Children begin at Grange Farm in one of our Reception classes, in the first September following their fourth birthday. The Reception year is the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage which children progress through from birth to the age of 5. This is the curriculum that will have guided their learning if they previously went to Nursery.
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum encourages children to be independent learners who follow their own interests but who also lay strong foundations in core areas. At the end of Reception, children are assessed against Early Learning Goals, with the key areas being PSED (Personal, Social & Emotional Development), Communication & Language, Physical Development, Literacy and Mathematical Development.
At Grange Farm, a Reception child’s day is balanced between adult-led activities (which tend to focus on core skills such as phonics, maths, reading and writing) and child-initiated learning. There is relatively little traditional whole class teaching and you may find children come home saying they have been playing for much of their day – this is not a problem! For children in Reception, much of their most important learning comes through playing and this is especially powerful when they have had the chance to follow their own interests. We use “Learning Journeys” as a form of scrapbook of children’s learning, showing their individual learning pathways through the year.
|Curriculum Overview Reception|
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As they enter Year 1, children are moving into Key Stage 1 which runs from the age of 5 to the age of 7. The curriculum in Key Stage 1 becomes more formal but there is an important transition that happens gradually so that the children become used to the different expectations in a way that makes sense to them.
Children will work in more traditional lessons, focussing on the development of English and Maths skills for a larger part of their day. Phonics continues to be a key part of learning and children (as with all children in Year 1 across England) complete a Phonics Check towards the end of the year to see how well they are developing these skills.
At Grange Farm, particular topic areas covered in Year 1 are: “Memory Box” (History focus), “Bright Lights, Big City” (Geography focus), “Paws, Claws and Whiskers” (Science focus), “Dinosaur Planet” and “Splendid Skies” (both History focus).
Even though there is a shift to a more formal curriculum, we endeavour to make sure that children are having plenty of opportunities to be creative and have experience of a wide breadth of curriculum areas.
|Curriculum Overview Year 1|
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This is the final year in Key Stage 1. At the end of the year, children will be assessed against national standards in Reading, Writing and Maths. They are currently assessed through a series of tests but also through teacher’s observations of their work over time.
As in Year 1, there is a focus on developing core skills in Reading, Writing and Maths. Phonics sessions continue but these now centre on learning different rules for spelling the sounds children can hear in words. English is a tricky language so this takes some doing!
While the world may feel a step more formal again from Year 1, we still place much emphasis on children having access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Topics in Year 2 include “Towers, Tunnels and Turrets” (Design & Technology focus), “Beat Band Boogie” (Music focus), “Land Ahoy” (Geography focus), “Muck, Mess and Mixtures” (Art focus), “Street Detectives” (History focus) and “Wriggle and Crawl” (Science focus) with children spending devoted time on all the statutory national curriculum subjects through this themed work.
|Curriculum Overview Year 2|
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Year 3 is the first of four years that children spend in Key Stage 2, running from 7 to 11 years of age. There is a rise in expectations in independence and learning behaviour from Year 2 although, as you would expect, we still very much treat children as individuals and cater for their particular needs.
Children no longer complete phonics sessions each day but will focus on spelling regularly and will also have time in their week devoted to learning other key skills in English such as grammar, punctuation and handwriting.
In Year 3, as previously in Key Stage 1, children will access much of their learning in subjects from across the curriculum in a themed topic approach. Themes in Year 3 include: “Tremors” (Geography focus), “Gods and Mortals” (History focus), “Tribal Tales” (History focus), “Urban Pioneers” (Art focus) and Mighty Metals (Science focus).
In Year 3 children also have increasing opportunities to learn a musical instrument in school. This requires parents to support by committing to paying for lessons over a sustained period. Currently we offer guitar, drums, flute and piano. Lessons are very popular and when we have free spaces, we send letters home so that interested parents can register their interest. At the end of the year, we hold music concerts so that children have the opportunity to showcase what they have been learning.
|Curriculum Overview Year 3|
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Children enter Year 4 when they are 8 years-old. This year sees children increasingly capable of sustained pieces of independent work across the curriculum. Expectations continue to rise both in terms of academic achievement and also independent learning.
In Year 4, children access themed topics including “Burps, Bottoms and Biles” (Science focus), “The Blue Abyss” (Art focus), “Potions” (Science focus), “I am Warrior” (History focus), “Traders and Raiders” (History focus) and “Road Trip USA” (Geography focus). Through these topics they complete learning in Geography, History, Science, Art, Design & Technology and Music. As in other years they also complete lessons on Computing, with a focus very much on developing their ability to “code” (developing skills as the computer programmers of the future).
|Curriculum Overview Year 4|
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Year 5 children are 9 and 10 years old. The structure of the curriculum continues much as it has over Key Stage 2 although there remains a steady increase in the demands that the curriculum places on them.
The themed topics that children engage with in Year 5 include: “Victorians” (History focus), “Stargazers” (Science focus), “Allotment” (Geography focus), “Princes, Paupers and Pestilence” (History focus) and “Time Traveller” (Art focus).
In Year 5, children begin to be involved in more of our “pupil voice” groups across school – democracy in action! We currently have groups such as “Food Focus”, “News Team” and “Eco Squad” in addition to our School Council. The older children in school take leading roles in ensuring these groups have a real impact.
|Curriculum Overview Year 5|
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|Year 5 Victorians Organiser|
Children enter Year 6 as 10-year olds and leave as 11-year-olds at the end of Key Stage 2, ready to embrace the new challenges ahead at secondary school. This is a key year in the life of a primary school child for a variety of reasons.
The children themselves are very aware that, in May, they complete national curriculum assessments, commonly known as SATs. These show their achievement in Reading, Writing and Maths and we know from experience that children like to push themselves to perform at their best and show off the learning that they have done in Year 6 and throughout their primary school lives.
However, we do not fall into the trap of making Year 6 just about Reading, Writing and Maths. We still aim to give children access to a wide, rich and varied curriculum including themed topics on “A Child’s War” (History focus), “Hola Mexico” (Music focus), “Blood Heart” (Science focus) and “Darwin’s Delights” (Science focus).
Furthermore, the social development of children is particularly important in Year 6 as they get ready for a significant transition in their lives. We give children opportunities to expand their confidence and experience with activities like the outdoor pursuit residential to Plas Dol-y-Moch and the end-of-year production.
|Curriculum Overview Year 6|
|Year 6 Autumn Term||Year 6 Spring Term||Year 6 Summer Term|