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The Curriculum

The Curriculum Themes for each year group are shown in the table below.  Please click on the relevant Term's Subject to see full details of the National Curriculum Coverage.

 

Early Years Foundation Stage

Starting school is one of the most important moments in a child’s life and here at Riverhead we recognise the need for this to be managed with care and consideration. Following the acceptance of a place at the school, we will invite you to a variety of events to help you get to know the school better and understand what it will mean for you and your child, as well as keeping you fully informed of the process to ensure a smooth transition into school.

 

A stimulating learning environment encompassing inspirational grounds and an exceptional building, provide for all children opportunities to immerse themselves in the pleasure of learning both indoors and out. Our skilled practitioners provide the structure to ensure all pupils develop their understanding and their skills whilst being extended to find and develop their potential.

 

Learning through play whilst participating in active and engaging activities is the foundation to learning in the Early Years. Teachers and Teaching Assistants make careful observations of the children to inform us of each child’s achievements and progress, and how we can best help them as they learn, ensuring their learning builds upon their interests and previous experiences. Small and large group work and one-to-one learning opportunities are provided to enable all children to be extended across all areas of the curriculum. Opportunities to work independently or with their peers are provided, as are dedicated times for self-directed learning. This complements the carefully planned and stimulating directed learning opportunities and gives all children the time to practice their newly acquired skills.

 

Reception children have direct access to their own outdoor classroom where they can satisfy their curiosity to explore their world in the garden and the investigation area. They have access to large construction equipment, as well as many games resources to develop their physical skills and stimulate their imagination. Rich provision is made for role play and opportunities to explore the children’s creative potential are actively sought.

 

Importance is placed on the development of personal and social skills which provide a foundation for individual responsibility and participation for all children. The emphasis upon positive relationships and good behaviour are instrumental within this.

 

The curriculum is planned to meet the needs of the children and is informed by the EYFS Statutory Framework. The Prime Areas of Learning, Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development, together with the 4 Specific Areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design inform the daily and long term planning and include daily phonics, reading and numeracy lessons.

 

Throughout the Early Years Teachers and Teaching Assistants keep a clear record of each child’s achievements with particular emphasis upon their independent skills. Photographs, observation notes and examples of learning are key to this process and recorded in the pupil’s individual learning diary (ILD) which is shared with parents, termly, at open evenings, and at the end the Early Years provision. You will also be asked to contribute regularly to your child’s Learning Journal and ILD to ensure we have a rounded picture of their achievements both in and out of school.

 

Children’s wellbeing is at the heart of our provision. Working together with parents and carers provides a start to school which is second to none.

 

The Creative Curriculum

Following the Early Years the children move to the next stage of their education nationally known as Key Stage 1 for Years One and Two.  Through a creative theme-based curriculum all aspects of the National Curriculum are taught to the highest of standards.  The key skills of Literacy and Numeracy are taught daily plus ERIC time - Everybody Reading in Class, Phonics and Grammar lessons provide all pupils with a firm foundation of the essential key skills required for a successful future.  Information Communication Technology [ICT] is embedded throughout the curriculum giving children the ability to communicate effectively in the modern world. 

 

Daily reading and enjoyment of books is at the core of our English curriculum, including regular guided reading opportunities which is supported by the rigorous teaching of phonics through Letters and Sounds.   Our awareness of individual need, together with the range of opportunities offered, ensure that every child leaves Riverhead a reader. Developing pupils’ oracy is paramount and viewed as a crucial element of the writing process.  This is exemplified in our extensive use of talk prior to writing, including oral composition and drama.

 

Please see below a letters from Patrick Leeson at Kent County Council and Nick Gibb MP the Minister of State for School Standards with reference to our Phonics results.

At Riverhead Infants’ School we acknowledge the importance of Mathematics as a core subject in the National Curriculum.  We aim to demonstrate to the children how useful and powerful Mathematics is as a means of communication and as a tool to solve everyday problems. We seek to maintain high standards in Numeracy across the school whilst encouraging a delight in problem solving and the application of mathematical skills.  We use the Programmes of Study from the National Curriculum and the Primary National Numeracy Strategy Framework for Teaching Mathematics as our framework to create an individual and personal curriculum which fulfils the needs of our children.

 

Please click the link below to access our Maths Evening Presentation and Parents Leaflets.

Science is an essential element of our engaging curriculum and together with Humanities and RE, ensures enquiring minds are actively stimulated whilst building an understanding of our world and our joint responsibility to care for it.   We integrate the Kent Science Scheme into out learning themes and the Kent Agreed Syllabus as the framework for Religious Education.  Our local environment provides a rich stimulus for History and Geography enabling the children to develop a deeper understanding of their local surroundings. 

 

Sport, including Dance,  is an integral element of our curriculum. Complimenting this is the ‘Activate Program’ which ensures all children participate in daily exercise to stimulate the mind and the brain.   This, together with a focus on the Arts provides a broad and balanced curriculum. Specialist teachers for Games and Music ensure excellence for all.

 

ICT enables all pupils to communicate through text, graphics and sound using our rich source of technology which includes computers, cameras, sound recording devices and programmable robots.   

 

PSHE promotes children’s personal, social and health development. It gives children the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to stay healthy and safe, develop worthwhile relationships, respect differences, develop independence and responsibility, make the most of their own abilities and those of others. PSHE plays an integral part within our behaviour strategies.

 

Active learning both outdoors and in, is central to our teaching and learning ethos.  The provision of careful differentiated learning opportunities to engage pupil’s different learning styles is an essential element of the careful planning curriculum developed by staff to provide challenges for children of all abilities. The Teaching and Learning Policy and Subject Policies provide further information regarding the curriculum.

 

Throughout their time at Riverhead children are regularly assessed to inform the next stages of learning and to provide a record of their achievement.  Teachers consistently use their professional skills to inform this process and practice is moderated both in school and within the local network of schools.  At the end of Key Stage 1 Statutory Assessment Tasks are completed to inform teacher judgements.   Teacher assessed levels of attainment are reported to parents at the end of Years One and Two and this is supplemented with whole school and national data to give a clear indication of the attainment of the cohort. [The most recent can be found in the Our School Section of this web site.] Our assessments are moderated by advisors and teachers from other schools to ensure rigour, confirm accuracy, and provide opportunity to participate in local and national verification of the children’s attainment. 

The Enhanced Curriculum

Here at Riverhead we are fortunate to be surrounded by an environment rich in diversity, history and opportunity. Through carefully planned visits and experiences which we could not provide within the confines of the school, we widen the children’s experience of learning and deepen their knowledge and understanding.  From environmental visits to investigate rivers and habitats to cultural experiences to understand our heritage, all are an essential element of our provision.

 

We regularly welcome to the school visiting artists, theatre groups and workshops to provide further opportunities for the children to participate in learning experiences led by experts in their field.

 

This builds upon the extended experiences we provide using the considerable expertise within our staff and community.  Various alternative activity weeks occur during which the focus moves to a particular topic/subject which is explored in depth.  Regular features include Book Week, Maths Week and Gifted and Talented Week, plus a yearly focus related to a current topic, such as Environmental Themes, Royal Celebrations or the Olympics.

 

Expressive arts are integral to our curriculum and the children enjoy regular Games lessons and Music lessons with members of staff who are specialists in their field.

 

With children from over 10 countries in our school, many with English as a second language, our modern global society is all around and an understanding of a wide variety of other cultures and places is an important aspect of children’s’ education. 

 

We have recently gained the Eco Green Flag Award celebrating our outstanding achievement throughout the school in caring for the environment and developing sustainability. Our Healthy Schools Award and our Active Schools Award emphasise the importance we place upon the extended curriculum.   

Collective Worship and Religious Education

Together we participate in a daily act of collective worship.   During them we respond to the teachings and culture of mainstream faiths and we delight in the positive experience of our multi-cultural society, although the majority of our assemblies are of a broadly Christian focus.   Parents or carers may withdraw their children ‘on grounds of conscience’ following consultation with the Headteacher. 

 

Religious Education is taught weekly and as with Collective Worship teaches about the mainstream faiths with emphasis upon Christianity.

Sex Education and Relationship Education

Sex education is taught according to our policy and at a level suitable for the young age and development of our pupils.  The Sex and Relationship Policy can be found in the Governor Section of our website.

Health and Safety Education 

Children are regularly taught skills to keep themselves safe and healthy with emphasis upon developing their awareness and independence.  This includes e-safety days, stranger-danger, road safety, sun awareness and protection against germs to name but a few.  With our outdoor resources, we provide many opportunities for children to explore their environment and teachers are encouraged to allow children to take some level of risk in their activities.