Learner today, Leaders tomorrow
Elmwood Infant School is a very diverse school in which we value and celebrate the different cultures, languages and religions of the children here. Our aim is for our curriculum to be inclusive and accessible for all and for it to build acceptance and mutual respect for all. At Elmwood we aim to promote positive mental health and well-being for our whole school community. We aim to create an environment where all children feel valued and included. As a UNICEF Rights Respecting Gold school, we are passionate about children’s right to a good education and about making a difference to the lives of young people. We actively promote the values of independence, resilience, kindness and acceptance.
The key principles behind the design of our curriculum are for our children to:
- be confident, independent and resilient
- be kind and have respect for others
- achieve academically across the entire curriculum, meeting at least the national expectation by the end of their infant education
- be culturally knowledgeable about our community, our country and our world
- have aspirations for the future and know that these can be reached through hard work and determination
- be well prepared for the challenges of the Junior School curriculum.
We have high expectations for all children and expect them to make the best possible progress, from whatever their starting points, providing support for all children whatever their need. We make suitable provision for children with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum. We ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement. Ultimately, we want all of our children, to be the best they can be, making a positive contribution to the world they live in.
Our curriculum has been carefully planned to ensure it covers all skills, knowledge and understanding as set out in the EYFS Development Matters framework, National Curriculum and Croydon Agreed Syllabus for RE. Our planning is structured to ensure a progression of a broad range of knowledge and skills from Nursery to Year 2.
To support us in achieving our aims for our curriculum we have 10 super skills. These are 10 learning behaviours which enable children to success in their learning, school life and future. The super skills are an integral part of our approach to teaching and learning and are referred to regularly throughout the school day.
The skills are:
In the EYFS children learn through playing, exploring and being active. Children take part in fun, practical activities; some of which are adult lead, some adult guided and some will be child initiated. In class there is a mixture of exploration and play, whole class work, focus group work and independent work. Through outside learning our curriculum allows children to be active, develop social skills, learn to take risks and become independent learners.
We regularly use different levels of challenge to adapt learning for children and give them greater ownership of their learning. This approach allows children to reflect on their understanding of a lesson and select the level of challenge they feel most confident completing. In maths, we use the White Rose planning and Mastery Approach. Children move through the curriculum at broadly the same pace, with misconceptions and procedural errors being addressed in a timely manner, to make sure no child falls behind. Lessons are personalised to address the individual needs and requirements for a class. Opportunities are provided for more able children to explore maths concepts at a deeper level.
In KS1 our use of ‘challenges’, give children greater ownership of their learning. The use of Hot, Boiling Hot and On Fire, allows children to reflect on their understanding of a lesson and select the level of challenge they feel most confident completing.
We regularly review the curriculum map and plans with subject leaders and teachers to ensure that new learning builds on previous learning and excites children.
Alongside the Year Group learning we hold whole school events and weeks. These events include Achievers Week, Refugee Week, World Book Day, Show Racism the Red Card, Safer Internet Day and Mental Health Awareness Week. These special days and events support our curriculum in embedding our key principles and preparing our children to live and thrive in our diverse society.
To enrich the curriculum, we invite visitors in to speak to the children, book dance and topic workshops. We make use of the local area, taking children on locality walks, to visit the library and spend their World Book Day vouchers at Waterstones. To bring different areas of the curriculum to life we also use ‘Press Play’ resources, where children can actively listen to a story / description via headphone, to deepen their understanding of the subject being taught.
We are committed to working in partnership with parents as we believe that when home and school work closely together, we get the best outcomes for our pupils.
At Elmwood Infant School we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. Reading across all curriculum areas is a priority, to extend and deepen pupils understanding and use of vocabulary. We want pupils to develop a love of reading during their time at Elmwood and be exposed to a range of literature.
At Elmwood we have a monitoring cycle that allows us to assess the impact of the curriculum on the progress of the children. We use book and learning journal looks, lesson observations, pupil progress meetings and moderation activities regularly to monitor the impact of the curriculum over the year.
The impact of the curriculum can be seen through both children’s academic attainment and their readiness for their next stage of learning. Our children achieve academically across the curriculum and are now achieving in line with national expectations (2023 KS1 outcomes) which demonstrates good progress from their starting points. Children at Elmwood leave knowing how to be kind, confident and having a sense of belonging to their class and family. They can articulate the ten super skills and discuss how they can use them in their learning. The curriculum’s impact is their knowledge of their rights and responsibilities.
Our children are confident, independent and resilient due to the challenges and choices built into our curriculum and our Early Years provision. Our children are kind and have respect for each other due to their participation in assemblies, PSHE lessons and their good behaviour around the school.
Our children have aspirations for the future and know how to reach them through hard work. Our parents share their aspirations through their attendances at curriculum meetings. Our teachers set targets for their writing, which are discussed with the children and allows them to make good progress in their writing. Our children are given opportunities across the curriculum, to improve their work. Through our weekly celebration assemblies, we promote our expectations and celebrate achievements.
Our children are prepared for the challenges of the Key Stage 2 curriculum, through closer links between our subject leaders and those at Elmwood Junior School. Our children are now achieving outcomes in line with national expectations (2023). Improved attendance by Year 2 ensures that our children maximise on their learning and make good progress.