught throughout school via PSCHE units of work, planned Computing lessons and on Safer Internet Day (SID) in Spring term. Our Kidsafe program also covers online safety. During the session, pupils discuss what to do if they come across images, or other content, which makes them feel uncomfortable. The Kidsafe program gives them the words to say when something is upsetting them and how to get help.
At our school, we want children to become digitally literate by developing a range of skills which are transferable across a range of subjects. At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School, computing, as well as being taught as standalone skills, is predominantly taught through other subjects. Lessons are planned to maximize learning potential and a variety digital devices are used to support this. The range of programs and apps children access throughout their time in the school allow them to build a bank of resources to support them in developing their learning and expressing their creativity.
Children will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to help them access and use a range of technology in a safe and creative way. Their skills will progress to enable them to not only have met the requirements of the National Curriculum, but to also enjoy using technology to develop knowledge and ideas as well as express themselves safely and creatively as responsible members of the community.
The school is equipped with PCs in most rooms for children to use. There are also interactive whiteboards in each classroom which support teaching and learning in a visual and interactive way. We have a collection of iPads in each classroom, which are used to teach groups of children computing skills and can be used across the curriculum, alongside PCs and other equipment. Pupils will learn computing skills with lots of different software programs and hardware devices such as tablets, PCs, programmable robots, digital cameras and digital microphones. We use a variety of software and apps in our learning. One such program is called Purple Mash. This is a subscription service (paid for by the school) which provides a child friendly approach to learning. Pupils will be issued with Purple Mash logins and a letter detailing how parents can support their child’s learning at home.
EYFS and Computing
Despite computing not being specifically mentioned within the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework, there are many opportunities for young children to use technology to solve problems and produce creative outcomes.
Examples of computing in our EYFS classes:
- Operate a digital device with support to fulfil a task.
- Create simple digital content, e.g. digital art.
- Choose media to convey information, e.g. image for a poster.
- Repeat an action with technology to trigger a specific outcome.
- Follow simple instructions to control a digital device.
- Recognise that we control computers.
- Input a short sequence of instructions to control a device.
- Use a mouse, touch screen or appropriate access device to target and select options on screen.
Key Stage 1
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery school, we have adapted the Sheffield Primary Computing Progression Framework for Key Stage 1. 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. They use a child friendly search engine called Swiggle. There are also safeguards built into the school system to ensure online safety.
Computing is developing continually and the school is constantly reviewing and developing the equipment and software used by the children.
In Key Stage 1, pupils will be taught to:
- understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
- create and debug simple programs
- use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
- use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
- recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
- use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies
Key 1 learning is embedded in other subjects.
Examples of what happens in our Key Stage 1 classes:
- Using Beebots to learn how to write computer code linked to stories such as Handa’s Surprise
- learning keyboard and mouse skills to enable images and texts to be combined, writing stories, creating leaflets for presentation, etc
- creating pictograms to find out what the most popular vegetable is in the classroom or creating tally charts to present findings linked with maths or science
- coding and debugging computer programs through a set of sessions
- creating music through a series of apps and different software.
- Mrs Charlwood, subject leader
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School (AINS) our over-arching curriculum aim is to offer an ambitious and broad ‘big curriculum for small people’ giving children a wide scope in which to grow their creativity, knowledge, and skills in safe, exciting, and meaningful ways. At the centre of our curriculum are our six core values: Nature, Creativity, Respect, Independence, Community and Nurture. Our core values lay the building blocks for a firm foundation, enabling children to become thoughtful members of our community, with beliefs and understanding of the world underpinned by share British Values.
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous, and practical subject which allows children to use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts; and based on products and designs that they see in everyday real-life. The planning and organisation of our teaching and curriculum at AINS uses a mastery approach to ensure we help enable children to develop a broad DT subject knowledge, drawing on a range of cross-curricular disciplines including mathematics, science, computing, and art. Children are encouraged to become resourceful, innovative, and enterprising in their ideas and solutions. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they begin to develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.
Our Design and Technology (DT) curriculum has been adapted from the Chris Quigley Curriculum Companion. We help children to explore ‘big ideas’ through a range of topics, using progressive KS1 and EYFS frameworks. This enables children to learn, practise and repeat fundamental skills, and build subject knowledge whilst being immersed in a language rich environment. In KS1 DT is taught throughout one half of each term alongside other subjects. This allows for greater dedicated time for children to practise the design process, whilst building a secure base of core knowledge, key terms and vocabulary, and opportunities for creativity. We aim is to ensure that by the end of KS1 the children have developed a long-term memory of an ambitious breadth of knowledge and practical skills.
Through the teaching of our DT curriculum, children are given opportunities to:
- Develop technical knowledge (learn about structures, mechanisms and food and nutrition)
- Develop practical knowledge (cutting, joining, measuring, scoring, assembling and strengthening)
- Master practical techniques (needed to make high-quality products)
- Take inspiration from design (developing an appreciation for design processes)
- Design, make, evaluate, and improve (developing the process of design thinking and seeing design as an iterative process).
At AINS we know it is vital that the design process is understood as an iterative process of ‘think’ ‘make’ ‘break’ (evaluate) ‘repeat’ and that children have the opportunities to practise this process as part of their continuous provision so that they may master these skills; including looking at the weaknesses of their designs to develop their thinking and allow them to make relative adjustments.
Our DT curriculum is meticulously planned and structured to enable children to continuously build on a body of skills and knowledge over a two-year period in KS1. This is linked to the National Curriculum Programme of study for DT. Projects have included, in Year One, constructing structures to represent houses, linked to learning about ‘The Great Fire of London’ learning about slider mechanisms to create Valentine’s cards and in Year Two learning about levers. In Year 2, children have been using their slider mechanism knowledge and skill to help them apply them to use wheel and axle mechanisms to design and make model lighthouses linked to ‘The Mousehole Cat’ story.
The EYFS curriculum at Ashfield Infant and Nursery School promotes an ethos of curiosity and questioning in a secure environment to enable children to be creative and build on their interests, through a wide range of materials and resources. We offer a balance of adult-led skills-based activities and continuous provision which allows children to practice new skills, make choices and have confidence in their own ideas to ‘have a go’ at being creative and designing their own products (e.g. a bed for a favourite toy, some binoculars to explore outdoors).
DT in the Early Years encompasses skills from all areas of the EYFS framework, the most relevant being EAD where children can experiment with media and materials and find out about their properties and ways to manipulate and modify them. They also have the freedom to be imaginative through their explorations into the world of pretence, building on their experiences of the real world and transforming them into something new. However, learning about DT in EYFS also enables children to develop their physical gross and motor skills (projects on large and small scales); mathematical skills (creating shape and space, measuring and estimating); understanding of the world (making sense of their physical world and their community); communication (developing listening skills to follow instructions, learn new vocabulary, share experiences and ideas in a rich language-based environment).
Children’s DT learning skills and knowledge is also structured within each topic so that the most able can develop a greater depth of understanding at a ‘deeper’ level. This may include developing research skills and design criteria; being able to select from a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks; apply their knowledge of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures.
Our DT curriculum is planned to excite and enthuse all children, and inclusion is at the heart of our school’s ethos. Learning challenges are differentiated and children’s diverse needs and potential barriers to learning are always considered and addressed for individual and groups to ensure they are fully included. Ways in which we may help to overcome these challenges include:
- Paired working (e.g. more/less confident readers/writers)
- Talking tins to help capture key thoughts, facts or questions
- Visual representations of ideas (e.g. large scale images)
- Alternative or adaptive activities to overcome difficulties with manipulating tools, equipment or materials (e.g. spring-loaded scissors, hand-over-hand support)
- Opportunities to communicate ideas through means other than writing or drawing (e.g. having someone to scribe, use of computer-aided software)
- Opportunities to work in ways that avoid contact with materials to which they may be allergic
- Time and opportunity to use non-verbal means to gain understanding about and to evaluate different products to use to generate ideas
- Additional time to complete tasks
Susan Rickerby, Design and Technology Co-ordinator
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School we aim to ensure a broad, balanced Geography curriculum which ensures a coherent and progressive programme with equality of opportunity for all children.
Our Geography curriculum allows our children to learn in a safe environment, enabling everyone to feel valued and achieve their full potential. We aim for the knowledge and understanding the children acquire to become part of their long-term memory, therefore each aspect of their learning is planned carefully, building on previous learning, knowledge and skills. We strive to ensure that all children have access to a wide range of rich and ambitious geographical language through discussions, quality texts and resources.
Our Geography curriculum is adapted from the Chris Quigley Curriculum Companion and runs inline with the National Curriculum.
The objectives of teaching geography in our school are:
- To enable children to gain knowledge and understanding of places in the world;
- To increase children’s knowledge of other cultures and, in so doing, teach a respect and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country;
- To allow children to learn geographic skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps;
- To enable children to know and understand environmental problems at a local, regional and global level;
- To encourage in children a commitment to sustainable development, and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means;
- To develop in children a variety of other skills, including those of enquiry, problem solving, computing, investigation, and that of presenting their conclusions in the most appropriate way.
We recognise the fact that there are children of widely different geographical abilities, and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:
- Setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- Setting tasks of increasing difficulty working towards a mastery of the curriculum;
- Providing resources of different complexity, according to the ability of the child;
- Using classroom assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children.
Geography in our school promotes the concept of positive citizenship. Our regular Jigsaw and Picture News sessions often have a geographical theme. We also promote citizenship through our core values of creativity, nurture, community, respect, independence and nature. Each half term we focus on one of these core values to promote positive values and attitudes enabling children to make a positive contribution to the world.
Through teaching about contrasting localities, we enable the children to learn about possible inequalities and injustices in the world. We help children to develop their knowledge and understanding of different cultures, so that they learn to acquire a positive attitude towards others. Geography contributes to the children’s appreciation of what is right and wrong by raising many moral questions.
Fieldwork is integral to good geography teaching, and we include as many opportunities as we can to involve children in practical geographical research and enquiry. All of the children will carry out investigations into the local environment, and we give them opportunities to observe and record information around the school site.
The Foundation Stage
In the Foundation Stage Geography is planned for using the ‘Understanding the World’ targets taken from Development Matters, which has been revised and will become statutory in September 2021. The main focuses are people, places and the world around us. Geography is currently taught through topics, using cross curricular links where possible. These are covered throughout each half term, although some half terms cover more than others. Evidence is collected in Learning Journeys and we are also beginning to use the Tapestry app to collate evidence of progress, gleaned mainly through observations. Throughout the year the children learn about places (near and far), our school community, wider community, familiar features (houses and homes), the weather and occupations. Geography work often stems from a wide range of stories and there is lots of discussions and research. Geography is also taught discretely through other subject areas, circle times and class assemblies.
Assessment against the objectives set out in Curriculum Companion and the National Curriculum allows us to monitor each child’s attainment and progress against the expected levels. This helps us to identify gaps in learning and carefully plan for next steps, providing intervention where required.
Teachers will assess children’s work by making informal judgements during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and uses this information to plan future learning. Teachers also assess children’s knowledge at the end of each unit of work through independent tasks, discussions and questioning.
“I liked learning about the five oceans.”
“We learn about different countries”
“We learn about the world using globes and pictures of the world.”
“The provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent and contributes significantly to their enjoyment of school.”
“The broad curriculum is well planned to give pupils a wide range of experiences and broaden their horizons. Middle leaders have implemented strategies to meet the needs of the most able pupils in subjects other than English and mathematics.”
Miss R Winthorpe (Geography Subject Lead)
At AINS our over-arching curriculum aim is to have a ‘big curriculum for small people’. By this we mean ‘big’ in terms of breadth, scope and ambition. We seek to add cultural capital by giving children knowledge and skills that build a foundation for later learning, enabling them to become thoughtful members of our community, with beliefs and understanding of the world underpinned by shared British values.
Our history curriculum is adapted from the Chris Quigley Curriculum Companion. Our children explore and learn about different topics that in turn develop an understanding of historical concepts that are revisited within a progressive framework for learning in KS1.
Through the teaching of our history curriculum, children are given the opportunity to:
- Investigate and interpret the past
- Build an overview of aspects of local, British and world history
- Understand chronology in an age-appropriate way
- Communicate historically their knowledge and understanding
Our children learn key vocabulary as part of their ‘knowledge bank’ – one of our over-arching priorities as a school is to share with children an ambitious, rich and challenging pool of language, through the texts and core learning that supports teaching across the curriculum.
We dedicate a half term to each programme of study within History. This is because in order for children to become creative thinkers and have a greater depth of understanding, they need to acquire a secure base of core knowledge and skills, and this takes time – especially if the knowledge and understanding they acquire is to become part of their long-term memory.
Learning is structured within each topic so that the most able can develop a greater depth of understanding at a ‘deep’ stage.
Our teachers are aware of the importance of supporting children to ‘retrieve’ previously learnt facts and skills across the year and the Key Stage.
Children with additional needs/SEND are fully included in History teaching.
By inclusion we mean three things: setting suitable learning challenges, responding to pupils’ diverse needs, and overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups.
Differentiation in History may include using audio / visual sources so that pupils who cannot read can watch and listen, perhaps with key words to support learning rather than whole texts.
Confident and less confident readers can be paired to work collaboratively and talking tins help capture key thoughts, facts or questions.
Visual representations of ideas, for example using larger scale pictures or photographs can be a great way to support children, as can the use of role play, hot-seating and modelling.
Our curriculum is planned to excite and enthuse children through learning about how people’s lives have shaped the nation and the wider world.
- We aim to help children develop an understanding of chronology through studying ‘main events’ – key stories and figures that brought about change for example.
- We aim to help children learn how to begin to interpret history, through exploring artefacts and historical sources.
- We aim to help children become communicators through providing them with an ambitious vocabulary linked to their learning that goes far beyond everyday spoken language.
The history curriculum includes categories of knowledge that are important to understanding historical concepts, for example:
- Children explore culture and pastimes within the Victorian era for example, and by learning about toys through the ages. Our local museum, Helena Thompson, supports this unit of work.
- They learn about locations linked to ‘main events’, such as London in the Great Fire and Guy Fawkes and concepts such as ‘empire’ during the reign of Victoria. The local firefighters come into school for a live re-enacting of the fire of London, using models made by the children.
- Our topic about farming and Jethro Tull in Year 1 is important, as knowing how people through the ages have found food to support their society is a key part of historical knowledge. The children visit a Cumbria farm for a hands on experience.
- Travel and exploration are themes that provide a common thread weaving throughout our wider curriculum, not just in History. Many of our Power of Reading texts invite children to explore significant journeys, either factual or fictional. In History, The Wright Brothers, Christopher Columbus and Grace Darling are topics that help children understand how travellers and pioneering explorers across the ages links to changes within transport and technology and why pioneers travel and explore. Through our local study of the West Cumbria coast as a seaside holiday destination, the children learn about how travel and transport changed local towns and villages that contrast to their home town of Workington. The children also visit the RNLI to appreciate the importance of Grace Darling’s legacy.
- People’s experience of society, or the way groups organise themselves, is different depending on whether they are rich or poor, adults or children, men or women – and we aim to introduce children to the historical skill of understanding that people’s experiences or views of the same key events can be different.
- And finally, we introduce children to the use of artefacts as clues to what life was like in the past. Household items, tools and diaries or reports support children on their journey through time as historians.
How does our curriculum link to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Key Stage 1?
In Year 1, the children explore how people’s lives have shaped the nation and the wider world through topics about farming (Jethro Tull), Guy Fawkes and The Great Fire of London. They are introduced to concepts and significant aspects of history and the wider world through their topic about Christopher Columbus.
Understanding how key figures and how Britain has influenced the world beyond our shores continues in Year 2, with topics about Grace Darling, The Wright Brothers and Queen Victoria.
Across both year groups, children are supported to learn about more abstract historical terms, such as empire, parliament and monarchy.
Children also explore changes within living memory, through learning about how toys have changed over generations (Year 1) and through comparing and contrasting Queen Elizabeth II with Queen Victoria (Year 2).
Children investigate the past using methods of enquiry in an age-appropriate way – observing or handling evidence, asking questions, using pictures, stories and other sources to help them interpret the past.
Teachers then help children make connections between their areas of learning.
How do we assess children’s understanding and learning in History?
Teachers explicitly teach vocabulary, knowledge and concepts that are reviewed as part of the plan, teach, do, review cycle.
Teachers assess how well pupils understand concepts and can recall and retrieve knowledge in a topic by asking children to:
- Answer questions that begin with who, what, where, when…
- Name objects or key places
- Describe or explain what is meant by key words
- Label timelines or maps
- Organise information
Teachers refer to our core skills in History to assess how well children are developing as ‘historians’.
At the most challenging, or deep level, children may be able to make connections between different periods of history, and understand and explain more than one viewpoint e.g. that building a new settlement is always a good thing.
Learning History skills in EYFS
The most relevant statements for history are taken from the area of learning called Understanding the World
Three and Four-Year-Olds begin to make sense of their own life-story and family’s history.
In Reception children learn to comment on images of familiar situations in the past, and compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures from the past.
By the end of Reception, children have been supported in being able to attain the ELG Understanding the World Past and Present, through talking about the lives of people around them and their roles in society and knowing some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class. Children are able to understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.
Throughout the year, we aim to provide children with out of school learning opportunities, linked to their exploration of History.
Rachel Field, Subject Leader
English Curriculum Statement 2022
At AINS our over-arching curriculum aim is to offer breadth, scope and ambition. We seek to add cultural capital by giving children knowledge and skills that build a foundation for later learning, enabling them to become thoughtful members of our community, with beliefs and understanding of the world underpinned by shared British values. Our six core values are at the centre of our curriculum: Nature, Creativity, Respect, Independence, Community and Nurture.
We have designed an English curriculum that encourages a lifelong love of reading, writing and discussion for our children. We know the skills of language are essential for children to participate fully in school and society beyond. Therefore, it is our intention that all children learn to speak and listen with the confidence and accuracy necessary to articulate feelings, opinions and ideas. We continually strive to create a reading rich environment and aim for all our children to develop the habit of reading widely and often with both confidence and independence. Through access to the wonders of quality texts, we aim to instill a love for reading and a passion for discovery. Inspiring, quality texts are also at the heart of our writing curriculum and when combined with real-life experiences our children are motivated to write in a meaningful way. Furthermore, we have carefully designed writing opportunities around our creative curriculum and intend for our children to become confident, independent writers who see themselves as authors and poets.
Our English curriculum allows our children to learn in a safe environment, enabling everyone to feel valued and achieve their full potential. Our children become independent, confident learners as they explore, revisit and deepen their understanding and knowledge. We aim for the knowledge and understanding the children acquire to become part of their long-term memory, therefore time and precision is given to the planning, teaching and delivery of our curriculum.
We are dedicated to ensuring each child can achieve their full potential in this incredibly important part of the curriculum. We aim to deliver a comprehensive English curriculum which incorporates all the aspects of English as outlined in the National Curriculum document.
Aims of the National Curriculum for English (2013)
The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School we believe that every pupil has the right to –
- communicate effectively through speech and the written word
- know the importance of being a good listener to value the contributions that other people make.
It is our aim that all children will become skilled and enthusiastic readers, and are able to write effectively and to be able to communicate their ideas, views and feelings with confidence and eloquence.
Implementation of Speaking and Listening
Spoken language is essential and 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 in sentences and at the required volume. We aim for children to be confident speakers and polite listeners throughout their incredible journey in our school.
At Ashfield Infant & Nursery School, we know that speaking and listening underpins children’s development across the whole curriculum, especially reading and writing. Therefore, opportunities to develop our children’s listening skills and extend their use of spoken language are carefully designed and regularly implemented. Staff are careful to model effective speaking and listening skills and teach children when and how to participate constructively in conversations.
Children are read to by enthusiastic adults every day which provides opportunities to:
- discuss books and ask and answer questions.
- share the thought process of making inferences
- have conversations and explain their understanding and opinions
- discover new vocabulary
We value opportunities for children to speak in front of an audience and all children perform.
- in class assemblies
- in school productions
- in celebration assemblies
- to a class audience
- to an invited visitor
- to another teacher/ headteacher
- Via the school council
- During writing lessons, importance is placed on orally rehearsing sentences before writing and where possible, a teacher encourages children to clearly articulate what they are going to say in their writing.
Discussion is a fundamental part of learning, and our children are taught to participate in paired, group and whole class discussions on a regular basis.
Children are supported to engage in role-play in EYFS and have regular opportunities to develop this in KS1. Role play enables children to apply the vocabulary and sentence structure they have heard in books and real-life situations.
Children for whom English is an additional language often benefit from additional strategies and intervention to develop their speech and language. These include:
- Paired talk so they can talk in a safe environment before sharing ideas with a larger group
- Grammar practice within a small, familiar group
- Re-reading of texts
- Modelling grammatical structures
- Modelling and pre-teaching vocabulary
- Collaborative group work
Children who need support are quickly identified and offered:
- Talk Boost
- Time to Talk
- Kofi/Lola or Beat Baby
- Lego team-work
- A thinking/talk partner
- Extra encouragement and incentives to communicate non-verbally and verbally
- A referral to speech and language therapist
- Specialists run clubs such as the Happy to be Me or ELSA group which aim to develop children’s confidence and to speak out and have their voice heard.
Progression in Speaking and listening
|To listen to others, respond and speak in front of a familiar group.
To answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
To express themselves effectively, showing awareness of the listeners’ needs.
To speak confidently in a familiar group and talk about their ideas
|To listen to others and respond in appropriate sentences.
To speak in front of large and small groups.
To begin to ask questions that are linked to the topic being discussed.
To answer questions on a wider range of topics (sometimes may only be one-word answers).
To recognise when it is their turn to speak in a discussion.
To recognise that different people will have different responses and that that these are as valuable as their own opinions and ideas
|To listen carefully and respond with increasing appropriateness to what has been said.
To ask relevant, timely questions and ask for clarification when the message is not clear.
To show that they are following a conversation by asking relevant and timely questions.
To answer questions using clear sentences.
To begin to give reasoning behind their answers when prompted to do so.
To give enough detail to hold the interest of other participant(s) in a discussion.
To engage in meaningful discussions that relate to different topic areas.
Implementation of vocabulary
At Ashfield Infant & Nursery School, we are aware that a vocabulary gap limits understanding; clogs up working memory; reduces reading pleasure and reduces motivation to read.
Although the cohort varies year on year, between 15-20% of our children at any one time are known to have been affected by disadvantage, and may have had limited exposure to enriching vocabulary and experiences. Many other children may also have had this experience, but are not identified for a range of reasons. Therefore, we seek to address this divide from the first day of school by exposing our children to as much high-quality literature and vocabulary as possible and encouraging word curiosity. We ensure book/ subject specific vocabulary is taught so children understand useful words they are likely to need. In addition, we regularly return to previously taught vocabulary to consolidate understanding.
When teaching vocabulary, we utilise:
- A language rich environment
- Exposure to a range of inspiring literature
- Pre-teaching so unknown words do not hold up understanding
- Visual images to support understanding
- Teaching about relationships between words, including the meaning of homophones
- Figurative language (similes, metaphors)
- Words in different contexts
- Exploring root words, prefixes and suffixes
Implementation of reading
We have carefully created a reading curriculum which sparks joy and imagination while enabling children to develop their knowledge of themselves and their world. The balance between word reading and comprehension has been carefully considered to ensure children develop the skills needed to become confident and competent readers. Reading for pleasure is promoted across the school and staff continually strive to encourage reading and provide opportunities for children to benefit from a wide selection of quality poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts.
We are passionate about books, authors and reading at Ashfield Infant and Nursery School. Children are involved in Strive For Five (reading five times per week) and Reading for Pleasure (after reading 50 books and the child enjoys going to choose a book from the office and talking to our Head teacher about books.) Child look forward to visiting our local library termly. Each class has an author of the half term which encourages children to learn about the styles of different authors and to develop an understanding of their favourite authors and books.
Reading is taught using a variety of different strategies but underpinned through a systematic approach to teaching synthetic phonics. We do however recognise that some children can learn in very different ways and we aim to cater for the individual’s learning needs.
Common exception words contain unusual Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence (GPC) and children are explicitly taught to read them. As stated in the national curriculum, teaching of CEW (common exception words) is underpinned by grapheme-phoneme knowledge and children are taught to start from the graphemes they know, then register the ‘tricky bit’ in the word.
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 systematic teaching of phonics throughout our school. (See below for more information on phonics.)
Teachers model expression, fluency and ‘thinking aloud about reading’ to help our children understand the thought processes of skilled readers. Speaking and listening are central to our guided reading lessons and children are actively involved in creating respectful rules which ensure everyone participates, take turns and listens. Paired reading and discussion are utilised, so children have a safe space to practise their reading; relate reading to own experiences; discuss favourite words and phrases and offer feedback.
Alongside the teaching of phonics, children have access to a language rich environment where they can apply their decoding skills and develop comprehension skills 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 and another one to listen to/share with an adult. 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.
|Reception||Year 1||Year 2|
|End of Autumn term 1||Read single-letter set 1 sounds.
|Read Yellow Storybooks.
NNP book 3 secure.
|Read Orange Storybooks . NNP book 9
|End of Autumn 2||NNP book 1 sounds Blend sounds into words orally
|Read Blue Storybooks.
NNP book 4
|Read Orange/Purple Storybooks
Read Write Spell Book 2A
|End of Spring 1||Blend sounds to read words;
|Read Blue/Green Storybooks.
NNP book 5
|Read Lemon A Storybooks
|End of Spring 2||Read Red Storybooks
|Read Green/Purple Storybooks.
NNP book 6/7
|Read Lemon A/Lemon B Storybooks RWS Book 2B
|End of Summer 1||Read Yellow Storybooks; read NNP book 2
|Read Purple Storybooks.
NNP book 8
|Read Brown A, Brown B Storybooks RWS Book 2B
|End of Summer 2||Read Yellow books and NNP book 3
|Read Orange Storybooks.
NNP book 9
|Read Brown A, Brown B, Black, free reader Storybooks RWS Book 2B complete.|
Reading for pleasure
We endeavour to inspire our children to read for pleasure and become life-long readers. Reading is embraced in wider school life, and we have:
- staff who value reading, are eager to share their passion for it and read to the children every day
- a well-stocked library
- story time in every class every day
- a dedicated book spine which contains high quality books for each year group suggested by experts such as Pie Corbett, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) By the time our children complete an academic year they will have listened to every book from the spine recommended for their age.
- A well-stocked book corners in each classroom
- a complete subscription to the Workington Library Service who provide new books each term, selected for to their links to our curriculum and engaging content
- plans for visits by storytellers and theatre groups; a trip to the theatre; visits to the local library; an opportunity to meet an author.
|Power of Reading Texts|
|Reception||Autumn 1- So Much & Owl Babies
Autumn 2- Can’t you Sleep Little Bear?
Spring 1 -The Train Ride
Spring 2 We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Summer 1 Aaaaarggghh Spider. The Enormous Turnip
Summer 2 Hooray for Fish. Billy’s bucket
|Year 1||Autumn 1- Ruby’s Worries
Autumn 2- Traction Man
Spring 1 -The Emperor’s Egg
Spring 2 Meerkat Mail
Summer 1 Oliver’s Vegetables
Summer 2 The Snail & the Whale
|Year 2||Autumn 1- The Tin Forest
Autumn 2- Halibut Jackson
Spring 1 -The Princess & the White Bear King
Spring 2 -the Mousehole Cat
Summer 1 Lila & the Secret of Rain
Summer 2 The Hodgeheg
|Nursery||Nursery are immersed in fairy tales/nursery rhymes and books, books, books.|
|Reception Elm||Autumn 1- Nursery Rhymes
Autumn 2- Oliver Jeffers
Spring 1 -Rob Biddilph
Spring 2-Judith Kerr
Summer 1- Traditional Tales
Summer 2- Shirley Hughes
|Reception Birch||Autumn 1- Fairy Tales
Autumn 2- Jill Tomlinson
Spring 1 -Martin Waddell
Spring 2-R Dahl
Summer 1 -Judith Kerr
Summer 2- Beatrix Potter
|Year 1. Chestnut||Autumn 1- Tom Percival
Autumn 2- David McKee
Spring 1 -Shirley Hughes
Spring 2-Allan Ahlberg
Summer 1 -Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Summer 2- Jane Hissey
|Year 1. Maple||Autumn 1- Julia Doanldson
Autumn 2- Mini Grey
Spring 1 -Oliver Jeffers
Spring 2-Stories from other cultures
Summer 1 Allan Ahlberg
Summer 2 -Jill Tomlinson
|Year 2 Oak||Autumn 1- Nick Butterworth
Autumn 2- Mairi Hedderwick
Spring 1 -Jane Hissey
Spring 2 – Ann Cameron
Summer 1 -Quentin Blake
Summer 2 Strong women
|Year 2||Autumn 1Julia Donaldson
Autumn 2- Mini Grey
Spring 1 -Judith Kerr
Spring 2- Poetry
Summer 1-Dick King Smith
Summer 2 -Jill Murphy
Our school Library
We have a brand-new library opened in Autumn 2022. The classes are timetabled to weekly sessions. We have a dedicated non-fiction, fiction and poetry section. Attractive, well displayed books encourage children to choose and read different genres. Children have regular access to the library, which was redesigned with new, purpose-built furniture. Library sessions begin with a carefully chosen high quality book and a discussion of the books the children have read during the previous week. Children share their opinions of books, retell plots and make recommendations to their friends. When in the library, all children are taught how libraries work and how the books are organised. Trained TAs model choosing books, considering authors, genres and reading the ‘blurb’. They then support children to choose their own books. We are proud that our TAs, Governors, support staff and volunteers, are reading ambassadors, sharing their passion for reading with the children and using their knowledge of children’s authors to make recommendations and guide children’s book choices.
We also have a multicultural ambassador so carefully chosen books are displayed around school and in the Library, encouraging children to become equality ambassadors in their own right.
Reading and Home-School Links
As staff, we are delighted to share our passion for reading and teach children the skills they need to learn to read and become lifelong readers. We value our parent partnership and are always happy to provide support for parents.
We run many parent information sessions including
- An introduction to phonics, explaining phonics, articulation of phonemes and how we teach phonics at school
- A reception parent reading session which informs parents how we teach reading and how they can help at home.
- KS1 sessions are run based on parent demand.
- Every year group has a dedicated reading record which they take home and a dedicated reading for pleasure book.
- On our newsletters a member of staff recommends a book for parents, encouraging parents to model reading
- We run sessions in Year 1 to explain the phonic screening check
- Reading cafes model reading stories to children and activities around books
- Year group specific workshops, explaining the expectations for the year and how to support children in all aspects of English.
- Catch-up phonic sessions for children who are not on track to pass the year 1 phonic screening check, offering further guidance and resources for teaching and practising phonics. This list will be added to if parents require support in any other areas.
Reading: Assessment and Moderation
We use formative assessment to track and monitor reading through observations, questioning and marking. Our continual assessment ensures we are able to quickly identify any child falling behind and give them immediate, targeted support. This is recorded on the simple view of reading (see Appendix) so we know which area to target and why. Interventions are then specifically applied to individual children.
children read to their class teacher and/or teaching assistant at least twice weekly. Targeted children become daily readers and their progress is carefully tracked through teacher assessment and by assessing their reading age. Each term, children will also complete reading assessments, which provides standardised and age-standardised scores, so teachers are well informed about their attainment and can use this information to monitor attainment and progress. Ongoing phonics assessments are also completed.
All children are also required to sit the statutory phonic screening check in Year 1. These assessments are crucial for informing interventions, planning and the future of our curriculum design.
Reading: Catch-up and additional support
Every member of staff is determined that every child will learn to read. Regular, detailed assessments enable teachers to quickly identify children who are not meeting age related expectations and need extra support. We provide additional provision for at least 20% of children in each class who receive the following support:
- Daily readers
- Toe by Toe
- Phonics support
We are passionate about the teaching of phonics and therefore use the No Nonsense Scheme by Debbie Hepplewhite. We believe NNP incorporates not only a systematic approach to teaching phonics that is consistent, precise and effective but it is ambitious in terms of the richness of the language. Our curriculum is inspired by high quality texts and reading for pleasure, and NNP encourages children’s curiosity about new vocabulary. The impact of NNP not only raised pupil outcomes in reading and phonics but also improvements in letter formation and the quality of children’s narrative writing.
Our children love their phonics lessons – when asked what they enjoying learning about in Reception and Year 1 ‘phonics’ is the most common response! In terms of day-to-day teaching, routines are quickly established and children respond incredibly well to the structure and familiarity of the programme. The visual resources available to support delivery are high quality and appealing, and particularly effective for visual learners. It is also highly inclusive, as children work through the programme as a whole class. The booklets give status to the children’s work, encouraging pride in their achievements and our phonics sessions create happy, motivated and confident learners.
No Nonsense Phonics has transformed the way we teach phonics, and last year we worked hard to align our book band scheme to the programme. 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.
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.
Implementation of writing
Opportunities for writing are embraced in all areas of the curriculum so children write for a purpose and practise their skills regularly.
- Children in Reception and KS1 apply their phonic skills for writing every day as part of their NNP lesson.
- We use sound buttons to segment words into separate graphemes and children have access to a grapheme mat to support independent writing.
- In Year 2, children complete the NNP programme and begin the Read Write Spell Scheme. These spelling lessons give children the skills to understand the spelling patterns and strategies required to remember irregular spellings. To ensure spellings are relevant for our children we link key vocabulary to the topic or genre being studied. As staff, we sensitively correct misspellings of words that have previously been taught but other misspellings are turned into a teaching opportunity.
- Common exception words (CEW) do not follow the basic phonic rules and children are expected to spell 109 of these words by end of key stage 1. There are no CEW for the Foundation Stage. The CEW for KS1 have been divided into years but we have chosen to divide them further, into terms, in order to make this task more manageable and achievable for our children. The children are taught 2 – 4 words per week and practise spelling them every day in school. The words children learn in school are shared with parents and we make it clear that children who also practise at home have the most success learning to read and spell all 109 words by the end of KS1. Parental support is available for most of our pupils but where it is not, pupils are additionally supported in school through pre-teaching, overlearning and additional practise where appropriate. When teaching a CEW, we identify the regular part(s) that fit the basic phonic rules. Then we identify and discuss the ‘tricky’ part of the word that does not make the sound we expect. We support this with use of mnemonics; colouring the tricky part; looking at the shape of the word; look, say, cover, write, check.
|Progression in spelling common exception words|
|Nursery||Reception||Y1 Autumn||Y1 Spring||Y1 Summer||Y2 Autumn||Y2 Spring||Y2 Summer|
|Spell some irregular common words – ‘Red’ words||the
here you your
friend school house
there where today
mind behind because old
could should would fast
bath move prove improve beautiful clothes busy people water money who whole busy parents after plant even
|child children climb
only Christmas pretty sure
We teach children to write in a simple, modern, cursive style following the Debbie Hepplewhite handwriting scheme. Individual letters are formed without entry strokes then, when formation and positioning are secure, joining is taught.
As soon as they enter Nursery, children are supported in developing their gross and fine motor skills through continuous provision. Once in Reception, all children will have daily opportunities to develop their fine motor control and practise the patterns and movements associated with writing. We encourage children to develop a tripod pencil grip in Reception but once a child enters KS1 and a grip has been established, we only help a child change if they are experiencing significant difficulty such as illegibility, pain, fatigue, slowness or an impaired view of what is being written. Left-handed pupils will receive specific teaching to meet their needs as recommended by the National Handwriting Association. They will be seated with ample space on their left side; taught to place the paper to the left of the centre of their body and rotate it clockwise; assisted in choosing a comfortable pencil and taught how position their hand correctly. Praise, rewards and celebrations of work will be frequent to support children’s efforts and achievement.
|Progression in handwriting|
|EYFS||Year 1||Year 2|
|Form most letters with correct formation.
|Form all letters correctly, starting and finishing in the correct place and with increasing control.||Write with correctly orientated letters. Maintain consistent sizing of letters and spaces between words. Write with some diagonal and horizontal joins.
Composition, grammar and punctuation
Children are taught skills in composition, grammar and punctuation as part of their English lessons. They have daily opportunities to orally rehearse sentences; encapsulate what they want to say sentence by sentence and re-read their sentences in order to check for errors. Furthermore, they are taught the appropriate grammar and punctuation for their stage of writing. The children are then able to apply this skill to their own, independent writing
Writing: Assessment, Marking and Moderation
As with reading, we use continuous, formative assessment to track and monitor children’s reading through observations and marking. We also use summative assessments to measure progress over time through baseline EYFS assessments, KS1 termly assessments. Every half term, each year group will moderate a random sample of writing. Moderation of writing across the whole school will occur every term and will be led and organised by the English lead. Moderation of Year 2 writing will also go to the English Cluster termly.
Regular, detailed assessments enable teachers to quickly identify children who are not meeting age related expectations and need extra support. We provide additional provision for children who receive the following support
- Pre-teaching which may include a text, vocabulary, grammar or punctuation.
- Small group support from a teacher or TA during writing lessons as often as possible
- Additional, regular meetings, support and guidance for parents and carers with class teachers and the English lead where appropriate. Home support programmes are offered to parents who engage with meetings with class teachers.
- Some children may require more intense support which will be planned on an individual basis
The children at Ashfield Infant & Nursery School are taught the skills necessary to grow into articulate, enthusiastic readers and writers who read competently to gain knowledge, as well as for pleasure. We carefully monitor the impact our English curriculum has on individual children’s progress and attainment through both external and internal assessments. The information from these assessments is analysed and informs us of areas of strength and our next steps for development. Furthermore, we have a comprehensive system for moderating children’s learning in their books through regular year group, whole school and moderation meetings.
English Subject leader – P Ives
At AINS our over-arching curriculum aim is to offer breadth, scope and ambition. We seek to add cultural capital by giving children knowledge and skills that build a foundation for later learning, enabling them to become thoughtful members of our community, with beliefs and understanding of the world underpinned by shared British values. Our six core values are at the centre of our curriculum: Nature, Creativity, Respect, Independence, Community and Nurture.
Our Maths curriculum allows our children to learn in a safe environment, enabling everyone to feel valued and achieve their full potential. Our children become independent, confident learners as they explore, revisit and deepen their understanding and knowledge. We aim for the knowledge and understanding the children acquire to become part of their long-term memory, therefore time and precision is given to the planning, teaching and delivery of our curriculum.
Through the teaching of our Maths curriculum, children are given the opportunity to:
– become fluent learners through varied and frequent practice,
– be able to reason mathematically – explore, enquire, make relationships and prove/disprove through rich and sophisticated problems to deepen understanding,
– be able to solve problems – persevering and applying fundamental skills to address problem and find a solution to everyday problems.
Our children are immersed in rich, ambitious language in day-to-day lessons. They are then able to use key Mathematical vocabulary when explaining their methods in lessons and during continuous provision in EYFS. Our children are challenged to deepen their knowledge and understanding with specific, open ended questioning such as – what, how, why, explain – and this is evident from Nursery up to Year 2.
Our curriculum is planned to excite and enthuse children as they learn through a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach.
As children progress through our school they will:
– develop positive attitudes towards the subject and awareness of the relevance of mathematics in the real world. An example of this might be measuring and weighing water or sand in continuous provision in EYFS and the use of Money in KS1,
– develop competence and confidence in using and applying mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills,
– have the ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately,
– develop mental fluency and become confident leaners who enjoy and thrive in Mathematical scenarios and situations,
– be able to use initiative and be motivated to work both independently and in cooperation with others,
– access resources freely and independently showing respect and maturity. An example of this would be children accessing numicon, counters or number lines in the classroom to help them work independently on a task,
– be able to confidently communicate using correct vocabulary and terminology as well as ask and answer questions, openly share work and learn from mistakes,
– be able to use and apply mathematics across the curriculum and in real life scenarios,
– have an understanding of mathematics through a process of enquiry and investigation.
We plan and organise our teaching and curriculum to allow children the opportunity to learn, practice and repeat their fundamental skills. As we do so we ensure that we give children the chance to steer and pave their own successes as they flourish into caring, nurturing, inspiring learners. An example of this might be children choosing their own level of ‘chilli challenge’ in Year 2 after completing their teacher lead task.
Our Maths curriculum follows a mastery approach to teaching and learning. It has number at the heart whereby we ensure depth before breadth for all of our learners. It supports pupils working together, with inclusivity at the heart, and provides opportunity to reason and problem solve whatever your ability. In Key Stage one classes have a daily Maths lesson and in EYFS children learn through a mixture of adult led and child initiated activities in continuous provision both inside and outside of the classroom. Our Maths lessons follow the same structure across the school; a starter, main whole class teaching, individual tasks, plenary. An example of this you may see in EYFS; recapping previously learning through discussion and exploration as a starter, introducing the new objective during the whole class teaching through CPA approach, individual tasks set for teacher led group work and tasks linked in continuous provision areas finished with regrouping on the carpet to discuss the children’s learning. An example of this in KS1; recapping fundamental arithmetic skills i.e. multiplication or division during the starter, introducing the new objective during whole class teaching, individual tasks set for independent table focus work following the CPA approach finished with problem solving and reasoning as the plenary either through independent work or whole class discussion.
In structuring our lessons in the above way we meticulously sequence our curriculum, this is evident through our medium and short-term planning. These indicate that children are given opportunities to:
– engage in/with practical activities and games using a variety of resources as they experience their learning first hand by ‘doing’,
– work in an open manner through discussion, group or pair work allowing for exploration of concepts,
– work in a closed and focused manner to allow for children the opportunity to apply their chosen method as taught through varied fluency e.g. for a subtraction question children may draw a number line or choose the abstract column method,
– build resilience in problem solving and reasoning as they make connections between aspects in their learning, justify and prove their answers and persevere until they find a solution,
– explore their misconceptions and revisit any mistakes made.
Our teachers adapt their teaching to help to overcome any potential barriers to learning and assessments in responding to pupils’ diverse needs. Examples of what you may see in our Maths lessons include, but are not limited to, the use of concrete resources to allow children to manipulate what is happening in a calculation or problem. Collaborative learning whereby children work in groups or pairs to achieve a task offering peer-on-peer support with emphasis on a child’s explanation behind the Maths rather than this always coming from a teacher. Pictorial representations are used to support children who learn and achieve through a visual approach to education. A child’s ability to read or write would not to impede their Maths education in lessons and assessments, learners are given the chance to listen to questions and scribes are used to capture children’s understanding and explanations.
We also seek to fully utilise all opportunities to use and apply mathematics across all subject areas. For example, in Science and Knowledge and Understanding of the World (EYFS) our children will collect, present and interpret data and experiment with changes in our immediate world. In Design and Technology the children use rulers and measuring apparatus to support the projects they are creating. Thus, further embedding the fundamental skills.
In Key Stage 1, teachers assess how well pupils have understood the year specific programme of study as outlined in the National Curriculum. At the end of each unit teachers are looking to see if pupils have retained knowledge and concepts taught, by answering questions with fluency and/or proof and justification. Summative assessments are used to inform teacher judgements when reporting our assessment data. Teachers refer to our year group specific small steps or the end of Key Stage criteria to determine how well children are achieving based upon the curriculum coverage taught so far. In EYFS, formative assessments are used to make judgements on how the children are achieving. Teachers daily observations, lesson planning and examples of work are used alongside an in depth teacher led explanation as evidence of meeting the new ELG by the end of Reception.
Maths Coordinator – Miss E Olvanhill (Year 1 Teacher)
Music Curriculum Statement
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School our Music provision has a very special part to play in introducing the children to their very first experiences of the wide and varied world of Music; we want the children to know that there is something out there for everyone to enjoy! Teaching the children about the music from our country’s past adds cultural capital – it helps the children understand how our country’s musical journey began and where we sit now in the world of Music. Celebrating diversity is important to our school where we value, respect and celebrate each other’s differences. By listening to many different styles of music, we are encouraging the children to be open-minded and to accept and respect people’s preferences. Through the study of music from around the world, our music sessions are part of the children’s global education to reflect and appreciate the multi-cultural Britain we live in today. We aim to expose them to many different genres and styles of music and equip them with the skills and knowledge required to begin to analyse and appreciate pieces of music in an age-appropriate way.
At Ashfield we ensure that there is equal opportunity for all and our Music sessions are no different. Everyone is included and the sessions are carefully adapted and differentiated to ensure everyone can take part. Any barriers to learning are identified and addressed to enable everyone to reach their potential.
Staff base their lessons on the Active Music Digital scheme of work; these are carefully adapted to suit the needs of each class. This skill-based scheme of work was selected as it ensures the music curriculum is fully covered progressively throughout the school. It is important that our music provision is fun and engaging as well as suitable for non-music specialist staff to teach successfully.
Singing and Performing
Music can bring a class and school community together. Through shared singing sessions in class, year groups and whole school assemblies, the children experience a sense of belonging; this is an important part of the Ashfield way – being part of the Ashfield family. Staff follow recommendations from the Model Music Curriculum and Active Music Digital when selecting songs to sing. These take into account the children’s vocal range at that particular age. The children also sing seasonal and topic-themed songs to support the learning of facts.
Pupils will perform to their peers, parents/carers as well as the wider school community regularly throughout the school year; this includes seasonal performances and special visits to our local care home.
Staff follow recommendations from the Model Music Curriculum 2021 to help them select suitable pieces of music to appraise for each year group. As Ashfield has a cross-curricular approach to learning, pupils are also exposed to pieces of music linked to class topics. Our staff are responsive to the children’s interests, so pupils will also listen to pieces of music that are well-loved by members of the class or music that is from their culture to promote cultural understanding.
Staff make the most of opportunities for the children to experience live music. This includes performances from other schools, community choirs, theatre trips, workshops from professional musicians/performers and sessions led by Cumbria Music Hub.
During their time as Ashfield, the children will have many opportunities to create and compose their own music based on different musical styles or a specific focus of music. The children’s creativity is nurtured and celebrated, along with gentle feedback to enable the children further develop their skills.
Our composition activities are closely linked to the multidimension aspects of music that the children have been studying at that time. For example, if the pupils have been learning about tempo and pulse, after being exposed to many different pieces of music that exhibit different tempos, the children will have a go at composing their own piece of music showing this aspect. Children also compose music linked to their cross-curricular studies. For example, they may compose a piece of music in response to a literacy text they’ve been studying or have a go at composing music inspired by a piece of artwork they’ve been learning about in their Art sessions. As we are living in a digital world, the children also have the opportunity to compose music using age-appropriate music technology – for example, Purple Mash and the ‘Chrome Music Lab’.
Throughout their time as Ashfield, the children will develop an understanding of age-appropriate musical terms; these are regularly revisited to help the children memorise them. The musical terms include (but are not limited to): pitch, pulse, rhythm and volume. Staff use games and activities from Active Music Digital plans to teach and practise these in a fun way.
The children will have many opportunities to play a wide variety of percussion instruments as part of their music lessons. In Year Two everyone has a go at learning the ukulele. These lessons are led by a music specialist.
At the end of each unit of work the children are assessed against key objectives. This is then used to inform future planning to ensure that there are no gaps in their learning and that they continually progress with their musical skills.
Like the rest of the school, children in the Early Years will listen to different pieces of music, learn to sing and perform age-appropriate songs, have plenty of opportunities to explore the sounds made by different percussion instruments and have a go at composing their own music in an informal way. This is usually in the form of creating simple rhythm patterns. Music is assessed under the ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ area of learning.
Miss McTear, subject leader
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School, we aim to ensure a broad, balanced PE curriculum, which ensures a coherent and progressive programme with equality of opportunity for all children. We believe that physical education should involve pupils in the continuous process of planning, performing and evaluating their work. In order to fully develop their physical competence, we aim to provide a continuous balanced programme in the core areas of dance, games and gymnastics. In physical education, we aim to develop children’s control, co-ordination, awareness and appreciation of quality in movement. Over time, we aim to teach children to become independent learners, who can plan and evaluate performance. We aim also to teach children how to consolidate and develop particular skills by providing opportunities to observe, refine, reflect, interpret and adapt their responses. We believe all children should experience a sense of achievement and success which will in turn foster a positive attitude towards PE and, which will hopefully impact on their adult lives. We also encourage children adopt a healthy lifestyle and teach them how to do so.
The aims of our PE curriculum are to develop pupils who:
- Develop the ability to plan a range of movement sequences, organise equipment and design and apply rules. (Plan)
- Develop the ability to remember, adapt and apply knowledge, practical skills, and concepts in a variety of movement related activities. (Perform)
- Improve observational skills and the ability to assess performance. (Evaluate)
- Develop an understanding of the relationship between PE and health, thus encouraging an active lifestyle.
- Adopt ideals associated with fair play, good sporting behaviour and to cope with a variety of outcomes, including success and failure.
- Respond readily to instructions and behave in a considerate, responsible manner showing respect for the safety of themselves and others.
- Increase mobility and flexibility, to develop stamina, strength, control and co-ordination.
- Work co-operatively and develop communication skills and use language appropriate to PE when talking about their work.
- Foster self-esteem through the acquisition of physical competence.
We aim to offer children a range of after school activities that support and enrich learning in physical education. Examples of these include activities such as Multiskills, Gymnastics, dance, and athletic, yoga and mindfulness. Competition is developed through sporting fixtures with local schools and within the school.
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School PE takes place twice a week, every other week one of these sessions is a Forest School session. Physical activity is promoted throughout all areas of the curriculum with EYFS and Year 1 having their own outdoor continuous provision areas.
In EYFS physical development of our children in reception and nursery class as an integral part of their work. As these classes are following the Foundation Stage Curriculum, we relate the physical development of the children to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals. We encourage children to develop confidence and control of the way they move, and we give all children the opportunity to undertake activities that offer appropriate physical challenge, both indoors and outdoors.
In Physical Education, continuous assessment is undertaken within each area of focus and is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Teachers record individuals’ strengths and weaknesses over the course of the year and report to parents at the end of that year. The knowledge and skills sheets are used to record children’s attainment in PE at the end of each unit. In Reception, assessment is against the Early Leaning Goals and Development Outcomes.
A cycle of lessons are carefully planned, showing a development of skill taught and applied for each focus area enabling pupils to develop their knowledge and skills in physical education in a variety of different eg dance, Multiskills, ball skills, gymnastics, well-being activities. Cross-curricular links are also made, for example in Science children learn about how physical activity effects the body as well as PE, in DT children learn the importance of a healthy diet and PHSE children develop an awareness of positive welling being and mental health.
As we are part of the Local School Sports Partnership scheme specialised sports coaches deliver some of our physical education lessons alongside teachers. This ensures pupils are receiving high quality Physical Education in sport specific areas such as Rugby, Football, Tennis and Multiskills. The Local School Partnership also holds competitions for our pupils against other schools, CPD for staff and leadership opportunities for our pupils. All pupils are encouraged to take part in at least one after school sports club and represent their school in at least one team event during their time at Ashfield Infant and Nursery School. This is tracked and children’s and parents voice regarding these clubs and competition’s is captured.
Children participate in Forest School sessions over an extended period of time; there is a greater depth of learning and development both emotionally, socially and physically. At Forest School children are physically active a lot of the time and their stamina improves as they go through their Forest School sessions. Their experience can also help to lead to the development of healthier lifestyles as children ask parents to take them on trips to woodlands and green spaces outside of school times. As the children gain confidence and improve their self-esteem this can impact on their emotional and mental well-being.
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School P.E is taught as a basis for lifelong learning, where the children have access to a wide range of activities in the belief that if taught well and the children are allowed to succeed, then they will continue to have a physically active life. A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all children to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. Children develop an understanding of a healthy body and mind.
The impact of our P.E curriculum is also measured in the uptake of our sports after school clubs and participation in inter school sports competitions.
Miss Olvanhill, subject leader
RE is an important curriculum subject 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.
According to the Cumbria agreed syllabus for RE the aims of RE are to enable young people to be:
- Informed – to know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews
- Expressive – to express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews
- Enquiring and Reflective – to gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews
In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 the two religions we focus on are Christianity and Hinduism. The Cumbria Agreed Syllabus states that at Key Stage 1 children are required to study Christianity and one other religion.
Pupils learn what different religions believe about God, prayer, belonging, celebrations and sacred texts. Children respond, giving their own thoughts and opinions, while learning to respect the views and beliefs of others.
We teach RE through RE weeks at the end of each half term. We teach units of learning based on a theme such as caring for others, nature and god, gifts and giving. Within each theme children explore different religious beliefs, stories and festivals. They also link the theme to their own life and experiences.
Teaching and learning activities include opportunities for children to express their thoughts, feelings and responses through, for example: art, role-play/drama, music, dance, writing, use of food or cooking, use of computing.
We have a strong link with one of the local churches, St Michaels, Workington. Vicar Frankie visits school fortnightly to deliver an assembly. Key Stage 1 also visit the church for ‘experience days’ at Christmas and Easter.
Children take part in Collective Worship times as part of our school and class assemblies.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage RE is planned for using the ‘Understanding the World’ targets taken from Development Matters.
Three and Four year olds Continue to develop positive attitudes about the differences between people.
Children in Reception children will learn to understand that some places are special to members of their community and Recognise that people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in different ways.
We use a variety of ways to find out what the children know in RE. We encourage the children to talk and to shares ideas and experiences and their comments are noted. Children may record their learning and photographic evidence is collected. At the end of each unit children are assessed on a set of statements linking to the learning they have covered.
Mrs Johnston, subject leader
Science teaching at Ashfield Infant and Nursery School aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science.
Our curriculum enables children to become enquiry based learners collaborating through researching, investigating and evaluating experiences. Teachers will ensure that all children are exposed to high quality teaching and learning experiences. As children progress through the year groups, they will build on their skills in working scientifically, as well as on their scientific knowledge, as they develop greater independence in planning and carrying out fair and comparative tests to answer a range of scientific questions.
At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School, we have adapted the CUSP Unity curriculum statements and vocabulary teaching program as well teacher judgment on their own individual classes. This scheme provides full coverage of the new National Curriculum, following the programmes of study for each year group carefully. Teaching will take place in the classroom as well as outside. For example, we have our own forest on site to engage pupils in the practical learning of habitats and minibeasts.
Memorable knowledge and skills have been identified for each of the units to provide progressive acquisition of knowledge. In Key Stage One, this is supported by the use of key vocabulary banks which are referred to throughout the lesson. Teachers regularly refer to this knowledge and key vocabulary with meanings so that it ‘sticks’. This enables children to readily apply knowledge and vocabulary to their work.
The successful approach to the teaching of science at Ashfield Infant and Nursery School will result in a fun, engaging, high quality science education, which provides children with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them.
Assessment at our school is teacher based and formed using formal strategies (e.g. assessment tasks, quizzes) and informal strategies (verbal/written outcomes, pictorial presentations).
- demonstrate a love of science
- retain knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real life context
- be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge
- be able to articulate their understanding of scientific concepts and be able to reason scientifically using key vocabulary linked to science.
- work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
- achieve age related expectations in Science at the end of their Key Stage 1
EYFS and Science
In Early Years Foundation Stage, your child will start to gain the science knowledge they will build on throughout their journey in our school. These will involve developing their skills of observation, prediction, critical thinking and discussion.
Additionally, they will also be conducting basic experiments, exploring different methods of discovery, and presenting their findings.
There are four specific areas for EYFS:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
‘Understanding the World’ is the specific area that includes the science content in the Statutory Framework for EYFS.
Examples of what happens in our EYFS classes:
- Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.
- Describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside.
- Explore collections of materials with similar and/or different properties.
- Explore the natural world around them.
- Name and describe people who are familiar to them.
- Plant seeds and care for growing plants.
- Recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live.
- Talk about members of their immediate family and community.
- Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.
- Understand the key features of the life cycle of an animal as well as plants.
- Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials.
Key Stage 1 Science
Pupils study the Seasons and develop an early conceptual understanding of how day becomes night. An understanding of change over time connects to the study of Plants, including trees. This focus enables children to associate trees as belonging to the plant kingdom and notice the changes deciduous trees go through connected to the seasons.
Contrasting that study, pupils learn about Animals, including humans. Non-examples of plants are used to contrast the features of an animal.
Pupils are introduced to identifying and classifying materials. Scientific terms, such as transparent, translucent and opaque are taught explicitly through vocabulary instruction and pupils make further sense by applying it to what they know and then to working and thinking scientifically through tasks. This substantive knowledge is enriched by pupils’ use of disciplinary knowledge through scientific enquiry.
To enhance their understanding, Year 1 pupils revisit the study Animals, including humans and deepen their knowledge through revisiting and thinking hard through increasingly challenging tasks.
As pupils progress through KS1, new knowledge is integrated with pre-existing understanding. For example, in Year 2, the study of Living things and their habitats and Uses of everyday materials engages pupils to integrate and draw upon their knowledge of Animals, including humans as well as Plants, and the study of Materials. New substantive knowledge is constructed and made sense of through Working and Thinking scientifically tasks.
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 is a golden thread running through all areas of our curriculum. For example, whilst teaching Geography we will teach children to respect other Faiths and cultures.
We follow the Jigsaw scheme which includes topics relating to:-
Being me in my world, celebrating differences, dreams & goals, healthy me, relationships and changes.
Circle times and class discussions link to these themes and any incidental issues. 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 behaviours 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.
We are a Kids safe school and have regular updates by our trained members of staff. External specialists also enhance our SMSC curriculum such as; relaxation with Magical Mel, The Happy to be Me group which builds children’s self-confidence. Additional support for children is provided through the ESL materials.
The children are also encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety, health and well-being. 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.
Our positive behaviour approach supports our SMSC curriculum through our “Good to be green” assemblies
Citizenship Assemblies are held regularly The Head Teacher awards children stickers for following the school rules, showing respect, being polite and considering other people as well as being kind, caring, and showing friendship to others. Parents are invited to this assembly so they can celebrate the achievement of their child in being a good citizen.
We do not live in isolation as our Infant children partake in many community projects such as our Natterjacks who visit the old people in the care homes. We take part in numerous fundraising events to raise money for our school but also for our link school in India. We have worked with many local project such as helping with the allotments in the Mansion Gardens. In essence our curriculum extends beyond the classroom.
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 kind and caring as well as themes which reflect our core values of:-
Community, independence, creativity, nurture, nature, respect.
Through our teachings of different faiths, we ensure the children have respect for all cultures. We have a multicultural ambassador as at AINS we embrace diversity and equality.
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 behaviour 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.
The Ashfield Way. At Ashfield we…
- Are not just a school, we are a caring family
- Value our differences and respect ourselves and others
- Work together to achieve our full potential
- Are proud to do our very best at all times
- Nurture and care for nature and ourselves
- Follow our school rules to keep everyone safe
- Make a contribution to our school community and the world beyond our classroom.
Mrs Ives – Subject Leader