Arden Grove Infant

& Nursery School

Our Curriculum

Our Trust's Vision and Strategic Framework


For Children, Families and Communities

The Wensum Trust is a family of schools that believes in putting the children and families within our local communities at the centre of all we do. Our vision is to work together to help every child to develop into high achieving, confident, healthy, caring and resilient members of their family and community; creating a pathway to support their career aspirations, independence and contribution to society.

We value the need to develop positive relationships with every child and every family in order to achieve this vision. We aim to work together to understand and respond to individual circumstances, regardless of background or early life adversities, and to offer the appropriate care during challenges along the way.


Our Strategic Framework

Our new framework has been designed to guarantee that the needs of the whole child are met and that our schools offer every child the best possible support throughout their learning journey. At the core of our values is our own, unique definition of success:

"Children are in school, participating and enjoying their learning and feeling safe; with a sense of belonging and with aspirations towards a future path. Our children are resilient, articulate and, by the time they leave us, they are learners for life."

 

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing is at the foundation of all that we do. Prioritising mental health and wellbeing lays the foundations for future relationships, better health, positive engagement and successful learning.

Click here for more information on our unique approach to mental health.

Learning & Achievement

We maintain high expectations of our children and we aim for every child to make excellent progress at every stage.  A stronger foundation of mental health and wellbeing will enable more children who are less academically driven to engage with their learning and to achieve their potential in school and beyond.

Careers & Life Skills

By giving each child a clear career trajectory, supported by our strategic partners, we lift their aspirations, give them a sense of belonging and help them to become learners for life. They gain a better understanding of the purpose of education and develop into high achieving individuals who are able to better support and contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of their own children or other young people in the future.

 

Our School Curriculum

At Arden Grove we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum during the Nursery and Reception years. In Years 1 and 2 we then follow the National Curriculum (2014).

We strive to ensure our curriculum is broad, balanced and engaging for all of our children, giving everyone access to learning opportunities that will motivate, inspire and enable them to achieve in a safe and positive environment. The staff plan together effectively to ensure we are providing a challenge and inclusivity by meeting the needs of all children. We provide a range of after school clubs including yoga, karate, singing and cooking with the aim of promoting health, well-being and resilience through the acquisition of new skills and encouraging children to take on new challenges.

We value the importance of enhancing our curriculum provision with exciting whole school experiences, including our Health Week, Big Arts Week and for Year 2 a visit to see a London Show and our How Hill residential.

Maths and English is taught daily. Opportunities to link other curriculum subjects for example history, geography, science, computing is done though topics, which change and will be based on the interests of the children and their contributions to the planning.

You can read more about individual subjects and view their corresponding curriculum maps in the sections below.

English

English is a core curriculum subject and includes speaking, listening, reading, writing and drama. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding across all these areas.

Speaking and Listening are fundamental skills and we appreciate the importance of teaching and supporting these from a young age. We encourage the children to work collaboratively, share their thoughts and ideas and practise speaking in sentences before being expected to write them. Children who struggle with communication and language are quickly identified and supported. 

In the Early Years, writing is taught through shared writing and small group work, this is guided by Development Matters. Within Key Stage 1 we are guided by the expectations in the National Curriculum and we teach writing within our literacy lessons, using lessons from the Literacy Tree scheme. In Literacy we write everyday and use a range of hooks, prompts and scaffolds to make writing enjoyable and meaningful. We use high-quality texts suggested by the Literacy tree as a foundation for high-quality writing. We encourage children to write across the curriculum in different subjects as well as ensuring children enjoy the chance to hear stories and take part in drama through our Wise about Words partnership with Norwich Theatre. 

Phonics and reading

We follow the Read, Write Inc scheme to teach phonics. Read Write Inc. Phonics is a literacy programme developed by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press.  This teaches phonics in a lively and engaging way, which encourages children to sound out and blend words quickly. Our phonics lessons are comprised of the speaking, handwriting, listening, spelling and reading elements of Read Write Inc.

In the programme children learn sounds and the letters that represent them, and how to form the letters. Then, they read books written using only the letters they have learnt (and a small number of separately taught 'tricky words'). This gives the children plenty of early success and builds up their reading confidence.

Information and guidance on the Read Write Inc. programme and its mission can be obtained by following this link:https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/about-us/mission/ 

As a school, we understand the importance of reading for pleasure and make time each day to share stories together as a class everyday. Some classes vote for which book they would like to hear that day. 

Children then bring home book bag books which are from the Read Write Inc programme and are at the child’s appropriate level.

Because we value the importance of children reading at home, we encourage them to take books home to share with parents and carers  in addition to their 'scheme' reading book-bag-books. This link gives information for parents on how you can support your child reading at home. https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents-copy-2/

Maths

At Arden Grove Infant and Nursery all of our children are Mathematicians and as we are beginning our journey towards teaching mastery we encourage every child to have a growth mindset. We use aspects from the White Rose Hub Maths resources who share our vision that #Mathseveryonecan. 

All pupils are encouraged to be the best they can be and are taught the knowledge and skills needed to access mathematics within every lesson. Our aspirational pupils are taught to independently select their level of challenge in most lessons, which positively impacts on attitudes to mathematics. All contributions are valued within mathematics learning and pupils know to persevere when faced with a challenge and mistakes are celebrated.. Teachers model resilient behaviours and both pupils and staff use their executive function characters to be effective and reflective learners. 

When teaching, maths children are exposed to concrete, pictorial and abstract representations. Pupils use manipulatives and have access to these during every mathematics lesson. We follow the White Rose Hub small steps and our working walls are a supportive tool to help all children remember previous learning in order to gain new knowledge.

P.E.

At Arden Grove we offer a Physical Education Curriculum where we aim to inspire all children to succeed and participate in physical activities. Lessons are taught in a safe and supportive environment. We promote a joy for physical activity and provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident. This will support their health and fitness and mental well being to then lead active, healthy lifestyles. We aim to inspire pupils to be more physically active, giving opportunities to take part in Physical activity and competitions that build character and help to embed values such as fairness, team work and respect. Lessons develop the children’s Fundamental skills of agility, balance and co ordination as well as develop social and personal skills. We offer a range of afterschool clubs as well as the chance to take part in games at local High Schools with other schools.

Science

Vision for Science

Science

In Science I will learn to ask questions about why things happen in the world around me and find out answers by investigating and testing.

 

People who work in science are called scientists. 

At Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School  we want to ensure that all children are aspirational and  inspired. Therefore,  we teach Science and Outdoor Learning  every week across the school  creating a love of Science and stimulating curiosity from an early age. All of these sessions take place in our outdoor learning space and around our Cob-Lab. We want children to be able to think scientifically and take risks with their learning  through  hands-on outdoor experiences and enquiries. Throughout the school the children are taught the skills of enquiry; asking questions,  making predictions, setting up tests, observing and measuring, communicating and interpreting results and evaluating and these are prompted by the enquiry symbols seen in every class. We want children to feel passionately about caring for the environment and living things and to develop an understanding of the effects of the everyday choices which we all make. This is why we co-teach Science  with outdoor learning knowledge and skills outside to foster these through experience

Computing

Vision for Computing

Computing

In Computing I learn how a computer follows instructions and how to make a technology work through programming and how to use the internet responsibly and safely.

 

Many jobs use technology but people who work in computing are called programmers and coders.

We believe  that  computing has a very vital role to play in this generation of young children. Technology already forms an important part of their lives and this role will be even greater in years to come as we begin to prepare our computer scientists for jobs which are yet to be invented. We use computing in many areas of the curriculum to enrich learning opportunities, while also empowering children to conscientious and critical digital citizens. We use the Governments Teach Computing Curriculum and resources to support planning and progression of skills and knowledge. It teaches the major themes: algorithms, computing systems, creating media, data and information, design and development, effective use of tools, programming, safety and security in a safe and child appropriate style. The school recognises the importance and it’s duty to keep children safe online and holds regular online safety events as well as online safety lessons. 

History

Vision for History

History

In History I will find out about people, events and objects from the past.

 

People who study history are called historians. 

At Arden Grove when teaching History we begin in the very recent past, looking at the children’s own history; their family experiences and photographs. We also focus on local changes. The use of historical artefacts and visits to local places of interest help children to understand how and why changes occur. We commemorate significant historical events and use stories from the past to help the pupils' historical understanding.  We encourage and develop deeper thinking, historical vocabulary, asking questions and the forming of opinions based on what we have found out. Each class has a timeline with significant events to help children develop chronological awareness as well as a sense of world and British History. 

Geography

Vision for Geography

Geography

In Geography I will learn about the natural and human parts of the world. 

 

People who study Geography are called geographers.

At Arden Grove, we recognise that geography should develop a child’s natural curiosity and fascination about the world.  We ensure all of our learning starts with the children’s local area, encouraging children to explore the school grounds and surrounding area from the Nursery. This will lead to a greater understanding of places, people and a greater awareness of their own place within our world and community.  It should help to provoke and provide answers to questions about both natural and human aspects of the world. We want children to feel connected to the world around them and recognise the important part we all play in looking after it. Children will have opportunities to explore and investigate their local area using geographical fieldwork skills and they will seek to make comparisons with other regions in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. They will learn how to draw and interpret maps of their school, local area, United Kingdom and the world. Through carefully planned experiences, children will develop skills that enable them to recognise, describe, explain, compare and evaluate natural and human aspects of the world, gaining respect and appreciation of the world we live in, different cultures and ways of life. We encourage and develop deeper thinking, geographical vocabulary, by asking questions and forming opinions based on what we have found out. 

Art

Vision for Art

Art and Design

In Art I look at and create paintings, drawings, sculptures using lots of different materials.

 

People who produce art are called artists, painters, sculptors or designers

Our curriculum aims to help the children develop creatively and to foster an understanding and enjoyment of art, throughout the school. In Art & Design lessons children are taught to represent in visual form what they observe, remember and imagine.  They are encouraged to develop skills sequentially in the area of drawing, painting, 3D, textiles and digitally. Our Children work practically and imaginatively with a variety of materials, tools and methods, exploring the elements of art and design, including colour mixing, texture, pattern and form in two and three dimensions. Children are taught skills to help them succeed in using different mediums, media and materials and final pieces are celebrated as well as the process. 

Design and Technology

Vision for Design and Technology

Design and Technology

Design and technology is where I explore designing and making products for a purpose, and then evaluating how successful they are.

 

People who work in Design and Technology are designers, testers and manufacturers. 

Design and Technology skills are taught through projects within a learning theme, structured through the steps of test, plan, make, evaluate.  In Design and Technology, children are taught new skills and techniques as well as practising previous ones. These skills are then used creatively to design and make objects for a purpose using a range of tools and materials.  Children are introduced to following  a design criteria and to select the materials and tools they will need. Children are encouraged to evaluate their finished work to see which elements were successful, and how they could improve their  work.

Music

At our school we make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Music is a creative and enjoyable activity. It also plays an important part in helping children feel part of our school community. We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms. Whenever possible we arrange for visiting musicians to perform to the children, we are linked with the Norwich Theatre and we have monthly live music assemblies where visiting musicians share a range of instruments and styles. Our Year 1 and Year 2 pupils can join our weekly Songbirds Club.

RE

Vision for Religious Education 

Religious Education

In Religious Education I learn about different religions of the world and their traditions, practices and beliefs. I accept and celebrate how everyone’s lives are unique and may have things that are the same or different.

The Religious Education curriculum is taught in accordance with the new Norfolk Agreed Syllabus, a copy of which may be viewed Norfolk Agreed Syllabus 2019  The children are taught to have respect for people’s beliefs focusing on the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and people with multiple faiths or those with no religion, in a way that is appropriate to their age and level of understanding.   They are taught through a multidisciplinary approach which include philosophy, theology and human or social science Assemblies provide opportunities for moral and spiritual development through the use of a variety of poems, stories, music and occasional visits from representatives of various religions.  We celebrate religious education through half termly ‘Faith Days’ where the children take part in religious enquiries and may enjoy the links we have with the local community, have visitors coming in or groups having a chance to visit a place of worship.  

Parents have a right to withdraw their children from religious education and collective worship.  Please talk to the Headteacher about alternative provision provided as this will depend on individual circumstances.

PSHE

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) is taught in the Foundation stage and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is taught in Key Stage 1.  It is embedded in all we do and is taught discreetly through a variety of ways and across many subject areas, with the intention to encourage and support children to think about and develop a range of essential life skills and qualities.  

At Arden Grove we feel it is important that children learn about making good choices. We teach relevant and interesting lessons, which inspire and encourage children to think about and discuss their feelings and viewpoints.  ‘Our Code’ promotes these and other values and encourages positive behaviour both at home and at school. To compliment this we also use Jigsaw, a comprehensive whole school programme for PSHE including statutory Relationships and Health Education. It is spiral, progressive and delivers relevant learning experiences to help children develop positive relationships with themselves and others. This mindful approach supports our focus on children’s mental health, wellbeing, social and emotional development.  

PSHE Sept 2021 Policy

Outdoor Learning

Vision for Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning

 

In Outdoor Learning we explore and are adventurous outside, learning more about how the world works and challenging myself. I take wonder in the natural world around me and care for it. 

At Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, we believe that outdoor learning enables our children to develop and nurture their self-belief, confidence and our school's other values where every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential in a learner-led enabling environment. In Outdoor Learning and Science our children 

learn through hands-on experiences to develop fine and gross motor skills, to assess and manage risk, to practice and achieve goals, to enquire and investigate, whilst embracing the challenges that working outside in all weathers can present.  All of our outdoor sessions take place weekly creating a time and space for the children to enjoy, respect and look after themselves, others and all living things in their outdoor learning area, whilst developing their interests, knowledge and skills.  Wellbeing and health (mental and physical) is an integral part of our school and outdoor learning sessions.  Children are encouraged to express their feelings, modelled through books and circle time discussions in response to our outdoor worlds and real events as they happen.  The school outdoor learning area includes a wild area, our Cob-lab with pizza oven,  fire circle, mud kitchen, pond, and a wooded area with rope swings, a hammock, a slackline, rope ladder, adventurous terrain, growing beds, climbing routes and loose parts play equipment.  Class teachers are encouraged to use the outdoor space to make real life curriculum links and take learning outdoors, especially in Science. We are always proactive in developing our outdoor learning space and work with our school council and children to plan and make this happen. It is our intention that every pupil develops a real passion for the great outdoors and celebrates their local, natural environment.  We wish for every child to develop a knowledge and passion for their local habitat and how to look after and nurture it.