. We seek to ensure that all the children enjoy and achieve pertinent learning in all lessons. We pledge that whatever the children's strengths they will have a chance to shine. We make sure that our curriculum inspires our children and develops their social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding.
Children in our Early Years phase follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which consists of seven areas of learning. We teach children by ensuring there are challenging, playful opportunities across both the prime and specific areas of learning. We recognise that all children develop and learn at different rates and so our EYFS curriculum is designed flexibly to meet the needs of all individuals. We support individual learning through our skillful interactions and observations which lead to detailed next step planning. The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin our curriculum and pupils’ learning. Through an enabling and well-planned environment, we ensure we provide meaningful opportunities for playing, active learning, creating and thinking critically. As children utilise and develop these characteristics, they become effective and motivated learners who demonstrate high levels of well-being and involvement. Our curriculum is centered on 3 prime areas of learning:
1. Communication and Language.
2. Physical Development
3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We also provide activities and experiences through four specific areas which strengthen the prime areas. These are:
3. Understanding the World
4. Expressive Arts and Design
These Areas of Learning and Development address children’s physical, cogitative, linguistic, social and emotional development. No one aspect of development stands in isolation from the others as all Areas of Learning and Development are all closely interlinked. This ensures the delivery of a holistic, child-centered curriculum which allows children to make links between what they are learning. All Areas of Learning and Development are given equal weighting and value.
Key Stage 1 & 2
Each year group undertake 5 themed topics throughout the year. subjects such as Mathematics, PSHEE, RE, PE, Computing, Drama and Music are discretely taught and linked to our topics where appropriate and follow the National Curriculum.
We also block our foundation subjects...
What is Block Teaching?
Teaching the foundation subjects multiple times within the same week, allowing the sequence to be delivered over a week or two weeks. Where possible, each block follows on from the previous block, allowing children to see the links between different subjects, and the opportunity for them to apply knowledge in different contexts.
Why Block Teaching?
Block Teaching Rationale
Block teaching allows for all subjects to be taught in equal equity and have quality focused time. It allows us to ensure that no single subject or subjects are given reduced attention and that no subjects are missed from the curriculum.
It also allows for staff to focus on quality implementation, as the intent of each block is pre-determined. Staff spend time ensuring there is effective building of sequential knowledge, with shorter time periods between adding new knowledge to existing knowledge. We also provide meaningful opportunities to revisit and recap following a teaching sequence. We believe block teaching also allows for staff to address any misconceptions quickly and within a block.
Block teaching also allows for little to no afternoon transitions, enabling learning time to be maximised. There is no lost learning time to changing sets of resources between lessons, and awaiting books to be handed out and in.
Assessment is also more meaningful as it allows teachers to focus on a pupil’s progress in one particular curriculum area at a given time. We assess using a pre-unit knowledge check, post-unit knowledge check (Mini Quizzes) and a recall knowledge check at the end of the topic.
We have also noted an improvement on staff workload and well-being as they are able to focus on fewer subjects in more detail, creating high quality learning experiences for our pupils.
Some of our subjects are not taught as blocks due to them being provided on a weekly basis. These subjects are PE, Spanish (KS2), Music and Computing. We believe these subjects require input on an ongoing basis.
We split our topics into three integral sections.
At the ‘Develop’ stage, children:
At the ‘Express’ stage, children:
Our Wider Learning (OWL)
We also enjoy themed weeks that help further develop and ‘round’ our children to understand the world around them and build on the skills we believe they will need to thrive in their future. Our themed weeks and days support Arden’s wider learning opportunities. These give us the opportunity to add extra elements to ensure that we equip our children with an understanding of the world and the opportunities that are available. We endeavor to give our children experiences that outreach our local community.
Themed Weeks - Enquiry Week, Community Week, Aspiration Week
Themed Days - Black History month, Harvest, Remembrance Day, Diwali, Christmas, Friendship day, Valentine’s day, Mothering Sunday, Eid, St George’s Day, Female Empowerment, Anti Bullying, World Book Day, World Autism Awareness (Differences)
Our themed days may change to meet the needs of the pupils and the current climate.