Henleaze Infant School strongly believe in a curriculum that enables children to develop skills as effective life-long learners as well as supporting their attainment and progress. We support these using ELLI (Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory) which started out as a research project at Bristol University. It uses seven animal characters to represent the seven characteristics of effective learners. Through the use of age-appropriate child-friendly characters linked to a story, we give the children a shared language of learning and an understanding of the skills they need in order to become effective learners. For more detailed information on ELLI click here.
Children start school with a variety of mathematical experiences. At Henleaze Infant School, we create opportunities for children to learn the key skills of problem solving, number, calculation and shape, space and measure through interactive practical activities and discussion. Children’s work is recorded in a range of ways using formal methods (e.g. writing number sentences) and informal methods (e.g. using mathematical graphics). Children are also provided with real life, meaningful activities to give them the opportunities to use and apply their skills and knowledge. In Reception at Henleaze Infant School, we teach explicit maths lessons daily where children learn the skills underpinning mathematical concepts. Our maths teaching is linked to other areas of the curriculum where possible to ensure hands-on, purposeful experiences. Children have access to a range of mathematical manipulatives (e.g. Numicon and multi-link cubes) in the environment, which they are able to use in their independent planning time.
During this year the children develop the ability to use and apply mathematics in a variety of real-life situations, whilst at the same time tackling more difficult mathematical activities. They are encouraged to explore, experiment and record their findings. The areas of maths covered in KS 1 are: number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, measures, geometry and fractions.
By the end of their infant education we aim that all children should be mathematically confident and that they should be able to use and apply mathematics competently. They are encouraged to discuss investigative activities using the correct mathematical language and are developing the skill of checking answers mentally for accuracy and reasonableness. The children are also encouraged to explain their thinking as well as record their calculations confidently. The children are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge across the curriculum.
Children are encouraged to explore early scientific concepts through practical situations related to their interests. Observation skills, using all the senses, are developed and children start to make simple recordings of their findings.
Children make more detailed observations, begin to test their ideas and become more independent in their explanation of science. Recording is more detailed and children begin to draw simple conclusions about their findings.
Concepts are further consolidated and developed according to individual need. Children are encouraged to plan their own tests, to answer questions arising from their investigations, to record their findings in a systematic and appropriate way, and to interpret them. Children are expected to work both individually and in co-operation with others.
Speaking and Listening
Children are encouraged to express themselves clearly and audibly in a variety of situations. All children take part in role-play, puppetry, drama, discussion and conversations, so that they practice the art of speaking confidently, whilst having the sensitivity and good manners to listen to others.
We regard the ability to read, understand and respond to all types of writing as being of prime importance. We aim to foster a love of books. In addition to story books, we use books from a range of reading schemes that are colour banded (according to a nationally recognised system) and introduce the children to information retrieval strategies to encourage active independent learning. We welcome home support and involve parents in shared reading activities. Children are read aloud to and have reading modelled daily. Year 1 and Year 2 children engage in a weekly guided reading session with their teacher as well as daily linked reading activities. There are also regular opportunities to read on a one-to-one basis with adults.
We teach phonic skills through a combination of ‘Letters and Sounds’ and ‘Jolly phonics’, using a multisensory approach. We also use ‘Read Write Inc’ when additional support is required. The children are taught the first 300 common words from the ‘Letter and Sounds’ Strategy during their time in the Infant School. The children are encouraged to practise reading and writing these at home with parents. There is a well-stocked non-fiction library where children learn basic library skills in Year 2.
Alongside teaching children how to apply phonic knowledge and skills to reading and spelling new words, children are taught to spell commonly used words that do not fit the widely taught GPCs or are spelling exceptions. These are known as ‘common exception words’ or ‘tricky words’, follow here for examples.
For more detailed information on ‘Letters and Sounds’ click here
For more information on ‘Jolly Phonics’ click here
For more information on developing our pupils as readers click here
For more information on questions to ask to during reading click here
For more information on our ‘Band of Colour’ reading incentive click here
To see our Phonics statement please click here
To see our Reading statement please click here
Children have the opportunity to write every day both inside and outside of the classroom. They are encouraged to write independently for different purposes. Each stage is valued as an essential part of writing development.
Children are taught spelling in regular sessions throughout the week through a combination of phonics and letter strings as well as the more complex spelling rules and patterns. They also learn high frequency words and common exception words through a look, cover, write, check approach and are given opportunities to practise these in structured spelling lessons and during writing sessions.
Children are taught how to hold a pencil correctly, how to move across a page from left to right and given lots of opportunities to practise writing patterns whilst being taught correct letter formation.
We practise handwriting regularly and encourage a fluent, neat style of print that is easily converted to “joined up” handwriting when the child is ready.
Children experience a variety of topic based, dramatic situations to develop their language and social skills. All children have access to home corners, puppets and construction toys.
All children take part in a drama production each year.
At Henleaze Infant School we base our PSHE curriculum on Jigsaw.
Jigsaw is a holistic approach to PSHE that is built around 6 themes that develop throughout the school year and ideas that progress across the year groups. The themes are represented by 6 Jigsaw puzzle pieces that are a feature within the Jigsaw planning map used to guide teaching. Key Stage 1 assemblies are also planned to address the themes in the Jigsaw program.
We include Religious Education as part of our planned topic for the term. We start from the children’s own experiences, broadening and enhancing their knowledge and understanding as they grow older. The curriculum we follow is based upon the Bristol SACRE and is centered on the skills of Awareness, Mystery and Values. Children learn about the festivals and religions of our own and other countries.
School Assemblies are held daily and are mainly of a broadly Christian character. In addition we share the experiences of children from other faith communities.
Parents may ask for their children to be withdrawn from Collective Worship under the terms of the School Standards and Framework Act, 1998. Where a pupil has been withdrawn, the law provides for alternative arrangements to be made for RE of the kind the parent wants the pupil to receive (Section 71(3) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998).
Children are made aware of the range of technology in their environment and will have opportunities to use computer-based equipment to enrich their learning.
All classes have digital projectors and teaching often uses an ICT illustration from software or the internet. In addition, we use a range of devices, allowing children and staff to be able to use the best technology for purpose.
Progressing through the school they will gain skills in using computers to store, organise and find information and word processing. They will also use computers, tablets and other devices for control and problem solving. The wide range of software available in school provides support across the curriculum. New to our curriculum this year is simple programming or coding. All children will learn about algorithms, ordering and instructions and design throughout many different subjects in the curriculum.
E-safety also forms an important part of our curriculum in school and we have a set of E-safety rules that we revisit regularly with the children. Please take the time to read through these Top Tips for parents around E-safety.
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
The children are taught the skills necessary to construct models out of a wide variety of materials such as clay, wood, fabric, etc. and evaluate the success of their design.
As they grow older their constructional/ observational skills are developed and artifacts are produced using a variety of materials suitable for the purpose.
The children continue to consider the local environment and imaginary contexts in which to use opportunities for design and technology. Children are encouraged to plan designs and evaluate end products.
HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY
We start from the children’s own experiences and begin to teach them the skills necessary to think historically and geographically, and to develop their knowledge, skills and concepts throughout their infant years.
We aim to give children an understanding of their place in society, to develop their knowledge of people, past and present and places near and far. This is done by teaching the use of simple vocabulary and the concept of a ‘nation’ and a ‘nation’s history’. Throughout Key Stage 1 children will explore the lives of significant individuals on a local and national level. They will also study festivals and significant events, again both locally and nationally.
We will teach children about the many and varied key physical and human features of our world and show them the vocabulary to describe these. We will study our seasons and weather patterns. Throughout their time here they will be comparing and contrasting our local area to that of other regions. Children in Year 2 will name and locate the world’s continents and oceans through their map work.
ART & DESIGN
Children experience a variety of creative media and learn to use these as a means of expression and communication. We encourage them to appreciate the work of others and evaluate their own work. Our aim is that all children will explore the art concepts of line, form, texture, colour, shape and tone in free play activities and that they will be taught the necessary skills to develop these concepts through more structured experiences.
All children have opportunities to listen to, respond to and compose a wide variety of music. There are many singing times when we enjoy a large and varied repertoire of songs as a school, in classes or small groups.
We have a range of percussion instruments to give children the chance to play quality instruments. We aim to give all children an enjoyment of music and confidence in composing and performing as they develop sensitivity and critical appreciation.
At Henleaze Infant School we believe that P.E is an essential part of the development and education of every child– social, cognitive, emotional, spiritual and physical. It promotes co-operation and self-esteem.
We aim to deliver high quality PE across the school. We provide a broad and balanced curriculum where children gain a secure base of movement, knowledge, skills and understanding, which they can expand throughout their infant school years. We use effective assessment techniques and provide challenges for the children. At Henleaze Infant School each child will receive their National Curriculum Entitlement as set out in the National Curriculum (Feb 2014). All children have two PE lessons a week timetabled for 1 hour each and they also have daily opportunities for outdoor play. Children are also encouraged to join clubs and extend their interest and involvement in sport.
PE is used to enhance the learning of all core and foundation subjects. Within the Curriculum, every year group completes a themed area of learning each term. Cross curricular links are incorporated whenever possible and lessons are taught with the theme in mind as well as relating to the children’s current interests.
In the Foundation Stage a cross curricular approach is adopted to Physical Development, incorporating it into all areas of learning within the Foundation Stage guidance documents.
The delivery of P.E in Key Stage 1 base their medium term/weekly planning on a skills based curriculum adopted and using the key skills outlined for each year group in the ‘Real PE’ programme. The PE programme of work is reviewed yearly, to offer continuity and progression.