Our Mission Vision
Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Darton Primary, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points.
Our curriculum has been designed to enable children to succeed through cooperative and collaborative learning principles. As such, there is a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of learning; Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language, including Oracy.
At Darton Primary, we recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes, but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school, in life and future employment. Oracy develops children’s thinking and understanding, which in turn promotes self-confidence, resilience and empathy which support the child’s well-being.
Our enabling environments and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start. We believe that high level engagement ensures high level attainment. We therefore provide an engaging curriculum that maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences, as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking. We follow children’s interests and ideas to foster a lifelong love of learning both in and outside of school.
By the end of the child’s academic year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into their next year group.
Our EYFS curriculum aims to enable our children to be:
As a whole school, these are the core values and principles which we expect all children to demonstrate.
Each half term, EYFS staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities.
The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching during the day. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. These sessions are followed by small, focused group work. This means the teacher can
systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.
Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS we have core texts each half term. The aim is to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to
develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. These books will be embedded in our provision through activities, story sessions and on display for children to access independently. Through this, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell
We follow the Read Write Inc programme to ensure consistency across the school. In Nursery children focus on Phase 1 which concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Set 1. The emphasis
during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills, prior to GPC.
In Reception, Phase 1 continues but children are introduced to Set 1 and 2 where they will develop GPC and segmenting and blending skills to decode words. During the Summer term, children may move on to Set 3 if they are ready.
Children are encouraged to read at home and are listened to regularly in school. They are given books that match their phonic knowledge in order for them to apply their learning with the aim of becoming successful, confident and fluent readers.
In Reception, we follow the White Rose Maths Scheme of work which is divided into 3 weekly units.
High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in
developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Pupils learn through games and tasks using
concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed
applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. Children in Reception have daily,
‘Magical Maths’ to develop fluency, revisit key concepts and address misconceptions.
In Nursery, children develop a love of maths through games, songs, rhymes, and play using
concrete manipulatives. There is a focus on the following counting principles; one to one
correspondence, stable order and cardinal principle. Children’s fine manipulative skills are a focus
to develop 1-1 correspondence so children count each object only once.
Our wider curriculum is taught through the learning areas; ‘Physical Development’, ‘Understanding of the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design.’ EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s feed into the National Curriculum through our robust planning and CPD opportunities. In reverse, colleagues throughout the school are also aware of the key ELG’s that link to each foundation subject and
the progression of the subject.
Exciting, purposeful and contextual activities are planned to build on children’s natural curiosity. For example, building a boat for their favourite toy enables them to think like a ‘Scientist’ and an ‘Engineer’ as they explore a range of materials and test out their own ideas.
Building further on our oracy focus, children will be encouraged to employ subject specific language and terminology in foundation subjects, and such vocabulary will be modelled by supporting practitioners.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of additional interventions and support for children who may not be reaching their potential or are showing a greater depth of understanding and need further challenge. This includes, for example, sessions
for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics, and mathematics.
Regular monitoring of teaching and learning by SLT and the EYFS leader ensure staff develop good subject knowledge. The EYFS leader ensures staff receive CPD specific to Early Years to develop their practice. For example, we offer CPD on effective observations, in order to
understand where children are, and their ‘next steps,’ for learning.
Our curriculum needs to meet the needs of our children, including our disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND, so we spend time looking at and evaluating how children are learning. This is achieved through talking to children, looking at their work, observing their learning experiences and analysing data and progress by year group, class, groups and individuals. Every member of staff uses ongoing observational assessment to identify children’s starting points and plan experiences which ensure progress. This information is tracked on Learning Book which enables us to measure our starting points against a national data set. We use this information on a weekly basis to plan learning experiences and next steps so that knowledge and skills are built cumulatively. During each assessment window, three times a year, teachers update the progress children have made onto Learning Book which allows us to assess the impact of teaching and evaluate whether it has been enough. Evidence of children’s learning including observations, work samples, photographs and contributions from parents are kept in electronic ‘learning journals’ which children use to reflect on their progress through pupil voice.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that all children make good or outstanding progress from their starting point. During their time in our EYFS, children make rapid progress so that we meet the national expectation for GLD at the end of the year. Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations before transitioning into Year One. We believe our high standards are due to the enriched play-based exploration alongside the rigour of assessment and teaching the children have as they move through the early years – a rich diet of balanced learning experiences is undoubtedly the best way to develop happy, curious children.